Yesterday, I spent nearly the entire day helping my installer Don and his assistant Mario with a window treatment installation for long-time clients who just moved to one of those Westchester towns on Long Island sound and their home is right by the water–lovely! Theoretically this house was considered to be “down-sizing,” but not by a whole lot. Lucky me, they called me in again to do some fill-ins which added up to quite a bit and windows for three rooms. I love it when my good clients move!
The Lowensteins (not their real name) first called me in about 5 years ago for fill-ins for their long-time family home in Chappaqua. They are lovely, lovely people, and very traditional in their tastes and I respect that immensely. They know what they like and what they don’t like.
As a designer over the years, while I believe that I definitely have a certain style that I’m known for, I believe in adapting to the styles that my clients are most comfortable with. After-all, when the last thing gets installed, it is they who are living there, not me. My goal is to give them the best home for THEM. So, when Mrs. L said that she wanted something more “flouncy” for this charming home built in the 1930s, I knew that meant long, luxurious drapes and valances. Remember when I was researching valances and came up with those by Jim Howard? I have done valances many times, but not for several years as they really fell out of favor for awhile, but I think that they are making a come back. Hey, for some, they never left! But please… no swags!
On the first go-around, I showed them some more monochromatic color schemes ala this room that I love by
Mrs. L who has trouble seeing some colors wrinkled up her nose and said, “nooo, I don’t like the sisal rug, and it all looks too beachy.” Fair enough, but I was thinking in terms of something more monochromatic against their traditional mahogany furnishings, however, as soon as she said it was too beachy, I got it immediately. She wanted more pattern; she wanted flowers.
And so, I went on the hunt for just the right thing. Once we decided on the fabrics, I spent hours designing every detail of the six valances and making templates for my workroom. I decided on the curvilinear shapes because the doorways were arched and the sofa was curvy as were the end tables from Milling Road. When designing a room, I take everything into consideration. Here are the results.
The sofa was reupholstered five years ago with a lovely fabric from Cowtan & Tout that needed to go with a love seat that they already owned and I added the cool tables from Milling Road and their old window treatments that the new owner wanted to purchase.
I am always happy to work with what a client has to freshen things up. This time, for the windows, I found a lovely linen floral from Duralee. It draped beautifully and looks a lot more expensive than it is. Hey, that works! They fell in love with it, immediately.
Mario and Don hard at work, doing the final touches on one of the two master bedroom windows, while I sat back and cracked the whip. ;]
A detail of the big window done in Arbre Chinois by F. Schumacher. The repeat on this gorgeous pattern was absolutely ginormous, so we made the design decision to not make it too matchy. That too, gives it a bit of a subtle, more modern edge. I rather like it.
The Lowensteins loved the results and I hope that you enjoyed them too!
PS: for any subscribers who got an original draft, I apologize about all of the mistakes which I went back and corrected. (I think)