Some of my favorite window treatment designs involve woven wood roman shades and woven wood cornices. Not too familiar with woven woods? Well, think rattan and bamboo, but for the 2019 home, and think of it done in wholly sophisticated way.
I really enjoy using woven woods to add texture to a client’s décor without imparting too much pattern at the window. In addition, woven woods complement patterned fabrics exceptionally well, and as a natural product made from reeds and grasses, they give an organic and cozy feel to a room.
Woven wood roman shades come in all lift mechanisms from motorized to cordless control, to loop cord control. These shades can be layered with draperies or stand-alone as the window treatment and finished “valance” in a room.
My two favorite vendors for Woven Woods are Lafayette Manh Truc and Horizon Shades. Both manufacturers produce their products in the United States (Indiana and Illinois respectively), and I have enjoyed a 10+ year relationship with each of them. As a designer, you have to vet your vendors and find companies that produce top quality products and stand behind them. Over the years Lafayette Manh Truc and Horizon Shades have proven to be great vendors for me and my clients.
One of the interesting technologies that Horizon Shades offers for woven woods is the “Operable Lining” option which you just must see in this video:
I also specialize in creating woven wood cornices like in the photo below. These cornices hide roller shades underneath for a nice option to provide cozy privacy, without a lot of complicated visual fuss.
So if you are looking for something new, call me if you would like to see the complete line of woven wood samples for Horizon Shades and Lafayette Manh Truc. This might be just the right look for window treatments to complement your existing décor or to suit your privacy needs in a beautiful and stylish way.
Extra wide roller shades are always tricky for 3 main reasons: (1) most vendors don’t carry fabrics wider than 106” - so you have to split up the window with multiple shades, (2) the fascias (or headrails) are usually open at the bottom so you end up looking at the less appealing underside of the roller mechanism, and (3) freight charges now apply to anything over 60” in length, so it is outrageously expensive to get an extra wide shade shipped; the shipping cost alone on a long shade can routinely cost over $120.
But, since most people want to let the light in and savor their view of the outdoors, a number of my clients have needed really wide shades (over 108” – or 9 feet wide) so I’ve looked for a good quality vendor that can meet this need with a single shade. After tapping my network, a colleague of mine in the Massachusetts Chapter of the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA) introduced me to Porter Preston, a shade and drapery hardware vendor in Waterbury, CT. Last week I had the opportunity to visit Porter Preston in person. The people there were great as they showed me around, and I was very impressed with their shade offerings.
I am happy to say that Porter Preston solves the three problems listed above both stylishly and cost-effectively for my clients. Their selection of extra wide fabrics makes the “problem window” no problem at all. They’re even close enough to Massachusetts to enable me to pick up the shades (and drapery hardware) for quick-turn projects if needed. Plus, they’re happy to support New England small businesses, just like us. I’m glad to be able to add them to my stable of vendors.
Pictured below are some of the manual and motorized shade options available from Porter Preston. Note the fascia (headrail) and how it wraps underneath so that the working parts of the roller are not visible. This would look great in any setting in your home with wide windows or French doors, so that the view is the star of the show, not the window treatment. I had a project last Summer with a modern living room overlooking the pool. These shades would have been perfect and would have provided an additional solution for my client to choose from.
To better meet my clients decorating and window treatment needs I’m always on the lookout for new vendors that solve the latest design problems. Porter Preston is yet another way for me to do that. Here's the link to their website if you want to read more about them: http://www.porterpreston.com/
Thanks for welcoming me so warmly, Porter Preston! (…..and the chocolates in your welcome package were divine – my daughter loved them…..)
Well it’s July, and like all of you, I’ve been busy for the first half of 2018. So, for today’s blog post, I looked back through the 40+ interior design projects that I’ve finished so far this year to see if there were any trends. As I scrolled through all the photos there was one trend that really jumped out at me; geometric fabric patterns.
Geometrics are definitely hot right now, with diamond and ogee patterns very popular in fabrics, rugs, and banding. Summertime is so perfect for geometrics…think waffle cones and sails and gingham napkins in your beach basket…bicycle tires and the endless straight road ahead on your cross-country road trip, with various shapes of road signs to point to fun and adventure. To show you different incarnations of this trend, here are photos of 10 of my very recent projects that feature interesting geometric fabric patterns. (Click on any photo to enlarge it and to scroll through all the photos):
Personally, I enjoy using bold geometrics in my clients’ designs, and I make sure to center the geometric design on the pillows or pleat-to-pattern on the draperies (see my prior post on “Pleating to Pattern”).
Did you also notice a blue trend among these photographs? Blue, especially Navy Blue is big this year (see my prior post on “The Color Navy – Both a Trend and a Classic”) for more ideas on that cool hue.
Whatever you’re doing this summer, I hope you’re having a wonderful time. While you’re relaxing at the beach or the lake, check back for our blogs in the coming weeks, because Barbara is very much working this summer, since our clients are busy with lots of renovation projects and planning ahead for fall redecorating. You might even call renovation another trend in the Boston area now too…lots of great design going on!
Truth be told, this is a swag and jabot traditional valance that I fabricated for the “Ford Room” at the historic Wayside Inn in Sudbury about 8 years ago, and it’s still okay to have swags in deliberate period rooms with period architecture…..But this is an example of a style that was all the rage until 2010 or so, and then it just went out (along with Tuscan detailing…but that’s another blog post altogether). If your room décor needs some updating you might want to consider Roman Shades.
Roman Shades you say? Roman shades are way more “timeless” than you think - centuries old in fact - and can be both casual, formal, or in between. It all depends on the fabric used, since the styling of the roman shade is clean and crisp. Roman shades also look remarkably proportional at any length, whether lowered to provide light control, or raised to a valance height to allow the sun to flow in. The functional (light control) and aesthetic (pretty) combination in Roman Shades pack a powerful design punch!
It’s no wonder Roman Shades are so popular, especially with our current quest for “clean lines.” How many decorators and renovators on TV use that expression of “clean lines?” Seems like all of them, really! I can’t recall the last time I heard, “Let’s put in those fussy valances with all the pleats that were popular 15 years ago…” Enough said, let’s get to the photos of some Roman Shades so that you can consider how fresh they might look in your interior.
Below are photos from some recent Center Stage Interior Designs projects that included Roman Shades. The first photo features motorized woven wood roman shades in a client’s master bedroom in Weston, MA, installed in 2017. There are 4 windows in this elegant master bedroom—imagine the convenience of closing all the shades with the touch of one button on the remote. The woven wood (bamboo-like) material is a natural for Roman Shades, and serves to impart a nice texture without dominating with a distinct pattern.
Next are some banded Roman Shades in a Sudbury boy’s room that show how multiple shades in an inside-mount configuration can showcase the window architecture while also remaining neatly behind side panels. These banded shades were fabricated for Center Stage by Jayna at JM Custom Creations LLC. You can see Jayna's Houzz page at: https://www.houzz.com/pro/jmanzelli/jm-custom-creations-llc
Jayna does exceptional work, and has really perfected the details and precise craftsmanship of Roman Shades.
Since today’s Roman Shades are available in a variety of lift mechanisms (cord loop, cordless, and motorized) the next photo shows three Roman Shades fabricated with cordless control, installed in a bay window. Bay windows are particularly tricky for tethering of cords, so cordless and motorized controls are highly recommended.
Faux Romans. What exactly is faux about a faux Roman, anyway? Perhaps you don’t require an operable Roman Shade (meaning you don’t need it to lift up and down), but you enjoy the look of the folds of a Roman Shade as a valance on your window. A Faux Roman is just the thing, like in this family room featuring a soft Ikat fabric on the Faux Roman, hiding the gray cellular shades underneath.
The combination of a Faux Roman valance (for decoration) and cordless cellular/roller shade (for function) is a true winner. Below are more treatments with a combination of a privacy treatment (shutter and motorized Shangri-La horizontal shade) with a Faux Roman valance. A Faux Roman can be either flat fold (straight across) or relaxed (sometimes called a soft Roman, with a gentle curve at the bottom).
That’s it for our quick review of Roman Shades – both operable and faux.
So, when you get the urge to update your interiors quickly and effectively by eradicating older pleated swag treatments, consider the Roman Shade as a perfect substitute. Roman Shades will undoubtedly stand the test of time…..and panels and Roman Shades make a nice combination, one you will see time and again in the finest interiors.
Barbara Phillips, interior designer and owner of Center Stage Interior Designs, has delivered impeccable window treatments and design services to both residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts since 2001.