Window Covering – Part 2

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The Art of dressing Windows

Windows are such an important component of any room. They allow natural light to filter through, provides air circulation, creates a flow, guides your furniture arrangement, and is your connection to the outside world. With windows the next accessory is the ‘dress’ the window wears, this is usually by having curtains or blinds. If your curtains or blinds tend to look tired, untidy or just boring, it’s time to give them a makeover.

In this piece, I spoke to Mrs. Rohini Vasu of ‘Drapes and Dreams’.

Home Décor has evolved in response to the social and technological changes. The only constant in this scintillating world is that the rudiment of design and décor lay in the aesthetics of personal attitude and artistic opulence. At Drapes and Dreams, they have an eye for art that has morphed over years of expertise and experiments to give your space a unique statement style.

Drapes and Dreams houses luxury home decor and accessories from the most premium and desirable designer brands. An extraordinary and exclusive destination. They offer the crème de la crème of each brand to turn your home into a unique piece of art.

What made you decide to venture into this retail field ?
First you have to know my background, which is going to surprise you right now, I am from HR Background, I have never been in retail or home materials etc. I have always been in the corporate field wherein I had
my own staffing firm and doing extremely well, especially in the telecom and banking industries. I went on a sabbatical for some time, however, my husband Vasu was always in the Furniture industry for a long time, he was representing the brand Natuzzi and a partner at Simply Sofa. He came out of the partnership, and we started this together,. When he was in Simply Sofa, I was assisting him in furniture. It was during this time when I gave it a thought process – why not we do the entire umbrella because the market is always open for the right stuff , and if it is all under one roof, it’s easier for the clients. For instance, if they come for furniture, and if they want a specific upholstery fabric, they would need to depend on another retail store. You can have it all under one roof (carpets, lights, furnishing, soft furnishings ,bed spreads), when you do the entire house with the Premium products, you spend a lot of time working on it, it’s like a story- the transition has to be perfect. It can all happen when it is all under one roof, and you need someone who can guide you. We have numerous ideas and interests and we also have stock of the best of brands here.
Curtains are one of our speciality – when you have these large expanse of windows – Window Dressing is an art. You have to pick the right colour and make a simple fabric in to beautiful curtain. One doesn’t need to have to go for opulent silk , but where it is required, you should use it. Here nobody comes in asking for a brand, they come asking for colours and themes.. Sometimes they come with an open mind and it’s so much easier for me to put across designs, show them what we have. It’s not a rocket science – none of us have any basic qualification or done a thesis or theory on colour pallet, it’s all menu driven and we all have an inherent sense of colour. USING a catalogue we see the ranges and create an interesting mood board.
And coming back to the question, I have got bitten by the bug, when you are in furniture store- one leads to the other, so that’s how the interest started.

What is your favourite style of curtains, when it comes to the way it falls on regular sized windows?
It all depends on the way you stitch up your curtains, how you style your curtains – that is where our expertise comes in. You can make a simple curtain look very elegant depending on the way you stitch. You can give a nice rippled effect that starts from the lintel, it’s all in the technical aspect. You have to have an idea and empathise with the client.
My favourite would be a simple light weight flowy linen, for the sheer, and for the solid a deep colour, as light colours do seem a little drab for me personally. Then again, it depends on the ambience and what is the kind of furniture placed. If the clients have brought in deep colours for the furniture, then its better to bring in subtle tones in terms of grey and beige, the Chennai favourites. Though for large windows, I prefer textured, subtle self-printed sheers as anything else would be a little loud. The other material we like, is velvet. Not many people like it but velvets are so beautiful when it comes in deep colours like burgundy, bottle green, navy blue or yellow ochre – the curtains turn out fabulous.

What is the best way to maintain the curtains or where does one go for its maintenance?
Dry cleaning curtains are the best way as it maintains the curtain and is suggested once a year. Dry cleaning is however a challenge especially here in Chennai!! We have to educate the dry cleaners also, not just send it through the driver and say-Clean it and give, that’s not what it requires. The best thing is, when you buy a curtain, always read the composition behind or get back to the vendor/supplier and ask them about the composition of the fabric, supposing the material has an extra bit of Acrylic and Nylon, we need to inform that to the dry cleaner , so that they will take extra care before wash. They will not petrol wash as it is and not use so much of harsh chemicals and they will also wash it separately. We do tend to blame the cleaners and sometimes the vendors of the curtains that the curtains have shrunk or damage. It therefore is imperative to know your curtain materials. We always give a little buffer for the shrinkage, and it would shrink only on the first wash. The same logic we used for our garments and high maintenance silk.

What is the latest in the curtain fashion in Chennai?
Regarding curtains, there is nothing like a fashion trend- latest or old, it’s only the mechanism that has changed. Technology is the latest, like, right now we have a Motorised Track System that’s operated with a battery operated chargeable remote. So no chasing of walls and try and create a provision of a motor. It’s a “one touch easy go” system – push once and it goes all the way to the end of curtain railing and when you pull it once it comes back and closes by itself.

This is a very exclusive product and the latest from the tech aspect, stitching on the other hand for lazy depends on one`s creativity. When a client asks for something new, I get excited, as we then come up with out of the box ideas.

How expensive is this track system ?
It is little higher than the manual ones but it’s an one time investment and company themselves give a five year warranty. It’s going to last forever for you. Your curtains can keep changing once in 5 or 10 yrs. But the tracks can remain as it is.

Can you share on some window dressing techniques?
Styling of curtains For a very large window, we would like to do pleated curtain and especially when it comes from the ceiling and it’s always better if the track goes inside the recesses or a pelmet provision is given. (Pelmet is a framework placed above a window, used to conceal curtain fixtures. These can be used decoratively (to hide the curtain rod) and help insulate the window by preventing convection currents. )Pelmet is not old fashioned at all. There are beautiful pelmets that comes from the ceiling flushed along with the gypsum board , it looks so beautiful and the designers come up with great ideas. It is a very large pelmet, all the way from the ceiling up till the lintel. And you don’t even see the pleats but only get to see the fall. It’s always lovely to see the ceiling length curtains up to the floor. In fact, we would prefer the floor touch – 80% of our clients and designers prefer the ceiling to the floor touch curtains but there for some who want it at least half an inch of the floor for maintenance. A lot of people are very particular about light seeping in, and so it’s better to always have a floor touch many people.

From Recess to Floor Pleated Curtains
From the Recess

If it is from the lintel the other way to do is Ripple fold like an (S-Band) , It goes in and out like a wave. We don’t use rods these days , we only use tracks. Rods are retro, old fashioned. The place where the Ripple starts from, is very beautiful so any linen or any light weight curtain – it’s good to do the Ripple from the lintel, ideally 12 inches above the window frame and the two sides subject to the Air conditioner placement. In those areas it should be a minimum of 4 inches.

Ripple Fold
Ripple Fold (S-Band) Curtain

Roman Blinds should be designed for all narrow windows and should start just above the window frame. Double Roman blinds do get a little heavy. My advice is if you have window width in excess of 5 feet or 6 feet, do curtains with sheers, it looks lighter and sits better.

Source: SLX WindowBlinds

Even if you choose a Plain Fabric which need not be expensive, you can create a design and theme just by adding some accents to it, the borders or edges. I have some premium fabrics. For a curtain it is , the body which takes 80%, and 20% on the border on either side. , just give a small piping and that detailing really helps. And that is where we come in. If you go to a regular curtain store, they may not get these accents or styling, and even ideas that we co-create and it really helps.

Even in an apartment, when you talk of fabrics like Atmosphere or Vaya or even Arezzo, the general thoughts are its premium. I always suggest that you prioritise your living and other rooms where the traffic is more, to maybe use brands like Vaya or Atmosphere or any other premium product. I tag these areas as ‘ The Nice Expression zone ‘. And rooms, where it is for yourself, which I call ‘The free expression zone ‘just choose some pastels or girly fabrics that are more price sensitive , and this would balance the total

For the kitchens, we can also use country checks , red and white checks or pink and white checks cotton fabric and give a small detailing to it, and use it in your kitchen window and show that kitchen is not neglected. It will definitely give us happiness when we step into Kitchen. We spend at least two hours in kitchen. Just give a dummy curtain which you will not be using at all, with scallops or add a small lace to it and make it look smart.
Especially for the Dry Kitchen we have more options. People who love to cook can just add value to their Kitchen and it peps-up the cooking mood also. Pink and white checks or green apple or a botanical print goes well in a kitchen.

Source: mygubbi

Drapes and Dreams
is located @
No. 48, Sterling Rd, Nungambakkam,
Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600034

Just have fun, designing your curtains and ditch the predictable. Here’s a little snapshot of the Dos and of course the Donts for an easy reference.

Enjoy Your Window Shopping!!

Source: Pinterest