From Pasta To &Drape

From early explorations in design and growing up in the interior business to a pasta dinner in Copenhagen and now shaking up the interior industry with made-to-measure curtains, Julie Vendal and Nadia Al Zagir Balling have come a long way with &Drape. With their calm contemporary take on colors, they’ve now claimed their spot on the scene.


Join us as we sit down with Nadia and Julie for a talk about design, aesthetics, processes and how &Drape actually came to be. 

From Pasta To &Drape


So, how did you end up working with curtains?


Working with textiles and curtains is a natural progression for us. Julie grew up in a family running their own curtain company since the 1960s while Nadia studied design and spent time within fashion and design. Our shared passion for lighting, tactility, and colors grew over the years before we finally came to the point of no return: founding &Drape. 





How did the two of you meet?


We are friends since our university days. In 2014 during a pasta dinner date on a warm and rainy summer evening, a spark ignited between us. We chatted all night about life and love and discovered we had this strong common ground of shared values and dreams for our lives. That was truly a special night, we will always remember, as it probably was the kickstart of our journey together towards creating &Drape - without us knowing it yet.





What inspired you to launch &Drape?


3 years after that pasta dinner date, we had another chat on Julie’s balcony a late October day, then Julie had just quit her job to seek new adventures and Nadia had just had a baby. We were both reflecting on our dreams and life. We talked all day and evening about freedom, a desire for creating our own, and a strong common passion for working with beautiful atmospheres - and that same day we decided the solution was to create &Drape made to measure curtains by ourselves and we started this journey together. We created &Drape together without any funding, and launched in spring 2018.





Can you describe the &Drape aesthetics? 


When working with textiles and curtains, the interaction between colors and materials takes center place. At &Drape, we always include colors with just a slight tone of black or grey to create a dusty and spacious vibe. Even our more “colorful” stylings do have an understated dusty tone to create a timeless expression. 


We love to create this dreamy, dusty, colorful styling, that caters to a certain atmosphere in the room. It can be wall-to-wall curtains to create the feeling of open space or perhaps walls of curtains serving as room dividers while highlighting furniture in the space.





How does it compare to homes of your own? 


&Drape aesthetics reflect our personal aesthetics - timeless modern with a twist or a small detail, that makes a big difference. We work daily with colors in &Drape, creating many color combinations and different moods in our curtain styling projects. Therefore it actually can feel best that our own homes are a kind of blank canvas, that creates a sense of space and mental room to experiment and think freely and create. Therefore our own homes are a blank canvas in primarily dusty creme, shaded white, wood, beige, grey, brown tones, but always with details of timeless colors that add energy to the interior and atmosphere, such as subtle yellow, mint, very dark blue almost black, greyish-green, etc. We love colors, but also love to use them deliberately, as a complimenting detail or as a main element in a complimenting manner to add that something extra to a space and a certain atmosphere and feeling. In that sense colors are magical.     



What sparks your creative process? 


Architecture has always been a major source of inspiration to us alongside natural elements like the sea - always in motion. That and the magical moments when seasons change and light takes on a special hue is what we have in mind once we get the actual textile in hand. We always try to boil it down to: "What mood are we trying to create for this specific space?"





Greatest ambition for the coming year?


We’re at the point where we feel like we know who &Drape is and have created a great foundation for our continued journey with the company - both in our retail and digital spaces. 


Advising on styling has always been the core of &Drape’s DNA and approach to design. We tailor products and solutions to individual spaces and projects, and always with quality and details front and center. This is super important to us and something we want to make sure is always a central part of the company.


In only 3 years, we’ve taken this company from an intriguing idea to a full-fledge company - which is more than we’ve ever hoped for. But we have a great team and we’re excited to see what the future has in store for us, so let’s talk again in 2 years and see where we’re at!


Make sure to check out Julie, Nadia and &Drape here.