“I do curtains!” jokes Janice Melton, Allied ASID, who owns the Melton Workroom in downtown Los Angeles. An interior designer by training, with a degree in Art Practice from UC–Berkeley, Melton worked for over 16 years in the motion-picture industry. Interior design and, especially, textiles were always her true love, so when her good friend Ann Wallace retired in 2016, it was natural that Melton would buy Wallace’s Prairie Textiles company. She renamed the business the Melton Workroom, but has kept Ann’s focus: to create stencil, applique, and embroidery designs in an Arts & Crafts spirit inspired by Morris, Stickley, and Mackintosh. Projects range from window curtains and shades to pillows, bedspreads, and table runners; she also carries hard-to-find curtain hardware.
Each order is custom, based on individual client’s needs regarding fabric, color palette, and room design—“no project is too small,” Melton assures us. The work is one-of-a-kind; even if a stencil or applique design is one of the standards, each order is customized and made by hand.
A project starts with careful measurements, whether it’s for a table linen, bedding, or a window covering. Melton says clients don’t need to “over measure,” but their numbers should be within 1 / 8", and it’s helpful if they send photos. Fabric selection is a critical element, and Melton is here to help. She likes to send a sample pack (of fabrics or paint colors) and then walk the customer through the process. Fabrics are 100% linen and/or cotton in natural and white, but custom colors are also available. A classic neutral that goes well with any decorating scheme, raw cotton is a popular choice. Roller-shade fabrics are made especially for shades and duplicate the old-fashioned shine of varnish; a light-blocking coating is available.
Melton offers a range of hardware choices. (Roller-shade pulls, for example, go beyond traditional crochet hoops to metal and wood.) “Wash your hands before you pull on a shade hem!” Janice admonishes with a laugh.
Los Angeles, California