Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The wonders of shirring tape

I absolutely love this warm buttery yellow color, a hue along the lines of daffodils or summer sunshine, fresh cut lemons, saffron. Here, it's coupled with a creamy fleur-de-lis kind of pattern, putting me in mind of broad south-facing windows overlooking the countryside, a little taste of French Provincial. My mother always talks about how important color is--you can invigorate a dull room, improve the quality of life lived there, the ethos of a space: how can anyone manage to be sad in a room so alive with color?

Color is a lifestyle choice, rather than an aesthetic.

These drapes are intended for a bedroom and, to lessen the formality of a floor-to-ceiling waterfall of fabric, we used shirring tape at the top to create an "unstructured pleat." The effect is really quite pleasant. We're going to be redecorating my room soon (in green!)--and I've requested pleats just like this.

This material, in particular, was brought back from France. It's soft and it lays beautifully, elegantly; you can tell the quality is extraordinarily fine.

Beneath the drapes, we've hung cream-colored sheers. We're going to hang these drapes soon and, hopefully, I'll come back with pictures of them in place with the sheers. Sheers tend to contribute extra privacy without entirely blocking the sunlight, so you can pull the drapes closed and sleep in, or leave them open and wake up with the dawn. They also communicate a certain romance to a space--you just want to open the window and let a soft breeze billow them to and fro.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sleeping in

Well, it's not always a 'homemade cappuccino' in the morning, especially if you sleep in past 9am. I don't personally make the cappuccinos; they come courtesy Mama LeMontree's beautiful expertise. After crawling out of bed at 10am today, I've had to make do with the easiest alternative: a light vanilla-flavored frappuccino coffee drink, though I often wonder how much coffee is really in one of these things...

"Light" mostly means you can taste the sucralose.

You can see by this photo, too, that the kitchen table is awash in paperwork. We try to keep it clear as much as possible, but there's so much to sort through and take care of-- print-outs of photos from past jobs, newspapers delivered each morning, magazines and coupons, mail, samples of fabrics, price books from different companies. Running a business out of your home, which is what we've been doing for 20+ years, takes a lot of patience and a lot of organization. 

Here's a scrap of silk--so incredibly soft!--in a lovely neutral taupe.
I mentioned yesterday that we were headed to Ashoka the Great. The weather has been in the high nineties all week--perfect blue skies and fierce bright sun, as you can see. The food was delicious--spicy, flavorful--but Mama LeMontree and I both agreed that we prefer the chicken tikka masala at Gill's Indian Restaurant, located in the Stillwell Hotel, downtown L.A. (richer, creamier sauce). However, Ashoka offers a wider selection of dishes (I recommend trying the lentils). Definitely stop by if you're in Cerritos.

On the business side of lunch, we talked about how important it is to find and develop a niche--whether you're working with a commercial or residential clientele. We discussed some new upcoming things--like utilizing smart fabrics in industrial buildings where they need materials to keep large computer units from overheating. But we also talked about promoting 'green fabrics,' or all natural organic materials. One thing is for sure, we need to work on developing a website. My goal today is to try scanning in some of the photos from our past jobs--if I'm successful, I'll post a few of here later. Sunday mornings are always a quiet affair in the LeMontree household, though. So, for now, I'm going to finish my frappuccino and read a little bit.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A new enterprise

Every morning we begin with a homemade cappuccino and a fresh plan. Today's plan involves starting up this blog, but mostly it involves lunch. 

Manesha, one of our beloved clients, called and lectured us about the difference between North Indian and South Indian cuisine. We told her we're headed to Cerritos to have lunch at Ashoka the Great (North Indian cuisine--featuring a fantastic lunch buffet for $8.95!) with Archna, a good friend. Archna manages John Hall Designs, whose main showroom and design studio is located in Oxnard, and we've worked together before. Part of what keeps us so busy is making sure that we stay connected, build close relationships: calling up past clients just to see how they're doing or to ask about a recipe or a book they mentioned, meeting for lunch, for pleasure, for business. Most of the people we work with we've known now for five, ten, fifteen years.  Later on this month, we've promised to go shopping for saris with Manesha.

Of course, before we do anything today we've got to wash the dog-- Joey, our 7-month-old miniature Australian Shepherd.

Well...I tried.