Five tips for getting the most out of visiting a show house

If you love interior design then chances are you love to visit show houses. This past year I was lucky enough to visit four. The one challenge with visiting a show house is being able to take it all in. Since each room is often wildly different from the next it can be overwhelming. To make things even more difficult, most show houses do not allow for photography (unless you are press) so it is difficult to remember all the elements you may have been inspired by. Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your show house visit.

Take a small notebook and pen and make notes of the following five things.

1.Be observant of the COLORS on both walls and trim. Gray as we all know has been trending for almost ten years now. Over the past couple of years white and greige interiors have been coming on strong. So it was interesting to note that many of the designers in the Boston showhouse used rich, darker, colors. Making note of the colors is important, especially if you what to stay current and are about to pull the trigger on painting the whole interior of your house. Maybe the gray walls you had planned on using will feel dated in a couple years and a show house might give you other ideas.

Laurie Gorelick chose a deep jewel tone green for the molding and trim in her room called “the great escape”. Her furniture too was far from bland.

Design by Laurie Gorelick: Photo Linda Holt

 In the dining room, Mally Skok chose a rich brown for the walls. We haven’t seen much brown recently so it looked very fresh paired with the lighter drapery and white chairs.

Mally Skok designer, photography by Sabrina Cole Quinn 

Besides darker painted walls , rooms were sporting dark wallpaper as well. Elizabeth Benedict used a dark green plaid wallpaper in the parlor. Darker rooms work especially well for smaller scale rooms because it gives a feeling of coziness. Similar to the dining room the dark walls made the lighter furniture and art work really stand out.

Designed by Elizabeth Benedict: photo by Sabrina Cole Quinn

Vivian Robins created a sumptuous bathroom with her choice of black tile and black leafy wallpaper to compliment the existing antique copper tub.

Design by Vivian Robins: Linda Holt Photo

Robin Gannon chose a teal colored chinoiserie wallpaper and matching painted trim in her beautifully designed master bedroom.

Designed by Robin Gannon: Linda Holt Photo

 Takeaway design tip Color is back!

2. Make note of the kitchen and and bathroom cabinetry. White painted kitchen cabinets have been so prevalent over the past few years that they have almost become cliche! In the four show houses I visited this year, only one had a white kitchen and even in that one the uppers were white and the lowers were navy blue. The other three had either lightly stained wood or the cabinets were painted in a statement color.

Kelly Rogers and Dianne Aucello partnered on the kitchen design and chose a deep plum color for the cabinets. Maybe purple kitchen cabinets aren’t your thing but at least give some thought to color before immediately defaulting to white.

Design by Kelly Rogers and Dianne Aucello: Linda Holt Photo

Side note: kitchen cabinet hardware is trending to large and oversized. As far as hardware finish color I saw an equal split between silver, gold and black in all four show houses.

My friend Kim Macumber chose a bold and vibrant green for the cabinetry in her “Le Petite Pantry”. I loved it but maybe it’s not a color you would use. Regardless, if the room is really small like a small pantry or laundry room why not go bold and give yourself a reason to smile every time you are in the room.

Design by Kim Macumber: Linda Holt Photo

Takeaway design tip; kitchen cabinets may be moving away from white.

3. Make note of the ceilings. Living in conservative New England it’s sometimes a  stretch to talk clients into painted, wallpapered or statement ceilings but it’s almost not even a trend anymore it is so routine in the design world. After all, it’s the fifth wall so why not give it as much thought as the walls. Kim had her small pantry ceiling custom painted with an explosion of flowers.

Kim Macumber: Linda Holt Photo

I loved this dark metallic wallpapered ceiling in the “Bold and Fierce” room by Melissa Hammond and Meg Bennett. The added orange stripe played off the art work and added an interesting design element.

Design by Melissa Hammond and Meg Bennet: Linda Holt Photo

 Design tip takeaway, don’t ignore your ceilings.

4. Don’t immediately dismiss something simply because it is out of your comfort zone. A black and magenta foyer staircase isn’t for everyone but look at how creative the designers were with paint!  The “rug”and second” hand railing” are cleverly painted on and the birds ascending the staircase is such a fun added touch of whimsy.

 Designers Paige Lewin and Ana Bonilla designed box planters climbing the wall of their room that they named a “Room of One’s Own”. What a creative way to bring in lot’s of  plants. Wouldn’t you love to hang out in that chair and read? Similar to the paint technique above, this is definitely something you could try in your own home. Notice too that the designers brought “down” the height of the ceiling with the cleaver use of paint.

Design by Paige Lewin and Ana Bonilla: Linda Holt Photo

 Design takeaway, getting creative with paint is something everyone can try at home. Also, think outside the box when it comes to artwork or placement of plants.

5. Make note of how the designers style their rooms: My client’s often struggle with what most designers enjoy the most and that’s styling. The final touch are the accessories in the room and show houses are a gold mine of styling ideas.  Bookcases always look nice with a mix of books and accessories.

Designer Elizabeth Benedict: Linda Holt Photo

Bedside tables usually have a pretty lamp, some books, a few decorative accessories and a plant or flowers.

Designer Robin Gannon, Linda Holt Photo

Design takeaway, make a little sketch in your notebook of the styling of coffee tables, bedsides tables and bookcases and copy what the designer did!

I would love to hear from you, are you a fan of show houses? Do you get ideas for your own home from them?

 

Getting personal with photography

One of the most important things I strive for when designing any interior space is to have a beautifully designed and functioning room but I also want the home to reflect my client’s unique personality. Often times I look to accomplish this by reusing or re-purposing  beloved family heirlooms, art work, or by displaying a collection that is meaningful to the homeowners. 

Sometimes though, there are no family heirlooms or meaningful collections to work with. In this case, one thing I like to do for my clients is to create something special for them using my photography skills. Today I want to share three different photography projects I did that were very meaningful for my clients yet all three were very simply executed, and might give you an idea for a project in your home.

The first photography project I did was actually for my very first “big” design job back in 2012. I was only about nine months into my business and I was hired to completely furnish a condo for a recently divorced man who was literally bring nothing but his clothes. The dining area of the condo was part of the kitchen and the homeowner had very specific requirements for a dinning table. It had to be of a certain length and width 99% of the time but twice a year had to expand to accommodate a large crowd. After searching for WAY longer than I should have, I finally convinced him we needed to have the table custom made. 

This is where the story gets interesting…and quite long. The short version though is that the furniture maker sourced the wood from the old Birds Eye Freezer factory in Gloucester Ma. This is the very place where flash freezing was invented and produced America’s first frozen vegetables. The factory had been abandoned since the late 40’s and was only weeks away from being raised to make way for a new boutique hotel. The completely freaky part of this story is that unbeknownst to either myself or the furniture maker was that my client had an ancestor who had worked in the factory back in the 1930’s. 

Linda Holt Photo

So, the table shown above sits in a condo by the sea and is made from the wood which once lined the freezer of the Birds Eye Freezer Company (aluminum was eventually used and the wood freezer became obsolete. Here’s where the photography part comes in. Shortly before they knocked the building down I took a series of photos of the decaying factory and chose three to frame and hang next to the table. (I also gave him several unframed ones as well.)

At the time I had no idea I would one day be writing a blog about this so unfortunately I don’t have a better image of the photos themselves. I can report that my client was very moved by my surprise.  He found it so meaningful to own a table made from the wood of such an historic factory, that an ancestor had worked in, and that next to the table are photos of the factory itself…Cool right??

My next photography project was just recently completed. On my first meeting to discuss a new client’s project, the husband pulled out these six books. He said he didn’t know how or if I could incorporate the books into my design but his recently deceased dad was a well known Indian author and had written the series. These kind of family items are gold to me. I placed them all directly on the existing black leather sofa and took a quick iphone photo. These treasured books became the inspiration for my entire design. The colors drove my color scheme and although the books were only small paper back sized, I knew I wanted to bring them to prominence and give them a place of honor in my client’s home.

Client’s book collection written by his dad

Once my design plan was approved, I asked to borrow the set of books. I  took a photo of each book on a white back ground (white construction paper) and had them blown up by one of my favorite companies called Fracture. Fracture prints photos directly on glass and they arrive ready to hang. I enlarged them to a 20″ x 16″ size and the day of the install hung them on a tall thin wall just off the entry. Boy were my client’s both surprised and thrilled!

Fracture glass photos

Photo by Emily O’Brien Photography

My final example is not yet installed so I don’t want to give too much away but I am working with an awesome client/friend on her “piano lounge”. I asked her to give me several of her absolute favorite and most meaningful sheet music cover pages. This is one that she chose as being very meaningful. I especially like the hand written notations as it makes the piece even more personal.

I photographed each sheet cover and then imported the photos into Photoshop. I’m really not a Photoshop expert and I didn’t know exactly what I was even going for but after playing around for awhile I settled on the image below.

sheet music pixelated and colorized

Art work created by Linda Holt

This piece along with two others will be hung above the sofa. Each one is a different color based on the room’s color scheme. I used Fracture to print my images on glass for this project too and at the moment they are sitting in my office waiting for our install day.

Three very different clients, three very different projects and three very different “stories”. That’s what I love most about design. Every client and job is different yet everyone has a family story that is a part of who they are and it’s what makes a house a home. I feel honored I was able to by bring three stories out into the open in my client’s homes through photography.

Would love to hear from you! Which of my three projects is your favorite?

 

 

Five Tips for taking better travel photos

Remember the old joke about the dreaded invite over to see someone’s vacation photos? Well that scenario is long gone now that we see instant updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There was a good reason though for that dreaded invite and it is because the photos were usually boring. A cliche shot standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, a random photo of a famous landmark, or a photo of a famous piece of art in a museum is so over done that we have simply lost interest. 

So what does make for more interesting travel photos? Having recently returned from Berlin I thought I would share a few of my images to illustrate five tips for taking better travel photos.

1.Shoot no matter what the weather. You never know what the weather will be like when you travel  so get comfortable shooting in all conditions. We spent nine days in Berlin and it rained…EVERY…SINGLE…DAY! Seriously, over the nine days we were in Berlin the weather ranged from a steady light drizzle to a “cellular burst” that produced heavy rain and 70 MPH winds. Sadly, we found out the next day that two people were killed during the storm from falling trees. The sun finally came out late afternoon our last day there. At first I was really cranky that I wouldn’t be able to get any good shots of the city but actually some of my favorite images were taken in the rain. The photo below was me the entire time in Berlin. Everything I photographed was from under this umbrella. 

Nine days in Berlin photographing in the rain

Shooting the famous Brandenburg gate in the rain framed by all the colorful umbrellas and rain coats added some interest and color. I like the shot much better than if it was just a monument shot.

Rainy day in Berlin

Another positive thing about an overcast or rainy day is that it can bring out architectural details that shadows from the sun often hide. I love the way the Cathedral dome stands out against the overcast sky. Putting a slim black boarder around the image helps it from getting lost on the page.

Berlin Cathedral in rain

2. Get lost and wander. Since I had the luxury of being in Berlin for over a week and had no planned agenda, my husband and I spend hours each day just wandering through the city. Getting lost is a great opportunity to find interesting images that are not typical travel photos. Not every photo has to be a beautiful view or a well known landmark. There are post cards for that. Walk down alleys, sit at a cafe and people watch. Look for interesting colors or textures or an interesting juxtaposition. The photo below was really off the beaten path but had we not wandered I would never had seen this wall that really spoke to me. I love the color, the texture, the brick arch and that blue door!

Berlin brick wall

Typical travel photo? No, visually interesting? Maybe not for you, but for me, yes.

I found this view compelling of the white building rising up over the graffiti covered plywood. Again, not a typical travel photo but I think it reflects the vibe of Berlin.

 

3. Shoot Inside. There was one day during our stay where the weather was truly frightening. It was down pouring rain all day and the winds were blowing so hard that parked motorcycles were flipping over. That day was definitely a museum day. There are so many interesting photo opportunities in museums but look for things to shoot besides the art work. I see so many people in a museum stand directly in front of a painting and pull out their phone. Are you there to see and experience the museum or to simply record the art work? 

I took this image at the Natural History Museum as my husband was peering into the enormous “wet” specimen room. 

Natural History Museum Berlin

I love this image of the beautiful architecture of the museum. This says more to me about the museum than had I simply just photographed a piece of art work.

4. Use people as props in your photo. Sometimes waiting around until a person walks into the frame is a perfect way to highlight the scale of something or add a human touch in the photo. The architecture of this new building becomes more impressive with the person in the photo. 

This metal spiral staircase was not nearly as interesting without the people climbing the stairs.

5. Be open to the unexpected. You never know when a great photo opportunity will present itself. When traveling be sure to keep your photo radar turned on. Always be observant and when the unexpected happens be ready to grab the shot. I had no idea a man playing a guitar would be seated at the end of this underground tunnel and the purple light made it all that more mysterious.

I posted this image of a smoking bride on Facebook and it clearly was a favorite of all the images I posted. I had about ten seconds to get this shot and had I not been on alert it would have passed me by.

Smoking Bride

My final piece of advice is to shoot lots and lots of images. The more you shoot the better the chance you will have travel photos that everyone will like to see!

What do you like to photograph best when you travel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bar carts and table settings you do not want to miss!

Wow, the past two weeks have been a whirlwind for me. Nine days in Berlin, home, three hours sleep then off to the Boston Design Center for the next five days to install, style and participate in Boston’s first Designer fundraiser for the charity Heading Home To Dinner.This first of it’s kind event was a HUGE success with both a cocktail party and gala selling out. There were many designers on the planning committee but three need to be singled out for their vision and planning that lead to such a successful event; Mally Skok, Elizabeth Benedict and Kristen Rivoli.

The charity Heading Home to Dinner is Boston based and it’s mission is “to end homelessness in greater Boston by providing a supported pathway to self-sufficiency that begins with a home, together with critical services such as life skills, financial literacy, and job training”. 

The event was held at the Boston Design Center in a huge open space with cement floors and huge windows that let in tons of light over looking Boston harbor. The tables were arranged in the middle of the room and the bar carts were lined up against the windowless wall. The room looked beautiful but it was somewhat of a photographer’s nightmare. I did my absolute best shooting the tables and carts (with my iphone) but with the sun streaming in on two sides, many tables had harsh back lighting and there was poor lighting against the wall where the carts were. To complicate the photography even more there was always something distracting in the background or someone was in the background.  I did my best though so in no particular order, feast your eyes on some very creative, beautiful and “no two alike” tables and bar carts.

Elizabeth Benedict, Safari Style

I love that Elizabeth used two floor hides as table runners. The binoculars and blankets on each chair also are a wonderful touch….and the FLOWERS!!!

Kristen Rivoli: Hygge under the stars

Kristen Rivoli used the Danish word Hygee as her theme. Her table celebrates the simple pleasure of dinning with friends at home or out.

Mally Skok: California Dreaming Lunch Party

Mally Skok’s table wowed me with lot’s of plants and blue glassware. I heard she designed and then had the plates made in Africa. They are gorgeous!

Kathryn Pearce: Cerulean Serendipity

This table by Kathryn Pearce was such a pretty table. I loved those turquoise goblets and pink flowers.

Pamela Copeman: Claude Monet at Giverny

This is the table that I was lucky enough to be seated at for the gala. It was magical dinning under the twinkling flower gazebo. The designer, Pamela Copeman, is an accomplished artist besides a well known designer and the fabric on the chairs as well as the table topper were custom made from an origional oil painting she created just for the event.

Kristin Paton: Let them eat cake

This one had lot’s to look at as well and was so much fun!

Megan Pesce: The artist collaboration

Megan Pesce partnered with her artist friend who painted a custom canvas table runner. I loved the way Megan accessorized with paint tubs and brushes.

Renee Rucci and Julie Wood

This table designed by Renee Rucci and Julie Wood had so many thoughtful little details it needed to be carefully studied so as to not miss anything. Julie took the opportunity to showcase her new fabric line featuring maps of coastal New England.

Dennis Duffy: Alice’s Acid Tea party

Crystal dishes of “Quaaludes” added some humor to this colorful table.

The bar carts were equally as varied.

Holly Joe design

Holly Joe’s theme was Cocktails in Shangri-La

Rachel Reider

Rachel Reider partner with Dunes and Duchess and styled “an Enchanted Evening” with this new bar cart that was just introduced as part of their new line.

Kim Macumber

Kim Macumber’s Summer Cart is perfectly styled for summer cocktails on the front porch. 

Justine Sterling: Modern Island

Justine Sterling mixed colonial, modern and tropical elements for her festive backyard bar cart.

Michelle Cortizo: New years Champagne

Michelle Cortizo styled a new Years Eve bar cart that I would love to ring in the New Years with.

Kelly Rogers

Kelly Rogers styled her bar cart for a Tanglewood picnic for two. Don’t you just love that fox pillow?

Rachel Dunham

This retro bar cart was filled with all sorts of cool things but I especially liked the vintage glassware.

Lastly, here is my Nantucket brunch in the garden bar cart.

Linda Holt: Nantucket Brunch in the Garden

This was the very first time I have ever done anything like this. I will be honest it was a little a scary because there were some very big names and design firms involved. I had more than one sleepless night worrying I was in over my head. It all turned out great though and I had a wonderful time. I also learned how stressful it can be when things don’t go as planned. Let me just give you a hint with the word “leakage” and you might be able to guess to what happened.

I’d love to hear from you. Which is your favorite?

 

 

 

 

Jazzing up our white box apartment

If you’ve been following me through this blog you know that my husband and I recently downsized from our big suburban home to a very small urban apartment. It’s hard to believe but we have been here almost four months now. For the most part we love our new small care free life style. The apartment is the perfect location for us but being a rental we are forbidden from making any changes and that includes painting the walls.

Side note* If we owned this place the very first thing I would do is rip out those short little 26″ kitchen cabinets and bring those babies right to the ceiling!

white room dark floor no windowsNot being able to paint the walls has been tough for someone like me who loves color. The long wall to the right of the photo is where we have our sofa and I have covered it with art work so for now I have made peace with that wall. The wall that continued to bothered me though was that back wall. I was desperate to add a pop of color there to add some life and visual interest.

I looked at removable wall decals and temporary wallpaper options but I didn’t see anything that really excited me. I envisioned something really bold that would pop against my marine blue lacquered dresser that was against that wall. I had more or less given up until Spring High Point Market when I discovered product designer Jill Seale. I first spotted Jill’s fabrics from across the room and made a beeline right to her booth.

Jill Seale fabrics: Linda Holt Photo

Her fabrics are a riot of color and pattern and I when I found out she designed wallpaper and that it could be had in a removable option I was sold. Well…kind of. I was so worried about doing anything to the walls and loosing a very hefty security deposit that I made Jill send me a sample that I left on the wall for a few weeks to see how easy it was to remove. It was just as advertised, easy on, easy off and it left absolutely no residue or stickiness on the walls. 

This past weekend my husband helped me put it up and other than getting on a rickety ladder to reach the nine foot ceiling it was SO easy. It took less than an hour from start to finish. I chose Jill’s green Algae paper.

I am so thrilled with the result! It adds so much life to that dark back wall and when we move out of the apartment I will simply peal it off and no one will ever know my secret!

Here is the “after”.

Linda Holt Photo

The crowning touch is the fabulous mixed media painting by my good friend Susan Siefer. This painting was inspired by her trips to Morocco and the blues in the painting were made with pigments she brought back from Morocco.

accent wall with blue chest

Linda Holt Photo

I know you all want to see the rest of the apartment but I am not quite “there yet” for a full photo reveal. I’m working on it though and will soon (I promise). This accent back wall though has made such a difference in my happiness level.

I would love to hear what you think!

To find out more about Jill Seale and Susan Siefer you can check them out below.

 Jill Seale at www.jillseale.com 

Susan Siefer at www.susansiefer.com or IG : @susansiefer-art

One last thing, I will be taking a couple weeks off from blogging because on Saturday I leave for Berlin for ten days. I hope you’ll follow me on Instagram because I will be sharing lot’s of images and iphone photo tips while there.

 

How to train your eye to take better photos

There is a common saying among photographers that the best technical skills in the world will not make a bad photo good. Getting a good photo is more than simply understanding the features of your camera and a knowledge of lighting, exposure, and editing. So the question is, how does one train their eye for “seeing” great photo opportunities? It is the simple practice of shooting as much as possible. Training your eye to “see” photo worthy images is no different than training your muscles for sports, or your brain for higher thinking. Professionals shoot almost daily and each day their “photo eye” gets stronger and better. I call this “photo radar”. I have observed that most amateurs don’t shoot very often, instead they wait until they are on vacation or see something extraordinary like a rainbow or beautiful sun set. 

Once you start to shoot on a regular basis though you will strengthen your photo radar and start seeing photos where you never did before. Since I have been shooting for so long I occasionally have turn off my “photo radar” because I can be so easily distracted with seeing images. Remember that famous line from the movie The Sixth Sense, ” I see dead people”? Well, I see photos…pretty much everywhere. For example, I can see three or four different photo opportunities while walking to the apartment dumpster to throw away the trash! 

Rusting dumpster with rivets: Linda Holt Photo

It certainly wasn’t always like that though. When I first started photography school I used to struggle to find subjects to shoot for my assignments. I’d walk around Boston for hours looking for interesting things to shoot when in reality everything around me was an opportunity to create something interesting. It wasn’t until my photo eye became more developed that it became easier for me to see photos where most don’t.

 In order to train your eye my advice is to shoot everyday. Don’t think you can do that? Challenge yourself to try it for thirty days. Remember, your photos don’t have to be subjects of extraordinary beauty. Sometimes the most mundane things can make interesting photos. Think in terms of creating a photo rather than taking a photo.

One idea is to pick a different theme each day and try and find as many photos that fit into that theme as possible. For example, one day challenge yourself to only shot things that have texture. Another day only shoot things that are in your yard or limit your photos to shoot only subjects that have bright color. These are just suggestions but you get the idea. If you narrow down your “photo radar” to search for something specific it is much easier to find things to photograph. Try and come up with different assignments for yourself. No one will be judging your photos and only you need to see them.  

As I was halfway through writing this post I had to make a quick trip to Whole Foods. I realized it was a perfect opportunity to challenge myself and share my WF store images with you. I didn’t have much time (about 15 mins) but I wanted to find as many photos as I could while also grabbing food for dinner and a Birthday card for a friend. Side note* All these photos were taken with my iphone.

I started off super easy and snapped a few flower shots from the floral section on my way into the store.

Flowers at Whole Foods:Linda Holt Photo

I think it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of flowers. Just get in close and fill the frame with the color and shapes.

Whole Foods Flowers:Linda Holt Photo

I then grabbed a cart, looked down and noticed the dramatic lighting and grid pattern that was created from the sun coming through the side window.

Whole foods cart:Linda Holt Photo

Onward to the veggie isle. 

Radishes: Linda Holt Photo

I feel the same way about beautiful fresh vegetables as I do flowers. It’s pretty easy to get a great photo as nature has done all the work already.

Then it got a little more challenging because I wanted to find more unexpected images than flowers and veggies. I spotted this display of wine bottles and liked how the back window light was coming through the wine and also the repetitive shapes of the bottles.

Whole foods wine bottles:Linda Holt Photo

I also liked the texture and simple graceful lines of this cropped in tight image of flip flops. What really makes the photo interesting is the string.

Whole Foods flip flops:Linda Holt Photo

My few minutes were up and I thought I was done but then on the way out I saw one last image and it is my favorite one from my self assignment. A bright orange metal chair tucked under a multi colored stained wood table.

Orange metal chair:Linda Holt Photo

Simply by changing the camera’s perspective and shooting down on the chair it became much more interesting than if I had photographed it from straight on. Plus, there were customers sitting at the table eating and they would have been too distracting. Piece of advice… simple is often better.

So I hope you take up my challenge and spend thirty days photographing every single day. I guarantee you will strengthen your photo eye and improve your photo radar. Please let me know if you are up for the challenge or have any questions or comments. Good luck!!

 

A master class in window treatments from three Summer show houses

Now that Summer is behind us and the kids are back at school I have been getting phone calls from new clients wanting to get their home ready for the upcoming holidays. The number one thing on their wish lists are new window treatments. Having just returned from visiting three different show houses I have to say, window treatments are taking on a main role in decorating. No more wimpy thin drapery panels that I remember from some of the show houses even just a few years back. Instead, I saw room after room of full luxurious panels and roman shades and the one thing they all had in common was some kind of embellishment. 

The Coastal Living Idea House  that I blogged about HERE was designed by Mark Sikes and although I loved his use of blue of white and the many layering of patterns, my favorite design element in the home were his window treatments.

blue drapery with leading edge trim

Linda Holt Photo

Gorgeous wide trim on the leading edge was on every panel and most had top banding or trim as well.

Roman shades with trim

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Sikes also layered his windows with natural fiber shades which added texture but also helps protect the fabric from the harsh sun.

blue and white floral drapes

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Luxurious pattern matched blue and white panels had trim along the top that coordinated with fabric trim running under the molding. The home has so many amazing details like this in every room. Speaking of details, Sikes even covered his drapery pull wand with matching fabric. Now that is something you don’t see very often…if ever!

fabric covered drapery pull

Mark Sikes:Linda Holt Photo

Natural fiber shades and a wide band of decorative trim added to the charm.

drapery panel with trim

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Last week I visited the Hampton Designer Show House and this year there were two homes to tour. Each was very different in look and feel but the one commonality were statement window treatments in every room. Even the bathrooms were adorned with statement drapes!

Linda Holt Photo

Unless you are looking at the above photo on a large screen you won’t be able to see but pink pompom trim runs down the leading edge of the panels.

These sweet roman shades were trimmed with little crystal beads. They were so pretty glistening in the sunlight.

roman shades with crystal trim

Linda Holt Photo

I love the way these shears mimicked the lines of the layered custom molding that was throughout the home.

White shears with black trim

Linda Holt Photo

Eddie Ross trimmed the Roman shades in his room with a contrasting nail head tape.

Roman shades with nail head trim

Eddie Ross design: Linda Holt Photo

Rather than a sewn on tape, these panels in Rajni Alex’s room had a geometric design embroidered directly onto the edge of the fabric. (notice the rug is also embellished on the banding cloth).

orange drapes with embroidery edge

Rajni Alex Design:Linda Holt Photo

When you add trim to a drapery panel you need to decide where it should be placed. Some designers like to put it right at the leading edge of the fabric but others prefer it inset a few inches like this drape below.

winow panels with decorative trim

Linda Holt Photo

I did notice that Mark Sikes placed his trims right at the leading edge of the fabric on all his panels.

patterned drapes with decorative trim

Mark Sikes design:Linda Holt Photo

The one thing I should point out is that these beautiful trims and tapes add considerably to the cost of the drapery. In some cases the trim is even more expensive than the fabric. It does make for a beautiful statement piece in the room though and often times that makes it all worth it.

Lastly, I want to share one more trend with you that I have been seeing in both magazines and spotted at all three show houses I visited. The table skirt is back!!

blue and white table skirt

Mark Sikes:Linda Holt Photo

The one above was in a bedroom at the Coastal Living Idea House and the one below is from the Hampton Show House.

table skirt

Linda Holt Photo

I had this exact same style of table skirt in my own home back in the early 90’s. It’s a great way to add some color and pattern and also doubles as storage underneath. One thing I will leave you with is that sparse rooms and minimalism seems to be on the way out and layered rooms with “more is more” is making a comeback.

After just having downsized and donating 70% of our belongings I am very conflicted about this trend. Personally, I am loving me new very edited small living….however those window treatments are beyond beautiful!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on embellished window treatments but also what do you think about table skirts making a comeback? Do you like the more is more look?

 

 

 

 

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