From concept to completion: How custom drapes for a nursery meets the due date.

Back in the fall of last year, I received a call from a new client (a referral from a past client – the best compliment!) who was looking for help with decorating the spare bedroom with custom drapes and wall paint colour to become a nursery for her yet-to-be-born baby. How exciting!

We started with looking at her existing furniture and area rug to see what she thought she would keep in the room and what she should remove. Loveseat – remove; desk – remove; chair – remove; area rug – keep; bookcase – keep. As it was a white painted bookcase, we knew we could work with that. From this point, she would purchase the nursery furniture that would coordinate with the style of the bookcase.

That left the area rug as our jumping off palette for colour and pattern design style.

Selecting the wall paint colour

We started looking at paint colours to see what colours she liked with the rug and we settled on a fresh green Benjamin Moore’s AF 455 Croquet. Since we still needed to select the fabric for the drapery, this was just a tentative colour. I always suggest that the final wall colour be chosen after you have selected all of other materials with colour and pattern on them.

It’s easier to change the paint colour than it is to find the right fabric or bedding to match one particular colour.

colours

Selecting fabrics for custom drapes

Our next consultation was to look at fabrics for the drapes. I brought over two bags of fabric books and we looked at all the fabrics, bookmarking the ones that we liked on the first flip through. Once we went through all the books, we reviewed our bookmarked options and narrowed down our preferences.

Next, I ordered larger fabric samples so we could see the individual swatches and then review our choices again. However, once the samples arrived a few days later, we still felt like we were missing our statement fabric.

The client went to various fabric stores and found a few options, but again, nothing was really speaking to her. We then met up at Fabricland in Richmond and went through what felt like every bolt of fabric only to come up with an option that was a sample of a fabric that needed to be ordered. When we asked for the information and a sample, we found out that it had just been discontinued! How disappointing!

A week or so later, I was at a “to-the-trade” furniture and fabric showroom to see a new furniture line that they were showcasing. While I was waiting to speak with the visiting furniture sales rep,  I thought I would ask the showroom staff to show me some fabrics that might work for my client. In about 10 minutes, we had found the fabric that I thought would be perfect! I got a sample, snapped a photo of it and emailed it to the client.

She instantly loved it! I then found coordinating solid coloured fabrics that we wanted to use as banding and we finalized our decision.

Here is the “Before” photo of the window:

And here are the curtains on the area carpet, waiting for the rod to be installed:

  And here are the curtains installed:

custom nursery drapes

custom colour banded nursery drapes

Colour banded drapes using 3 different fabrics

Custom baseboard heater cover

Underneath the window was a baseboard heater, so for safety reasons, we couldn’t have the length of the drapes go to the floor and rest on the heater. The only option was for the bottom of the curtains to go to line up with the bottom of the window ledge, which in the end made the window look like it was wearing a dress that was too short. This look really bothered me, so I mentioned to the client that I would like to come up with a design for a baseboard cover that would the cover the heater and match the width of the curtain panels. Instead of having a wooden cover made — again not a safe choice when covering a heater — I found the company Arsco Manufacturing in Cincinnati, Ohio that manufactures steel baseboard covers. I immediately called them to see if they would ship to Canada and was so excited to know that they could — plus they would be able to have it made in about 2.5 weeks. We were working with a “deadline” after all! My issues were solved and the end result is fantastic.

custom nursery drapes over top of a custom baseboard heater cover

Close up of custom baseboard heater cover

 

custom nursery drapes over top of a custom baseboard heater cover

 Photos by Nancy DeVries

Is there a room in your home that needs a custom touch?

Related posts:

A Fresh Update for a Client’s Master Bedroom

7 Tips to personalize your bathroom

If you have a room in your home that needs window coverings and are feeling overwhelmed with the multitude of choices, consider hiring a professional to help you with your planning and design.

Contact me here for my fee schedule and design services.

 

Republishing this article in full or in part is a violation of copyright law. © 2008-2017, all rights reserved.

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Nancy’s pick of Design Apps for your mobile devices.

With technology and the accessibility of mobile devices, the selection of information that is available through apps is overwhelming, but also very exciting. App, a short form for “application”, typically refers to software used on a smartphone or mobile device such as the Android, iPhone, iPad or BlackBerry.

And in the vast world of apps, there are countless categories and options available. So I thought I would give you a short description of some design apps for your mobile devices that will fully digitize your honey-do list. And these apps might just provide the incentive your gadget-loving partner could use to tackle that list!

Color Capture Benjamin Moore – Free

I’m going to start off this list with one of my favourites — even though it does have the potential to put me out of a job!

This iPhone/iPad app gives you the ability to match up colours from anything that you can snap a photo of. Simply take a picture with your device within this app and it will create a colour palette from Benjamin Moore paint colours. In the image below, you can see the photo I took of the Joan Miró print that is in my office, along with some perfect colour matches that were selected for it.

 

Home Depot – Free

When it comes to finding what you need, the Home Depot app will help you locate the items you need at a store nearby. So now instead of asking someone in the orange apron, you can just ask your mobile device. Too bad this app can’t mix up your can of paint.

 

I.D. Wood  – $4.99

This is perfect for those who work with wood in various applications. The app will help you identify 200 different wood species (like an wood identification book would have) with full screen photos and detailed description of the uses and look of the wood, all on your smartphone. It also gives you information such as wood origin, hardness, durability and common uses.

 

Houzz Interior Design Ideas — Free

I love this website! While I use it for my own inspiration, it also allows me to create digital ideabooks that I can share with my clients who are looking for photos that will help bring their ideas to life. With over 1,000,000 high-quality interior design images, Houzz is a one-stop shop for design inspiration. Here’s the link to my Houzz ideabook.

 

Home Improvement Calcs — $1.99

This app has over 115 calculations and unit conversions that you can use for any sort of do-it-yourself home improvements. For example, it will help you calculate the amount of materials that you need to frame a house, insulate your attic, wallpaper an accent wall in your bedroom or build a straight staircase. And more! It’s the perfect thing for the weekend warrior in your life.

 

MagicPlan — Free

The MagicPlan app measures your room just by you taking photos of that room. You can adjust and edit the plans and the measurements can be in metres or feet. You can save your layouts and email them to yourself for your records. It takes a little time to learn how to use, but for the price — free — it’s well worth the time.

 

Sketch Arm – 3D Closet Designer — Free

Sketch Arm is a tool that lets you create a fully customized closet — every organized person’s dream come true! You can create compartments for your hanging items, organize your shoes and add accessories. It did take me some time to figure out how to organize the closet, but after looking at photos of other closet designs, I was able to design my dream closet.

Below is a photo of my first attempt. What features do you want in your dream closet?

 

iHandy Level — Free

And now that you’ve designed your latest DIY project with your home design apps, this level app will make sure you start your home project on the level.

 

 

In addition to these apps, there are countless apps from furniture companies that feature catalogues of their collections such as  Restoration Hardware, Ikea, Norwalk Furniture, Design Within Reach, Bo Concept, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, just to name a few.

I’d love to hear from you what apps you like to use, whether they’re tools you use every day, or fun apps that help you dream. Share your favourites by leaving a comment below.

 

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‘Couchsourcing’: The Search For the Perfect Sofa Explained.

When searching for the perfect sofa, people often get stuck on colour and fabric choices and miss the most important aspects of all: size and shape.

The critical first step that’s easy to miss is knowing the measurements of your entry doors or elevator openings. The most stylish sofa imaginable won’t look as cool on your lawn as it will in your living room. So be prepared before going to the showroom or warehouse by writing down your room size and entry point measurements.

Step two is to think about how your sofa will be used. Will two people lounge on it or four? Do you like your sofas firm or plushy soft? Will the dog or cat claim a seat each night, or will this sofa only be used during that much-loved annual visit from your in-laws?

The third step is to look at how the sofa will work within the layout of the room. You need to consider the style and size of all the other furniture pieces in your space to know if the sofa you want will fit in there too. The famous architect and designer Frank Lloyd Wright was once quoted as saying some part of his body had been black or blue all of his life from too much intimate contact with his furniture.

Step four is the fun one: researching what kind of styles you like! Here’s my current list of available styles that you might like for your home:

The Chesterfield sofa (yes, this is an actual style description, not just another word for couch that your grandmother would use) involves tight tailoring and tufting with a high back and arms. This particular style is making a modern comeback. Whichever material you choose to use, go with a solid colour instead of a pattern.

Steven & Chris – Decor-Rest

The English Classic Three Seater Sofa has low arms and a deep seat with comfy back cushions. It is perfect for lounging around and feeling like an British country-living aristocrat. This style is also suitable for the all-important Man Cave. Just remember the importance of measurements again if this will be a frequent napping spot.

 Barbara Barry

The Tuxedo sofa’s style is luxurious without the frills. The square, straight-line profile gives it a masculine feel. This style suits both modern and traditional settings. It works well with wood edges (as shown below) or upholstered arms and sides with back cushions.

Oly

 

The Camelback sofa, aptly named for its definitive curved back, has an old-world and sophisticated look. Many versions of this style have been made, making it a classic that can be used in both a modern or vintage room.

 Cameo – Decor Rest

The Slipper sofa is an option that works best for entertaining rather than lounging. With its lack of arms, lean shape, and direct access to the glass of wine on the end table, the slipper will be ideal if you live in a small space but still want to throw a good party.

Ethan Allen – Baldwin

The Regency sofa has rolled arms and a rolled back and, even more than the camelback, says retro to the point of royal. This style is formal and architectural, so you can dress it down for a modern approach with a solid colour in linen fabric or go dramatic with a large patterned print. Beware that the rolled back can make this style wider than just the area where you sit, so be sure to measure your entrance points.

  Regency – Restoration Hardware

The Sectional sofa is a staple of family and TV rooms everywhere. Sectionals come in many configurations and designs, and they can establish a designated sitting area in a large room.

 Stylus – Simone

The Modern sofa is often sculptural in design and can stand alone in an open plan layout. It can be a cool piece of art inside a contemporary living space.

 Roche Bobois – Arobase

Follow my steps and you’ll get the sofa that fits your room, works with your style, allows you to indulge in your relaxing, and looks fabulous in your home.

Urban Aesthetics’ top 5 desks that you should check out

How to add low cost style to your Dining room

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The Art of Hanging Art

After a client has had the interior of their home freshly painted, the new wall colours usually inspire them to want to rearrange their artwork, and this is definitely the perfect time to do it. Over the years, I’ve been hired by my clients to return (after helping them choose their new colours) and help them hang their artwork. This is one of the many commissions that I love about my job. It is so exciting to give clients a new perspective of their home and their artwork when they hire me to show them the art of hanging art.

Of course, there is always the first hurdle to get over — and that is choosing which piece to hang first. Usually, I will advise that the piece that is the most important to the client goes into place first. Sometimes the client already has a designated spot for that one piece, but if they don’t, I will make sure it is hung in a prime viewing location. Once that first one goes up, then the next few pieces are usually pretty straight forward.

hanging art

Design by Urban Aesthetics and C Design Co

hanging art

C Design Co

If a client has a collection of photographs around a theme such as travel photos or family photos, I will try to find a wall where these photos can be grouped together. Individually these types of photos are usually too small to be hung on their own, so together they will make a statement. Here, photos in the same theme are hung in a symmetrical pattern. This is a formal style and probably the most straightforward layout to arrange.

hanging art collection

via inspirebohemia.blogspot.com

If you’d like to try something other than symmetrical, here is a guide showing various arrangements of how to group photos on one wall:

art of hanging art

This art collection is arranged on an expansive wall for full visual impact. This is a smart way to bring the height of that wall down into the living space.

hanging art collection

via escapadeblog.com

This hallway has both styles of art arrangements and it works really well in this space.

art collection

via alamodeus.net

If creating this kind of “freestyle” layout is a struggle for you, cut out paper the size of your artwork and tape it to the wall after perfecting the arrangement on the floor.

During this process, you can hammer in your picture hooks, remove the paper and then hang your art! Easy!

hanging art

via ruemag.com

Do you have a wall of art? Which arrangements do you like?

If you would like more information on creating any of these arrangements for your home, contact me here.

 

You might also like:

Make your Bedroom a stylish escape

Creating an Autumn Mantle for your Home

 

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A Fresh Update for a Client’s Master Bedroom

I was happy to hear from a client recently who called to inform me she wanted a fresh update for her master bedroom, along with some other rooms in her house.

I had helped her decorate her main floor 10 years ago, and now, after going through some changes in her life, she wanted to make some changes in her home. This included selecting new paint colours for the guest bedroom, her daughter’s room and the master bedroom. But in addition to finding a new wall colour for the master bedroom, my client wanted to make the room feel cozier.

The first thing I suggested was custom drapery panels for her window. (She had purchased the Luminette sheer blinds by Hunter Douglas from me 10 years ago.) She loved the idea, and I went back to my office to find the perfect fabric.

After searching my fabric books and not feeling satisfied that I had found the perfect fabric, I had an “ah-ha” moment and knew that I had to come up with my own design of using three different coloured fabrics that I would combine to make the custom drapery panels.

When I presented this option to my client, she immediately said, “That’s the one!” In addition to the drapery panels, she wanted a new chair and ottoman for a corner in her room, so we selected fabrics for that at the same time.

Here is the end result.

custom drapery panels, Master bedroom refresh

Cream and blue banded drapery panels with gold band accent.

The fabrics that I used were from Maxwell Fabrics and Unique Fine Fabrics. I chose the blue faux silk fabric to coordinate with the new wall colour, the gold to coordinate with the bedroom furniture, and the white fabric to match the client’s white bedding.

colour block drapery panels, master bedroom refresh

Close up of colour banded panels. Photo by Nancy DeVries

 

Luminette sheer shades, custom drapery panels master bedroom refresh

Luminette sheer shades by Hunter Douglas with custom drapery panels

And here is the custom upholstered chair and ottoman. We selected a solid chenille Kravet fabric for the furniture and a sweet floral print from Tritex Liz Claiborne fabric for the toss cushion.

custom chair and ottoman with decorative embroidered pillow

Custom chair and ottoman with embroidered fabric accent pillow

The wall colour is Benjamin Moore Aura AF-550 Amsterdam.

If you are thinking of freshening up a room in your home or changing the look of your windows, get the look that you want by hiring a professional. Contact me here to book an appointment.

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