What is Missing in Your Home?
We notice so many pictures of beautiful homes showing gorgeous rooms and yet they aren’t quite complete. What’s missing? Well planned and executed window treatments! Well, you say, I have cell shades, shutters, blinds or other “coverings” on my windows. Congratulations, these are for controlling light and perhaps privacy but they are not window treatments. These are window coverings.
What’s the difference? Plenty. Well planned treatments bring warmth and a finish to all rooms. They bring comfort. They can add color and life to a boring and lifeless room or they can blend into the look of the room to allow other items to be the star. They can frame both the interior and exterior view. Many homeowners are plagued with the memory of their grandmother’s curtains, small, sharp pleats with small sharp creases in a broadly floral fabric or perhaps in something “vanilla” in appearance and not nice to touch. They remember skimpy, poorly hung, too short or too long, too narrow, too embellished and just plain bad curtains. They need not be that way.
Today’s fabrics, in concert with a professionally trained fabricator using professional equipment executing a designer’s thoughtful plan, will yield a result that will please everyone. Color and style come to the forefront. The beautiful fabric is shown in its best light. The style flows with the room and while obviously present does not overwhelm the room. The length is exactly as planned. The window visibility is exactly as planned both when drapery panels are open or closed. The room is “lifted” and the eye flows across the room to the focal point planned by the designer. Everything is in balance.
It may not necessarily be draperies. It often may be a top treatment. Great top treatments do not happen by accident or luck. They are planned. Fabric type, motif, style and proportion control the look of all top treatments. If one of these factors is overlooked you will not be happy with the result. Good designers and their fabricators take all this into consideration. Professional fabrication is a must for these. Make sure your designer is using a professional fabricator. This is not a “seamstress” or “someone who sews” but someone actually trained in the art and method of window treatment fabrication. This is not about merely sewing a straight line. It’s about planning and good equipment for the execution of the plan.
In our experience, every homeowner who has taken the leap to have great, professionally planned and fabricated window treatments has been more than pleased with their investment. We can see the look of satisfaction on their faces and their designers’ faces. We can feel the vibe and know they’re thinking “She said trust me and, wow, look at this.” The treatments are not all huge and imposing. The common thread is they are planned and crafted to fit the space. Some are the feature of the room and some are merely complimentary but all look great in their settings.
So how do you know your designer is using a professional fabricator? Ask who they are using. Where were they trained? Can you see some examples of their work? Can you meet them? See their shop? Are they members in good standing of national, professional organizations? Do they have the required state licenses? Are they insured and can they prove it? Do they attend continuing education in any format?
The only professional training for window treatments and soft furnishings fabrication in the United States is at the Custom Home Furnishings Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina. No other organization offers the same variety, in-depth concentration and professional training as the CHF Academy. The academy was founded in 1993 and its instructors come from all over the United States. The instructors are recognized by their peers as experts in their fields. They teach the hands-on skills and the critical thinking needed to produce beautiful treatments. These things can’t be learned merely by reading or by standing by the automatic tabler or pleater in a curtain factory or by osmosis. The classes require an investment in time and money, the same as any education.
In the end, the professional fabricators are actually fabric artists. Like any other artist, they must be experts in their medium – fabric. They must be able to envision the end product in a clear fashion. The work requires time and cannot be rushed yet they must be fully aware of the client’s needs and desires. Professionals hit the deadlines with beautiful work. Designers working with these professionals produce fantastic results for their clients. Work with these professionals and your investment in high quality window treatments will add to your enjoyment of your home and be a timeless investment.
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