Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I love how corsets look on the body. They tighten the waist, accentuate the bust and give a nice curve to the top of the hips. They are flirtatious, playful and elegant and being a Fashionista at heart, I thought I'd share with you a little corset history!

Though commonly associated with the Victorian upper class, corsets originated in the 16th century and, by the 19th, had become a hallmark of fashion for nearly all females. Practically essential for women of aristocratic birth, corsets were also adopted by working middle class women aspiring toward similar ideals of fashion.

So, what happened to the corset? In 1960, DuPont introduced Lycra to the manufacturing process, making whalebone or metal-framed corsets obsolete, and transforming the corset proper into the girdle. Then in the 70s bra-burning feminists brought cries for less restrictive, more natural feminine fashions. But the corset never completely vanished, no it's still here and it's still absolutely the hallmark of fashion!

What has all this got to do with window treatments you might ask! Well, if you like what a corset does for the feminine body, you might like what it can do for your window fashions!

Rev up your windows with the same flirtatious, playful and elegant look that corsets give the feminine figure! And guess what Marie Antoinette I have discovered fabulous drapery tiebacks reminiscent of feminine corsets. Check out these, one laces up the front through grommets, the other features button and ribbon closures at the center and yet another in leather, left untied teasingly at the top for that, well, sexy look. Perfect for a dramatic dining room or luxurious bedroom, these corset tiebacks can add a little bit of "Glam" to your room!

My friend Liz Ware created these "corset tieback" patterns for her company "Details Pattern Company". Her original couture pattern designs are inspired by runway fashion and Hollywood glamour, and her patterns capture those same beautiful dressmaking details for the window fashions industry.

And if you think you'd like to see your window dressed in one of Liz's designs give me a call. We can select just the right fabric appropriate for your style and give your window a flirtatious, glamorous look. Call 925.862.9064 or email Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com for an appointment.

Does fashion matter, of corset it matters!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

'DESIGNING EYE" Window Dressing Secrets

THE BEST WINDOWS are well-dressed. If you've seen one, you know instantly that it didn't just happen by chance. No, it took time and some planning to pull it all together.

Think of dressing your windows as you would dress yourself for a special occasion.

Take time to look at home decorating magazines to see what the latest fashion is. Plan a shopping trip to several stores that offer ready-made draperies to see if they will accommodate your particular window size.

Call in the help of a designer or decorator to brainstorm some ideas for your windows that you might not have thought of. All this preparation and research will result in a great window treatment, special occasion or not.

For fabulously well-dressed windows that are just irresistible, here are five window dressing secrets:

Don't be afraid of color. Many people play it safe and select neutral window treatments. Mixing two colors in window treatments is a simple way to inject energy and excitement into a room. Select tones from opposite sides of the color wheel — pair golden linen shades with deep wine cotton velvet panels — to brighten and add punch to your windows.

Vary textures when mixing neutrals. If bright colors don't appeal to you, mixing subtle colors in wonderful textures can instantly bring elegance and ease to your rooms.

For example, combining rich silk in an earthy bronze with delicate, sheer georgette in a creamy color results in a beautiful effect that goes with any décor.

Woven reeds, grasses and bamboos used in roman shades perfectly complement any textured neutral panels.

Use a corner to your advantage. In homes with wall space between two corner windows, use panels or draperies with one side stacking to the left, the other to the right. Panels meet in the corner for the dramatic look of one continuous window.

In contemporary homes where windows meet without wall space in between, designer screen shades are a wonderful solution. When closed, the windows appear as bold bands of color; when open, shades virtually disappear for an unobstructed view.

Give small windows big impact. Don't be stumped by small or unattractive windows. One terrific way to make small windows appear larger and dramatic is by using light-colored panels that start well above the window and puddle onto the floor.

To enhance the width of a narrow window, use panels significantly wider than the window and hold them open with tiebacks — the effect draws the eye outward. Build on the visual impact with details such as ring tops, prominent wood poles, finials and brackets or grommets.

Design in stages. If your dream windows are a little out of reach right now budget-wise, don't fret. Designing windows is an evolving process that doesn't have to be finished all at once.

When you move into a home, privacy and light control are most important, so focus on installing functional blinds and shades that will be the foundation for your window treatment masterpieces later. Then, when time and budget allow, layer luxurious panels and draperies or add architectural details like cornices and sconces.

Reach Toni Berry at Marie Antoinette Interiors, 925-862-9064 or Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com. For more design advice, go to www.marieantoinetteinteriors.blogspot.com.