Raise the Curtain: A short story

Pun intended – on a big mistake.  I am not terribly patient and don’t always take the time to ensure the outcome is going to be as intended.  Now don’t jump all over me.  No one starts out by saying to themselves – this is going to turn out badly, and does it anyway.  I honestly believe it’s going to work….but ugh….then it doesn’t.

high tide 2

The way they should look.  Just breaking the floor.

In this case the object of my misguided efforts are my brand new, incredibly expensive curtains.  They look like high-tides.  They are in fact 9″ shorter than one could reasonably get away with.  My preference is a slight puddle – not too messy, but not too formal either.  I’m so far from breaking the floor in this instance it would be laughable if the fabric hadn’t cost me $3500. for 4 slim panels, and that was with the designer discount.  Quel domage.

high tides

The way they actually look now.  Terrible.

That’s going to leave a mark, or will it.  Since I pledged to tell you the truth, in all its ugliness – the truth – I am bound to reveal.  What the heck good would that do if I didn’t learn from my mistake and provide you with some sage advise?    So here it is:

  • Install your rods first.
  • Make sure they are at the desired height.
  • Hang the rings that you plan to use on the rod
  • Hooks are attached to the curtain – typically they fall about 1.5″ from the curtain top – but consult your fabricator regarding location and add this to your overall fabric length.
  • Don’t plan to use rings (grommeted curtains can be measured from the rod to the floor.

Restoration Hardware offers a solid guide to selecting the style that’s right for you and then ensuring you measure accordingly for a perfect fit.

Now that we’ve got the getting right part down, let’s talk about those of you that are like me…something went amiss, and you absolutely must fix it.  When I hung the first panel I knew immediately what I had done.  I laughed, and then started to try and figure out a solution.  Now I could have lowered the rods so that the top of the curtain brushed the top of the casing – it still would have been about two inches from the floor.  I could also have let down the hem to make up that difference, but I am a huge fan of curtains that extend way above the casing of the window – if ceiling height permits – which in my condo it does – I feel compelled to use it.  It creates the illusion of grandness, in what is a pretty small place.  Fortunately I was forced to buy a pretty large lot of fabric, and have a surplus.  My best friend and design confidant Tiffany came over and together we strategized.  The solution:  add a foot to 18″, raise the rods to maximize the height, and at the seam add grosgrain ribbon.  I think I might add several courses of the ribbon to enhance the effect.  I don’t want it to look fussy, but I want it to look intention and hide the error of my ways.

An alternate approach that would resolve this problem are solid panels that are added to the bottom – much more economical.  So, back to the fabricator they will go, me with my head hung low.  Thanks for allowing me to get it off my chest.  Now that I’ve made this horrible mistake, you can happily avoid it.

 

Brass Tacks: The Essentials of Survival

Let’s get right to the point.  For many of us, this was a hard week.  So hard in fact, that I find myself nearly missing the deadline for this post.  The point is, it stung.  Sometimes life draws blood — metaphorically speaking that is.  It might even feel for a time like we won’t survive it all….but we will.  I won’t make light of it as if an ill-conceived decision regarding a sofa can compare.  After all, we can’t return him like I did the Restoration Hardware Sofa that I decided didn’t fit my life view.  So instead I place my faith in a higher power, and turn to something(s) with a sunnier outlook.

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Phillip Jeffries Wall Covering

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Oly Studio Bed

Tacks that is, brass ones to be specific.  They are so in fashion  from stools to headboards, tables, and uber chic wall covering – brass tacks are a spot of sunshine in any house – they might even offer a little optimism in the House of Representatives.  Dare to dream.

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Restoration Hardware Stool

The polls are saying they are trending toward a win.  I don’t want to steer you wrong, but there is something that is both classic and contemporary about furnishings adorned with these beautifies.  They add a little edge to something that might otherwise be prissy, and a little glamour to something that might otherwise be a bit dull.

With this pick – you’ll hit the nail on the head.

Make Me Blush

Go ahead, make me.  I’ve had a fondness for pink for ages.  Long before this most recent obsession that has everyone from restaurants to upscale homes crushing on this pretty pastel.  I painted my bedroom pink in my second property and loved how it made me feel. The soft complimentary light, the calming effect it has after a dusty day that tried its darnedest to make you into a dull girl.  It brings a little rose to the cheek.  It makes your lips curl up just a bit at the edge.  Men don’t have to admit to liking it, but I know many do.

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Sketch . London – 2 of those chairs arriving today in pale cream!

Today, my beyond fabulous painting that I purchased from Blue Print Store in Dallas will arrive here in Boston after its stopover in New Orleans.  Don’t ask, I just request they tell me when to be there to receive it.

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Blue Print Store . Dallas . TX – Stephanie Shank Artist

 

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Runway . Right way.

Kid Gloves will be knocking on the door between 2 – 5pm and guess what colors they will be delivering?  Pink, and blue, and mint, and peach, and red, and black, and my steady and enduring lovely…gray.  This painting will be the centerpiece of my next project.  Tink (that’s my sister) told me in no uncertain terms I wasn’t to buy any new furniture for this one…I crossed my fingers when I promised I wouldn’t.  Really, aside from me going broke and having to live with her when I am old and gray, what could she possibly have in which to object?  She is the happy recipient of many of my cast offs.  The Surf Shack has my beautiful apple green lamps from One King’s Lane adorning the matching Bungalow 5 white dressers, and complimenting the organdy tray ceiling accent color and Designer’s Guild striped curtains.  Come to think of it my little Omph slipper chair from Charlestown is in that bedroom too.  I’ve been thinking about re-upholstering my 6 month old day bed from Restoration Hardware and making it a centerpiece of her living room – another project I am working on for her now.  I digress.

Saltie Girl . Back Bay . Boston – @christiano336

Back to the super hot topic of this really warm color.  Pink.  Is it dangerous to paint a living room in this hue.  I’ve been dying to…do just that.  I saw a sweet little property yesterday that I allowed my imagination to go wild with a redesign.  A good sign that I have a fondness for the place.  It’s been well loved over the years (read:  super warn and in need of some TLC).  Until I find a boyfriend, I have plenty to spare, and want to put it to good use.  An offer will go in.

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Featured in Domino Mag – back in the day.

Seems like I am doing a lot of finger crossing these days.  If it chooses me, I just may have to engage in a “Blush with Danger”.  Would you do it?  Paint a living room pink?  Would you object if I did?  Please do tell.

Velvet-teen: the real deal with the material

I’m awash with adjectives over this material….whose name is in fact used to describe the same.  That sensual texture, the soft, silkiness that begs to be touched, particularly by a tactile wired gal like myself.  It’s a compulsion, my fingers crawl forward, dying to know, what will it feel like?  The slightest contact transports me.  It’s hypnotic, it’s meditative, it’s calming, like taking deep slow breaths.  It’s no surprise that it reminds me of one of my very favorite childhood stories, and why I find it sneaking it’s way like Easter Eggs tucked away in the grass, into my home.  Some touches are quite obvious to the eager hunter, and others won’t be discovered without careful and systematic observation.

velveteen rabbit

Illustration by William Nicholson

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.  “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you’re made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It’s a thing that happens to you when a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become real.”

“Does it hurt?”  asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.

“When you are real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.

“You become.  It takes a long time.  That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose joints and very shabby.

“But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

The Velveteen Rabbit – Margery Williams

There’s a lot of wisdom in those words, and a lot of comfort in a bunny with velveteen ears.  Ironic that Rabbit became real but velveteen is actually imitation velvet.  Still it feels so nice to the touch, does it really matter?  In the world of interiors, I embrace mixing the “mock-off”  my term for knock-off with the genuine article.  If you love it, it’s REAL.

So how did velvet come to be?  Egypt claims the glory for this status statement.  Egyptians new all about opulence.  As far back as 2000BC velvet could be found in a slightly different form than that of it’s popular fabrication today.  Linen fabrics with looped pile created this luxurious wonder.

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Restoration Hardware Modern . In Practice

Current fabrication techniques up the ante on luxury by mixing silk and metals to create the lustrous depth, and reflective qualities that are one of the many intriguing qualities of this fabric.  Draped, folded, hung, it takes on different hues, its finish represents as matte or sheen.  It’s as complex and as interesting as we humans.

Keep it REAL…and be Kind.  Happy Easter Weekend.