Sunday, September 30, 2012

No.4 Treating the Room Right With Robin Feuer of The Ruffled Window

Who: Robin Feuer
What: The Ruffled Window - Custom Drapery Workroom
When: Since the year 2000
Where: The Tri-State Area and Beyond
Always delightful and dressed to the nines, Robin Feuer generally lights up the room with her optimism, warm smile and playful New York accent; so perhaps it's no surprise she would wind up in a career where she literally illuminates rooms everywhere. When Robin discovered she had more than what it took to craft highly customized window treatments she went on to create what is now one of the industry's most coveted to-the-trade-only, custom drapery workroom's.
TRW custom drapes enrich a residence's sitting room. 

When Robin's grandmother immigrated from Russia in the 1920's she brought her art, talent and high design standards with her- creating highly sought after custom couture dresses for the next two decades. Naturally, her mother, and later she too, was raised immersed in fashion, sewing and fabrics, learning unparalleled attention to detail and craft. This matrilineal apprenticeship fit nicely for Robin as she grew to enjoy and master her own designs. So when I ask her why drapes and window treatments (You should all know by now I always must know how one winds up in such a specialized niche of an already niche market), she laughs:
"Oh totally by accident! I was a menswear and specialty children's designer for years." Reflects Robin. "I went to F.I.T. for Fashion Design and later on designed textiles and home furnishings. So a family member of mine who is an interior designer called me one day with a really difficult window treatment she thought I may be able to help her with."
"I said sure and wound up having a ball!"
TRW Installers securing hardware.
And so in the year 2000 The Ruffled Window was born. As it turns out, having a background in fashion, textiles and tailoring gave Robin a huge advantage in her new trade- she found plans weren't so difficult to navigate and was able to easily sidestep some of the large architectural issues that might arise in an a room's production. What's more is the ease that came with conducting an installation on site; after years in fashion, the attention to detail and ability to be meticulous under pressure was nothing short of the norm. 

"I get to work in these gorgeous homes, with beautiful fabrics and with some incredibly talented people." says Robin, not minding a moment of the stress "I love what I do!"

An elegant treatment by The Ruffled Window, interior design by David Kleinberg Design Associates.
After working on her first project accidentally and deciding she would and could do more with window treatments, The Ruffled Window began doing mostly retail projects. However, the more Robin worked with interior designers the more she began to thrive on this new aspect of design. Project to project, Robin was referred to a big interior designer who wanted to try her services on a high end residential project- and this was where it all came together. Both Robin and the designer were able to collaborate and thrive on detail, and in ways many retail projects might not call for, and this was where Robin knew she was onto something.

"Interior designers really do have a vision, and I think that generally when we work together they really appreciate the professionalism, efficiency and attention to detail we bring. We contribute to their vision and make the process go more smoothly."
A Ruffled Window seamstress + artisan preps fabric in the workroom
The workroom, where The Ruffled Window conducts the full preparation and customization of their treatments- be it creating a mock-up of motorized shades; crafting, finishing or gilding their custom hardware (rings, finials, curtain rods); hand stitching an endless array of drapery and curtains; or upholstering custom items- is always bustling with activity. It has been noted before that interior designers understand fabrics and treatments, and great designers especially, know that curtains should hang like a gown, or quite simply how various fabrics should be treated (steamed, pressed, lined etc)- every member of Robin's team understands this as well, and has often been trained by Robin herself.
A Ruffled Window Artisan hand stitches decorative lace drapes in the workroom.
 In fact The Ruffled Window goes to such painstaking lengths as to hand stitch many treatments, as well as coming up with ingenious ways to craft the shape a drape should take. (Once they hand stitched a light chain-mail into the bottom hem of a delicate chiffon drapery so as to have it hang properly and keep its form).
An NYC penthouse gets a custom upholstered column

This often includes a fabrics pre-treatment, mock up, hand detailing and treatment again before an installation. When all of the design specifications are approved, details arranged and fabrics selected with the interior design team, Robin and her team are able to work their
A custom hand-stitched shade in progress.
magic. The effect is often subtle but making all the difference in the world to the end result, lasting quality and ambiance of a room. Especially if your home is being designed to suit your every need and bit of character, be it modern, classical or nouveau traditional, there is likely to be a difficult moment in the design that only a highly trained professional could address properly. Be it having customized motorized shades or drapes, specially cut blinds or a very particular installation...
"We specialize in those hard-to-treat areas and windows," notes Robin, "the detailing should be seamless."
Custom circular blinds
 But really, when you think about it, why shouldn't every inch of a room in the home you are having specially designed for you, your life, needs and desires, be this customized? Investing in the expression of your home through design wouldn't be the same if it were low quality and only partially thought through; which is why companies and trades like this one make such a difference- they are helping dress the room, treating it with the TLC it needs.

With all her knowledge and experience, it's no surprise that some of the biggest names in interior design have Robin on speed dial- The Ruffled Window knows how to treat a room right. And in addition to being pleased she stumbled upon the the custom drapery niche of the high end design world, we're confident to say it probably doesn't hurt that Robin also brings her charisma and warm, positive energy in tow to any project she takes on.
"It's funny," Robin smiles, "I've always said [and really do believe] that having a room or window without a treatment is like going to a black tie ball with no lipstick!"
And ain't that the truth. Down to the last column, pillow, headboard and window, there aren't enough ways to craft and treat elements of our homes with sophistocation and quality care so they last a lifetime. If the eyes are the window to the soul and the windows are the soul of a room, then surely they deserve the attention. I don't know about you, but I just might put Robin Feuer and The Ruffled Window on speed dial myself.
The Ruffled Window works their magic with custom drapery + gilded detailing in this David Kleinberg Design Associates design.
Classic meets modern in this custom treated stairwell. Interior Design by David Kleinberg Design Associates.

Robin Feuer is the CEO and owner of The Ruffled Window. She has received numerous awards as a fashion designer and superlative recognition as a custom draper. The Ruffled Window's workroom is located in Engelwood, New Jersey and they service projects everywhere. You can contact them at: 201.439.9799