Window treatments are one of your most powerful decorating tools. With curtains or blinds, you can change how light falls into your room and turn hard angles into easy swoops or full curves. But don’t let the ocean of options dismay you. To find your best combination of form, fabric and color, think of function first, then style and detail.
Decide how much light and privacy you need.
If you want to block most of the light in a room and ensure privacy, you’ll need either heavy drapes or shades. In the family room, where you occasionally want complete darkness for watching TV, combine curtains with adjustable blinds for the most control. For living rooms or dining rooms, you might just want sheers or lighter hangings that soften the window but don’t block light.
When selecting fabric, match the formality of your room.
Silk and velvet will give you the most elegant look, but you can also use silky rayon blends or cotton sateen in formal settings. Casual rooms want the comfort of linen, cotton, crushed velvet, wool, or wool blends.
Some fabrics may require lining, which can block more light and protect them from sun damage. Natural silk quickly deteriorates in sunlight, so always use lining with it. The added weight can also help lighter materials hang properly.
It can be very hard to tell if a particular textile will fall with crisp, even folds in drapes or roman blinds, so before you start shopping, you might want to work with an experienced designer who can guide your choices.
Use color to blend or brighten.
For coverings that blend into your color scheme, opt for neutrals or hues slightly darker than the walls. They’ll add texture and shape to your room without distracting the eye from your focal points.
For added interest, play up your favorite accent shade. A muted jewel tone like Lee Jofa’s Mesa Purple linen fabric, for example, will complement deep golds and browns. You can tie it all together with vases, artwork, or throw pillows in the same family.
Or if you want your windows to take center stage, dress them in something adventurous, like Duralee’s Pumpkin, and they’ll steal the show.
Add subtle pattern for interest.
If the room already has pattern on the furniture or walls, provide some visual breathing space with solid hues at the windows. Or use color blocks to break up a long expanse of drapery without overloading the eye. Consider tone-on-tone beryl blues or complementary rose and sage.
However if the room incorporates mostly solid shades, window treatments make an ideal showcase for the right motif. To create a subtle impression, look for small repeating designs in neutrals. Choices range from sophisticated stripes to cute polka dots. Look at Fabricut’s Daimler Linen for a charming example.
Or turn heads with bold strokes.
Large graphics draw the eye and reflect other shapes in the room. Whether you’re going for large, mid-century circles, minimalist angles, or groovy free forms, choose a fabric with the same geometry. Osborne & Little’s Mojito, for example, will spice up a modern look.
By the way, contrary to popular belief, you can mix patterns, but you have to know what you’re doing. If you want sophisticated combos, consult an interior designer to help you pull it off with panache. (Click here to see how it can be done.)
Know where to start and stop.
Most people hang their curtains from about 6 inches above the window to make the room look taller. For a clean, modern, and casual effect, have them end just a half-inch above the floor.
For a more traditional approach, add 3 to 4 inches so that drapes “break” or “puddle” on the floor. This style works well in older homes, which might have uneven floors because the break hides the slope.
With all the options and styles, window treatments have the power to accentuate colors, soften edges, or stir up drama. If you’re curious to see what curtains or blinds could do for your interior decor, contact us at The Guest Room Furniture and Design.