Mini Portfolio

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why choose CustomTreatments?

Why choose custom window treatments and bedding? Why are they so much better than Ready-Made? These are questions window treatment professionals hear on a daily basis - and probably even more often now with everyone tightening their belts and and budgets!

So let's discuss why Custom....

In a previous post I shared with you some of the standards in the construction of custom window treatments, so I'll do my best not to repeat myself here.

Point One: Custom Treatments are Unique!

Celebrities and prom-goers one likes showing up in the same dress as someone else, so why should your window and bed treatments be the same as your neighbors or co-workers?

Custom window treatments are made to the exact specifications of your project. This means that not only are the measurements (width, length and fullness) made to suit and be proportional to the room and setting, but that they are made with your choice of fabric, trim and details. They are in fact unique! Just like you and your home or business.

Point Two: Custom Treatments actually save $$

Yes, the upfront investment in custom treatments is greater than that of Ready-Made, however, over time, like any major household purchase, they actually end up costing less. In my experience, this happens in at least a couple of different ways.

First, typically custom made treatments are made of better quality fabrics, linings and construction, thus extending their life span. Just like a human - fabrics are effected by our environment - sun, humidity, as well as daily wear and tear - take their toll. So it stands to reason that using quality goods and linings and taking proper care of them will enhance the length of usability. Since, custom tends to last longer - there is less waste (and that's good for the enviorment).

Secondly, Energy usage can be effected by proper use of custom treatments. If you have a window that gets lots of sun or cold - using a functioning treatment to help reduce the amount of sun during peak times of the day - can reduce energy costs - also - it can reduce wear on other interior items such as carpets and furniture (again - saving $$$ by replacing things less).

Third Point:(and my favorite!) Supporting Local Economy!

By using a local workroom and/or design professional you are supporting and helping to sustain your local economy! With the headlines everywhere talking about job losses and layoffs - isn't it nice to know that you can help others, even a little by buying local and supporting the local workers and artisans. I am a huge supporter of small business and believe that even one person can make a difference if we work together to support our local independent businesses - remember the "mom & pop" stores - so that money stays in our local economies and helps everyone!

I truly believe and am passionate that everyone deserves to have a home and/or office environment that they enjoy being in. Our homes are our sanctuaries, no matter how humble or grand, and they should be filled with the people and things that bring us joy and beauty!

So I challenge you to look around your home and find one thing you would would like to improve and then research and find a local craftsman or artisan to assist you in making that change!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Definitions: Roman Shades

Welcome to the 2nd installment of the Definitions Segment today we are going to define and discuss Roman Shades and some of the many different styles available.

Definition: SHADE = An Operational device used to reduce or screen light or heat.

Definition: ROMAN SHADE = A treatment of flat fabric that can be raised or lowered by a cord. Variation include horizontal pleats sewn to the back, decorative pleats sewn to the front and permanent soft folds.

Let's discuss a few variations of the Roman shade.

Flat Roman: hangs flat when in down position

Relaxed or Soft Roman: has permanent fold in the bottom of the shade that form a "smile" when up or down.

Hobbled, Soft Fold or Waterfall: A shade that has permanent soft folds whether up or down.

Tucked : has tucks that are sewn into the shade - the tucks can be to the front or the back of the shade.

Slatted: this version has tucks that are sewn in the shade (either to the front or the back) and have a thin board inserted. Can create a very modern zen like look.

Two other versions worth mentioning here are the Butterfly and dog-eared roman

There are many other versions of this versatile window treatment. As with any custom window treatment many times the only limitation is your imagination and the fabric you choose to use.

I would be very remiss to end the the topic of roman shades before mentioning the need for safety. Because these treatments require the use of cords to operate, it is very important that these cords be secured (especially in homes with children) - please use a the Cord/Bead chain Retainer for continuous loop chains.

and cord lock w/a cord condenser (this will allow multiple cords to feed in the condenser and only one to come out to operate the shade).

This small effort will help prevent many accidents and make your home safer.

*all photos are of work fabricated by Cord & Pleat Design, inc.
*sketches courtesy of: "The Design Directory of Window Treatments" by Jackie VonTobel
*Cord lock and Cord condenser photos - courtesy of Rowely, Co.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This week at the studio...

Busy and creative week here at the studio.

I have several projects on the work tables...

I have a duvet cover, pillows and pleated valance

Next there's a gathered balloon shade w/knife pleated ruffle detail along bottom edge.

A boxed cushion- for a young ladies room

as well as panels and sheers and scalloped cafe sheers.

I'll post photos as soon as projects are complete. Also, I still hope to get photos from the decorator of the 2 story panels from last week.

On the business end, I'll also be working on organizing my office and hopefully getting together with a pr person to discuss the melding of all my different methods of media into one cohesive brand!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Segment: Definition of Custom Window Treatments

Welcome to my new weekly segment called Definitions! Since like so many industries, Custom Window & Bed Treatment Professionals use lots of terms that make little sense to many "non" industry people. I thought that this segment might help some of my followers to understand my business a bit better and also to become better educated consumers.

So without delay let's jump into our first segment: Definition of Custom Window Treatments.

What are custom window treatments? Custom Window Treatments are defined as any window treatments/coverings that are made with specified measurements and specifically for the customer.

This includes Hard Window treatments (such as blinds and shutters) and Soft Window treatments (such as draperies & valances). I'm going to focus my discussion on Soft Window Treatments since this is what I primarily deal in.

Are there standards for professional custom treatments? Yes there are! Professional window treatments are created by a "workroom" or "fabrication studio". Here are just a few of the standards.

  • All seams should be serged and finished with an overlock stitch.
  • Patterns should be matched exactly at seams.
  • Avoid topstitching unless it is an integral part of your design.
  • Coordinate the color of the thread w/the fabric.
  • Hems should be blind stitched or hand hemmed.
  • Bottoms hems should be at least 4" to 6" and doubled.
  • Side hems should be 1" to 3" wide and double turned.
  • Trim should attached only to the face fabric - never through the lining.
  • Treatments should always be lined unless sheer or a semi-sheer look is desired.
There are numerous styles of custom window treatments and If you don't find one you like your designer/decorator or window treatment designer can assist you in creating a look that is uniquely you. I be sharing some of the different styles and types of treatments with you in the future...

Please feel free to post your comments and suggestions for my Segment next week.... (hope it wasn't to dry....LOL)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Too Long Silent....

Can't believe it's been almost a full month since my last full blog post. I've been working lots and trying to come up with a sensational blog topic....thus I haven't written at all. Maybe I should settle for something ....more often than nothing at all?

Things here at the studio are humming - I'm busy with lots of panels, valances, duvet covers, roman shades, sheers and more on the way....This week I'm working on 2 story linen panels that will be mounted on medallions and roman shades that will be operated by remote controls. Fun and unique job. I hope to post pics once they are installed. Here's a post of the fabric for both - client has opted for a neutral pallet so they can change out the accessories.

The following pictures are few of the projects completed during the past month.

Flat roman shade on mechanical headrail (very important for child safety).

Beautiful "old world" toile w/bead trim - made up into this swagged and pleated valance!

Remember Custom Window Treatments will help you go green! Custom window Treatments with quality lining will help you keep the heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter - thus helping you to lower your fuel costs.