Friday, August 8, 2008

Home Style - Jenny wants new drapes

I had dinner with my friend Jenny this week, and she mentioned that she and her husband had purchased new living room furniture and now wanted new drapes. Then yesterday, I got this email from her:

"OK Ms. creative, here's a photo of my new's browner than I thought. We got a love seat and rocker/recliner to match, and our tables are dark wood, so lots of dark in the room. Do you have a suggestion on color for window treatments? Solid? Print? Gold/Wheat maybe?"
Here's the sofa she attached. If I remember correctly, the walls are a neutral taupe and the living room is open to the kitchen which has light wood cabinets. She is right that with all the dark furniture, something lighter on the windows is a good idea, it will enhance the natural light from the windows and make the room seem brighter. However, bringing in a touch of the dark brown from the new furniture will visually link the drapes to the other items in the room and make the room more cohesive. Also, some sort of pattern will add extra activity and interest to the room. I put together several options that can be hung straight from the box, and then 2 custom ideas.

These are the Olivia drapes from Pottery Barn. The gold color would be lovely, and the pattern has those touches of dark brown to tie it to the furniture. Since the pattern is only at the top of the drapes, it isn't overwhelmingly busy. They come fully lined and with drapery hooks, but the rings would need to be purchased separately.

Since I love plaid, I had to include these as a fun option. They're the Aberdeen curtains from Country Curtains. They are a lot less formal than the Olivia curtains above, so they would make the room feel more relaxed. I would not hang them as they're pictured, but from drapery rings. That will make opening and closing them a lot easier and frankly looks more attractive than bunched up fabric. These are 100% cotton, so they're quite affordable.

This next option is also from Country Curtains, but is more formal. The Hatfield Curtains feature an all-over floral, but the pattern is kept to a tight color palette and a small scale, keeping it from being too in-your-face. These also come lined, so they're a little more expensive.
The last two options are for custom curtains from Calico Corners. Starting at $100 a pair plus the cost of fabric, having custom drapes isn't too far out of reach. I picked two fabrics featured in their online store, but they have literally thousands more to choose from.

This paisley is called Iridium Fennel. Like the Hatfield drapes, limiting the pattern to just a few related colors calms this busy design. It's quite a modern paisley, but the gold and sage would really compliment the room.

I wanted to include a stripe option as well. Stripes are a great way to bring in several colors and a little bit of visual movement without committing to a pattern. This is the Kalle Cocoa stripe, and I particularly like that the stripes are horizontal instead of vertical, which makes it more modern and surprising. Trimming either of the two custom choices in a chocolate brown silk cord would be a great detail and further help link them with the furniture.

So there you go, lots of options. I'd also suggest getting a few throw pillows to coordinate with the drapes. That REALLY helps tie everything in the room together and will also help to lighten up the dark furniture. Hope this was helpful! :)

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