We thought it might be a good idea, as today is April 15th, to make a short entry regarding the dreaded subject of “Taxation”. Fortunately, for Customers of DrapeStyle and many other Internet Retailers, at least for the time-being, the news is good. As of today, DrapeStyle is only required to collect Sales Tax for online purchases which are being shipped to a California Address. This is because our DrapeStyle Business locations, or Nexus, are all based in California. So if you are lucky enough to be living outside of California, than No Sales Tax for you! For many of our Customers in states with high sales tax rates this can mean you are saving 6-10% on your order. No bad.
Unfortunately for all of us, the good news may not last for long. There are proposals being debated in Congress that, if ratified, would require that Internet Retailers begin collecting sales tax for sales transacted with residents in the States of Maryland and Hawaii. While these “State-Specific” Tax Changes may be the early adopters, the successful passage of such legislation would set the stage for a National Internet Sale Tax in the future.
When considering your next set of custom drapes, selecting the correct lining may be the most important choice you make. Designers have always had a little secret when designing custom drapes for their Clients; the lining and interlining.
“It may sound like just an insignificant part of the construction of a drape but the lining may be the most overlooked and critical part of the Designing Process”, said Christian Lee, Production Manager at DrapeStyle in California. “Most consumers who buy ready-made drapes just don’t really know what they’re missing, by adding the perfect lining we can give the Client much more value for their money when compared to imported or ready-made”, Lee Added.
So let’s explore the options and the benefits of each.
The lining is the backing fabric used in the construction of a custom drape. It is used to create more fullness and protect the fabric from the harmful effects of sunlight. “A good lining is 50% cotton and 50% polyester. The cotton makes it soft to the touch and the polyester allows it to stand up to years of UV rays,” Lee said. “Use a 100% poly lining and it’s too stiff, use 100% cotton and it will disintegrate after just a couple of years,” Lee added.
Between the lining and the drape fabric is the Interlining. The interlining is sandwiched between the two fabrics. “The interlining is really where all of your options are and can make a huge difference in the value and lifespan of the drape”, Lee said. “You have great options today and there are some important considerations regarding the insulating factor of the curtain, the sound barrier performance and overall look of the product” Lee said.
“Most people are unaware that, according to the US Department of Energy about 25-30% of their homes energy is lost through their windows,” Lee added. “Installing custom drapes with a heavy-weight (6oz) cotton flannel interlining can reduce the loss of heat by 25% in the winter and also reduce heat gain in the summer by up to 33%” Lee said. When choosing an interlining material you should use a 100% cotton flannel material which will provide great insulation plus an added sound barrier.
For those who live in a frigid climate, you may also want to consider using an English Bump Interlining which is about twice the thickness of flannel interlining. As the name implies, English Bump is a traditional material that was used in the cold damp winters of England to keep homes warm. “You really have to know what you’re doing with Bump”, said Lee, “It is very heavy and difficult to properly sew but the results are amazing, it’s like wrapping a blanket around your house”.
Another common interlining is “Blackout” or “Outblack” which blocks about 99% of the sunlight from penetrating through the drape. “Blackout has never been more popular with our Clients”, said Lee. “We have always used blackout for many high-end hotels and restaurants and now consumers are asking for it for their home media rooms, bedrooms, etc.” Lee added. Blackout protects the drapery fabric and may also protect the upholstery in the room by blocking the harmful UV rays that can destroy upholstery fabric.
“There are some great options available today and when using the right fabric, lining and interlining combination you can get far more value out of custom drapes than ever before”, Lee said. “If you really do the math, buying well-made custom-drapes from the right place will often cost you less in the long-run than buying a ready-made product.”
We all know that the best Designers can create amazing spaces from humble beginnings. But how do they do it? Well here are a few “Insider Secrets” on how to flatter your windows that you won’t find anywhere else.
Dressing your windows is as important to completing your perfect space as anything else you do. Many leading Designers actually think it is the Most Important feature of a room that should not be over-looked.
If you are dressing a window in a space with a lower ceiling it is important to create the illusion of more height. It’s very similar to fashion, if you’re a short framed person you probably don’t want to be wearing Capri pants. So with low ceilings it’s best to hang your hardware close to the ceiling and let the drapes puddle onto the floor. The longer drape and more fabric will give the illusion of a taller ceiling.
Conversely, if your home has higher ceilings and taller windows you can easily get a more tailored look by having the drape fabric just touch the floor or even hover an inch above it. This is a great “mid-century” look that is becoming very popular in many of the boutique hotels. Like a “slim-fit” suit, this tailored look is very fashionable and flattering, but you’ve got to have the “tall, long-lines” to get away with it said Amy Pearce a Design Consultant at DrapeStyle in California.
Speaking of the “Boutique Hotel” look, you may want to also consider adding Blackout Lining as well. Blackout blocks about 99% of the light from penetrating the room which is perfect for a bedroom or den where you may want added privacy. Blackout is also popular in media rooms, “You can close the drapes in the middle of the day and create a perfect atmosphere for watching a movie” Pearce said.
Another great practice with taller windows is to get wider panels and “stack” them off to each side. “When you stack the drapes on narrow windows you can really give the illusion of a grander more dramatic space”, Pearce said, “the added fabric also absorbs more of the ambient noise and makes the room much more intimate and comfortable”, Pearce added.
The final consideration you should make is that of the insulating factor or “R-Value” that drapery can have. “Most People don’t realize that adding drapery that is well lined and interlined can reduce the energy loss through windows and walls by as much as 40%”, Pearce said. Well made drapes can actually pay for themselves over time.
Every once in a while it occurs to me that some people may not know that DrapeStyle services Commercial and Hospitality. Unfortunately for us it usually comes in the form of a question from a Customer asking “Do you have a Commercial and Hospitality Program”? Yikes, not good that a Customer would have to ask. So just a quick entry about DrapeStyle Commercial and Hospitality. Turns out that, our roots are actually in Commercial Design, not Residential Design. Yep, that’s how we started it all. Our Founders came from the Commercial space, University trained in Interior Architecture (BA) and worked for some of the leading Architecture Firms in the US. It was that training and experience working with Companies like Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte & Touche and Sempra Energy that lead to DrapeStyle. So, at DrapeStyle, we are ready to talk Commercial and Hospitality when you are. We’ve completed projects from Switzerland (yes, Switzerland) to New York, Boston and all over California. Our portfolio includes corporate headquarters, restaurants, hotels and condos. Here is a taste of one of our most recent projects in San Francisco. Take a look and please keep us in mind, we’d love to talk to you about your project.
Welcome to the DrapeStyle Blog. Why a Blog? Good question and I hope an equally good answer, “Information & Education”. We’ll strive to give you some good ideas and the best honest advice possible, and hopefully we’ll have some fun with it too.
So here we go…the inceptual Blog entry.
Saving Energy with DrapeStyle:
At DrapeStyle we consider ourselves “Green”. We love the planet, we love the environment and we love labrador puppies. We’d like to see them all flourish for generations to come. Now, what we would really love is to be “Green” and maybe save a couple of dollars in the process, that would be worth a bushel full of labrador puppies.
So, the money thing. Can you believe that according to the US Department of Energy, 25% of your energy expense leaks out of your windows. 25%. That’s more than I thought too. So if my average utility bill runs $250/Month or $3000/year of which $750 is wasted through your windows.
DrapeStyle to the rescue! You knew this was coming right? Well, we have the data, so let’s share it with you. The University of Texas at Austin, (we Love those Longhorns), did an energy study. They called it “The Drape Defense”. See why we love those Longhorns! In this study they found, and published, that a well insulated drape can reduce the heat loss of a single glazed window by up to 56%.
The savings are even better in the summer months and hot climates!. According to a study conducted by The University of Florida (Sorry Longhorns), well-made drapes can reduce the amount of heat-gains in your home by up to 33%!
I’m sure you knew this instinctively, but now when the Hubs comes home and you’ve got your new DrapeStyle covering your windows you can just tell him that your saving energy by the gobs!
Here are the references so you don’t think we’re making this stuff up.