wave tucks

wave tucks

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Details and Embellishments

Well, it has been a crazy long time since I have posted an update to my blog!  I have been super busy with client work and haven't had a spare minute to post anything.  Working night and day and weekends will take its toll, that is for sure!  My husband and I actually took some time off recently and went to Wimberley, Texas and stayed at our favorite place:  Abundance Retreat.  I will post more about our relaxing week at the bottom of the post (along with information about Abundance, in case you want to visit there also).

I have had some wonderful and gorgeous projects going on and will share a few of the specialty details with you here.

While we were in Wimberley, I installed some gorgeous pink silk drapery panels in a sorority house in San Marcos (my old stomping grounds).  I am awaiting the professional photos that were taken at the installation, but here are a couple of teaser photos of the embellishment detail of the panels.  Love them!!


The leading edge of the two pair of silk panels was accented with three rows of tucks, which were then alternately sewn horizontally from left to right, and the next row was sewn from right to left, creating the "wave" pattern.  Swarovski pearls were hand sewn onto alternate tucks for a specialty detail.  The pearl is an emblem of the sorority, so this was a perfect touch for these panels.

I recently ordered and received custom embroidered labels with the SK Designs name and website included, along with a little pair of embroidered scissors.  I love them!  I have begun to include them in drapery panels, dust ruffles and other items.

Below is a rendering of what the completed project will look like.  I have one more item to include for the project is fully completed, so you will have to wait a little while for the photos.

Another recent project was a pair of stationary spring green silk drapery panels with a rouched heading.  It was the perfect complement to this expansive window area in a family room.  I love the softness of the rouched heading.

The project below features some gorgeous teal, taupe and green accents in this beautiful home.  The breakfast area had wood blinds already in place and the client wanted some color and softness.  The radiating feather design was carefully placed in the center of these stationary roman shades.

This peacock style fabric was perfect for the room and the existing furnishings, and the trim was a wonderful softening complement.

The adjacent family room had great furnishings already, and lovely art and accent pieces.  The arched center window had plenty of space on each side, allowing for drapery panels with contrast cuffs to take advantage of the room's height, and add softness to the large area.  

Last, but not least, of some of our recent projects:  a master retreat with 15 foot ceilings!  The gorgeous antique master bed now features a new comforter which was quilted-on-design to add interest and loft, with a contrast cording at the edges.  A gathered green silk bedskirt, lined and interlined, as softness and looks lovely against the wood frame.

Photography by Brandy Stoesz Photography
A mixture of pillows enhances the bed:  three embroidered leaf pattern Euro shams with contrast cording at the head of the bed, two large silk velvet cheetah embossed boxed pillows with contrast flat flanges and pleated corners, and a segmented rectangular pillow with contrast cording and Chinese knots add to the lushness of the bedding.  A segmented reversible scaldino with tassel trim edges adorns the foot of the bed.

Photo by Brandy Stoesz Photography
Photo by Brandy Stoesz Photography

Photo by Brandy Stoesz Photography
The high ceilings, ornate chandelier, and beautiful crown molding required a stunning window treatment that would take advantage of the 15 foot ceilings.   We added pleated sheers for privacy and light control, stationary French blackout lined silk panels, a stationary green silk roman shade with tassel trim to match the scaldino trim, all of which is accented with a decorative metal rod, rings and finials with a scrolling decorative centerpiece.

These are just a few of our recent projects...don't you agree that it was time for a little vacation?

My husband and I took our two shelties with us to Abundance Retreat, located in Wimberley, Texas. We love this area because it is not too far from Houston, and it has plenty of things to do nearby, and we can take our dogs with us!  Visit Abundance Retreat here.

Abundance has two lodging options:  Sundance or Moondance.  We love the light filled den in Sundance, along with the huge back deck and porch area, the window-filled shower, the deer, birds and other wildlife that comes right up to the deck, and its proximity to San Marcos, where I went to college.  

We did not do much of anything while we were there, but that was our goal!  Our dogs loved it too, and found it very relaxing (except when they saw deer, and then they were a little rowdy).  Here is a picture of Sadie relaxing while we were at Sundance.  

 And here is Izzy relaxing amongst the pillows.

I hope you have had a great summer!  I am looking forward to the fall weather and to working on more lovely projects for my clients!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Not Your Everyday Project - Pinterest Inspiration

I spend a little (too much) time on Pinterest; do you?  I found this fun project that I thought a couple of my clients might be interested in for their kids - a Fort Kit!

Each kit includes some sheets, suction cups, clothespins, plastic clips, clothesline and flashlight.  The suction cups, clothespins and plastic clips can be used to attach sheets to each other, or to other things like windows or furniture to create an extra big fort in the location of choice. The clothesline can be used to drape the sheets over in order to add height or a pitch to the tent.

I think this is a great gift idea or even a fundraising auction event donation.

One client has two adorable sons who are as creative and smart as their parents.  Their kit was combined in a camouflage fabric tote bag.

Another client has a little girl who loves manicures and pedicures, so he requested the fort kit be modified somewhat to appeal to her love of spa treatments.  Done!  I had some fabric remnants left over from her bedroom window treatment project last year, so I used that fabric to make her tote bag.

I added some bright nail polish and some color coordinated nail files to her kit, and tied the tote bag with a pink ribbon.  Adorable!

I can't wait to hear how she likes her spa kit!

Hope you enjoyed this project, which is a little different than my usual window treatment or bedding projects!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

20 Year Anniversary - A few of our favorite things!

Spring is definitely in the air this week in Houston, Texas!  As SK Designs celebrates 20 years in business, we would like to share a few of our favorite things with you. Today's post includes 7 of our favorite things!

1)  Fantastic products and vendors with lots of wonderful options to present to my clients to enhance their windows and homes.  These are a few things presented at a recent client meeting: hardware samples in a variety of finishes, along with velvets and silks and nailheads...yummmm!

2)  Having a home based business.  This allows me to work as late or as early as I want or need to, without having to worry about traffic or a long commute.

Also, it allows me to have exciting little moments like this one, where I saw a little bunny in the back yard on the way to my office.

3) Having a business that requires lots of tools to make my job easier and with a better end result.  Also, these tools can be used for other fun things, like making this cow for my backyard.  My dad had made me two of these cows a long time ago, but time and weather had worn them out.  Luckily, dad gave me the template for one of them and I kept myself occupied making this one when my husband was out of town one weekend.

It is fun to watch kids ride their bikes past the house and then back up to point at the cow.

4) Even though I often work during the weekends or start very early in the morning, I love having the flexibility to do things like have lunch with my friend Suzie on a perfect spring afternoon so that we can celebrate our birthdays together.  Suzie gave me these gorgeous tulips which come in a clear glass vase and are almost ready to bloom.  It has been so much fun watching them grow and blossom this wee!  She got them at Kroger and they are made by BlooMaker.  I love them!

5)  Working with lots of gorgeous fabrics and trims!  Below are several fabrics and trims getting ready to be made into a lot of beautiful pillows for a lovely new construction home in Oak Forest.

6)  Participating in neighborhood events.  Last week our area mom's group hosted an outdoor movie night and SK Designs, as a Platinum Sponsor, provided the "box cars" for the kids, complete with license plates, snack trays, steering wheel and front grille.  The kids had fun watching the movie in their cars!

7)  Working on creative projects, such as this one for a sorority house in San Marcos.  I will be creating the sorority crest on the center of the roman shade, using fusible applique techniques and with hand beaded pearl accents.  The leading edges on the drapery panels will have tuck details and pearl accents as well. I can't wait to work on that project (plus a trip to San Marcos to install will be fun too!)

Hope you enjoyed today's post! More of our Favorite Things will be posted soon!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 = the 20th Anniversary of SK Designs!

It is hard to believe that SK Designs started 20 years ago!  We are celebrating with a new website - visit the new site at www.skdesignscustom.com .  Hope you like it!

Lots of things have changed since I started working in our living and dining rooms in 1995, sewing on a single home machine.  As our business grew, we began to overtake our home, and needed more space and more heavy duty equipment.

Eventually, we built out part of our guest house, transforming it into the SK Designs studio. Finally, the machines were out of the house, we had room for more machines, a padded pinnable large worktable, a suspended commercial iron, and room for lots of pegboard walls in order to display completed window treatment projects as well as fabric sample books.

Want to take a look at an efficient professional drapery fabricator's studio?  

Below is the entryway to SK Designs.  Client thank you notes are posted on the striped bulletin board straight ahead, and vendor files and client files are in the cabinets on the right.

Bins with client samples, trims, patterns, etc. are also located in the entryway, along with display photos of some past projects.

As with any business, it is important to have the correct tools for the job!  By investing in commercial sewing machines, a more efficient work space, seminars and trade shows, I could complete projects more professionally and more easily.  Here are a couple of our commercial machines:

It makes a world of difference having all of the things needed to design, draft, fabricate and display custom window treatments and bedding.  The walls of pegboard allows me to display fabric sample books as well as completed treatments ready for delivery.

As you can see above, I can also use the pegboard walls to drape chain weight when drafting overlapping swags.  This helps me check if the proportions and overlaps are the size that I want them to be.  You can also see the suspended Dofix iron floating above the table.  I love my Dofix iron!  It allows me easy access to the iron, while keeping the worktable clear for cutting, drafting and laying out fabrics for treatments in progress.  There is no dangling electrical cord getting in the way that has to be moved out of the way frequently.

Below is a photo of the tool storage and prep area.  Pins, screws, fabric staplers, chalk marking tools, magnetic pin bowls, zippers and zipper pulls, roman shade cord orbs....lots and lots of little pieces are stored in this area.

Of course, there has to be room for inspiration!  Here are just a few of the window treatment and design books that I have collected over the years.

I hope you have enjoyed the mini tour of our studio!

Thank you for your interest, support and business throughout our 20 years!

Susan Kostelecky