All Things Andrea

All Things Andrea

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fabulous Roman Shades

I just wrapped up a curtain project today for a kindred spirit couple referred to me by another customer.  This couple bought a lovely house in Lancaster and have slowly been turning it into a home that reflects their taste and style.  It's such a beautiful place; you can feel the many years of love and memories that have been poured into the house from the moment you walk in the door.  The paint and fabrics coordinate beautifully, and all the rooms flow together so nicely.

Since it's an older home, it has the typical picture windows of that era.  The dilemma - what type of window treatment can you do other than those traditional pinched-pleated drapes of yesteryear??  We debated and debated, but finally decided on my all-time favorite window treatment for both windows- Roman Shades.  They're so versatile!

In dining room above, we used a wonderful embroidered fabric to create a stationary shade.  Believe it or not, the window treatment is simply a rectangular piece of fabric that is pleated, stapled to the mounting board, then strung up.  (Of course, there's a little more to it than that, but I won't get into that!)  I interlined the silk-like fabric with flannel interlining to give it a softer drape. The nice thing about a Roman shade is that we could mount it, then pull up the shade to whatever length we preferred.

In the living room, I mimicked the style of the dining room shade, but the sheer fabric gives it a totally different look!  The pleats aren't quite as deep and I didn't do the jabot effect on the sides, but it still complements the adjoining dining room shade nicely.  I love the fabric we used; since it's almost impossible to find cotton sheer fabric at an affordable price, we used two pairs of 100% curtain panels from IKEA which were very economical.  The fabric has a slight windowpane slub weave to it, giving it a whimsy feel; it drapes beautifully, and gives the room a much less fussy feel than polyester would.  The shade can be lowered when more privacy is desired, or raised to let more sunlight in.  We slightly puddled the curtain panels that flank the shade to give the room a more casual feel.  (It's also easier on the seamstress - it 's so difficult to get panels to hang at an exact length!)

I stitched "goblet pleats" in the panels; again, a less dated look than those stiff pinch pleats that were part of every drapery panel you used to see. 

A few tacking stitches helps them stay open.

Doesn't it look inviting from the outside?! I'm always interested in what the outside view will look like, sometimes even more so than the inside view. The strings and rings blend into the design of the fabric, making them almost invisible to the non-seamstress eye.

Believe me, there are a multitude of things that can go wrong when you're doing a project of this size, but amazingly enough, that didn't happen on this job. Leesa was patient with me as I deliberated over the design and was willing to wait for my mental block to recede (those mental blocks are a pain in the butt!); Brendon was so helpful with the tedious mounting work.  It was a wonderful final job to wrap up this season of self-employment as I return to full-time work next week.

Thanks, Leesa and Brendan - I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you throughout this project!!

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