Friday, 22 June 2018 09:10

How the right window dressing can make or break a room

    The right window dressing can make or break a room, as David Harris, MD at luxury fabric specialist Kobe UK, explains.

    Once the top summertime destination for holidaymakers in Istanbul, Studio Noor was taken on to refresh the ‘grand dame’ without losing the flair and atmosphere that hotel guests have come to know and love.

    The design brief included updating the public spaces and advising on the design of a selection of guestrooms of the famous hotel without denaturing it, to bring it back to a year-round hotel destination.

    To achieve an authentic yet impactful restoration, Studio Noor undertook an extensive research project studying the old building and examining photographs and references from the hotel’s archives. Interviews were held with senior members of the family that have owned the hotel since 1908 to collect their memories on how things were in the hotel’s glory years. Reference projects of the same era around the region were reviewed, with studies of other hotels in Istanbul, Cote d’Azur and the Italian Riviera.

    The final design scheme was inspired by the hotel’s significant historical location and ancient references from the archive, Visconti movie sets and Agatha Christie novels. These references were blended with contemporary accents to make the hotel more relevant for guests today.

    Studio Noor introduced a distinctive design thread to run throughout the Splendid Palace Hotel, choosing a bold Basque red to accentuate several key design features throughout the building. The colourway was initially used on the French shutters on the facade of the hotel, an internal staircase and the inside of the public telephone booth in the lobby. A new custom-designed round ottoCurtains can make or break a room, so selecting the right style is essential. Whether an eyelet floats your boat, or a pencil pleat is more your thing, there are so many other aspects to consider – so where do you begin?

    Start by assessing your room. Is it a lovely light space or a darker area that could do with a little brightening up? This will help determine the type of fabric to choose – common sense maybe, but so many people make the mistake of selecting the wrong fabric and then later regret it.

    Curtains are a real investment piece, so be sure to choose a fabric that will stand the test of time and won’t prove boring after a few months. Consider what kind of lining the curtain fabric will require too – for example, the bedroom – particularly for younger ones – would benefit from a blackout lining to reduce the amount of light coming through when they’re closed. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more whimsical, a voile or sheer fabric will add an extra layer to the curtain, providing privacy when it’s required but still allowing light through. This type of fabric works well in the commercial sector – particularly hotels. While lending a practical hand, sheer and voile fabrics can look incredibly chic and there’s more choice than ever before. We offer a selection of subtle finishes including metallics and pearlescents which add another dimension to the fabric.

    Pattern, whether it’s a damask, geometric or a floral, can transform an interior space. Be sure to work out what will work best with the existing furniture. For example, if the sofa features an ornate design, maybe steer towards something simple. Alternatively, if you have an unassuming sofa, try dressing it with paired curtains and soft furnishings in a pretty design. Summer is the optimum season for updating an interior, and curtains and soft furnishings can effect an instant transformation. Florals are particularly popular at this time of year and will brighten up a room once the seasons move towards the autumn.

    Properties with larger windows – particularly period and commercial – command a more domineering curtain to dress a space. Room-high ranges are developed especially for these super-sized windows.

    In terms of following trends, I’m a great believer in furnishing a property to one’s individual taste. Keeping relevant is great, but when someone is investing in expensive pieces such as sofas and curtains for a home it’s not something that anyone wants to continually update – do this with accessories instead. Choosing a timeless fabric that will last also pays dividends. Classic styles never go out of fashion and prints such as damask and florals always look the business.

    Or conversely, a beautiful textured curtain in a statement shade will add the wow factor to a room. Velvets can create a real focal point with colours ranging from subtle creams and taupes to flamboyant jewelled tones, which are still trending in 2018.

    For those looking for a more understated elegance, linen curtains can look absolutely beautiful. I love the idea of layering linen with a sheer of voile, it can pull together a room helping it look ‘finished’. Linens work well in a more naturally designed room, so one which features more wood or stone. Alternatively, a linen curtain will contrast beautifully with a polished interior design – particularly marble.

    When selecting fabric for curtains it’s important to identify key pieces of furniture that the curtains will pair or contrast with. There’s no point mixing a geometric curtain with a floral sofa, unless you want to, of course.

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