Saturday, January 29, 2011

Window treatments for transom windows

 Transom windows are often left untreated, or dressed with panels.  As beautiful as they are, many questions are raised when it's time to add something for privacy and light control.  The crosspiece inside the window makes installing the shade (Hunter Douglas Vignette) at the top of the window impossible.  Leaving the top open is not a bad look in the daytime, but at night a transom can become a dark hole in the wall, and in the morning, it can pose a real problem for sleeping past 6:00 am.

Our client, Doris, has a more contemporary decorating style, and anything too fussy just wasn't going to work in her house.  We liked the thought of a box pleated valance, but it needed to have some depth, so by using more pleats, the treatment is not as flat as it would have been with fewer pleats.  The picture below is a computer rendering of the proposed solution:


Here's a closeup of the finished treatment:


We had a grouping of the same windows in the breakfast area.  The view of the sky is lovely, but that morning sun wasn't so great every morning.  It wasn't as important as the bedroom sun, but blocking some of it would help. We decided on a pennant style valance, with blackout lining and trimmed out in a dark brown cording to blend with the cabinetry.  It's not visible on this picture, but it's the details that make the difference when doing such a simple design.

Even the smallest amount of fabric can add just enough color and texture to your windows. We can help you decide on the proportions, color, texture and style for your room. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Previewing our finds at ACRE in Orlando

Whew, just arrived home late last night from Orlando, but we're so excited about the new artists we met and thought you'd like a preview.  We'll introduce you to each vendor in the next few days.

Although the show isn't as large as the Buyers Market in Philadelphia, there were enough talented artists in Orlando to find a good selection for our shop.  We chose a new jewelry line from Anne Vaughan Designs,

added some  pottery by a mother-daughter team with Silver Pail Pottery,

found an artist who can provide us with painted art at Back Dorr Studio, 

and will soon have some beautiful table top art by Four Seasons Design Group:

  And if that's not enough, we even found a wonderful small gift idea for $10 with Mitercraft, Inc.  I'll keep you in suspense over this one!

We also re-visited (and reordered) from DeVeer Designs.  Barbara had some great new designs and both Pam and I had a short list of our own!  If you forgot what Barbara's fused glass earrings look like, click on the above link for a review, then come by to see the new ones we picked out!

Keep watching for updates as we introduce you to our new vendors.  Remember, all their products are handmade in the USA!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

ACRE Orlando: American Craft Retailers Expo

This is where we'll be going next week

The Orange County Convention Center is hosting the January show for ACRE (American Craft Retailers Expo).   I feel warmer just looking at those palm trees!  

Makes sense to go to Orlando in January, don't you think?  Although we'll miss our favorite reps at the Dallas show (going on at the same time), we are anxious to buy more unique items for the store.  Also important to us is the fact that this show represents all North American artisans. 

The Orlando Convention Center looks awesome from the pictures.  We'll be flying into Orlando next Thursday and staying until Monday (January 20th to the 24th).  Besides the actual market show, we have signed up for several seminars.  It's a definite bonus to be able to take in some educational classes--we always benefit from every one we attend.

Our hours for the next two weeks:
  Monday through Wednesday (Jan. 17, 18, 19)
 The following week:  Tuesday through Thursday (Jan. 25, 26, 27)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Take control of your life: get a new kitchen!

 Is it really that easy?  No, it's not.  Ask our client Ms A. and she'll verify that neither a new kitchen or getting a fresh start on life is easy.  Her new house is in a great location, has nice curb appeal, large backyard, good neighbors, and many other nice features.   Unfortunately, the kitchen was not one of those features.  The kitchen is probably the most important room for Ms A, as she loves to cook.  However, a coat a paint wasn't going to make this room functional, and adding new appliances to the low, shallow cabinets reminds me of the saying "you can't put lipstick on a pig" . . . . .
Our hope for her was to get a totally new start in the kitchen.  The other rooms in the house could be painted and decorated, but this room just needed too much.  After a bid from the cabinet shop, Ms A. decided it was a go, and the work began.

 Not only were the cabinets and appliances replaced, but new lighting and a new backsplash was added. Did you notice the new cabinets go all the way to the ceiling? The original plate rail was really a waste of space.   Not visible in this picture is the under cabinet lighting and the lighting in the corner cabinet.  It adds such an elegant look and really lights up the work space as well.  Also note the copper cabinet pulls and the small contrast tiles pieces in the backsplash (they are small copper tiles). 

We have the fabric picked out for the window treatment.  The plan is a cafe style so plenty of light will still shine through the top of the window.  Note the copper faucet Ms A found---it's beautiful!  Another wonderful feature is the tiny chandelier above the sink. 
Here's a closeup of the light fixture:

 What a great piece of jewelry for Ms A's kitchen.

If you need some advice on a new project, we can help.  No, we don't sell the cabinetry, tiles, appliances, etc, but we do coordinate colors, textures and the "jewelry" of your project.  As in Ms A's case, she had a basic idea of what she wanted, we just helped her get there.  The road to this new project was sometimes bumpy, but so is the road to any big change in life.  We thank our customer for her persistence and letting us play a part in her new kitchen.  We will certainly keep you posted as we add the final touches to the kitchen, and you'll be awed when you see the changes that are going on in her den.

Take control and make those changes this year!  We're here to help.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Looking back at 2010

A lot has changed in a year, as it does every year in retail.  In fact, we try to change things on a regular basis inside the shop to keep our customers curious.  The collage above is just a few inside shots of some of our vignettes throughout 2010.  It seems like every time we change things around, I like the new set-up better!

In addition to our retail items, we'll still be offering our other services.  We've been busy with paint color consultations and room arranging during the past year.  Our clients are taking their purchases more seriously, and appreciate the extra guidance before making major decisions.  

 The custom drapery and bedding has been a steady business for Madison Lane.  We continue to keep the latest fabric and trim books in our inventory so our clients will always have access to the newest trends and colors.  
Here's a random look at some of the work we did in 2010:

 You might notice the drawing of our building included in the collage.  We are still excited about the picture, and we use it every chance we get.  Also included are a couple of pictures from the MSSU Alumni Center which was our largest job of the year.  As far as styles for the upcoming year, we see it as a continuation of last year with a mix of everything from "old world elegance" to "sleek contemporary". 

Enough looking back, we're off and running into the New Year.



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