Thursday, August 11, 2011

French or Italian?

A Napoleon is a dessert that consists of three layers of puff pastry alternating with two layers of pastry cream. The filling may also be whipped cream and sometimes fresh fruit or jam is included. The top of a Napoleon is usually glazed with a white icing with chocolate stripes that are combed to create its distinctive appearance.

Some people believe that the dessert's name is derived from the French emperor, Napoleon.  Others claim that the name was incorrectly translated from 'Neopolitan' pertaining to Naples in Italy, where the pastry is thought to have originated.  In Italian the pastry is refered to as mille fogilie, meaning a thousand leaves.

This is a desert I made to share with friends when invited to a potluck dinner and asked to bring an Italian dessert.  There was discussion about the origin of this dessert but at the end of the day, we all agreed it was delicious in any language. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Let's Play "Dress UP"

Window dressings are a very important element in my design projects.

This simple treament frames the view beautifully!

Not every window in every room needs a fabric treatment but every window needs a "dressing" or it seems forgotten. I would really love to see something on this window just to finish it off.

This window style is difficult at best to treat.  Although an attempt was made, it fell a "little short".

I prefer to see the drapery rod hung over the entire window frame and the drapery hung all the way to the floor.  The drapery can be made to cover the entire window and opened to allow for sunshine and view during the day and closed in the evening for privacy. Using stationary side panels to add fabric and interest to the room is another option.

A window treatment should serve a purpose as well as add beauty.  This is a lovely bedroom and would be even more lovely with window treatments  that provide privacy at bedtime and beauty during the day.

Using sheers over a window diffuses light and provides a screen of privacy during the day. Side panels of another fabric adds interest and warmth to a space.  Notice these sheers are hung with grommets adding a very modern take to an otherwise traditional style.

Wood blinds can be the perfect solution for some windows.  My favorite application for wood blinds is  hanging them in the down position at all times and then tilted for daylight or privacy.  

I would love to see side panels hung at each of these corners and on the ends.  What a difference it would make!  

Hanging the drapery hardware to the ceiling and outside the window frame, makes this window look bigger and more dramatic.  The contrast band on the drapery looks smashing.  Pairing fabric with shutters or wood blinds is classic and timeless.

Sometimes, not every window can be treated the same in a room.  Using the same fabric on both windows unifies these windows. 

Commonly my clients tell me " they want to let all the light in" or "don't block my view".  I feel the same in my own home.  Please consider the view when the windows are not covered.  There are options that full fill  all the requirements and look perfect.

Plantation style shutters are a wonderful solution to many window dilemmas . Sunshine streams in and the outside view is not blocked during the day.  In the evening a simple pull on the tilt rod and they close for privacy.  They are hung to allow for ease of window cleaning.

This traditional shutter is still a favorite of mine.  It is the perfect "look" for this room decor.  It serves the same function as the more "updated" look of plantation shutters however it provides the charm that some rooms require.  For me, they are timeless.  

Not even I would put anything on these windows.