|A view of the East Hampton Living Room|
of designer Kevin McNamara.
Although I have a great appreciation for elaborate curtains -- if the rest of the room is up to it -- I do understand those whose memory is tainted with visions of poorly proportioned, tortured, and sometimes smothering window treatments that are so objectionable that nothing at the windows would be better. But relatively simple curtains, even in formal atmospheres can be a welcome and much needed dressing.
|Another view of the curtains|
in Kevin McNamara's East Hampton
Both photos from Architectural Digest.
I hope you can imagine how different this room would look without curtains. As I recall, the long walls of the room each had three pairs of tall French doors opening out to a terrace on both the entrance and garden side of the capital 'I' (with serif) shaped house. (I might have preferred shorter doors with a transom to give the desired overall height, but that, too, is a subject for another post). Color/value also plays a role. How different the room would be if the curtains matched the green glazed walls. Here, the French doors remain an important feature of the room, but they are visually softened somewhat by the creamy curtains. The site is wooded and private, so there may have never been a need to draw the curtains, eliminating the need for supplemental treatments or more complicated hardware. And I hope you can see the simple gilt fillet at the top of the wall, giving definition to the perimeter of the room, an interesting detail given the curtain poles mounted almost to the cornice.
Kevin, who passed away in 2005, had started his career at McMillen and then at Parish-Hadley before founding his own firm so he was well-versed in how to create proper curtains. Later in his career, he and his life partner founded Christopher Norman Inc., a to-the-trade source which was at the forefront of having French and Italian-style silk woven in the Far East at more affordable prices, making silk curtains, etc., more popular to a wider market. More about Kevin McNamara will appear in future posts of The Devoted Classicist.