Whether you have a new or existing home the task of designing and specifying window treatments can be daunting. Today I want to help you work through the process and teach you the simple ways to infuse some wow into those windows without the stress. The first step is to identify the two types of window treatments you may need; HARD- the functional window coverings such as blinds and SOFT- these are the decorative treatments made out of fabric. Above is an example of combining hard and soft window treatments using my favorite plantation shutters and simple side panels for a touch of warmth. Also a good example of how simply going a few shades darker than the wall with the fabric choice can create a finished look without the fuss.
Hard treatments; I have clients that just love their windows and do not want to cover them but consider a few points; do you need to block the sun from creating glare (example-on flat screen, computer or in the kitchen when dining), will you need privacy in the bedroom and bathrooms, and do you need the added insulation that window treatments can provide. I often recommend using 2″ white wood blinds shown to the left because they are functional and disappear. They relate to the window casings allowing the soft window treatments or room decor to become the focal point. You can find them at blinds.com, an excellent source. Soft Treatments; this is where the wow factor can really enter in. Points to consider when deciding where to add soft window treatments; do I need a pop of color and texture, do I need to add some warmth and softness, will they need to be functional as well as decorative and are there any allergies in the house.
I am using a lot of woven wood shades these days, they can be lined for privacy in bedrooms and bathrooms, and unlined in more public spaces to allow natural light in as shown to the left (just beware of glare if unlined). Now on to the wow factor, window treatments can bring a touch of color and texture to any room. Depending on their style and pattern you create as much drama as you are after or simply have them complete the look of your design. The kitchen is a lovely place to introduce some pattern and texture surrounded by cabinetry and hard surfaces. Below, fabric roman shades add just the right amount of pattern and softness to a serene monochromatic master-bath. I just love roman shades and have used them in just about everyroom.
The trends I am seeing in soft window treatments are simple side panels with interesting hardware (rods), roman shades and cornices. For hard treatments wood blinds, woven woods, plantation shutters and Silhouettes (the modern day replacement to the sheer) for a more elegant feel. This circular room boasts a custom curved valance with just the right amount of detail. Side panels finish the look adding warmth and drama. when you are using side panels there are so many top options I just adore this Tobi Fairley design and her choice of hardware.
So where are we finding these fabulous window treatments? For the hard treatments I use an authorized Hunter Douglass dealer and for soft I have work-rooms that sew what I design. Your local seamstress may also sew window treatments and pillows so do some research. If you need ready made I love the panels at Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn. I have clients that have also used Smith and Noble and were very happy with the quality and price. For more examples of styles you might connect with click here.
The final image address’ a few concerns my clients have about where to hang the window treatments when you have a transom window. I recommend hanging above the transom and close to the ceiling for a dramatic effect. I hope this has inspired you to embrace the world of window treatments and would love to answer any questions you may have about your windows in Just Ask.