January 31, 2011

The World of Window Treatments #6

Welcome back to our blog! Our last post was about rooms that inspired an early Spring....and I think we actually got a day like that yesterday with the high at 68. That made it a "Simply Irresistible" day for sure!

Today we are going to continue to look at simple valances that do not require much fabric yardage, but we are going to add a little "spice" in this time. Treatments can be made as simple as you'd like (which also holds down the cost), but you can always enhance that same valance in a variety of ways.....so, let's take a look.

Photo courtesy of Southern Living

This lovely, yet very simple, valance is basically a straight fabric valance that is gathered and attached only on the corners of the window to allow it to cascade down the sides a bit. With it not being attached to anything in the middle, it forms a slight dip. I do believe that a small, navy cording has been added across the bottom. Notice how something as simple as this just "makes" this area.

Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Here we have what I call a "London Topper" valance. It is basically a stationary roman shade (does not go up and down) with contrasting ties added in black and white. Again, so simple, but with this added "spice" to it....well, let's just say it "pops". And you've got to LOVE that cat!

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor

First of all, I love the simplicity of color here. Isn't the white and blue color scheme with the added flair of pink/reds and black accents......"Simply Irresistible"? Now, take a look at this stunning window valance! It is similar to the pleated valance we looked at earlier (notice that corners are pleated), but here the front is shaped with scallops every few inches. See...a very simple valance, not a lot of fabric either, but enhanced with the black trim AND a scalloped edge. Just FYI, the scallop edge alone does add quite a bit to the expense of this valance (as does the trim), but it is sure to create that "WOW" factor in your room.

Now, I will leave you with another more dramatic valance style to give you a taste of how we can easily add to these basic designs to create....THIS!

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor

Isn't this valance gorgeous! Look at the detail of it, yet it is still ever-so-simple. They have also incorporated a treatment over the bed, yet look at how simple the bedding itself it.

There are so many wonderful and creative ways to design your window valances. I hope this series has helped you to see the "world of window treatments" in a delightful new way! We will add more creativity upon our return.....so for now, go have a MOST BLESSED day!

January 29, 2011

"Simply Irresistible" Finds of the Week

Well, it's hard to believe that it is the close of another week. Where has January gone? If you are like most of us in the South, we are yearning for the warm days of Spring! I know....we still have a ways to go, so for today I thought I'd end the week by sharing a few "simply irresistible" finds in rooms using style, color, and fabrics to usher in SPRING a little early. Sit back and enjoy these photos we've shared from some of our wallpaper and fabric vendors.

Delightful designs from Thibaut

Speaking of delightful....this is it! If this doesn't usher in Spring, I don't know what will. A breath of fresh air is in all the elements of this room. Please take a moment to reflect on each of our topics we've been sharing with you....look at the tasteful mix of different fabric patterns, the use of custom pillows with added embellishments, and of course....the Roman Shade window covering. I think you too will find this room "Simply Irresistible".....and I must share that I am planning to use this exact wallpaper in my master bath re-do! It is definitely my style and my colors! Love it!

Another Thibaut Inspiration

Ah...here is another to take note of... the lovely green shade of color used, but also the "light and breezy" feel from using only shirred (gathered on the rod) sheers at the windows. Again, notice the mix of patterns and the pillows...and what about this rug!

A classic Thibaut print

Birdcages on a crisp white background...isn't this truly another "simply irresistible" find for today? Here the fabric used matches the wallpaper. Look at that cording that was added to the chairs (on edge of cushion). And remember, we can design YOUR room using this same fabric and wallpaper, as we do both local and long distance interior design!

OK, I can't move on without showing you this fabric and wallpaper design (too new for photo with it used in a room). For those of you that know me, I LOVE to throw in a conversation theme once in awhile....and monkeys are great for this! But, what do YOU think? After all, it has to please YOUR "taste buds"!

Seahorses and Starfish from Thibaut

I believe the picture says it all in this one...but take note of the "custom" elements (like the contrast welt sewn several inches up from bottom of the table skirt). Simply Irresistible!

"A picture is worth a thousand words"....Thibaut fabrics and wallpaper

Thibaut Inspirations at their best!

Color inspirations alone in this room make me think of Spring! You are probably asking "who in their right mind would use blue, green, gold, and orange together"? The answer is "I WOULD". Like I said, I think the colors alone here make this room, but especially with this wonderful, refreshing fabric and wallpaper design that so tastefully blends all of these colors together. Note the added design features of the pillows, dust ruffle to match the window treatments (gotta love that gold fringe on these too!), custom headboard, hand-painted night stand, and, last but not least.....the lovely lamp shades that bring in each color element AND adds another pattern, a stripe.

Well, which one of these do YOU think deserves the most honorable mention for design style this week? As for me, I really do like the first one that I plan on using myself, but to answer this question now....I vote for the last one! To me, it is truly a "Simply Irresistible" room with lots of color and character that I can't resist.....and, it ushers in SPRING like we mentioned!

I hope you have found our "Simply Irresistible Finds of the Week" as refreshing and enjoyable as I did. I plan to end each week, as time allows, with more intriguing FINDS of the design trade! So, until next time, go make your day blessed and "simply irresistible"!

January 24, 2011

The World of Window Treatments #5

Once again, let's take a look at some more VALANCE options for you to consider. Keep in mind that window treatments are the element that adds the most warmth to your room. They add color and texture and set the tone for the design. Let's take a look at more styles...

Photo courtesy of Better Homes and Garden

Since we left off with the classic swag and cascades let's take a look at the same style on a larger window. Here you have three swags since you have three standard windows together. Remember us talking about the cascade lining choices....the cascades are the side pieces of the valance....on these they have used a solid fabric which shows in the soft folds on each side. This is still a popular style used alone or with drapery panels.

Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Let's now look at another swag....the wrapped swag. This is a really simple treatment but yet makes such a statement. It can be used on large windows as well as smaller windows. The larger the window, the more "wraps" you will have. This is typically a less formal look than the classic swag, yet here they used a silk fabric which dresses it up a bit. So keep in mind, fabric plays a role in the overall affect as well. In this picture notice that this valance is used with the roman shade (that we discussed last time) and with drapery panels. Even though the design is simple, here it is embellished with a contrasting one-inch banding on the edge. The fabric used to do this is the same used for the roman shade, which ties it all together very nicely.

Photo courtesy of House Beautiful

Now I want to point out another style....the pleated valance. Pleated valances are called this since they do have "pleats". Inverted pleats are usually used, but first let's look at this one simply because it is a pleated valance with a scalloped bottom. This particular one gives the affect of a swag, doesn't it? Notice it even has the ends finished like cascades.

Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Here we have a true pleated valance. which is very simple yet very striking. It is embellished with just a little "nautical fun"....rope! Sometimes the pleats are made to reveal a small amount of the valance lining, so in that case you might want to use a contrast fabric - perhaps red in this one if pleats were made in this way.

Photo courtesy of House Beautiful

Another true pleated valance used here in an office with large windows all around. This style gives it a clean, sleek look. No "bells and whistles" added on this one. What a great look!

Photo courtesy of House Beautiful

Using a floral pattern, with a contrast stripe for the edge trim, we can see that this same valance now creates an all together different design style. The same valance is used to frame the bed as well, along with drapery panels on each side. Note that the stripe on the edge is also the fabric used on the headboard, lining of panels at bed, bolster pillows and bench. Also, it looks as if two different fabric panels are at the window, one in the floral print and the other (to the inside of floral panels) in the stripe. A lot of "extras" were used in this room, but you can see how well it all ties together once again.

I hope you have found these designs to be "Simply Irresistible". Next time we will look at more valance styles, keeping it simple, and then we'll progress towards the more intricate styles. From these, you are sure to find the valance style that is just right for YOU! Now, go have yourself a most BLESSED day!

January 18, 2011

The World of Window Treatments #4

As you can see...I made it back for more on our fascinating world of window treatments. Today we are going to explore some ways to add flair and fun with many simple VALANCES. The plan is to start simple and then later venture into some of the more "stunning" styles dripping with embellishments! But for now, let's stick to the basics and take a look.

Girl's reatreat with pink-and-green floral wallpaper, a Parsons desk, and reading chair with a tent
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Talking about adding "flair and fun" to a room....this is it! This is a simple "awning" valance with a scalloped bottom. Notice how mounting it high draws your eye up and makes the area look larger than it is. Keep in mind as we are going through our series on valances...custom valances can be made in most any fabric and you can determine the exact width and length needed. If you are working with store bought valance these will be predetermined and are usually shorter than what you could use in the area....however, something "is" better than nothing when it comes to window treatments!

Balanced Bedroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

This is another simple valance (actually two different ones in same room - we'll also look at the door). This valance is used over the panels in this photo, but it can be used by itself. It is a flat valance with pleated corners. Notice this one has more than just corner pleats due to the large width. If it were just a standard window, then just the two ends would be pleated. The number of pleated areas is determined by the window width. Now, take a look at the door. The door is covered using a flat roman shade that you can raise and lower for privacy. These are great for doors or windows. To finish off the top of this treatment they have added a flat valance to mimic the other one on the window, but without the bottom edge banding (white fabric trim that was added to bottom of larger window valance). Simple, yet what a flair it adds to this room!

four-poster bed with lace canopy in a pale green bedroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Here is yet another one with the flat roman shades (flat when down, but fold as they are pulled up). They give you privacy at night and just a striking dash of color by day. Also here, you will notice plain, basic, white cornice boards that were added above these valances. They were mounted higher to make the windows seem taller. Great look, but very basic designs.

pale green bedroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Another dash of that"flair and fun".....and once again.....roman shades used for privacy. However, this valance is known as a triangle valance (with tassels on the tips, of course!). This is yet another very simple design and does not take a lot of fabric to have made, therefore holding down the cost a bit more. This type of valance is also used without roman shades under them and perhaps just over your blinds.

castle-themed window treatment
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

I just HAD to post this one....another simple triangle valance with a contrasting banding around the bottom....simple, simple, simple! But, you have got to take a look at that drapery panel used to the right side of this window! Talk about whimsical....It is a solid panel that is lined in a print and then the bottom is cut and hemmed with triangles. To top that off, it is tied in the middle with trim, to show the back side a bit. This design really IS simple, but look how it finishes...."Simply Irresistible" for sure!

Roman shade in the corner of a bedroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

I think you get the idea now about the roman shades used as valance, but here is one more that is mounted over 2" blinds. This is more than likely a stationary roman (doesn't go up and down) valance, which again is a great, simple way to enhance your windows.

Without the pops of cobalt blue, this smart seating area’s neutral tones would feel a little washed out. Fun patterned pillows with drapery and flowers to match don’t take the focus off the main event, the wraparound water view from the windows.
Photo courtesy of Coastal Living

Here is a lovely pleated valance with a contrasting band across the bottom. This is different from the first pleated valance I showed you as this one has "inverted" pleats across it and at the corners. The wider the window the more pleats it has.

Blue accented bedroom with dramatic drapes, crystal chandelier and oyster-framed mirror
Photo courtesy of Coastal Living

Here is the same exact style just used over drapery panels. Notice also that the length of these valances are longer than picture above it. That is the great feature I mentioned earlier about custom valances...you can determine the length you need. In this room, the length needed to be longer to balance with the length of the draperies and the fact that it went up to the ceiling. If a short valance had been used here it would look skimpy and very off balance.

Photo courtesy of Traditional Home

Now, don't think that this is not a simple valance....yes, it is. The basic "pleated swag and cascades" has been around forever, yet, is still widely used in interior design. There are other swags and cascade styles, but in keeping with the basics, we will look at this one. The width of your window will determine the number of swags you will have. If you will notice here at the bottom of the side cascades, they "self-lined" it (which means they used the same fabric for lining as on the outside). You can contrast line the cascades instead, if you prefer. For instance, you could have used a solid blue or solid red fabric for the lining. This is just one of the available options for styling it up a bit. These valances are mounted onto a small board for easy installation. Here, they have added a contrast trim around the edges...a great simple way to add pizazz, and look how it "pops" the reds used in this room. Simple, yet very stylish!

For now, we will leave on this note with the above lovely inspirations, only to return another day and continue taking a look at simple valances that can be added to your room(s) for stunning results. Now...go have yourself a "Simply Irresistible" day!

January 13, 2011

The World of Window Treatments #3

"The world of window treatments" is a fascinating and exciting part of interior design. Window treatments can, and often are, used in some very unique ways. Were you able to guess what else they could be used for....any idea? Well, come on, get yourself a nice cup of hot coffee or tea, relax, and let's get started and see!

Photo courtesy of Architectural Digest

OK, I know this one is a little "over the top" for most of us, but it does represent another way we can decorate with window treatments.....especially the drapery panels we have been discussing. What a clever way to bring elegance into the bathroom and look at how it makes the tub the focal point of the room...not the fireplace, but the beautiful tub area. It's hard to tell, but more than likely the top of these panels have small grommets sewn in for the hooks to go through......what a fabulous look!

small wallpapered bathroom
Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Here we have another bath, with a little more "relaxed" feeling, which also shows how drapery panels can be used to create custom shower curtains. In this one, a valance has been added to match the valance over the small window.

Now can you guess what other use we might can find for drapery panels? I won't keep you guessing...
bedrooms - guest twin beds seafoam green canopy blue tufted bench yellow bolster pillows green blue yellow bedroom  Elizabeth Dinkel  green blue
Photo courtesy of Decor Pad

Isn't this truly "Simply Irresistible"? Custom panels (and valances) are a great way to create a focal point over the bed. They can be used with or without a headboard. Many times the window treatment used in this fashion actually IS the headboard. Here they are used with headboards and can be seen through the open weave pattern in the wood.

Cassique - Master Suite
Photo courtesy of Coastal Living

Here we have not only the fabric panels behind the headboard, but also panels on all four corners of the bed. In this particular design, a simple flat valance is added all the way around three sides. This is all created with our basic drapery panels shirred onto the rods.....simple, but what a statement it makes in the room.

Classic Island Interiors: Embroidered Caribbean
Photo courtesy of Coastal Living

Another beautiful creation behind the fabric headboard to frame out the bed. It is done to fit between the two side windows making the entire wall flow together. Here, a solid fabric was used, but you could use a coordinating fabric and have a few throw pillows made in the same fabric to toss on the bed as well. The pillows would be used to "splash" that same fabric onto the bed (repeating the fabric in the room is a design tip).

And.....one last creative way to use our custom drapery panels....Bet you never would have guessed this one!
Classic Island Interiors: Cool Escape
Photo courtesy of Coastal Living

These plush panels are used here around this gazebo to create that special place...a retreat to "paradise" and can be used right in your own back yard. Panels used in this way create a cozy "room" outside with nature. This one makes me want to grab a good book along with a glass of iced tea and retreat here for the rest of the day! How 'bout you?

This will conclude our section on basic drapery panels. I hope these ideas and suggestions have inspired you to add panels in your own home or office. Go ahead, try it...you will be amazed at the difference it makes! Next time, we'll be taking a look at yet another fascinating aspect in our "World of Window Treatment" series...you will also find it to be "Simply Irresistible....Designs".

January 12, 2011

The World of Window Treatments #2

Hello fellow followers! As you can see, it has been a busy several months and I have not attended to the blog as I had hoped I could. However, I am back and still headed in the direction of talking more about window treatment options and how they impact your decor.

Let's start off by refreshing our minds about our last topic...basic draperies. They greatly enhance and soften a room, with or without trim being added. Take a look at the pictures below and pay close attention to the draperies and then imagine the rooms without any draperies.....see, they make the rooms.....Simply Irresistible!
Courtesy of House Beautiful magazine

Notice how this lovely room is using only a neutral color palette and single width draperies. This is very simple, yet very lovely. The draperies have the added charm of a darker neutral (or even gold) trim sewn down the inside panels. These do the trick of both adding appeal to the room and "softening" the entire area.

Courtesy of House Beautiful magazine

I included this photo to show you that the panels can be as basic as sheers. If you can imagine this room without this window being treated you will see how even this "softens" this area and makes it more inviting. It doesn't always have to be a solid or print fabric. If you carefully look down at the bottom of these panels you will see that they have two bands of a darker sheer fabric sewn into them. This adds yet another simple flair to these basic sheers. You can be as creative as you'd like or as simple as you'd like!

Courtesy of House Beautiful magazine

This one represents an entirely different look...but it's the same drapery style. Look how the two differ so dramatically just from the use of bold, black-and-white print fabric. Of course, that chandelier adds much drama to this bedroom!
Courtesy of House Beautiful magazine

I had to point out this one which again is the same drapery style, yet such a different impact. In this room the solid drapery fabric matches the wall color. It gives the room a sense of unity (just as the black-and-white one does) but in a different way. This is yet another simple way to soften your room yet not make the window treatment such a focal point.

Courtesy of Traditional Home magazine

Here is yet another example of solid panels that are closely tied in color to the walls. In this room the fabric is several shades darker than wall color, but in the same family. You can take your paint chart and go down several colors (this is how you are sure to stay in same color family) and select a darker (or lighter if paint is the darker shade) color for the window treatments........how lovely! Then the accent color, yet another topic for another blog day, is popped in the rug and chairs.....Simply Irresistible!

Courtesy of Traditional Home magazine

You must be thinking....drapery panels in a "bathroom".....yes, you can add some drama to this room too! Look at how it warms up this area (meaning "cozying" it up). Without these, this room would be "cold" especially with the all white color theme. These lovely panels also give this bathroom a more traditional feel.

Courtesy of Traditional Home magazine

And for the few of you that may know me personally, you will know that so far, THIS is my favorite....because I love the family of "pinks"! How refreshing and simple this room is....even with a punch of color. These panels add flair (from color and pattern) and coordinate so well with even the artwork in this room. To me....this is truly...Simply Irresistible!

Courtesy of Traditional Home magazine

Ah, just a breath of fresh air in this room! Gorgeous! This one is a close runner up to the one above that I like so much....and it's not even PINK! Imagine that!

Courtesy of Traditional Home magazine

Now for those of you with maybe a little more contemporary preference...here's a new twist for you. Here we have a bold print fabric trimmed out on both sides and even the top with a contrasting solid gray fabric. Also, if you will notice the top of these, they are not the usual pleated top or shirred on the rod style. These have grommets (rings inserted into a hole through the material) in which the rod is inserted through. Great look!

Well, my friends.....I hope you have found all of this helpful. Be sure to go back to the last posting and review what we shared then about draperies. In each of the photos, pay close attention to the rods that were used (many styles and finishes are available). We will address more uses for basic draperies next time.....something you may never even have thought of......so until then, go have a most BLESSED day!