Choosing Window Treatments
How to Choose the right Window treatment for your windows.
Ready to make a change? Haven't found the right look to finish off your windows or have no clue where to start? I will share with you a few of my top window treatment picks, tips on measuring and how to achieve an overall look that works for not only your space but your budget.
With so many window covering options, where is one to start? I would suggest looking thru decor magazines to find your inspiration. Find the look you like and go from there. If you can sew, lucky you! Custom made are the best way to go but are not within the reach of most. I found you can get the look without the cost by pairing ready made with decorative hardware and mixing up the layers. For example. Using sheers topped with stationary side panels over wood blinds. Not only are you getting a layered look but different textures. There is also the benefit of privacy and sun control while adding textiles to a room.
So how to select the right look? Start with the room and type of window.
Bathrooms: I love the look of a roman shade, easy to operate and works well with most decor themes. A sheer shade is a great way to soften what can be a hard room, a simple tension rod with a ready made sheer or panel as a valence or swagged over a rod can add a ton of style as well. No reason to stop at the window. I use ready made panels for my tub enclosure instead of shower curtains. The selections are much greater, the panel length options are better and can be less expensive. I take my panels all the way to the ceiling and have them touch the floor. Creates interest and drama.
Kitchens: A valance is usually all you will need but can be installed with shades to give sun control or privacy. Wood or bamboo are great choices and come ready to hang in many options and sizes. I try to avoid lots of fabric they absorb cooking smells. Tip on installation. Install shades inside window frames or take them to the ceiling. If using with a valance, install valance to start of ceiling, mounting shade underneath.
Bedrooms: Shades or under Sheers for privacy is how I like to address the bedroom. Fabric or a natural material like wood or bamboo for shades. I then top them off with a set of side panels (if space allows for 2) installed on a decorative rod. Looking for more of an elegant look? Add a swagged valance on top of the panels/rod This gives you privacy and when desired will allowing you to open everything up when desired.
Living rooms/Family rooms: If you have a more formal area of the house, I love to do panels, from ceiling to floor with extra length to "puddle" on the floor. The key is to lengthen any given room by installing the window treatments from the ceiling (or directly under any crown molding) and to have extra to lay on the floor. This gives the illusion of height and doesn't cut the visual plains of the space. For a less formal look, valences again installed to the ceiling being sure they cover the top of the window. The trick is to fill the space between the ceiling and the top of the window to create the height without adding another horizontal line, thus softening the window frame in the same time.
You can find many online seamstresses that make made to order drapery panels, all you need is the height of your ceiling and the width of your window. Next you will want to decide if you want to pull the drapes completely closed or have them fixed and use alone or with sheers or a shade. The reason for this will be to determine how many width or "cuts" you will need for the panels. If fixed, one width should be full enough (approximately 50" per panel) If you are planning on closing and opening you may need fuller panels.
Always take into account that when you install your panels you will be taking them over around 6'-8" on either side of the window for the best look, proportion and any return the brackets might have. This ensures maximum light coverage and gives smaller windows the illusion of more presence. It also allows for a double rod if sheers are going to be added and they can be drawn and tucked behind the panels.
Having draperies made, you can choose to have them lined in a cotton lining, inner lined with a flannel fabric for added fullness and weight or there is the option of using blackout lining for maximum sun protection. Many fabrics can go unlined as well, just depends of the type of fabric and the look you are going for. For example sheers and linens, you may not need or want to line. Heavy brocades or tapestries look the same from both side and might not be an issue.
I do like to have all the windows that are seen from the same side of a house have the same lining or shade, it makes for a cleaner appearance, so you might want to keep that in mind as well when shopping for window coverings.
So whether you buy ready made or are thinking about custom draperies, just know you can do it in stages, mix things up and make it your own. Rods, tie backs and finials can greatly add to the overall look and fell of a drapery treatment, so keep that in mind as another option to dress it up or down. What room are you in need of a window treatment makeover?