The versatility of window treatments

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This week, we installed new drapes in this Chester Springs master bedroom.  The existing silk drapes, while very pretty, did not add any oomph to the room, and they also didn’t block out the light for better sleeping.  Additionally, because of the strong southern exposure, the sun had deteriorated the fabric in some spots.

The new drapes are blackout lined, they are decorative when opened or closed, and they also block drafts in the winter (or strong light in the summer) which is a nice bonus.   We chose a current, large-scale pattern to add more visual interest to the room.  The solid banding is a nice accent, and will stand up to wear from the client’s dogs rubbing up against them.

We offer many options for window coverings, but I highly recommend a blackout-lined drape for a bedroom.  Other clients just rave about the darkness they can achieve.  Great for people that want to sleep in, or those that work nights and sleep during the day.

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What is your decorating style?

Clients often ask me what my favorite personal decorating style is.  I’m guessing that they want to know if my style closely aligns with theirs.  My short answer is “eclectic”, meaning I really like to mix different styles for a more interesting look.  But, there are many considerations in how this has come about, and my longer answer is this:

I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, and my mother loved to decorate our colonial home, then redecorate once things started looking old or outdated.  She loved wallpaper and wasn’t afraid of color and pattern.  Looking back, I would say that she also liked to decorate to the current trends, so there was a lot of gold, brown and rust in our house in the earlier years.  Going through design school meant learning in detail about past styles, and both school and work experience taught me more about current styles and trends.  They also taught how to blend the two, considering line, mass and tonality.  My takeaway from these influences is an appreciation for individual objects for their own particular style and personal meaning.  I also developed an idea for what I don’t like, and even though Baroque, Victorian, and busy/overdone aren’t high on my list, I can still appreciate what some might find appealing about an ornate piece or even a period room.

In the end, what I personally like are rooms that invite you to come in and spend some time.  A sitting room should be comfortable, sunny, and cozy, and project a feeling of warmth.  It should have interesting things to look at and feel balanced, which is calming.  If there is a mix of styles and colors, they should harmonize with each other, and elements should not compete as the main focal point.  I personally don’t like things that are too “fussy”, nor do I like a cold, contemporary look for my own spaces.  I like a house with rich architecture, but can appreciate a clean, modern space provided that it still meets the criteria for what I consider a well-done room.  I like British colonial-style furniture, or anything that reminds me of warmer climates, and a relaxed, coastal lifestyle.  I also like natural materials along with various textures, and it never hurts to bring the outdoors in with some plants (or even palm or citrus trees).  As far as trends are concerned, I do think clean lines and simpler looks are here to stay, but I would prefer to do my own thing and not follow the trends too closely.

What I want my clients to know is that good design can exist within any style, and I consider a successful project one that reflects my clients’ tastes rather than my own.

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Family Room

Versatile and Practical Window Solutions

When McGrath Interiors began working with the following clients in Devon, PA, they were leaning towards installing fabric drapery panels in their family room. After establishing that white was the best color for the area, the thought of doing them in fabric was impractical because they would easily become dirty. Especially considering that the clients have pets and children who enter through the slider on a daily basis, the drapes would have been a nuisance. After we helped them consider the need for a more practical and long lasting option, they decided on using a vinyl vertical blind. Vinyl is easily cleanable so it became a more sensible choice because of the heavy use this door receives. We were still able to provide an aesthetically pleasing element in the fabric patterned cornice board above the doorway while maximizing its functionality.

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The next photo is of a functioning Roman shade in the guest bedroom of a different client’s home in West Chester. This one shade is decorative as well as practical because it goes up and down without difficulty. It is a custom designed option with a very good price and a ten day turnaround.

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Bold, fresh colors update an orthodontist’s office

Reception Desk-Before

Reception Desk-Before

Reception Desk-After

Reception Desk-After

This orthodontist’s office in West Chester is really in a great space. There are huge windows in the waiting area, and lots of natural light throughout most of the office. The curved reception desk  makes a statement when you first enter, and much of the furnishings were able to be reused in updating the look of the spaces. What the clients requested was to update the whole color scheme with bold, bright colors and to make it fun and interesting for the majority of their patients–kids and teens.

The wood floor was relatively new and would remain intact. We decided to cover all of the wood trim and doors with a dark gray paint, resurface the reception desk with a splash of fuchsia, and paint the window trim teal. The new carpet reflected some of these colors in a more subdued scheme, and the majority of the walls received a new, cream strie wallpaper while feature walls received an apple-green chevron patterned paper. The clients wanted to change out their bulletin boards where they displayed pictures of their patients, with an entire wall of magnetic chalkboard paint to give the wall more flexibility with placement and design.  For artwork, the clients wanted to use prints from local artists in teal frames to add interest and color.  The clients are very happy with the way their project turned out, but the most important opinions come from the patients, and word is that they really like the new look!

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Kids nook-after

Kids nook-after

Waiting Area

Waiting Area

Treatment Room

Treatment Room

Brushing station-before

Brushing station-before

Brushing station-after

Brushing station-after

Bulletin Board-before

Bulletin Board-before

Magnetic paint wall-after

Magnetic paint wall-after

Artwork

Artwork

Reception area showing new carpet

Reception area showing new carpet

Refreshing a living room

I always recommend that people live in their new house for awhile before making any design decisions.  This gives them time to see how they actually use the different spaces, what rooms get sunlight when, and where they gather when they entertain.

When the owners of this home moved in about a year ago, the “formal” living room was not given much attention.  They decided that this room would be a sitting room, but definitely not too formal.  The furniture we chose is comfortable, and the light colored fabric lends itself well to the casual feel of the space and keeps it airy.  We chose a light, gauzy fabric for the windows, which comes “pre-wrinkled” to continue with the theme.

 

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