This article appeared in the Erie TimesNews House to Home section.
by Marie Feltz, Decorating Den Interiors
An article I saw recently presented tips on working with designers, but it left out the important benefits of having home furnishings that are customized for you.
“Furnishings play a vital role in setting the mood and atmosphere for everyday living…a woman’s home is an extension of herself,” said Bob Mackie, the designer of glamorous gowns for the likes of Cher and Tina Turner who has turned his talents to the home. Custom furnishings help express the homeowner’s personality. For a husband and wife, custom will blend their tastes, it will bring the wishes of each into a room that both can enjoy.
“Each sofa and love seat you order is upholstered in your personal choice of fabric, the finish of every table and chair has been specified by you, and your draperies are designed to coordinate with the style and colors of the room and fabricated to fit the size of the windows,” writes Carol Bugg, ASID, in her book Decorating…the professional touch.
Custom does not mean starting from scratch. It may mean “working around people’s furnishings, supplying them with what they want,” writes Bugg, who is vice president of design for Decorating Den Interiors, North America’s largest home furnishings and interior design franchise company.
Custom window fashions
Window fashions are often a focal point of a room and it’s easy to see the benefits of custom-made drapery. They will have extra fullness because the fabric is usually two and one-half to three times the width of the window. If it’s pleated drapery, the pleats are closer together at the top, allowing for the extra fullness to fall gracefully in elegant folds. The pleats of ready-made drapery, on the other hand, are further apart, and since less material is used, the drapery can actually appear rather skimpy.
A custom treatment will use corner weights to allow the fabric to hang straight, and prevent flaring at the hem. Special linings also may be used to avoid sun fading and add additional body to the treatment. Linings contribute to the energy-efficiency of the treatment, providing an insulating layer between the fabric and the window. The lining should be chosen with the type of fiber used in a decorative fabric in mind. There are even black-out linings available to darken the room for daytime or late morning sleepers.
Finally, the extra touches you get from a custom treatment are endless. Detailing, such as banding, cording, trims and coordinating colors and fabrics, makes custom treatments truly individual and reflective of your style and taste. Designing the perfect window treatment for your home says a lot about YOU and your lifestyle. Perhaps nothing adds more drama and pizzazz to your home’s overall design plan than custom designed window treatments.
Custom bedding is another example. In addition to coordinating with what you already have, or what you are changing in the room’s décor, it will fit your bed the way you want it to fit. You won’t have to settle for only what you can find online or in a catalog.
Let’s not forget color, the canvas of your room. “Color is like beauty,” writes Bugg. “It’s all in the eye of the beholder. There are no bad colors, just bad decisions about using them.” A designer can help with those choices.
In the end, custom should be affordable, says Bugg. “The goal is to provide beauty, comfort and good design within a realistic budget.”
Most of all, it should fit those who use the space. Legendary decorator William Pahlmann, of Lord & Taylor’s, said, “Good decoration is a design for the living, not for looking. It is the service of human needs.”
MARIE FELTZ owns Decorating Den Interiors of Meadville and is a regional manager for the company. She was one of Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Women in Business in 2005. She has 27 years of experience in interior decorating.