Category Archives: New York City Window Treatments

Gramercy Park Home by Elise Som Design Studio

Gramercy Park area always attracted famous people among them writers such as S. J. Perelman, Edmund Wilson and Mary McCarthy. In 1926 it was the site of Humphrey Bogart’s wedding.

There has been several conversions of older buildings in the area such as 50 Gramercy Park, 36 Gramercy Park and 18 Gramercy Park (in last phases of completion) And with every conversion newer owners come and renovate those uniquely built Pre-War apartments keeping the detail with a touch of modern design.

That was the case when Elise and Amanda from Elise Som Deisgn Studio where asked to come up with a design for an apartment on Gramercy Park East.

We where involved in the per-construction stage helping to design Curtains for each room and Roman Shades for the Kitchen and Bathroom areas.
For extra convenience the Kitchen shades which had double layer of Solar Shades and blackout Roman Shades where all motorized. When you have so many windows and need to open and close them every day, using a remote control can help a lot.

It was particularly fun seeing Elise and Amanda lay out all the accessories and choosing location for the furniture. Just like an artist or a painter that wonders what color to use next. Placing them in one location, looking from afar then moving it slightly to the right and say voilà (this is just perfect)

Working with high end fabrics also makes much of a difference in the way Curtains lay out or Roman Shade naturally fall in place.

Taking pictures of the result is always a rush project and we never get to be there when all is set and done but here are some work in progress photos.

36 Gramercy Curtains

36 Gramercy Curtains


36 Gramercy Roman Shades


36 Gramercy Roman Sheer

36 Gramercy Roman Sheers

Electric Shades Up in the Sky above Bloomingdales

A few weeks ago a client, who just bought an apartment in a in Mid-Town, called us to schedule an appointment to discuss installing electric shades.

Apparently they were moving into 205 East 59th Street, a building developed by Manhattan Skyline that was built in 2005. This building has unique apartment layouts with 20′ ceilings and double height windows. Although it makes the apartment more dramatic and spacious but it also makes it very hard to reach to open and close any window treatments.


In cases like that, we allays recommend electric shades. For a modern look most people prefer roller shades that are minimalistic and practically disappear into its built in metal fascia leaving the window with its full view of the city completely open. Flat sheer roman shades could also work well with those windows (example here)


Phifer SheeWeave solar fabric will help save energy on cooling costs letting only 5% of the light into the apartment and blocking the heat and glare that comes in the after noon and evening hours. Two weeks after the order was placed I came with the installers and our electrician to install the shades.

I thought after installing so many time climbing on a scaffolding or a tall ladders would be easy and they would be used to the height but Juan our installer mention that every time he goes up there is a point of fear right at the top of the ladder, specially when you carry a 10′ shade in one hand.

In trying to get exact size and leave no gaps there is always a challenge to get the right size but in this case the shade fit just exactly that means it is much harder to push it into the bracket, but with a big of an effort it is in and the shade is going up and down.

I did not have a chance to see the end of the installation but in the bedroom the client selected blackout curtains using Carol Fabric’s Westbury and Griffen Collections

Westbury Silver                     Griffen Optic White                     Westbury Natural


Those fabrics are naturally tending to wrinkle so to end the installation we normally take some time to steam the curtains and make sure that are smooth and stay in shape.


The Art of Apartment Staging – 752 West End Avenue

It all started when Nishila, a broker we worked with, called us and mentioned they have a new conversion project on West End Avenue and need to stage a few apartments.

As it happened, like most projects there is no budget for a designer so it was up to Nishila to come up with a design and execute it.

We met a the building to see the apartments. It was quite a challenge since they had low ceilings, windows that faces other buildings and not much light.

In these cases designers focus on creating statement with lighting, fabrics, accessories and sometimes window treatments. With an idea of showing potential client
how to decorate their place (where to place a bed or a sofa) and placing the attention on the advantages of the unit. (such as the size, or kitchen or storage space)

Addressing the window treatments we recommended soft treatments such as Roman Shades and Curtains. Those help frame the windows and bring the attention of the
viewer inside the room. The design process included brainstorming about style and fabrics with questions like:

Should we cover the frames of the windows with the shade or install the shades inset?
Weather to use unreconstructed roman shades that are more casual or structured ones that are more modern?
Do we want full operating curtains or simple side panels?

Budget concerns dictated most of the answers but for example Nishila chose to show the frames of the windows as they were
newly renovated and added detail to the rooms.

We than went to discuss fabrics. Since we had 3 apartments to work on Nishla chose one to be with Gold tones, one more  masculine with Grey Silver Tones and one to be Neutral linen colors


And here are some of the results

It was sad to learn, that this project was half sold out when the developer chose to sell the building.

Inside 50 Gramercy Park

Electric shades in 50 Gramercy

Working in High-End condo owners most often means working with high-profile designers.
And that was the case with 50 Gramercy Park when Geoffrey A. Blatt asked us to price out
a job in that building.

Sheer Roman in Bedroom 50 Gramercy

Even though we have less control of fabric selection its always fun to work with new fabrics
and push our limit when asked to make bigger shades or non standard patterns and styles.

The windows in 50 Gramercy are fairly wide and when making large shades like that its always recommended to add a motor since they tend to be heavy to lift. In this case there was no need for us to connect the shades to a home automation system but in the bedrooms we did install two layer shades with electric blackout shade close to the window and a soft sheer roman shade in front of it. Motorization system is by Somfy. It is a high voltage system with wireless switches on the wall. A very reliable system where the motor size is selected according to the weight of each shade. And although it is high voltage it has quiet operation.

In the master bedroom Mr. Blatt chose to have a blackout Tier Drop Roman Shade. This shade (as seen bellow) has its folds always visible even when the shade is down. A style that gives the shade a soft elegant look at any position.

Tier Drop Roman in Bedroom 50 Gramercy

More New Developments at Tempo, 300 E. 23rd Street

Here’s just a sample of the work being done for residents at Tempo, a brand new condominium in Gramercy Park at 300 E. 23rd Street. We’ve installed these Hunter Douglas Nantucket Shades, Electric Solar Shades, Custom Curtains and Motorized Hunter Douglas Silhouette Shades (See images bellow).  Check New Developments on our website for more to come!

Custom curtains and sheers in bedroom
Electric Solar Shades
More Electric Solar Shades


Electric Solar Shades with a view


Amazing view thought Motorized Hunter Douglas Silhouette Shades
Tempo 300 E. 23rd Street, New York City, Gramercy Park
Nantucket Shades installed in Tempo