Friday, July 23, 2010

Victorian drapes: "The Great Drape Debate"

I design drapes for my clients all the time. As you might expect I have bolts and bolts of fabric, fringe, velvet and tassels. Throw those into the mix with a clients budget and we generally can come up with something.

I do not have a budget however, I can choose whatever fabrics, fringe and bullions I want. I do not have to pay myself to design them or sew them so I can do whatever I want. Therein lies the problem.

Draperies are a major investment. Choose wisely and you will have something that can last for years that will be a major focal point in your home. Otherwise? Well lets just say I have seen otherwise flawless Victorian rooms where everything is perfect EXCEPT the drapes. You may have a room full of Herter Bros furniture, the finest art and accessories but if the drapes are not an equal the room comes off as cheap. People will routinely spend thousands for a settee yet buy some cheap packaged "Victorian drapes' off ebay that look like they belong in a trailer not a formal Victorian Parlor.

As a designer, I am in what I call "the great drape debate" trying to decide how many layers? How many colors? What lining material? What kinds of fringe? I also have to take into account the Portiers (drapes between the doorway of the dining and living room) must be complimentary as well. In this case, of doing a 'museum quality ' period room its a challenge. Dozens of yards of material are involved and you measure everything twice and cut once.

We will see where this all goes.

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