So I came home and paced my office for a bit, then looked at my bookshelves. Voila!
I think that, as consumers, we are so wrapped up in the what is new that sometimes we overlook what’s right in front of our noses—a tried, true original. That’s how I feel about Maureen Whitemore’s “Home Furnishings Workbook: An authoritative guide to solving all of your home furnishing problems with more than 100 professional techniques and 35 projects.”
The only reason I haven’t reviewed her wonderful book is that . . . it was published in 1999 (!). And that’s just silly. This is a book with a tremendous amount of information, written by a gracious and knowledgeable lady; a book that should be front and center on any window treatment professional’s bookcase.
For all of those poser how-to books that have followed it—the equivalent of Hollywood yelling for an A-list actor on a B-list salary—this is the book that shows how to construct beautiful window treatments, step-by-step with easy to digest copy, clear visuals and clean illustrations. What a joy to look at.
Boatload Of Knowledge
For those of you not familiar with Maureen, she has been in the field of soft furnishings for more than 30 years and, truly, her knowledge and expertise are second to none. Perhaps you have met her at an International Window Coverings Expo. In the late ’90s, she was a frequent lecturer, but has also spoken in Europe and South Africa.
A little pixy of a woman, she is ready with a quick smile and a boatload of hands-on knowledge. With her business partner, Deborah Thwaytes, she not only operates Whitemore & Thwaytes Interiors (which includes a busy in-house workroom) but also instructs groups of up to seven students at her studio in the “methods I have invented to achieve really professional shortcuts to perfection,” says Whitemore.
For those of you who can’t travel to Foxton House in the United Kingdom, however, consider “Home Furnishings Workbook” as your next best investment.
Her well plotted out techniques section covers such basics as Planning and Designing, Making Templates and Patterns and Measuring, but also Curtain Hook Positions, Making Mitres and Headings and also Making and Inserting Edgings.
Some sections are quite small. For example, the Making Ruche Rosettes section is only a half page long, but includes a clear photograph, an illustration and concise directions.
This is a section that really sings. Broken into two subsections, the first covers classic projects such as interlined curtains, classic valances, Roman blinds, cushions and chair covers. The second subsection, Professional Projects, digs into pleated valances, goblet pleated curtains and cornices with shaped tops. Numbered steps guide readers through the techniques, with occasional reference to techniques mentioned in the first section.
A glossary, list of suppliers and index finishes the book simply. For more information on Maureen Whitemore, visit www.whitemoreand thwaytes.co.uk. To pick up a copy of her book, you can find it online at www.randallonline.com.
Kathleen Stoehr is president of Chemistry Creative, based in Minneapolis, MN. She is a former editor-in-chief of Window Fashions magazine and is the author of the recently published Dream Floors, Hundreds of Ideas for Every Type of Floor, and the upcoming Dream Windows: Historical Perspectives, Classic Designs, Contemporary Creations. Stoehr can be contacted for comments, queries and trend information at email@example.com.