CHALLENGE: I have a request
from a client to design a custom pinch-pleated drapery. I am not
sure of the style my client is referring to. It is called a Mermaid
Puddle. Can you help me?
SOLUTION: As we all know, related interior design styles many times can be so much more easily referenced if we only could place a visual image of it in our minds. For this style, let’s think a minute about a very well known movie “The Little Mermaid.”
The actual name of this custom window treatment style comes from the shape of a mermaid as the drapery panels flow onto the floor with additional fabric. Usually, you would design a pinch-pleated drapery to stop about one-quarter to one-half inch from the floor, but this treatment lays directly on the floor, usually by as much as 10 to12 inches deep or more, depending on the window size and the length of the treatment.
As you picture a mermaid sitting on a rock with her tail to one side or the other, the Mermaid Puddle also flows to either the left or right, depending on which side of the window it is on, if it is part of a pair of panels. Otherwise, if the drapery is swaged to the right, the puddling would go to the right and vise versa. (This term puddling comes from the relationship of the fabric to water. The fabric lying on the floor resembles a puddle.)
The success of this type of window treatment is in the fullness of the drapery. The fullness should not be less than 300 percent to obtain the full effect of this beautiful treatment. The fabric should be at least medium- to heavyweight. Weights definitely should be sewn into the hem on this treatment also. French and Italian interiors historically included puddling in many of their elaborate window treatment designs.
CHALLENGE: I find myself in need of some draperies to cover windows that measure nine- feet-by-four-and-one-half feet. I am in need of a window treatment with good insulating abilities. I would like to use the existing rods that are already at the window.
SOLUTION: These windows are large and will need a window treatment with the ability to protect interior furnishings and textiles and also assist in insulating the room. There are some excellent materials and manufacturers listed in Draperies & Window Coverings’ Directory & Buyer’s Guide, also available online at www.DWConline.com.
I would also think about a layered treatment that might include either soft shades or blinds underneath and a pinch-pleated or tieback drapery as the overtreatment so you will be able to use your existing hardware. This will not only enhance the beauty of these large windows, it will also make a statement in the room. The windows definitely would serve as a focal point in the room, and the surrounding furnishings would be protected from the outside elements as well.
Editor’s note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured in numerous books and publications.