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decorating styles

Designer Notebook: Drapery Pleat Styles Done the Right Way

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Designer Notebook: Drapery Pleat Styles Done the Right Way

 

From a designer's perspective, drapery is one of those key elements in any rooms that helps the room feel finished. Their presence in a room can dramatically change a room to either be formal or informal, or contemporary or traditional. Often times it is the type of pleat used that plays the crucial role in determining the finished style of the drapery.

Yes, you'll notice that I left out the fabric in the above paragraph. That was completely intentional. There are millions of fabric options and the style of the room often dictates the type of fabric selected for the room. Fabric content, pattern, etc. will all come into play when selecting drapery fabric that fits the particular style of your room.

Moving on the pleat styles...open up any drapery design book and you'll see a huge range of pleat styles and looks, from incredibly ornate to simple, contemporary forms. While every pleat style has its place, we at JBi definitely have our favorites - pinch pleats (euro or regular style), grommets and ripple-fold to name a few. I'll throw in one extra style for good measure, something for the more traditionally minded folks.

The pinch pleat is probably the most well known pleat style. The pleat is made by gathering fabric together at regular intervals along the top of the fabric panel. The number of gathers in the pleat are called "fingers." A two-fingered pleat has two gathers, a three-fingered pleat has three and so on. If the pleat is made by gathering the fabric some distance down from the top of the panel (usually about 2 inches), this is called a pinch pleat. When the pleat is gathered at the top of the panel, the pleat is known as a Euro pleat. 

Two fingered Euro pleat - design by Karen Houghton Interiors

Two fingered Euro pleat - design by Karen Houghton Interiors

Pinch pleat - design by Alluring Window NYC

Pinch pleat - design by Alluring Window NYC

For a distinctly contemporary look, many use either a grommeted look or ripple-fold. These have similar looks but use different methods to create the look. A grommeted panel has large metal rimmed holes punched in the top of the panel through which a rod or taut wire is run. The fabric simply creates an "S" shape along the hanging mechanism. Ripple-fold drapery has the same "S" shape but is created by using a special connection from the top of the drapery to ripple-fold track. The track allows the drapery to easily be moved across the length. A measured string is used inside the track to keep the "ripples" at equal distances along the hardware, thus the name ripple-fold.

Grommeted panels - Design by Tineke Triggs, Artistic Designs For Living

Grommeted panels - Design by Tineke Triggs, Artistic Designs For Living

Ripplefold drapery - Design by Heather Williamson

Ripplefold drapery - Design by Heather Williamson

For good measure, let's look at one more pleat style, something on the more traditional side of things. The reverse box pleat is one of my favorite styles for a more traditional look. Think a pleat but in reverse - the part of the pleat that normally is in the back comes out to the front of the panel and are then connected. Sometimes a button or other decoration is used to connect the pleats in reverse. This type of pleat style is best used for fixed panels.

Box pleat with button detail - Design by RLH Studio

Box pleat with button detail - Design by RLH Studio

I hope this quick primer gives you some ideas on what to do with your next drapery project. Happy drapery-ing! 

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Designer Notebook: Working With Complimentary Colors

Nearly everyone's favorite holiday, including interior designers, is fast approaching. Stores are filling up with red and green items with which you can decorate your home as fast as you can "Santa Claus is coming." The classic and most recognizable complimentary color combo got me thinking about using the other color pairings in interior design. First, let's get our terminology down so we're all on the same page by examining the color wheel below.

You'll notice there are primary colors, secondary and intermediate (also known as tertiary) colors. A complimentary colors are the primary and secondary colors that are directly across the color wheel from each other: red-green, yellow-purple, blue-orange. A secondary color is created by combining two primary colors - yellow + red =orange, as an example. An intermediate color is created by combining a primary with a secondary either to the left or right. For example, combining yellow and orange creates yellow-orange, or red and purple creates magenta. 

Now that we have the terminology all down. Let's get started with smart ways to use complimentary color combinations in your next design project.

Start with a base of neutrals and decorate with the complimentary colors. In the rooms below, the designs start with neutrals - browns and grays, with the two complimentary colors layered on top as accent colors. The way in which the two colors play off each other makes each one seem more colorful. By starting with neutrals, you can relatively easily switch out colors down the road with changing tastes.

For a bolder look, use the complimentary colors on the furniture pieces. In the room below, you'll notice the structure of the room (walls, floor, ceiling, other surfaces) are all done in neutrals, but the furniture pieces are bold and bright in yellow and purple. The larger piece is done is a toned down purple to keep it from overwhelming the space. Bright canary yellow chairs make a statement.

Use off shades to keep the combinations fresh. This one is the big risk for designers and their clients. If you want to go really bold, go with slightly off colors to keep the look from being too "clown house." In these two rooms, intermediate colors across the wheel from each other were used to make strong color statements. An orange-red is paired with a light teal, and a magenta is paired with lime green for two beautiful room settings. 

I hope these combinations have given you some inspiration in your own homes. Which complimentary color is your favorite? And, which one would you most likely implement in your own home? 

And, if you're unsure how to get the colors just right in your home, you know who to call!

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Mathematics and Science as Interior Design Elements

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Mathematics and Science as Interior Design Elements

Some of you may know my personal story (if not, take a quick read here) and my background (and slightly disturbing love) of statistics. Along with science, numbers provide order in the world and design is sometimes all about order. How does one bring math and science into their designs? There are some fun and creative ways to bring the hard sciences into our interiors. Here are just a few inspirations to get your started.

Let's get started...1..2..3.. Use numbers as a counting lesson on your stairs. These creative stairs use numbers and fun patterns to spice up what would be an otherwise normal set of risers.

Numbers as art. This simple painting of numbers creates an immediate graphic statement in the room. Typography, whether numbers of letters, provides structure to the piece and gives viewers something to ponder. Is there a pattern in the art? Would be fun to figure that out.

Geometry extends our mathematics theme. One of my favorite classes in high school was geometry. I love the idea of structure and angles, intersections and degrees. Geometric designs in interiors are the known played against the unknown (pattern against the chaos). This simple geometric light fixture plays nicely with the less structured pattern in the drapery and bedding.

Molecules are the building blocks. The design of this dining room is set off completely by the molecule inspired chandelier by Lindsey Adelman. From there you can see the cell inspired fabric in the chairs and the geometric design in the rugs. Simple structures all in an elegant setting.

The great biology experiment. For the slightly more macabre, go with a Frankenstein-inspired look. This desk area is decorated with jars of aquatic specimens. Who knows what ghastly creatures could be thought up in such a lab - followed by sinister scientist's laugh.

I hope these ideas have inspired you to bring either math or science into you interior design. I know I'm thinking about ways to bring these into my own home.

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There's A Contemporary Chandelier In My Traditional Space!

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There's A Contemporary Chandelier In My Traditional Space!

We all remember the iconic commercial in which someone's chocolate bar landed in another's peanut butter. Well, this is something kind of like that. For anyone who's been following JBi, you'll know that we are lovers of mixing styles, especially when the combination forces a strong contrast. We are constantly intrigued by the use of contemporary lighting in traditional spaces. It is the juxtaposition between styles that makes it so interesting - and, the greater the juxtaposition, the more interesting. This blog is for no other purpose than to be inspired by well-designed traditional rooms combined with contemporary chandeliers. Enjoy!

Design by Buckingham Interiors + Design LLC

Design by Buckingham Interiors + Design LLC

Design by CWB Architects

Design by CWB Architects

Design by Gast Architects

Design by Gast Architects

Design by Martha O'Hara Interiors

Design by Martha O'Hara Interiors

Well, we hope you're inspired to "mix-it-up" on your next project. If you could combine any two styles, what would they be? We'd love to hear. 

More than anything, have fun doing it! 

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