Countdown to Blogfest 2011: View from Veranda

I have long been romanced by the covers and photography from Veranda. To me, they are one of a few magazines that has stayed consistently true to who they are, always inspiring with their classical elegance and romantic appeal.

I don’t think they’ve ever printed a cover that I didn’t LOVE either, which leads me to think that perhaps I should do what the oh-so clever Ellen did, over at Noveau Stitch, and think about framing my Veranda covers; I would definitely do gilded frames though.... .something like this .....

Can you picture it? 

With my long-held love of the mag, I can't begin to put to words how psyched I am to visit their headquarters and to hear from Dara Caponigro, their current Editor-in-chief! I can only begin to imagine the wisdom she will share with us; she has so much to draw from with her prestigious background that brought her from House Beautiful, to Domino and now Veranda. seriously, hello.. I don't come across too many in my daily routine with such an impressive career track...

source: sohautestyle

In August last year, ShelterPop published a short interview Dara regarding changes she planned to make and what we could look forward to seeing. I was relieved to read then that she was planning on maintaining the same standard of beauty Veranda had always stood for and that it would continue to maintain "a very gracious approach and a sense of refinement" . Those are the exact things I have always loved about them so I was of course quite happy that she would not be taking the magazine in a totally different direction. And she's kept her word.

I believe we will also be hearing from many of their stylists and special-projects editors too, as Veranda takes us on a tour to provide more of the intimate behind-the-scenes details that lead them to the feature homes of past issues. It is sure to be enlightening to hear more of how this process works and hopefully, we'll also learn more about how designers today can put themselves out front and in a position for to be featured in future issues themselves. 

If you were in the audience with Veranda, what questions would you want to ask? Let me know and I'll try to share as many of the answers and details they enlighten us with in my follow-up posts on my return!

And to think, I have only touched upon a bit of our Day #1 schedule. I'll be posting more as my Countdown to Blogfest continues....

Are You a Band Leader?

Banding from companion fabrics and used as trim to draperies, adds definition and contrast and is used in many applications, from pillows, cornices, to valances. One of my favorite ways to use is on draperies. A simple drapery .....with banding - simple no more. Impact!

A simple gold drapery with an 8" band on lead edge and hem is suddenly amazing:

A simple box valance and drapes make much more of a statement with the banding detail added:

Otherwise plain white drapes make a strong statement with the navy band set in on lead edge:

See what I mean? Impact.

Take a look at this roman shade from Jane Churchill's line, Flower Fairies™ collection. Although the primary shade fabric, appropriately called Blossom Flower Fairies, is stunning, alone it just wouldn't have as much appeal as it does now trimmed with a yellow band and ric rac [yes, you heard that right, ric rac.. it's baaack]. I can't imagine this shade any other way. Sweet perfection [as is pretty much the end result of anything with the Jane Churchill signature]!

 Jane Churchill

The bands on these bedroom drapes really bring the bed to life to truly make it the vibrant centerpiece that it is. While the turquoise is certainly repeated on the ceiling, I even love the step stool. As small as it is, it really grabs my eye and draws more attention to the curtains.

Another designer I have long admired is Phoebe Howard. Breathtaking and timeless style, she was top of mind when I thought of finding banding used in high-style. I love her aesthetic so much because she never denies a space its full potential when it comes to fabric and custom window treatments. Gotta love her for that!
Now this room below is definitely leader of the band! How much do you love it? The solid red band defines the drape from the sheer and balances out the more bold print on the bed throw. Love it! 

This next room comes from a magazine clipping I saved from years ago and then scanned, which you can obviously tell from the slant to the picture.. not to worry, you aren't suffering from vertigo.. its simply bad scanning on my part. I absolutely love (LOVE) this space. This treatment adds a serious "wow" factor and the light fixture is so perfect too. I wonder which came first, the light fixture or the treatments? What do you think? 
Source Unknown

Another that I'm over the moon for is this:

Source: Unknown

Seriously, can you stand it? I think this room is perfection [note the amazing wall detail!!] and am only sorry to say that I do not remember what magazine I saved this page from either. This torn page is another that has been in my binder for quite some time. If you know the source, please alert me and I will gladly and willingly share. Bravo to this designer!!

So, tell me, are you ready to strike up the band? (Wink, wink.) If you have something simple that is feeling rather ho-hum, can you jazz it up with some banding? Take note, what's great about some of the trim styles I'm showing you is that they can be added to treatments you already have. They're a great way to give your room a whole new look.

I hope you're looking at trims and treatments in a whole new way with these posts. As promised, there is more to come! 

Countdown to Blogfest: Want to Come Along?

Well you all know that I'm excited about Blogfest, right? So, I decided that while I've been looking up additional information related to the activities planned for us, I should let you in on the excitement and share it all with you too.  On May 16th, I'll be heading to New York for this fabulous event....

Bustling through NY Crowds
It's not that far away, and our "tour" could not start off anywhere more appropriate.  We will all meet in New York for a kickoff Lunch at Cafe57 in the Hearst Tower, home to Hearst Magazines - including House Beautiful, Veranda, and Town & Country - all sponsors of Blogfest, along with Kravet.

Of course I needed to look up CafĂ© 57 and in doing so, found that it is simply the personal cafeteria of Hearst Tower. No biggie really, but what is cool is that they regularly feature monthly menu items that had been features of the various Hearst publications. Well that could be fun, since you know who.... none other than The Barefoot Contessa has been featured in all of the above!! We all know she can whip up more than your average deliciousness, and who knows, maybe they'll surprise us with a treat of the Contessa herself preparing our lunch....(I know, I know...don't get carried away!). 

Yes, I fear that food may be a central portion of our energy boost for the three days, considering they just announced the "The Official Ice Cream of Blogfest 2011." Thank heavens Tamara, over at Nest, has planned a walking meetup for the morning! Whew! Okey, dokey, enough about food... time to move on.

The Hearst Tower, in and of itself, is worthy of a visit on its own too.  The first building to be Gold LEED certified - core, shell and interiors - in New York City; well, to me, that is pretty impressive, so I'm looking forward to taking in its magnificence.  Not sure what the big fuss is with LEED? Take a look-see here to find out more.  Yeah, it's a pretty big deal and this "46-story big deal" I'm sure can't be captured in a photo, so the live visit is one I'm really looking forward to.

After our lunch, we'll head off to a panel discussion on "The Importance of Blogs to the Print Magazine Industry Today". With the major players of the design magazine houses I've mentioned above, and speakers that include Beth Greene, Newell Turner, Dara Caponigro and Mark Rozzo, this is sure to be an enlightening and captivating dialogue!

Can't wait!! And stay tuned, I'll be posting more details in the days ahead as I countdown to Blogfest 2011!

Decorative Trims: Bullion Fringe

To continue on our trip through trims, we're going to stay on the fringe path to take a look at bullion fringe. Bullion fringe is a fringe made of looped threads that are twisted together, varying in lengths that can range from 3" to as much as 12".

I love this quote from Barry Dixon that House Beautiful featured in its "101 Makeover Ideas from 101 Designers." The makeover tip? Dress up curtains, of course! Barry says, "If you want to accentuate the height of a room, apply braid, tape, or trim to the leading edge of the draperies." [Barry has long been my kind of designer!!]
Hand Model: Me.. ha, ha

Bullion is not to be confused with bouillon. Unless you're hungry and in the mood for soup. In that case, bouillon it is!

This kind of fringe is to be used tastefully and in measured doses. You know the saying that you can never get too much of a good thing? Well, in this case, throw that saying out the window (pardon the pun). In this custom chair by Barry Dixon, the fringe is just divine -- so elegant!

And in this next amazing space (space seems like an understatement), a stunning and lush ottoman takes center stage. Again, it's classy and elegant. Can you imagine if fringe was all over this room? Too much. And it would easily take away from the detail already there. Instead, the small dose in this one eye-catching piece adds such richness -- so chic!

In this amazing living roome below, however, the fringe is in full-dose and looking amazing! This room needed a window treatment with some "weight" and adding the bullion brought it! The owner of this home, William Thames, states, "You get a little bit better results when you let the professionals do what they know". A "little bit"? Just look at this room, it's exquisite. I think, "a LOT better results"!

Here in Jeffrey Bilhuber's own room, bullion fringe is used as a sofa trim, and again, it's the only use of this fringe in the space. It adds interest and balance to the walls, and brings a new dimension to the sofa while still maintaining the room's comfortable, casual feel.

As I mentioned in my first post about fringe, some clients cringe at the thought of fringe and respond with a gut reaction, "no, no, Sarah, I'm not a fringe person". Until, of course, I help them see it in a new way. It's not your Grandma's fringe anymore! Remember that fringe styles abound; here we're showing you a small sampling to get you thinking. I can literally get you drooling over some of the delicious options available as we explore the multitude of options that might suit your style or project.

So, tell me, has this whet your appetite? What do you really think of what you've seen so far? 
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Craftsmanship: custom artistry by hand

Craftsmanship: custom artistry by hand
At Storibook Designs we create custom designs by hand; here it is not just sewing, it is art!