Fab Fabric Friday: Luxurious Velvet

Today’s Fab Fabric Friday is all about soft, luxurious velvet. Once labeled the “Royal Cloth,” velvet became a symbol of wealth in Europe and was admired by kings and queens after being introduced to its unique fabric qualities by early crusaders returning from the Middle East. The creation of velvet requires fabric to be woven in such a way that it creates small, densely packed fibers that stand up from the cloth. What’s interesting about velvet, is that it can be made from all sorts of base materials. Silk velvet has the softest hand compared to a polyester or cotton velvet, which makes it ideal for clothing.

velvet fabrics from Robert Allen and Highland Taylor
Robert Allen and Famous Maker Highland Taylor velvet fabrics

Its durability also depends on what type of base fabric is used. It’s recommended that you use a cotton or polyester-based velvet fabric for upholstered cushions, draperies, and other areas of the home that need a reliable, long-lasting material to deal with unpredictable elements of the home. The true beauty of velvet is found in the amazing hand and style it provides to furnishings and soft goods. It has an expensive quality that not many fabrics can denote at first impression. Designer Custom Source carries several colorways and styles of velvets that will accentuate any client’s home. Above are just a few examples of what we offer online at DCS!

1. Chair cushion made with Robert Allen Neo Stripe Lagoon

2. Designer custom shirred bolster pillow made with Robert Allen Velvet Geo Turquoise and Highland Taylor Micro-fiber Velvet Bisque trim

3. Velvet seater sofa from okadirect.com via polyvore

4. Window seat cushion with buttons made with Highland Taylor Velvet Plum and Highland Taylor Micro-fiber Velvet Bisque trim

5. Designer custom lumbar pillow with flange made with Robert Allen Velvet Geo Magenta

6. Designer custom sunburst pillow with button made with Highland Taylor Velvet Turquoise and Highland Taylor Velvet Plum button and trim

7. Designer custom duvet pillow with buttons made with Robert Allen Velvet Geo Terrain and Highland Taylor Micro-fiber Velvet Bisque flap and Highland Taylor Velvet Chocolate

8. Famous Maker Highland Taylor fabric swatches


My Polyvore Wish List Wednesday: Wintery Fairy Dust

This week’s wish list Wednesday is a pale muted pallet inspired by the cool winter and stark beauty of bare trees and land in this frigid month of January. As I was creating this modern Victorian cottage design board, I fell in love with the Rylan tufted upholstered couch in this shade of Taranto Dove. It’s soft gray motivated the antique pinks and gold filigree of a Victorian home.

 polyvore board
Fairy Dust polyvore board created by anita-winter-539

Of course I couldn’t forget to add a touch of warmth with these fun modern Mongolian lamb faux fur bolsters, and the silver leather pillow from Pfiefer Studio, help to bring the icy bling to this modern wintery fairy dust fantasy room. Enjoy the season and stay cozy!

Love this room? Check out my Polyvore set and find out where to buy these items!


My Polyvore Wish List Wednesday: Dwelling of a Flapper Diva

I’m obsessed with the flapper girl. Her hair, her clothes and especially her attitude. The flapper was a young woman growing up in the early 1920s that smoked, drank, danced and voted. She wore her hair short, bobbed or shingled. She wore straight loose flowing knee-length dresses with a classic dropped waistline usually worn with silk or rayon stockings and garters. Always a perfect face pressed with heavy eye makeup and red lips which created this glamor girl’s reputation. But where would this flapper diva live? Well, I thought I would dream up a room for our girl. Not too shabby!

polyvore art deco inspired room
Dwelling of a Flapper Diva – via polyvore created by anita-winter-539

Art Deco decor was first seen in France after WWI and continued to influence and spread to the states until after WWII. This era represented luxury and exuberance with its use of organic motifs, geometric shapes and posh ornamentation in architecture and all sense of design. It’s one of my favorite era’s. The combinations of glamorous mirrors, glossy woods, slick metal finishes, luxurious animal prints and leathers, velvet jewel tones and exotic embellishments are all distinctive of Art Deco furniture. Thank goodness it’s unique style is coming back into homes! Another vintage trend that is worth imitating.

Love this room? Check out my Polyvore set and find out where to buy these items!


5 Creative Ways to Make Your Living Space Shine in 2015

Another new year has crept upon us, and we immediately feel the need to start fresh. Whether you have personal goals to meet or just want to organize your home’s functionality, it all takes effort and time, which is worth it in the end. The biggest issue for many, including myself, is creating an updated space that really speaks to your own personal style.

Who doesn’t want to come home to a space they enjoy and love? This year, look to revamping your home to make a fresh new start. Of course, you may struggle with specific dilemmas; boring space, no storage, and lack of color. Whatever your obstacle, look no further. We’ve got solutions!

Dilemma #1 – No personal style

Believe it or not, everybody has their own personal style. How do you figure out your decorating style? Home decorating magazines are a great place to start, because they will instantly provoke feelings as you flip the pages and gaze at different room arrangements, concepts, and color combinations. As you find images you love, cut these out and start creating your own personal design board. You will slowly begin to see some similarities in images that you love.

Another option is to find an item or accessory in your home that you love and create a room or ideas around this item. If you have a piece of furniture, a painting, or an heirloom that you love, why not build your space around it? Get inspired by the colors and theme to help incorporate these into the space.

Dilemma #2 – Hate the wall color

Wall color is an inexpensive and fast way to update your living space. Choosing colors shouldn’t be difficult if you know what you don’t like. Most paint and home stores have loads of color choices and easy ways to sample colors that speak to you. My advice is to load up on paint swatches. You can never have enough!

Other trending options are wall murals or wallpaper. These have a more permanent presence on walls, but it’s up to your personal style. There are also stencils that can be used to paint specific designs on walls that could be easily painted over when you tire of the look. Either way you choose, you are guaranteed to have a transformed room.

Dilemma #3 – Not enough storage

When it comes to making more space for furniture and other accessories, you must do a bit of “spring cleaning” to remove some clutter and other eye sores. Start with a yard sale or donate items to your local Good Will. It’s one thing to make unique storage areas for items that you need, but it’s another to create storage for objects that serve no purpose.

This room is a great example of how to incorporate storage and style into one space. Using custom cabinets that can house extra items in a pretty way helps to alleviate the clutter. Storage ottomans, baskets, and open-wall cabinets are also easy ways to provide extra storage. Be creative!


Dilemma #4 – Not enough seating

I’ve seen homes that have plenty of open area to work with, but there is still a lack of seating and conversation area. It’s not how big or small your room is, it’s about furniture layout. The first start to a good seating area is to create a focal point in the room. You always want to create a focal area that draws the eye into the room.

Whether it’s an accent wall or fireplace, this will help set the stage on where to place chairs and other furniture pieces. As mid-century modern furniture is coming back in style, take advantage of the simple lines and small, streamlined size of these pieces, which are good for small spaces. Larger pieces of furniture can be utilized in small rooms, as well, it just may take a little more imagination. Another option would be to purchase light and pretty folding chairs that you can easily tuck away in a closet or garage. Either way, you want to be able to make a conversation area that is functional to your guests and family.

Dilemma #5 – Not sure how to accessorize

When you are finished with your basic room changes, you’ll want to add the final punch of color and personality to your space. One simple way is by layering. Start with throw pillows. Throw pillows can be the best way to add sparkle to your living area. Make sure to incorporate the colors of your room. This will help add balance and cohesiveness to the space. Don’t forget about texture. For example, the couch below has a beautiful velvet texture, which adds a luxurious look to the room. The bamboo shades and layered draperies gives the room depth.

These are the things that bring richness and interest to a space. Remember that accessories can be moved and changed at any time. I have walked into a room many times and rearranged specific lamps or vases because they didn’t sit well visually. That’s what is so great about decorating. There isn’t an exact science to it. As long as you love your space and feel comfortable and happy, you have accomplished what you set out to do.


A Hint of Marsala Anyone?

marsala pantone fabric choicesAfter Pantone made their announcement about the new color choice of 2015, there have been mixed reviews over this unusual hue they call “marsala.” Now that I’ve seen the color presented in all sorts of styles in the home and on fashion runways, it has definitely started to grow on me.

Unlike the vibrant 2014 radiant orchid; marsala is a much more rich and grounded color – a lot like an earthy clay that you would find digging into the deep south’s soil. It’s muted burgundy wine color will ground rooms in any interior space.

marsala wall color
Marsala on walls – via Cafofino.blogspot.com

Marsala on Walls

Thinking about painting your walls this new year? Try marsala as a backdrop. This soothing shade will give peace and contentment to any living space. I really like the marsala colored accent wall paired with the eggplant color on the velvet couch and lamp shade. The botanical art in green, yellow and pink really pop off the marsala as well. Truly a pretty palette.

Marsala on Furnishings

Try marsala on your upholstery furnishings. This hue is one sure way to bring luxury and exuberance to your home. Love the marsala couch combination with the vintage blue wall! This color combo certainly brings a classic and mature choice for rooms. Marsala is also a great selection for outdoor cushions, like Sunbrella Canvas Burgundy and Sunbrella Henna. Try Highland Taylor Pacific Cordovan, Velvet Plum, and Robert Allen Bold Ikat Currant for your indoor fabric on custom cushions as well.

pantone marsala
via turbulences.deco-fr
2015 pantone color
A great color paired with denim and clear blues. via Pantone

Marsala on Accessories

If your wanting to stay on trend, adding touches of marsala with accessories is another option and less of a commitment if you haven’t fallen completely in love with it. Whether you use throw blankets, custom pillows, accent lighting or furniture, this new hue will marry well into spaces that have a rich palette to start with.

marsala throw blanket
via Alexa Hampton at Kips Bay. Fiddle leaf fig in corner

Below is another great example of hints of marsala thrown into a room. Such a pretty statement color! It really has a unique advantage because it can provide an earthy organic tone to a plain space but also provides a pop of vibrancy without overwhelming the eyes.

Over all, marsala is definitely looking like it could be a color I could fall in love with this new year. How about you?

pantone marsala
via NYC Pied-a-Terre

Happy Holidays! – Cheers, Anita and Melinda

Happy Holidays from the DCS Girl's!
Happy Holidays from the DCS Girl’s!

DCS Partners with GardenWalls for a Fresh New Backdrop

protoslider pic for cheryl maederAs we move forward into a new year, we wanted to highlight our amazing designers in a fresh, new way. Designer Custom Source is excited to add a new Designers page to our website. This page will feature designers from all walks of life that share the same vision – their love for design.

Fine Art Photographer & Designer, Cheryl Maeder, of Gardenhouse & GardenWalls is the first of many. Gardenhouse was first created by combining two of Cheryl’s passions; her love of photography and restoring vintage furnishings. Now she has entered into a new venture creating her new wallcoverings with nature’s beauty in mind. This collaboration of custom cushions with a backdrop of artful and nature-expressive wallcoverings has been the inevitable partnership of Designer Custom Source and GardenWalls.

Photographer Tony Arruza

“GardenWalls, our nature-inspired wallcoverings, grew out of our client’s design requests to further marry their indoor/outdoor Gardenhouse home furnishings. I receive my inspiration from nature; the play of color and light inspire my designs and photography. Each of the collections feature elements that I photograph in nature. Just walking through the mangroves to the seashore, or strolling through the everglades in South Florida, I find myself constantly being inspired to integrate nature into my designs. I approach the world with a holistic philosophy. For me, art and design are inseparable. I see the GardenWalls Collections as Wall Art bringing the outdoors into our indoor living spaces. The GardenWalls are custom designed to fit any wall size. They are created on a high quality Type 2 vinyl and are Class A Fire Rated. GardenWalls are 52 inches wide and as they are custom designed for any wall size, the height is dependent on the clients’ needs. The GardenWalls were created for hotels, spas, healthcare facilities, schools, restaurants, and other commercial spaces, as well as private residences. The GardenWalls are applied just as wallpaper by a wallpaper installer. We have pricing for the Trade as well. Minimum order is 10 feet x 10 feet wall size.” ~ Cheryl Maeder

Settee created by Cheryl Maeder/ Custom Cushions Manufactured by DCS workroom

Known for re-imagining vintage furnishings, this beautiful creation was dreamed up by Cheryl herself. Using her talent of combining color, pattern, and unique vision, these classic Sunbrella fabrics were transformed by our DCS workroom into whimsical cushions and pillows for this gorgeously refreshed settee; all placed on a perfect scenery of Japanese Spring in the color turquoise. “DCS added GardenWalls to further enhance the idea of ‘custom,’ which we pride ourselves on specializing and providing to our clients in home soft goods. These GardenWalls will be easy to access from our site and will give a classy and high-end feel to many commercial businesses and home interiors. A great partnership that is certain to benefit both companies.” ~ Anita Winter, Art & Media Director

Want to be featured as one of our designers like Cheryl? Simply email us at info@designercustomsource.com or give us a call at 334-387-9885.

A Very Thankful Designer Custom Source

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It’s a Modern Day friendship. A story of two ladies from opposite ends of the U.S; New York and California. Melinda – a high energy working girl and Anita – a gentle artistic spirit: learning to accept each other, get along, and take comfort in friendship found.

We give thanks to our designers for making DCS a success this year and for our new found friendships. We hope that this coming new year brings you joy, peace and love. – Melinda Merijanian and Anita Winter

Designer Custom Source wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

New Fall Fabric Collections from Designer Custom Source

The fall hues are always breathtaking this time of year. The changing trees and leaves are just a small touch of what nature provides for us, yet our homes are also looking to be adorned in this season’s best. Robert Allen’s latest fabrics will help you take a walk with nature and invite you to add these pretty textures and colors to your home’s interior.

Robert Allen Aviary Trellis Citrine
Robert Allen Aviary Trellis Graphite

This season’s home trends are leaning toward floral and animal motifs mixed with mid-century modern geometrics, so this fabric line is right on target. Robert Allen fabrics are also focused on introducing more solid textures to the home, such as chenille, textured wovens, and classic cotton linens.

Robert Allen Aviary Trellis Graphite brings something new and fresh for fall with gray, corn yellow, and mineral blue. But don’t worry! There are more colorways for you to choose from such as Aviary Trellis Citrine and Aviary Trellis Poppy. These are whimsical and lively cotton fabrics that add a slight touch of spring, but great for your interior year round. Try it on window seat cushions, draperies, and throw pillows for a pop of nature to your decor.

RA fabrics
New Robert Allen Fabrics from left to right: Global Lines Amber, Aviary Trellis Graphite, Softknit Lemongrass and Texture Mix Indigo

Combine Robert Allen Aviary Trellis Graphite with Robert Allen Global Lines Amber and Robert Allen Softknit Lemongrass for a warm and delightful selection to your home. Robert Allen Texture Mix Indigo is a new colorway from an old favorite. This soft, gray-blue weave will give interest and texture to your indoor spaces. Texture Mix comes in 10 beautiful colorways!

With so many designs to choose from, you’re bound to find something you’ll love.

Are you a designer? Visit Designer Custom Source and register today!

RA aviary trellis citrine
Robert Allen stepping stones ~ All Photos by Melinda Merijanian

Pretty in Pink Victorian Come Back

I recently watched one of my favorite ’80s films Pretty in Pink, and I must say, Molly Ringwald’s Victorian, bohemian chic style is definitely on its way back. It’s amazing what one movie instilled on the fashion industry back in its day. The older I get, the more I realize that fashion does truly come back around. This season’s looks are floral and feminine; home decor is going that direction, as well. If you are looking to recreate a Victorian style in your home, turn on the TV and get inspired.

pretty in pink floral
Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink – Always surrounded by a sea of floral and lace.

 Pour on the flowers

A Victorian shabby chic room needs lots of floral fun. This particular room gives a great example of floral on floral with some restraint. What I like is how they chose the same color pink throughout the room. I think that’s why this mixture of large and small floral patterns works. Choosing similar shades keeps your room from looking cluttered.

floral room fabrics
Floral room from Country Living.com

Lace it up and add on

I really have a heart for lace. It’s completely feminine. This beautiful cabinet  is layered like a cake with icing made of lace. It has such a charming and vintage feel with all the china, cherubs, pottery, and glass. Layering your items throughout the shelving creates a more authentic look since Victorian homes were covered with lots of nick knacks. It just adds to the homey feel.

In Molly’s room you can see the sweet, embroidered table cloth under the pink phone, as well as a pretty lace pillow to add to the decor.

Molly Ringwald pretty in pink
Molly Ringwald’s room is a Victorian touch of romance.

Know what pieces you love and have to have

As you are scouting around for particular pieces, keep in mind what you really like. It’s true that you may stumble across a great and unexpected find, but you never want it to sidetrack you from the goal you have in mind for your space. If you are looking for a particular fabric or an object, stay focused and know what you need.

floral essentials
Victorian essentials from Country Living.com

Let the details speak for themselves

A pretty kitchen in white needs a splash of color and floral cushions, pillows, and  paintings will bring this room to definite Victorian styling. But more than the fabrics, each furniture piece, chandelier, and item on the table have beautiful textures to add ornate patterns, which reflect Victorian design.

floral fabrics
Floral kitchen from Country Living.com

Upcoming Home Trending Must Haves

Home trends are fun to watch develop from year to year and this coming season you will see even more distinctive themes to room designs that follow the same must-have adjectives: innovative, creative, and imaginative. You will see modern design trends blend traditional and organic materials, unique shapes, bold prints, and great decorating ideas with new products and rich colors to help brighten the world of interior design and your home decorating.

 Wall Murals
But first things first. Wall murals and wallpapering have made a strong comeback. You are now faced with the choice of spectacular prints and designs that will inspire and draw a crowd. Above, I selected this hallway photo from Houzz as an example of subtle wallpaper beauty. This is a far cry from the simple fruit basket wallpaper trims seen in ’80s kitchens. This is sophisticated styling that is nothing more than stunning. Although this is not a bold approach, you can and will find plenty of amazing wall murals to sink your teeth into.
Organic Design
Another great trend is using more organic furnishings in the home. These are usually special pieces of furniture that bring a bit of the outdoors in. This beautiful table is made from salvaged wood that’s the culmination of great woodworking, custom designing, and an Eco-friendly approach to furniture design.

Design Fusion

A little bit of this and a pinch of that. Sounds like a recipe. Well, when it comes to eclectic design, it sort of is. In a room where there are no limits, many can end up creating a hoarder’s dream, but in fusion design, you are selective at choosing what works, as far as finishes, paints, and fabrications, to have a harmonious room. Fusion design is marrying two ideas together rather than many. In this case, we have mid-century modern meets Asian styling. Seems easy enough. But there is some thinking involved. When you fuse two opposite styles together, you want a space that still brings function and fluidity. This does it!

Versatility in Design
Versatility in a room is just another way of saying multifunctional. Sectionals have gained in popularity because they can assemble or disassemble to fit your living space. They also come in a variety of styles to suit your taste. This is an example of where most family designs are gravitating. A mix of traditional with modern furnishings. It’s very livable and comfortable.

Clean Modern Traditional

Here’s another great look at what modern traditional looks like in a kitchen. The seat back on the banquet emulates the restaurant booths of the ’40s. The horizontal stripe on the draperies gives very modern lines, while beautiful Asian-patterned fabric brings an Art Deco vibe.

Nature Design Innovations

As more of us stay connected with friends and family through social media, our imaginations for design will grow as well, with more exposure to different architecture and cultures. This beautiful bridge was made to spark conversation. Not only does it incorporate nature, but it also inspires. As design moves forward, you will see more innovation and upcycling with various materials and fabrics.

Global and Ethnic Design

If you are a world traveler or just like to collect various items from Pier 1 Imports, you probably have a desire to display your love for global goods around your home. One thing is for sure, you love colors – But not just any colors. Global colors are rich and saturated. This raspberry red coffee table is a great anchor to this room. The pop of berry throughout the bookcase and tapestries just adds a unified flavor to the space. I also love the exotic fur placed on the couch.