All this writing and talk of ticking has helped me to my own small personal epiphany. I have been stalling on making the window valances in my elder daughter’s room at the shore for a while now, but have finally found the right person to construct them.

I have quite a few yards of Bennison‘s gorgeous Lilac linen earmarked for the project as the room has six windows – two sets of bays. The windows and the incredible light are really the focal points of the space and I only want something simple to frame them.  In general, I don’t use curtains in the bedrooms at the beach, preferring plain roller shades for light control hidden behind the valances during the day.  The rooms are all so petite that curtains just take up space and seem heavy for the lightness of the environment. I never understand beach projects with yards and yards of heavy curtains! It is also a great way to use less yardage of beautiful and thus expensive fabrics. I have been searching for the right person to make these as sometimes the fabric is so dear – both emotionally and/or financially – that the expense of the fabricating is less important than the fabric itself. The thought of them coming out wrong is unbearable because I simply couldn’t buy the fabric again, either because it was one of a kind vintage or just plain old costly.

The ceiling in the front bay behind the headboards is quite easy to deal with because it is just straight, but the side bay has a complicated ceiling and the corners of the window molding are cut off. I can’t tell you how many people came through my door and couldn’t or weren’t willing to work with me on solving the problem of those cut corners, suggesting ridiculous things like having the molding show above the valence.

My plan for the valances has been simple scallops which mimic the curvature of the headboards and the clover shaped night table in between the twin beds. The valence below is in Cath Kidson‘s bedroom in another wonderful Bennison roses pattern called Daisy Chain (you already know how much I love their Faded Floral and I’ll be showing how I used their monochrome blue Roses on beige linen soon). Kidson’s window is flat, so she is able to run a single piece valence with small scallops. My bays require a bit of a different treatment, with each window having one single large scallop.

Luckily my lovely new curtain lady understood exactly what I want, where I want them to start from and how I want them to hang.  She took some iPhone photos and created this rendering. While lovely, it is a bit too fancy for me (and my daughter) with the green ruffle in between the scallops – too “decorator-y” if you know what I mean. That said, without some kind of border or contrast the Lilac fabric might look diffused, without punctuation, and I think that issue was what she was trying to solve by adding the secondary fabric. If you look back at the Cath Kidson photo, you’ll see there is a contrasting edging.

So in all these recent posts on ticking fabric I keep coming up with examples that mix well with Bennison florals and scallops. And it got me thinking…

Don’t I have some great lilac ticking put away in my magic fabric closet? And ridiculous me, don’t I have a photograph of it stored somewhere in my files?


I don’t remember how much I have but this is real vintage ticking. What if the scalloped Lilac fabric was piped or bordered in it? I think that might be just the bit of sporty casualness it needs while also defining the edge of the large print. What say you all? For a little visual assistance, here is a mock-up, but keep in mind the scale and color is off.

I really enjoy these great monthly newsletters from Bennison – its easy to sign up for them if you are interested. There are always prettily styled photographs, like this one featuring the Lilac in this post as well as the newest Bennison design information. The most recent newsletter features the same photo of a room with ticking plus a Bennison floral pattern that I just used in my ticking post!

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