Monday, August 15, 2011

On the Fringes

One of the things I love about my current work situation is the variety.  When I get a little burned out on design work, I can write a blog post.  If I need something concrete, there is always book keeping.  I happened to have 3 or 4 projects all in the conception stage at the same time, which is incredibly fun, but it also left me feeling the need for something a little more tangible.  I wanted to make something, to do something, to see an end result now.

So I made some time and knocked a couple of items off my own project list, and I'm feeling great.  Nothing big, just small signs of progress under my own two hands.  I'll share some with you this week.

First up, you may be tired of seeing the girls' room, but here it comes again.

It's completely counter-intuitive, but moving in to this modern house with simple lines has brought out the traditional girl in me, and I have not only done more floor length draperies on a per-window basis in this house than any previous house, I have also found myself drawn to more formal trappings like pelmets and fringe.  I think it might be a desire to layer in details to a house with minimal architecture.  With a limited budget, I've mostly left out this particular finishing touch (the navy blue Ralph Lauren silk tassel trim I wanted for the guest room curtains was $30 per yard even at my fabulous fabric outlet.)  But after finding just the right trim for $8/yard, almost a quarter of the price of something similar at, say, JoAnn's, I decided to go for it.

Here are the curtains most recently "before"

And here they are after.

I love how the tassel reinforces the three dominant colors in the room--the green, pink, and yellow--but leaves out the blue.  I also like how finished the treatment looks, and how playful the overall effect ended up being.

I will admit that these curtains didn't "need" tassels with such a bold pattern and the finished effect of the cornice box, and at $45 for the 5 yards I needed, this was not a super cheap change.  But I think sometimes these subtle bits and pieces add up to a lot of impact.

I also think trim could be used to jazz up inexpensive curtains for a very custom look.

Take a pair of basic ikea curtains for about $20, add this pom pom trim on both sides of the panels,

and you have your own version of these anthropologie Toorie panels.

Or add these ruffles (they come in lots of colors)

 in vertical strips a couple of inches apart and you have something like these panels from Urban Outfitters.

Run your ruffles horizontally for this effect, a la Land of Nod

(if you did several rows on floor length curtains, these would be worthy of a grown up space.)

Go over the top fabulous with layers of box pleated taffeta trim and pretend you run with Miles Redd.

Okay, not quite the same thing (his is silk organdy, inspired by Oscar de la Renta couture gowns) but you could get something of the look for less.  As an aside, this is one of my favorite bedrooms of all time.  Seriously, I would take it in a heartbeat.

Okay, back to embellishing curtains.  I also like the idea of getting a little exotic.  How about linen curtains with short beaded fringe for a sort of tribal look?

Or feathers??!!

(Truth be told, I tried to get my mom to go for some feather trim on curtains in her guest room.  If anyone was going to go for feathered curtains, I would think it would be my mom, but no dice.)

For a more sophisticated take, you could add a simple tape inset from the edge.  Maybe a greek key or a classic scroll?

Come to think of it, I kind of like that scroll for my chartreuse silk curtains in the dining room....

I think trim might be a love it or hate it kind of a thing.  Which side do you fall on?


  1. The addition of the fringe is great! And I'm convinced that there are very few off-the-shelf curtains that can't be made better with some trim. I actually recreated the Toorie curtains for my guest bedroom using red pom-pom trim (!

  2. I like it - I think trim can be a subtle cheap way of adding a bit of texture and pattern to a room. I especially love your idea of adding ruffles! My curtains could certainly use a little glamming up!

  3. I love your daughter's curtains. I think there's something about a little girl's room that makes us want to add all the embellishments. Those feathers...I've never seen that before. They're amazing!


Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!


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