Window treatments should reflect the basic decorative style of your home, enhance the overall look of every room, and resolve any architectural or design issues. They can make a statement or blend into the overall d├ęcor of a room. My personal feeling is that only in rare instances should window treatments be the focal point of a room. Following are some important elements to consider when making selections for covering windows.

There are many options to achieve privacy. Draperies or curtains are the simplest choices. Lighter fabrics may require a lining. Layering using draperies, curtains, or panels accompanied by shades or blinds gives you more alternatives and a more dramatic look. (drapery fabric is heavier than curtains, both open and close; panels are stationery). Blinds or decorative shades can be used alone in less formal rooms.

Vertical Blinds give several options
for light control over a large expanse.
Light control is a major consideration and also addresses privacy issues. Vertical blinds offer several degrees of light control over a large expanse: the amount of penetrating light and the direction it flows. Cellular shades provide insulating properties, keeping the heat out in the summer, and warmth in during the winter. Interlined shades, fitted inside the window, are a simple option. Drapes can also be lined with blackout material. The rods these are hung from should have a return to the wall so that light doesn’t filter in from the sides. Yet another option is a solar shade. The virtue of these is that they don’t conceal the view, yet keep out the heat and glare of the sun. (My apt in Sunny Isles Beach, FL is on the 25th floor with wall to wall, 10 ft high windows. I enjoy unobstructed views. Solar shades allow me to adjust the level of each shade on each individual window to compensate for the angle of the sun without sacrificing the view. When all the blinds are raised, you don’t see them at all. )

Decorative treatments add formality
Window treatments help create the mood, and reflect the degree of formality of a space. More formal rooms require full length drapes (curtains or panels) that extend about 6 inches beyond each side of the window and reach to the floor. The use of headings, decorative hardware, rods, valences, and use of jabots enhances style choice. Use of layering also plays a large role in creating mood. Understated window coverings can be used for making a space appear larger, or to camouflage awkwardly sized or placed windows. In this case, the color of the coverings should be the same color as the wall.

Statement window treatments can call attention to a beautiful view. If privacy is not a consideration, the simplest choice is panels that are stationery, and simply frame the window. If privacy is a factor, window treatments should open and close as needed. Stationary drapes, or blinds, or shades permanently block a poor view.

Blinds are versatile in any setting
Room balance can be a major concern if, for example, you have an expanse of windows. If the rest of the room is beautifully appointed, a bare window wall will make the entire room feel awkward. Vertical blinds work well for a wall of windows for a more contemporary look. Statement treatments can be used successfully in more traditional settings that might have a unique architectural element like a bow or bay window. Room balance is also affected by windows that are too small. Use simple treatments that extend beyond the window’s width, and hung at ceiling height (or just below crown molding).

HIRE A DECORATOR for all your design needs. Robin Lechner is a residential interior design professional, with offices in Florida and New York. Robin Lechner Designs provides excellent customer service no matter the size of the project. Email me directly with any questions.

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