How to Choose the Right Drapery Hardware and Pair it with Our Favorite Drapery Designers
We don’t often consider where the design on a curtain fabric or upholstery comes from, but every textile that we have in our homes have been designed by someone. Many of the prints and patterns that we see in our homes have been influenced by the great drapery designers of the last 150 years. Those textiles translate into beautiful window dressings, but knowing how to choose the right drapery hardware to go with that beautiful design can be challenging. Let’s look at seven of our favorite influential drapey designers past and present and how to match those textiles with the right drapery hardware.
This list has to start with the father of Victorian pattern, William Morris (1834 – 1896). An all-round creative, Morris was a writer, poet, and textile designer affiliated with the Arts and Crafts movement in late 19th century Britain. His textiles feature moody or bright colors and nature themes with animals and botanical elements. Influenced by Medieval tapestries and paintings, as well as the classics, Morris was one of the founding members of what later became Morris & Co. While the company did not survive the Second World War, Morris’s designs are still sold under license by Sandersons and Liberty of London.
Founder of the Vienna School of Architecture, Josef Frank (1885 – 1967) became internationally known more for his colorful textiles and creative furniture designs than for his architecture. Although born in Austria, Frank took Swedish citizenship shortly before the Second World War and joined Svenskt Tenn where he became renowned for his shaping of the Swedish Modern style with colorful and fantastical designs. His work feature animals, birds, and flowers which are in stark contrast to the reality of the world around him in 1930’s Europe.
Although Frank’s designs are from a different era, they fit right into the modern home. Use these intricately patterned curtains with contemporary traverse rods and let them be the hero in the room.
One of the most influential designers to come from design house Marimekko, Finnish-born Maija Isola (1927 - 2001) designed more than 500 fabrics in her 38-year career. Featuring flowers and other elements discovered on her numerous travels, Isola’s designs are still as relevant now as when they were first printed. Some of her most famous designs like Unniko, Kaivo, and Kivet are still being produced today.
PRO TIP on how to choose the right drapery hardware:
Try to match the style and finishes of the rest of the furniture in the room for a cohesive look!
One of the most influential textile designers in post-war Britain was Lucienne Day (1917 – 2010). Working with abstract patterns, Day’s textiles, rugs, and accessories are still as relevant today as they were then. Day was first discovered at the Festival of Britain when she showcased her textiles and wallpapers at the Homes and Gardens Pavilion. Her most famous textile, Calyx, was first designed for her husband and paved the way for contemporary textiles. The retro brown, orange, black, and lemon abstract design quickly became sought-after and had remained in production ever since, exclusively distributed by Classic Textiles.
Founder of Designers Guild, Tricia Guild (born 1946) has been designing bold and bright textiles since 1970. Her brand was born when she was looking for colorful textiles to decorate with. When she recolored some Indian block prints to achieve the look she wanted, they were so popular that she created her first collection. Designers Guild has grown into a British icon with various collaborations under its belt and distributors around the world. Featuring bright colors and often large patterns, Guild’s ranges cover fabric, wallpaper, ceramics, homeware, and paint.
After an internship with prestigious Colefax & Fowler at age 19, Nina Campbell (born 1945) set up her own interior business in London. She quickly made a name for herself with a few big projects, after which she also launched her own wallpaper and fabric collections. Characterized by a rich and elegant palette, Nina Campbell’s designs have elegant floral themes that draw on her life experience. Her fabrics and wallpapers are distributed by Osborne & Little.
Also based on floral themes, these fabrics work well with white painted or brass-finished wrought iron curtain rods and simple finials. Tie your curtains back with tasseled tiebacks and decorative brass hooks.
Claire de Quenetain
With a degree in fine arts and a master’s in print textiles from the Royal College of Art, French-born Claire de Quenetain (born 1986) brings a youthful freshness to her textiles. Her work is characterized by artful brush strokes and illustrations. She gets her inspiration from gardens real and imagined, “where color, shape, and movement meet to create a specific world.”
We’d love to know who your favorite drapery designers are. Comment below, and we’ll add them to our list!