Our Top Window Treatment Tips: Making a Statement
There are so many options out there for window treatments – drapery, roman shades, blinds – and it can sometimes be tricky for an untrained eye to figure out which is going to work best for your space. Drapery can make such a statement when done well. When it’s not done well… well, it still makes a statement, but not necessarily a good one.
Window treatments are often one of the first decisions we make. About 80% of the time, our keystone fabric is drapery. It really defines the space, so it’s important to recognize it as a key aesthetic and expense.
Without further ado, here are some of our top tips for choosing great window treatments for your space.
Custom, custom, custom!
In our view, drapery ‘done well’ means custom drapery… but that doesn’t mean it has to be expensive! There are great options out there for inexpensive custom window treatments.
Yes, there are also some nice off-the-shelf options, but you would have to choose really carefully (and maybe still have to do some customising). When in doubt, custom drapery is always best.
Take inspiration from your surroundings
The easiest way to find inspiration for your window treatments is to look at what you’re dealing with and think about what you’d like the end product to look like. When I first look at a window, I ask myself “Do we want to make a bold statement, or do we want it to disappear”.
Let’s say you have an amazing view from the window: maybe of a mountain, a lake, the ocean, or even a beautiful tended garden. In these situations, I’m usually inspired to frame the view.
This can be done using a neutral fabric, so as not to take away from the view. In our own home, we have some really amazing views of our backyard; so, we’ve chosen a neutral, flax linen drapery fringed with white pom-poms for a little bit of visual texture. It really blends well with the walls without taking away from the view.
On the other hand, you can also use a bold solid color or print that draws on a strong color within the view, like the color of a flower arrangement in your garden that you really love..
Sometimes, though, you want to conceal the view as much as you can. For example, you might live in an apartment building that faces the side of another building – and nobody wants to frame that!
In this case, you can use a really fun, bold print or strong colored drapery that captures all the attention. Give yourself permission to really go crazy here!
Think outside the box
It’s only happened a handful of times in our years of decorating spaces, but sometimes you come across a unique situation where a window covering just isn’t going to cut it.
If you find yourself in this situation, try to come at it from a different angle. Don’t see it as a challenge, but rather as an opportunity to do something totally unique!
In our case, we’ve highlighted windows in a space by creating a built-in bookshelf or even a cosy window seat as alternative solutions.
Extra touches: Rods & Hardware
Your window treatment shouldn’t stop at deciding on a color, print and fabric. Hardware also makes a really big difference to the look and feel of your choice.
We tend to use custom wrought-iron hardware for our projects, especially return rods that curve back to the wall, avoiding the use of any finials. It makes for a really spectacular, beautiful finish that keeps everything quiet, allowing your fabric to be the real focus.
We’ve also had projects where we’ve had custom rods made that hang from the ceiling rather than being attached directly to the wall. It’s a unique twist that offers a really cool and interesting perspective.
And they’re not just for windows!
I think my favourite thing about drapery is that it’s not just for windows!
Drapery can be used to make a statement both as a window treatment or as another element in your room. Like the big curtain on Broadway stages, drapery can be used to create drama, such as when it’s used to section off a room.
At Showhouse 2016, we used drapery to create a slight pausing moment when people walked into the space. This visual stopping point created a really beautiful dramatic effect.
Tying it all together
No matter what kind of window treatment you end up choosing, it’s really important to tie it in with the rest of the room. We typically start with the drapery, so it ends up complementing the rest of the space by nature.
If drapery isn’t your starting point, the best way to tie everything together is to jump off a rug or a special piece of art in the space – even a pillow! Use this as your starting point and choose a window treatment that really complements the other colors, patterns and textures in that focal point.
This is a great tip for design in general, not just drapery. Each designer typically has their own tricks for identifying a jumping-off point – and it’s really fun to try!
Want to see more solutions to the drapery dilemma? Check out our friend Claire of Centered By Design’s post to see her window treatment tips and ideas.
What about you – have you ever faced a ‘window dilemma’? Shoot us your window treatment questions in the comments, or let us know if these tips have helped you!