Friday, September 30, 2011

American Colonial Period Interior Decorating

Our latest lens was just published on Squidoo:

American Colonial Period Interior Decorating

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Greetings fellow decorating time travelers!

September 29, 2011:
Is "Somewhere in Time" one of your favorite films? Do you find yourself paying more attention to the settings of period shows than to the story? Do you get excited if you are digging a flower bed and find an old bent hand-forged iron nail? Then, my dear reader, perhaps you were also born too late.  In my case, I figure I arrived on the scene about 150 years too late, give or take a decade or two. 

This blog will reflect that by focusing mostly on the past in the present. Allow me to provide some context by way of a background summary:

Personally, my wife and I are restoring a Queen Anne Victorian, which has been our dream for more years than I care to admit. Professionally, I specialize in helping others create livable yet historically sensitive rooms that are appropriate to both the style and period of the home as well as the owners’ lifestyles.

Although we currently live in an 1880 house, we work with a range of styles from the 1700s through the 1950s, including American Colonial, Neoclassical, Federal, Victorian, Gothic Revival, Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Retro and their sub-styles.

In addition to historic home decorating and consulting, we sell related items on our websites and other on-line sites. We pride ourselves on our outstanding customer service, our stellar reputation as interior decorators and as top-rated e-merchants, we live in a historic home still undergoing major restoration. As many owners of old houses (affectionately aka ''money pits'') discover, the painstaking work of historically sensitive renovation and restoration is made even slower by the search for and high costs of quality materials.

We have been able to find many resources for original and reproduction building materials, hardware, and fixtures - but there was no one offering top-notch affordable period reproduction wallpapers as well as a range of historically-appropriate damasks, brocades, embroideries, toiles, tapestries, velvets, silks, chintzes, and trims for upholstery, portieres, bedding, draperies, lampshades, and the like. And the cost of what we did find was often prohibitive.

Fortunately, we had access to decorator showrooms but it was time consuming and, even at wholesale prices, budget-breaking to find appropriate choices for our clients' homes (ranging from 1700s saltboxes to 1950-60s tract houses) as well as for our own.

Looking for an alternative, we began building an international network of the finest designers, fabric mills, suppliers and trade showrooms. We collected thousands of first quality over-runs, sale fabrics and trims, bolt ends, decorator remnants, discontinued yardage, and new vintage goods so we could create the perfect exquisitely appointed, detailed interiors that old homes (and their owner-caretakers) demand and deserve.

Through word of mouth and internet, the demand for our services (and our fabric collection) grew. We decided to try listing some of our finds on-line and, thanks to like-minded spirits and fellow fabric addicts and old-house lovers, Restoration Fabrics & Trims and Old House Interiors are now world-wide resources with multiple sales outlets.