French Drapery Dynasty is Window Decor Amour

Houlès – French family design company selling full spectrum fabrics, window treatments and foot-long tassels

Founded in 1928, Houlès is a family-owned French Company that has since earned international notoriety extending beyond Paris and Europe to the United States and the rest of the cosmopolitan design hubs around the world.  Originally a wholesaler of upholstery supplies, the family patriarch, Félix and his son André Houlès established the parent company in the heart of Paris known as the Faubourg Saint-Antoine area, the famous mecca for architects, interior designers and upholsterers. Originally named “18 rue Saint-Nicolas”, Houlès has since honed its business to focus on creating and editing trimmings collections…now a well established worldwide industry icon.  Today, Houlès designs, manufactures and sells four main product categories: Fabrics, Trimmings, Curtain Hardware and upholstery supplies. Houlès provides its client base with a complete range of window treatment decoration, wall-covering and furniture upholstery.

Hotel Claridge - Paris France

Claridge Hotel (Paris, France) – the combination of Houlès DRYADE fabric and Houlès trimmings brings elegance .

There’s a segment of international homeowners at the more flamboyant end of the spectrum demanding drapery and window treatments with more than a dash of color and a moderate privacy.  Blatant bling is what they crave… with tremendous tassels, a flair for fringe, curtain rods and finials fit for a palace.  In fact, Houlès trimmings decorate curtains on windows of the Élysée Palace, the official French presidential residence. Also, Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater uses Houlès trimmings on its main stage curtain.

Though the company enjoys a broad network of agents around the world, with growth markets including Russia, the Middle East and even a Manhattan showroom in the the U.S…roughly 80% of the company’s business is residential.  But aside from its Paris storefront, where everyday shoppers are welcome, the company deals exclusively with interior designers and other professionals. Houlès provides the materials for complete drapes, but customers are expected to find local help to assemble and hang them.  A decorator can coordinate an entire room around drapes, including furniture upholstery and wall coverings.  But Houlès focus, however, is on trimmings, such as the decorative edges of curtains, the tiebacks used to keep them open and the handmade tassels that hang on the tiebacks.

As Houlès design manager, Régis Perry creates classic collections of window trimmings.  He consults archives or sometimes visits the Louvre, where he gleans inspiration from Old Master paintings. A more elaborate trimmings collection can take up to a year to develop.  But of all the many trimmings collections he has created, which one did Perry choose for his own home?

None, he admits. He has velvet curtains, but no tiebacks or tassels. “We have a modern house,” he says. “We do have some trimmings on the sofa, but not a lot.”

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