Whetsel's full-service window coverings and interior fashion retail shop opened three years ago after Whetsel returned to her west/central Pennsylvania roots from Atlanta, GA. Her career creating custom draperies, however, extends back 15 years.
"I got started just making simple valances for a friend, and it just grew from there. Somebody saw those and called me, then somebody saw those and called me . . ." Whetsel says.
Those early valances may have been among the last simple treatments Whetsel has done. Her beautiful and creative designs now tend to be full of special touches right down to the pillows. "I do some simple things, but I always try to add something special-like on all my swags and jabots I do a tiny, baby cord even if the customer doesn't ask for anything on it. I'll make a tiny, baby cord out of the matching fabric, which adds just a little special touch to it. I try to do something special with each treatment," Whetsel says. "Some people just can't handle too much pattern going on, and they can't handle too much color. But there's always a detail I can do out of the same fabric without adding too much," she says.
Soon after Whetsel opened her business in Indiana, PA, she began a project redecorating a client's bedroom. Whetsel used a printed striped fabric for a box-pleated canopy and created a sunburst for the underside. She completed the ensemble with a matching bed cover and several accent pillows. The room's window treatment featured sheer drapery panels topped with a draped swag with rosettes.
One of Whetsel's next projects was the bedroom for an older home that had quite a bit of work done on it. The room featured crown dentil molding and two windows that Whetsel treated almost as if they were one. A single swagged valance runs the entire width of both windows highlighted with rosettes made from a coordinating fabric. Under the swags runs a series of jabots with matching trimming. The drapery panels are set off by three cascades in the same coordinating fabric as the rosettes. Underneath it all, Whetsel chose Hunter Douglas Silhouette window shadings.
One of Whetsel's more recent projects was working on a bed and breakfast that has just opened in the area. Whetsel did all of the B&B's draperies and the bedroom treatments except for the quilted bed covers. "That's the only thing I send out because I don't have the quilting equipment," she explains.
In one of the rooms, Whetsel created a half-circle ceiling-mounted swagged valance over the head of a four-poster bed. She draped silk fabric from F. Schumacher from the valance and repeated the design as a top treatment over sheer window coverings. Whetsel's special touch in this room includes a big pile of custom pillows made with the same fabrics with trim from Van Lathem added.
Windows by Whetsel offers full custom window treatments, bed ensembles, blinds, wall coverings, carpeting, decorative accessories and exterior awnings. Cindra's husband, Bruce, handles the hard treatments and the installations. "Today, he knows more about that stuff than I do," she says.
The rest of the business is in Cindra's hands, however. "I go and take the measurements, design everything and work with my workroom," she says. The four-person workroom is part of what sets Windows by Whetsel apart. "The things we're able to do here that nobody else does is all because I have a workroom," Whetsel says. "If you were to go someplace to get draperies, they'll show you pictures and you pick from those. I can take a tieback from one picture, a swag from another picture and a jabot from somewhere else and make a new treatment. I don't have to have patterns. We make our own patterns to do all our treatments."
Undoubtedly, its Cindra's own special touches that have gained the most recognition for Windows by Whetsel's extraordinary designs in this fast-growing community. "I always tell my employees, 'Details will put us on the map.'" she says.