Strong colors happen to be Cargill’s favorites, especially red, which draws her the way red flowers draw hummingbirds. “In London’s gray weather, crisp colors cheer me up,” she says. Although she loves designing curtains (“I am mad for textiles,” she says), she doesn’t always assume that curtains are needed, even for a living room.
“Shades or blinds can be a simpler alternative and still have punch,” she says. “Because they use far less fabric, they’re economical too.” Bay windows, for example, can be the devil to dress. Her solution for the one in her living room was thin cotton blinds bordered with red tape. “Our houses and windows are better insulated today, so we don’t need the draft protection once provided by heavy drapes,” she notes.
How can colors at the window engage the room? Cargill finds all sorts of ways. Often, she feels, a dark wall is best served by light-color curtains. Or she might opt for a continuity of hue. One could also draw attention to the window with a fabric and color pop. A signature Cargill trick, however, is trim. “A border of grosgrain or velvet ribbon gives a finished dressmaker look and can pull colors together with a bit of snap.”