Sunday, March 16, 2008

Curtains for the Study

So Mom & Dad very kindly took us to this very la-di-da fabric store in Houston called "High Fashions" that has four floors of fabric. We spent an hour there and only worked our way through 1 floor.

We were looking for a difficult triumvirate of fabrics--a very sheer sheer, an opaque or semi-opaque with a pattern, and a velvet/velveteen/chenille or similar.

Mom & Matt & I walk up and down, parsing shades of brown ("No, I don't like the green undertones in that one!") scribbling notes, and procuring samples. Matt was really quite angelically patient, helping label and keep all the fabric samples (28 of them.)

Once we got them home, I sorted through them in the study to see which were contenders and which not. Because the top fabric is necessarily gauzy, the main patterned fabric needs to be silk or faux silk, I've realized. Cottons just look strange paired with the gauzes.

The finalists are below, taped to the windows in the study--the patterns are a bit hard to see in these pix, I'm afraid.
Fabric samples in vivo

Among the solids, the two stripes--much as I like them--are too cottony--I don't think they really go with the sheers. That leaves a brown fake silk with swirls embroidered on it in two lighter browns ("Chateau Chocolate"), and a sort of slatey blue with embroidered gold floral thingies ("Belvedere Federal Blue"). I'm leaning towards the latter--I like that blue with our funky tan paint, and I'm afriad the brown could seem really dark and heavy with all our brown stained bookshelves


Here is the blue close up. You can sort of kind of see the color.

Belvedere Federal Blue with matching sheer

Matt is amenable to the blue, so that just leaves the sheer and the velvetish thing for the side panels. And there's our sticking point. The blue fabric actually has a matching sheer that uses the same embroidered pattern of leaves and flowery things on a gauzy background ("Amber Taupe/Toast").

***irresponsible digression***I find the forward-slash naming convention in textiles annoyingly reminiscent of deconstructionist academic paper titles, so popular about 10 years ago--fer crying out loud, it's just a color, not an existentialist pronouncement. We can just pick a name and not worry too much about differance and liminality and the Death of the Self. Not that I ever did worry too much about the Death of the Self, in all honesty.***end of digression***

Now, I feel (not strongly, but persistently) that this embroidered pattern is a little formal for our house--some embroidery is fine, but lots looks like we're trying to be hoity-toity. And we can't really carry that off. SO, my argument goes, we need something a little cleaner, more casual, and even more modern for the sheer. Like the super-stylish and nifty sheer below, with a pattern of overlapping circles ("Legacy Mahogany")--on left.

Belvedere Federal Blue with two possible sheers--Legacy Mahogany on left and Amber Taupe/Toast on the right

Matt doesn't like the overlapping circles--I think he thinks they're too trendy. To this, I say "Pshaw!" I do need a second opinion, though--the two fabrics match in color, but do they harmonize in style, or am I just imagining things? I can't tell. Matt has a firm opinion on this point, but interior design isn't something he spends a lot of time thinking about, you know? I feel the need for a more considered/girl-based opinion. And then there is the issue of price, as well.

Belvedere Federal Blue is (of course) one of the most expensive fabrics we considered: 27.96/yd
The matching sheer is (oddly) only 8.95 (prompting me to wonder whether they really are a match, or are just 2 very similar patterns from 2 different companies)
The cool modern circles (Legacy Mahogany) are 14.95/yd. So this enterprise is not going to be cheap.

And the final component is the velvet side panels, but those will be brown whichever other fabrics we choose, and solid brown velvety fabrics are easy enough to find, so I'm not too concerned. Given the price of everything else, I'd best go looking for the "velvet" at places like Walmart and Hobby Lobby. High Fashions had various velvety things for about 12.95--but I think I could do better elsewhere.

My very rough estimate is that we'll need about 4 yards of the blue, 3 yards of the velvet, and maybe 1 1/2 yards of the sheer? Maybe?
4 x 27.95 = 111.8
1.5 x 8.95 = 13.43 OR 1.5 x 14.95 = 22.43
3 x 12.95 = 38.85

So not taking into account thread, lining, interfacing, rods, and other curtainy doo-dads, the total comes to $164.08 - $173.08. Which I suppose for treatments for 4 windows really isn't all that bad.

So what do you think? Circles? Or embroidered flowers?

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