Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tools of the Trade

In the workroom Susan Woodcock is busy sewing the drapery panels for our dining room make-over project.  The panels have been lined, measured and buckram was added in the top, for the pleated heading.  Susan is hand sewing the side hems.

Susan Woodcock at the worktable hand sewing side hems in the drapery panels.
Susan's favorite hand sewing supplies include John James hand sewing needles (Rowley #TP108, TP110 or TP112), easy to use Thread Clippers (Rowley #WW20), a leather Coin Thimble (Rowley #WW38) and a heavy thread like Coats and Clark Hand Quilting Thread.  A magnetic pin bowl (Rowley #WW44) keeps the pins that are removed in order and a cheerful tomato pin cushion keeps needles handy.

Hand sewing hems is a traditional technique that requires a minimum of tools and supplies yet gives a premium, custom finish.  There are many benefits to hand sewing including less puckering and take-up, diminished light holes when blackout lining is used and the project does not have to be lifted and carried from the worktable, and manipulated under a machine.  If there are every any future alterations needed, hand sewing is easily removed with no damage to the materials.

Hand sewing is usually priced higher by drapery workrooms because of the extra time required.  Often, as with this project, hand sewing provides a better finish due to the weave, texture or fiber content of the fabrics being used.

To learn hand sewing tips and to see the finished draperies plan to attend our webinar Glam for the Fam: A Dining Room Makeover, August 23rd at 11:00 am EST  Click Here to Register

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More updates from Sarah...

We just received more photos from Sarah Gleason "in the field", working on the project for our August webinar. Be sure to join us on August 23rd to see all the before-and-after photos and techniques for creating the draperies, slipcovers and more. To register, click here.

The fireplace mantle has been painted and we love how it turned out.    You can see how clean and polished the brick surround looks after being painted black.

Sarah spent the weekend looking for a piece of furniture for the side wall.  She needed a piece that was the right size, right style and right price. She picked up the fabulous find in a Richmond, VA antique mall.  Not only does it have ample space for serving buffet-style, it also has tons of storage for linens, silverware and dishes.  We love the detailing in the veneer which repeats the geometric pattern on the drapery fabric.  You are also getting a peek at a modern painting that is yet to be framed, that will hang over the buffet.

Back in the workroom the draperies have been pattern matched and hemmed.

The velvet pattern made hemming a challenge, hand sewing was the best option and it turned out beautiful.  Note in the photos below that a large stitch was used to avoid sewing into the velvet area, which was difficult to stab with a needle.  The linings are ready for the draperies to be tabled and pleated. 

The project continues with more sewing, the drapery installation, selecting and hanging art & mirrors and adding accessories.   Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's Paint-tastic!

It is amazing what a few cans of paint can do for a room.

Our room makeover continues and most of the painting is complete.  The designer for this project, Sarah Gleason, sent us a few photos of the progress.

We love how fresh and airy the room has become with the colors Sarah chose.  The old mirror looks like a new purchase with the updated black gloss paint finish.

In the workroom you will find the fabric for the window treatment cut and ready for pattern matching and hemming.  

The slipcover fabric has been pre-washed and is waiting to be cut and sewn.

Stay tuned for more updates and be sure to sign up for the live webinar presentation, Glam for the Fam: A Dining Room Makeover on August 23rd at 11:00 am (Eastern Standard Time) to see the final room revealed and learn about all the techniques used to complete this project.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Behind the scenes...

Redecorating a room takes more than sketches, paint, fabric and hanging art.  A lot of work goes on behind the scenes and while the project may look-a-mess for a period of time, the magic happens and the room comes together.  

In our previous posts, you will see that Sarah Gleason,our designer for this project, chose a beautiful black and white print for the windows.  She consulted the workroom professionals here at Rowley Company about drapery and hardware choices.  Two of the options considered were ripplefold panels with a short, upholstered cornice to hide the track or pleated drapery on a wood pole rod rod with rings.  

The final choice: A square routed pole rod with traversing track and decorative Acanthus Leaf finials.  (To see a video of routed poles, click here

Instead of a contemporary Ripplefold heading, a pleated drapery will be used to blend with the traditional elements of the home.  The drapery pleats will sweep across the rod below the wood fascia.  Blackout lining will be used to keep the white background of the fabric from having an orange or yellow tint on sunny days.

After the hardware order was placed with Finestra Decorative Hardware, the talented painting and finishing team got to work on a black, high-gloss finish.

Acanthus Leaf finials #1099 hanging on the drying rack. 
Our projects 2" Square Pole is drying with other custom painted poles.
And while we wait for the paint to dry on the hardware, Sarah and her team are busy painting the walls, ceiling and trim.  Sarah will be recycling some pieces that were already in the home, like this mirror which is getting a fresh coat of paint.
This mirror will be updated with new paint.
For over the dining table, a black crystal chandelier was selected.  Sarah shares why she chose this style of fixture... "the shape of the chandelier is very traditional, like a classic crystal chandelier but in black, it looks super chic". 
Some assembly required!
Sarah is busy working on an abstract painting to use on the wall opposite the window and will be painting the existing mirror over the fireplace while Laurie Medford and Susan Woodcock are crafting the window treatment and slipcovers.

The final reveal of this room make-over, including how-to details of the drapery and slipcover fabrication and installation will take place with a live webinar on August 23rd at 11:00 am EST.  Join Laurie, Susan and Sarah for a fun and informative presentation, including door prizes!  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Black and White and Graphic Prints all over...

We love the black and white fabric Sarah chose for the dining room window of our "Glam for the Fam" makeover.  Would you like to incorporate a graphic design into your life?  

Here are some ideas for how to use bold black and white prints in beautiful ways and a few more fabric options from Greenhouse Fabrics.

Greenhouse Fabrics #98176
Greenhouse Fabrics #98824
Greenhouse Fabrics #A1330
Black and white graphic prints also make cute shoes!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Let the Decorating Begin!


Testing the blue color on the ceiling.
Sarah loves it.  
 "Holy chic! This paint color is GORGEOUS!"

Sarah has chosen a simple Navajo White for the walls and gloss white for the base board, chair rail and crown molding.

Next, deciding on a window treatment style and fabrics for the window and chairs.  Keeping in thought the poolside cabana, white drapery with black accents, such as an inset banding following a geometric design was an option. 

Sarah shares her thoughts on the window treatment design...  

"I like classic black and white.  A solid color drapery was certainly an option, but when I saw the black and white geometric print from Greenhouse Fabrics, I knew it was the perfect choice for floor length drapery panels" 

What about the drapery design?  Sarah shares her concern for keeping a balance between the old and new. 

"Our home was built in 1942.  It is a Colonial Cape.  It features traditional moldings and hardwood floors.  I don't want this room to look like it landed from outer space, it has to look like it fits.  I chose to keep my traditional furnishings and mirrors.  I also opted to go with light walls and classic white woodwork"

Simple white slipcovers for the chairs will fit in perfectly with the Colonial style of the home but there will be a twist... chunky black zippers will be used in the center back and black vinyl seats will make the chairs easy to clean for this busy family.  Rowley Company's Laurie Medford has started creating a pattern.

In addition to the window and chair fabrics, Sarah has also chosen a solid red which will add a pop of color in a warmer hue as an accent color.

The fabrics were selected, the order placed and Greenhouse delivered in two days to the workroom here at Rowley Company.  We are excited to begin sewing!

Greenhouse Fabrics black & white print: #A1636 Black Jack, solid red: #98918 Crimson, solid white: #92865 Natural White and black vinyl: 74962 Black

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Makeover Ideas

Blue walls, patterned slipcovers and a bold black-and-white drapery design
More design ideas from Sarah Gleason for the dining room makeover.  This time Sarah shows a great affinity for blue!  Blue walls in the first sketch and blue ceilings in the next two.   

Side panels with a sheer relaxed shade, blue ceiling and a black fireplace mantle.
Slipcovers for the dining chairs, new modern art for the buffet and blue ceiling.

We love the blue ceiling, it reminds us of a quiet, breezy porch.  The perfect spot to relax on a long summer afternoon.

Sarah loves the idea of a pool of blue above...

On my trip last summer, we had cocktails by the pool of The Viceroy HotelI want my dining room to feel as elegant but my pool will be on the ceiling!  


Sarah has chosen a color for the ceiling.

Now on to wall and trim color, fabrics and furniture.  Here are a few more inspiration pictures of this refreshing color.

Check back for more updates as the dining room makeover continues....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Dining Room Makeover: The Process Begins

Rowley Company is partnering with up-and-coming interior designer Sarah Gleason, SFG Designs, Richmond, VA to completely make-over a dining room.  

We will record the transformation here, on our blog, from the initial brainstorming and sketches to the final installation of window treatments.  

You can be part of the process by sharing your ideas and comments along the way,  and then participate in our live webinar broadcast on August 23, 2011 at 11:00 am EST where Sarah will join Rowley Company's Laurie Medford and Susan Woodcock to share the details of the room transformation including upholstery and window treatment techniques.

A room. A budget. A thousand ideas.

Sarah shares her thoughts with us... 

"I have run over 1,000 possibilities in my head for how this room should look. I am really having a fit deciding on paint colors...I keep leaning towards a teal, but have also considered yellow, apple green, and light gray.  The family room is dark gray, and I will be repainting the hallway a neutral.  Here is a picture of the dining room for you to see"


"I have always had a yen for black, white, and apple green....I am thinking Palm Springs...Rat Pack modern.....maybe apple green walls, pavilion-tent look curtains...I like that black and white trellis fabric from Greenhouse as chair back, with black patent or vinyl on the chair seats"

Greenhouse Fabrics from the Iman II collection, A1636 Black Jack

"I stayed at this hotel last summer, Riveara Palm Springs.  FABULOUS place.  I love the strong graphics, bright colors, modern artwork and very hip light fixtures"  

Check back for more ideas, inspiration, sketches, paint colors, fabrics and window treatment designs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Angled Top, Pleated Panels

Large windows are a challenge but add a sharp angled top and it almost seems like an impossible task!  

We recently received this kind note and photos from one of our recent webinar attendees.  What a beautiful finished drapery on a very large and difficult window.  Thank you Ann for sharing your work with us and for attending our online seminars. You have inspired us! 
Dear Rowley,

Thank you all so much for the very informative webinar you ran last week. (Demystifying Arched Panel Styles) I was in the position of finishing off two such curtains – both over 4 metres/ 12 feet high!
Although I had already figured out the maths for these windows, it was good to gain an insight into the mechanics of other draperies! I had to rely purely on math for mine – my curtain panels were too huge to consider making a template, although I can see how much easier it would be if you have a pattern!
The curtain panels were over 4 metres long and 4 metres wide before pleating, so I had to come up with a whole new method for achieving the result. I used buckram sections for each pleat and relied on a protractor for the 137° angles.  I used 2” Velcro to attach to the back of the curtain heading, which worked really well.
I was very pleased with the result and am looking forward to the opportunity to working on any in the future! I thought you might like to see the photos I took of the work that was fitted yesterday. They were so big, I couldn’t get it all in a photo!
Thank you once again.
Kind Regards,