Saturday, July 9, 2011

Drapery: more than just mere curtains

If designed right, walking into the room can instantly put one in that state of mind. R also had expressed a similar wish for his bedroom so the intent was to create a peaceful sophisticated retreat for someone who lives a very hectic life!
So when would you call bedroom curtains actually drapery? When they are 12 feet long, silk, masculine, and absolutely gorgeous!

Mr. R's master bedroom was to say the least, a challenge in scale and proportion. The overall room measured around 11' by 12'. With a narrow recessed area of only 1.25' deep next to the window. The ceiling height though was 12'! Add a massive window that was a bit more that 6' long and almost 11' high. It was one of those rooms where all you have in there is your bed, nightstands, and you use your walk in closet as an actual dressing room with all your dresser storage as well.

My philosophy for bedrooms is to create a peaceful retreat. I personally can be a pretty fierce insomniac and love my room to be a quiet sheltered area where there is no harsh light, no TV, and just a few of my favorite personal items.

After many initial sketches- it became clear that to key was going to be height. Height to balance the massive window and height to draw the eye up so that you did notice the small footprint. The niche provided a perfect place for rows of shelves going up 4 levels high. I decided that each level would be hung at varying heights in relation to each other, so as to create interest, and to also mimic the windowpane spacing. It also allows for a wide variety of objects to be displayed, like larger framed art work, books, etc. The shelves also provided an much needed architectural interest to the room and did thus did not require a lot of objects to fill them.

 I combined the 4' and 3' lengths for one level.)

Another key element was the window treatment.

It was necessary to soften the lines of the window, add visual interest through texture and pattern, and also to soften the color of the walls.

Although the blue of the walls is a warmer silver/blue, it could be overpowering on the 12' walls and I needed to counteract the 'drowning in a sea of blue' feeling you got when in the middle of the room.

(Sherwin Williams Grays Harbor SW 6236 is the Master Bedroom)

(Sherwin Williams Prairie Grass SW 7546 for the Dressing Room & Master Bath)

By adding a shimmering sliver/ivory/tan striped silk fabric from Robert Allen, I was able to tone down the intensity of the blue while also tying in the browns found in the Master Bathroom. The fabric is Paparazzi in pewter, and has a slight shimmer and just the slightest hint of blue when you hold it up to the walls. It also added an air of sophistication and masculinity without it feeling too formal.

Since the window already had the double honey-comb blinds with the top-down/bottom up option, using drapery as the main light control was not necessary, and would have been very difficult as they were so tall! The pattern I used was a tabbed pole pocket design so that the panels would hang in a more uniform way undulating in and out and complimenting the geometry of the fabric.

I also did not want them to puddle on the floor, rather just brush the floor. The intent was that they would settle back into shape if brushed aside by the house cleaner or by curious kitties. My client has two of the sweetest cats who are SUPER curious and like to walk/hide behind them, so it was important that I took all of that into consideration when designing them.

Something learned- with 12' silk drapes, give it a day or two to 'settle' as with this much fabric, it stretched a bit. The placement of the vents also caused problems as there were two outgoing vents right by each panel and would 'blow' them out from the wall. Had to re-hem them and also add more weights to the bottom.

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