Get Your Swag On
Happy New year all,
What will the world of interiors bring in 2016? Many designers are making predictions. I refuse to, all I will say is I am sure it will be a wonderful and interesting year, and I look forward to all the surprises to come with bated breath.
For a while now many things have been forecast to be the next “in thing” or “coming back“. one of which are Swags and Tails, of all things. They made a big resurgence in the eighties. Probably urged on by bouffant hairstyles and Dallas sized shoulder pads. And lets not forget the crazy poly-cotton prints that were used in their creations! So you can imagine my surprise when I heard on the interiors grapevine that these Marmite blasts from the past were going to grace our windows once again.
There are plenty of books, on-line guides, great templates and systems available to help you create a plethora of different types of swag and tail or just swag variations. I aim to show you a cross section of my favourite designs using some of my esteemed colleagues images as examples.
http://www.soniakcurtains.co.uk .Kent. England
I am a lover of the flamboyant, swaths of fabric and a smorgasbord of trims. I am a girl who loves the term “More is More“. Elegance abounds with the calossus of the curtain world.
Elaine Sealey Handmade Curtains, blinds and soft furnishings. The fabric is from Rubelli with bespoke trimmings by Wendy Cushing.
No one sits on the fence with these bad boys. You either love or loath them. Some designers will say they are gauche, old fashioned and even baroque. Quite recently someone commented directly upon this style of drapery as
“Horrible !!!! “trés cul cul la praline ” désolé “.
How rude! Oh well, each to their own I suppose. This in truth is what prompted this first blog. I felt I needed to challenge this attitude. In the least I wish the unbeliever of the style to re-asses their negative opinion of this window treatment. Fingers crossed.
Www.rayrobinson.co.uk fabric and lace from james hare and trim by price and co.
Negative comments aside, I am glad to say there are designers who love them in all their flamboyancy. They find them a great way to indulge and flex their muscles in the sumptuous world of cloth . They enjoy their elegance and undeniable extravagance.
In this day and age (especially for the young designer), they pose a huge technical challenge. This is manly due to their complexity and the fact that you don’t get to design them often these days. You need to plan and draw them to get it just right. They also require high ceilings to compensate for the loss of light. Lets face it we don’t all have Victorian houses.
www.beechwoodcurtaindesign.co.uk Prestigious Textiles Bamboo
This aside, they do not have to have ooodles of trims or be made with heavy damask fabrics. They can be stripped down, simplified and with a bit of care even used in a modern setting.
Mary Grice Soft Furnishings Jones Monaco beaded trim and Villa Nova Naples fabric which gave them a bit of a contemporary twist
From the Helen Green suite at the Berkeley. www.helengreendesign.com/
Petterson’s Magazine Fashion Plate
France in the XIX century saw some of the first swag designs, even the clothing of around this time and later bare similarities to the window treatments. Right from the beginning fashion and interiors have been inexplicably linked.
There are so many variations of this style of window treatment that I struggle to understand how any one can hate them ALL! From single swags with or without pelmets, on poles, on valances, under pelmets, with or without tails, with jabots, on lambrequins, multiple swags, overlap swags, tip to tip, with trims, without trims and on, and on. The only thing you ideally need is the space above the window. I simply loath it when swags are really shallow, the deeper they are the better they look so naturally you need the space .
Unfortunately you can only just see the side fixed swags on this image taken from the set of American Horror Story. I think they look wonderful.
A lovely contemporary approach to this style. Tastefully done I feel.
I have barely skimmed the surface trying to show a cross section of the variety of styles of swag and tails that are out there. You can find lots more inspiration especially on uk.pinterest.com where you can also find mine and Susan Kirk’s Designs boards.
Well that is the first blog of the year. Hope your interior design year is a great one.
A big thank you to all the designers that have contributed their work to this blog and thank you for reading.
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2 thoughts on “Get Your Swag On”
I love what you have written, very informative and articulate. I will never like Swags & Tails in anything other than an 18th or 19th Century property, but that doesn’t mean I don’t admire the skill involved in their creation. I don’t see them happening in West-London anytime soon, but I may be forced to eat my words!
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Lovely, perfect reaction. Thank you so much for your kind words. Please let me know if they do re-enter London? Keep in touch. XOXO