Window Treatments: Less Is More…(Sometimes)

Window Treatments: Less Is More…(Sometimes)

The word on curtains these days is that they are more minimalist in design.  This trend was highlighted in a Wall Street Journal article titled: The Comeback Curtain.”  The article compared a popular design trend of multilayered etheral fabrics on windows  to the layering of  sheer blouses over camisoles.  “The window look is sexy”, said Interior Designer Mindy Miles Greenberg. As emphasized in the Journal, translucent, softly layered window treatments are showing up in suburban as well as urban homes, as energy and cost efficient alternatives to old-fashioned curtains and blinds. The clean lines offer no frill, puddles, or decorative valences. Less fussy, airy curtains in my opinion, are often appropriate in certain situations and are visually lovely, but they do not always replace the look, feel and value of a sumptuous traditional curtain. A custom window treatment, well fabricated by a professional workroom, is a decorating investment, and will most likely last at least 10-15 years.  Spreading the cost over this time, therefore, is not as prohibitive as the Journal article suggests. If well chosen, curtains in a room provide, color, pattern, and tactile warmth.  Windows dressed with a beautiful fabric provide visual impact.  When properly designed and sewn, curtains can become the Birken bag of a room. Certainly, trends in curetains change, according to the decorating fashions of the moment.  Styles shift from very elaborate designs to more simplified veersions to none at all, and back again. Both approaches to solving the window puzzle have their advantages and disadvantages, and can be tackled effectively with the help of a competent, professional Interior designer or...

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Old Is New Again

Old Is New Again

The contemporary designs of today’s art, interior design, and fashion are almost always rooted in historic origins. The old styles are reinvented with a twist of the current moment. We recently attended a lecture at the Museum of Fine Arts addressing this topic, titled “Quote? Copy? Update?” In examining three different works of art— Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Andy Warhol’s Mona Lisa and the Starm Twins’ Mona Lisa—the lecturer stressed that all three artists defined their work through their own interpretation. The same observation can be applied to trends in the interior design industry. In my travels throughout the wings of fabrics and wall coverings at the Boston Design Center, I found three distinct motifs that have been reinterpreted for today’s market: Paisley: What was often dull and formal is now fresh and vibrant. An example is Link’s blue and white fabric, “Palm,” in ocean #44. Little Print: The sweet, small “filler” print used in country rooms, which nearly vanished from most fabric lines, has resurfaced as a more striking geometric and contemporary pattern, as is evidenced in Mally Skok’s fabric, Roh Flora-multi. Remember when shopping for little prints to look for bold. Velvet Flock: As hard as it is to believe, velvet flock, a dark and dreary wall covering from the Victorian era, has been reproduced by Osborne & Little. Their version (Fontette W6012-01) looks new because of the vibrant color and pattern. Using this type of pattern on an accent wall with contemporary minimalist furniture looks very...

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The Color Purple

The Color Purple

If you haven’t been a huge fan of the color purple, you could find yourself suddenly loving it. Why your change of heart? Purple is everywhere! The color permeates the pages of the current interior design publications and fashion magazines. Wall coverings, upholstered furniture, accent pillows, even advertisements for Botox are set against a purple background. In last month’s Architectural Digest, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi’s living room features two sleek cream-colored sofas, contrasted with sumptuous purple pillows. Duralee, a company known for designer fabrics, devotes an entire advertising page in House Beautiful to showcase an array of pillows in geometric fabrics, popping from a white background—and yes, they are all shades of purple, violet and fuchsia! Since it is virtually impossible to avoid being influenced by the design trends we see around us, my professional suggestion is to limit your purchases of the color of the moment to smaller items such as pillows, accessories, or even a foot stool. Generally, you should select more neutral tones for your larger upholstered pieces. If you still feel you can’t resist that purple sofa, try not to give into that impulse. Instead, try something like a gray fabric with a purple or deep eggplant tint. These colors are more timeless. They are classic choices that will not necessarily be long forgotten tomorrow. Do you have any design questions? Contact me...

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Grass Cloth Today

Grass Cloth Today

Grass cloth has become a generic term for all natural wall coverings like Kleenex is to tissue.  Actually its use in decorating has been popular for decades but the papers of old were often muddy- colored slubby silk textures. Today there are hundreds of fresh contemporized weaves and colors in wall coverings that can include paper and raffia. These papers are equally effective in contemporary as well as traditional spaces. I recently installed a Phillip Jeffries ltd Japanese paper weave (look for product number 1713), in color harvest in a formal library surrounded by rich mahogany built ins and upholstery covered in luxe Schumacher mohair, Old World Weavers velvet and Brunschwig & Fils wool paisley fabrics. The juxtoposition of these different entities was refreshing and somewhat unexpected yet very elegant. Even a little bit of grass cloth can have a huge impact in a room. Installing it above a chair rail can be cost effective, because you use less of it but does not dilute the impact. Natural textured wall coverings are usually priced by the yard, not the roll, so they can be somewhat pricey, but the results are well worth it even...

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