Three Words on Windows: Keep.Them.Tailored.

joy of nesting

Unless you hire a knowledgeable designer, purchasing window treatments will likely end you up in one of two categories.  The first category is the do it yourself type via catalogs like Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware.  With the possible exception of tie on sheers, no window treatments should be bought off the rack.  They should be custom fitted and of appropriate materials and craftsmanship, equal to the quality of the home.

The second category is designed by a professional who though well intentioned, seldom picks up a design magazine to see where trends are moving and ends up doing those overly frou frou numbers that lack any reference to current styles.  Window by Jay Jeffers.

Window treatments should be back drops to their room.  They are most often simply designed, coordinating with the room and entire house.  They must be clean and well-kempt as a good haircut. If they are busy and frilly then they are backdrops to a busy and frilly design scheme.  Window dressings don’t overpower the room or call direct attention to themselves.  They blend in like accessories.  Window Allison Paladino.

Though I use different fabrics and trims for each client, I tend to design the same products repeatedly: board mounted valances, roman shades, stationery or functioning draperies, and woven shades. Home of luxury retailers Delphine and Reed Krakoff.

Some simple rules apply to choosing the right style window treatment for your window.  First, I identify the “type” of treatment needed for each window. What is the window’s exposure to sun, cold, and moisture?  How does the window open and close?  Do they need interlining?  Are they interesting windows or dull?  Is the view good?  Further, bedroom windows obviously have different needs than say the breakfast room where you want to peer outdoors while you eat. Window Kathryn Ireland.

You can see that these draperies by designer Frank Roop are modern and contemporary while the draperies in the picture above it are traditional.  The trims and fabrics will often determine the style.   So, most “types” window treatments can be incorporated into a variety of decor schemes.

Window treatments, like landscaping, should be considered into the budget straight off.  They are a major expense.  French doors and glass sliding doors almost always require draperies on a traverse rod or on “rod and ring” which means you use batons instead of pulleys to open and shut them.  Window Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

Curtains aren’t just for windows.  Used over a daybed or outdoor pavilion, draping fabric evokes feelings of protection and luxury.  Windows by Mary McDonald.

Most custom designed valances and draperies are hung at ceiling height.  This makes a graceful statement.  All my draperies are figured at “three times fullness” and occasionally are interlined for even more body. Windows by Katie Ridder.

The cost of window treatments per house varies dramatically but figure about $50,000 for a 4,000 square foot house.  Figuring them into the building costs of the house, the way you do landscaping is one option of making sure your home won’t be obviously missing something.  Windows Tom Scheerer.

Window treatments should be addressed after construction has ended, during the decorating phase of purchasing furniture and fabrics.  Allow several months for the process which consists of design, ordering, fabrication, and installation.  As with all custom products, custom window treatments are prone to delays and alterations.  A good designer will minimize those frustrations, delivering an overall beautiful and satisfying end result! Windows Steven Gambrel.

April 11, 2011

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Three Words on Windows: Keep.Them.Tailored.

Three Words on Windows: Keep.Them.Tailored.

Three Words on Windows: Keep.Them.Tailored.