Rosemary Beach, FloridaDrape98 had the honor and priviledge of working with Erika Powell of Urban Grace Interiors on the 2012 Coastal Living Show House in Rosemary Beach, Florida.  The home was designed by Lew Oliver with Whole Town Solutions and built by Stan Benecki of Benecki Homes and is set among one of the most popular beach spots in the world.  With most of the drapery fabric donated by Sunbrella, Drape98 fabricated and provided almost all of the custom window treatments in this  truly stunning home.  For us, completing a Show House is always a rewarding task that allows us the opportunity to work with many talented professionals and learn about new design trends.   Erika has been heralded as one of the top young designers in the southeast and she graciously took the time to answer some questions about her design vision for the house.   Here’s what she shared:

1) The house chosen is in Rosemary Beach.  What’s  your connection to the development?  What is special about Rosemary to you- as a designer- and personally if different?
I love Rosemary Beach because it has a very different feel for a Gulf front community. It isn’t too literal as many beach communities are. When something becomes too literal, it tends to become cliche.

2) What sort of “feel” does the floor plan have?
The floorplan is open and designed to incorporate the outdoor living space. The L-shaped plan maximizes the exposure each room has to the courtyard.

Pool Area

3) Did anything about the house “pop” to you?  Was there anything specific that drew you in?  Anything in particular that you are excited about?
This house is meant for fun. It has an amazing game room, media room, a great gathering space, and beautiful kitchen with a scullery that is perfect for entertaining. Everything about this house seems to feel like it’s alive and ready to be lived in and enjoyed.

4) When you first saw plans, what was your initial vision for the space? Is there anything particularly challenging?
Casual sophistication. There wasn’t anything that was too challenging–it’s a well designed house.

5) Has that altered at all as you move forward?  If so, what has changed or evolved?
This house was a little different than any I have done before. It is a little more of a glamorous/modern feel than most of the interiors I do, which was really fun. It’s so nice to be able to stretch your arms out a little, design-wise and this project gave me the freedom to do so.

Entry Hall Way - Custom Bent Hardware6) What can visitors expect when they first enter the home?  –
The home’s foyer is one of my favorite rooms. It is unexpectedly dramatic for a house at the beach while still being simple and airy. The high cove ceiling, fantastic draperies, and immediate view of the pool and outdoor living space draws guests in. I wanted to create a sense of curiosity to bring the guest into the home.

Pool Area

Great for a party

7) What room/ rooms do you think will most appeal to visitors- please elaborate on what they might expect.
I think the large outdoor living spaces will appeal to most. It has several seating areas, punctuated with dramatic draperies, not to mention a very large and inviting poo

8) What is the general vision for the home?  Was there something specific that inspired you about the home?

The home itself is designed in the colonial vernacular style which is very fitting for Rosemary Beach. To contrast, the interior takes modern, more sleek elements and pairs them with classic furnishings. Because this is the beach, nothing is too serious. Many of the fabrics were chosen to bring out the playfulness that is inherent in a beach house  but still keeping the elegant bones that the house calls for.

9) In keeping w/ above question, – were you also inspired by something you have recently seen?  A trend?  Something in nature that lent to your design vision?
Living on the Emerald Coast has always been inspirational in my designs. Nature is a huge influence in all of our lives. From color palette to textures, our environment always reflects my aesthetic.

10) Is there an overall palette/ color choices or textile preferences for the home?  In keeping with this, is any room “popping” more than another?  If so, why?

Honestly the two spaces that I love the most are the boys’ and girls’ bunks. Nothing was more fun than going to stay at the beach as a child, and I couldn’t imagine anything better than staying in a girls only bunk room. I really wanted these rooms to stand out from the rest of the house. They are very special.

Full Treatments in Master Bedroom11) What role will Drapery play in your overall design feel?
This home has so many “hard” elements–from the Peacock Pavers on the floor to the wood paneling throughout the house. Draperies are crucial to making the space feel cozy. The last thing that anyone wants to experience at the beach is the feeling of being in a cold, industrial space. Draperies soften a room and provide that airy feeling that one expects from a beach retreat.

12) How important is Drapery to you as a designer?  Please expand if you can.
Drapery is so, so important to a room. It is the finishing touch so to speak. I mean, what is a wedding dress without a veil? Every room needs softness, layers, and dimension. Drapery is the only way to acheive this feeling.

13) As a talented designer, what trends do you see in window treatments?  Do you see anything changing? Old designs going out and new coming in?
Interestingly enough, I see a lot more details going into drapery now than a few years ago. The “keep it simple” style has been traded in for the trims, valences, and unique pleating styles. That is not to say window treatments are going frumpy. I think one of the more exciting things happening in design right now is pulling these more traditional elements into design in a modern, playful way.

Guest Bedroom - Full Euro pleated Treatments14) Do you, as a designer, have any rules of thumb you follow for drapery treatments?  What do you like to see?  What do you notice first about drapery- what dictates good drapery and bad? One of my biggest pet peeves are wimpy looking draperies–height and the correct fullness are crucial. It is also important that draperies are made to operate. They need to be full enough to cover the window when closed. Lining is also crucial. When a client is going for the open, airy look, no lining is fine, but nothing makes a fabric look more expensive than it being lined.

15) Give some feedback please, on sponsors you are working with and how collaboration is enhancing your design vision.
This project has been great because I was given the opportunity to work closely with our vendors we use day in and day out as well as establish new working relationships with vendors Coastal Living has brought in. For instance, I discovered Sunbrella makes great outdoor throws (who knew!). I have enjoyed working with our reps to determine what ways we can best  showcases their product while being fluid with the overall design. They have been very helpful!

16)  Please add anything you’d like to share about this project. Is there anything you are excited about?  Are you trying anything new?
As a designer, it is crucial to grow and develop. This project has given me the opportunity to squeeze a lot of growth into a short period of time and for that I am grateful. We have some really great art that will be on display, and that excites me!

 Wow! Thanks Erika! So much talent and insight into fabulous design. Please make sure to visit the Coastal Living Showhouse website @ The magazine will feature the home in the October 2012 issue. So keep a look out!


Navigating the Bay

August 15, 2011

Bay window treatments are always a challenge.  Custom angle, bends, proper widths, matching fabric where they meet in closing.  There is much to consider when “navigating the bay”.  We recently completed an entire home of window treatments, which was topped off with dramatic panels in the master bedroom bay window.

This homeowner had been in the throws of a full house renovation that had been going on  for several months.  We added treatments to all the rooms.  For her downstairs, kitchen bay area, her preference was roman shades, outside mounted to finish and soften.

outside mount, linen roman shades in the kitchen bay, clean and soft.

But when she and the designer began to dress the master bedroom, they wanted something more luxurious and “worthy of the space”.  The duo first asked for roman shades, like the breakfast area, but after much discussion, drapery was decided to be the very best option.    Besides aesthetics, (what could be more beautiful than drapery?) there was also a need for full privacy and light reduction.  As the homeowner put it, “we were tired of waking up with the dawn!”.  The only concern was how to manage the bay.  Would it look good?  Was there enough room for the panels on either side – with a fireplace flanking the left and partial wall bordering the right?

One of the great things about bays is that the panels do not have to be overly full.  You can complete the look and minimize the fabric needed between windows because you are sharing the coverage – this allows for less use of space on the far sides of the windows.  Measuring a bay window is the first and most important step to getting this challenge right.  At Drape98, we use  a special angle measuring device that records the bay angles at an exact degree.  Our hardware is custom bent to precise specifications and then deductions are made for each piece of the rod to perfectly connect based on the proper projection.  Carefully spaced brackets and evenly spaced panels complete the picture and offer a truly custom solution.

Note the bend at the slight angle in this photo.   Instead of using a corner bracket, the bend is actually just left of the corner /bend, where, a few inches beyond, the rod is spliced for bracket placement.  We returned the rod to the wall just at the next angle which flanks the room dividing wall.

Custom bend/D98 Bronze Hardware

A bracket off center of the bend looks odd at first, but take a look below when panels are added.

Panels are strung between brackets, and laced rings over rod connections allows for a  clean look – custom rod bends, perfect panel coverage.

The break and bracket doesn't even show... perfectly custom

Have a custom bay project you need to complete?  Trust the experts, trust Drape98!  We have the experience and know how to make your “bay” project perfect!

Drape98 Express, LLC – 404.661.1501 or 850.225.8861

Have you heard?  Drape98 has developed a new product called VerticalMate.  VerticalMate is a drapery designed and manufactured to operate on existing vertical blind hardware.  Now there is an alternative for homeowners who have  vertical blinds and want to change over to drapery more quickly and affordably. 

How do we do it?  Our VerticalMate has a specially Drape98 designed header that allows the drapery to install into existing vertical blind “vane” carriers.  It’s so easy.

To get started, Drape98 just needs a little information:

  1. How wide the current vertical track
  2. How it opens- stack left, right or center.
  3. Length of current vertical vane
  4. How many vanes/carriers there are in the existing hardware

(Note:  Working existing hardware is required)

Once this information is confirmed, we can start making your VerticalMate drapery right away. In some instances, we have pre-manufactured VerticalMate based on common widths and lengths that are ready for quickship!

It’s so easy to order and most importantly, it’s very easy to install.  One of the greatest expenses associated with buying custom drapery is the cost of installation. With VerticalMate, the price of a professional drapery installer is not usually necessary-anyone can install VerticalMate.

And… if your current vertical blind hardware has cord draw and you’d like to switch to a more safety compliant “baton”, that can be easily added as well!

Here’s how it works:  Take down the current vertical slats or”vanes”.

Old Vertical Blinds

Then take the VerticalMate drapery and thread the loop headers into the carriers one by one until the drapery is installed.  Really… it’s that simple!

Easy to install, anyone can do it!

Easy to install, anyone can do it!

VerticalMate is an easy, affordable drapery alternative to vertical blinds!

Have a pre-installed valance over your vertical blinds? Great!    This works perfectly with VerticalMate because our our drapery does not project out any further than your current vertical slats, so using them under valances works well and looks terrific; making for a truly custom appearance.

Side by side/ new drapery under valance beside old verticals - what a difference!

We’ve developed this product because we’ve listened to our customers. Clients kept asking, “How can I replace those verticals with drapery and do it affordably?”   Well, Drape98 has the solution.

We’d love to hear what you think about this product and welcome any questions.  Drape98 has currently installed VerticalMate throughout Florida and is currently selling in all areas of the United States.  We welcome regional distributers as well!

For further information and pricing, contact Chris@ 850.225.8861 or visit our website

Grommet panels cover - add warmth to a cozy dining area

We were thrilled to be a part of the West Egg Cafe’ renovation.  This popular eatery and gathering spot on the Atlanta’s west side is a terrific place to get a smooth cup of joe and good, southern eats.  Ben and Jen Johnson, proprietors, collaborated with Square Feet Studio to renovate the new West Egg space  The design team kept it clean and cozy- using lots of subway tiles, school-house fixtures and furnishings with warm finishes.  Drape98 was commissioned to provide grommet panels to help soften this crisp, commercial space.

Our first charge was a large bank of windows on the west side of the cafe’ that provided wonderful natural light, but, in the afternoon, let in some blinding rays.  The owners and design team wanted flexibility – let light in during the a.m. but offer some shade from the afternoon sun.  Drapes are always a great looking, affordable, functional option. By adding wall to wall, bronze grommet panels that easily open and close (we minimized brackets needed by installing a 1 1/4″ diameter rod), the drapes dimmed the afternoon rays when shut and soften each dividing pane while open.  The result is a wall of drapery that looks stunning both stacked and fully drawn.

In addition to open dining area, Ben and Jen added a communal dining table near the entrance that could be used for group dining or meetings.  The talented designers at Square Feet Studio, suggested we suspend grommet panels on either side of the communal area- providing and space definition.  To stay consistent, we again used 1 1/4″ round, Drape98 Stock Iron Hardware, with partial ceiling and wall mount brackets ( part of the ceiling was a dropped soffet) and bronze grommeted panels made from durable, Khaki fabric.

A communal dining area is defined with large panels- providing functionality and warmth to this terrific space! (And it's hard to even see the brackets!)

Upon entry, the new West Egg Cafe’ space is warm and inviting and we like to think that our drapery adds to the overall esthetic.  In fact, we’ve had several calls from West Egg diners who want this look in their homes!

In the area?  Make sure to check out West Egg Cafe for a relaxed, urban diner experience all while consuming some darn good food.  Check out their menu, location and hours at

2009 Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Christmas Show House

Don’t miss the Atlanta Homes Christmas Show House, now open.   This William T. Baker designed New England style home on West Wesley Road is stunning.  Several top area designers and retailers have showcased their wares and talents and it truly is something to see! The ever talented Courtney and Randy Talinski of Bungalow Classic commissioned Drape98 to fabricate treatments in their carriage house design space. We used our signature Oatmeal Linen and kept the shades unlined and simple to offer softness and warmth to this classic, cozy space.

This is one home you don’t want to miss.  The house opened to visitors on November 14 and will remain open until December 6th – Hurry!  Online tickets are $20.  Adult tickets are available for $18 in advance and $20 at the door.  All proceeds benefit the Atlanta Children’s Theater. This is a perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit and inspire great ideas for your home!

Drape98 Oatmeal Linen single shade in large window seat area - Note the light still filtering through!

Two single shades on windows over stairway