You’ll agree with me that window dressing is important, if for no other valid reason than your neighbors don’t need to see you running around in your underwear. Now that we’ve got this covered, let’s do a little visualisation. It’s the first night in your new home, you’ve temporarily tacked sheets or old newspapers to the windows (see aforementioned reason) and you sit there wondering how you’re going to dress your windows.
Reality is, unless you live in a glass house on a 100 acre property, you need to think about window coverings. Most designers will agree that window dressings will account for 20% of a room’s budget. Here’s a pill to swallow. Vertical blinds are out the window (pun intended), horizontal ones as well (especially the far too popular cheap white plastic ones).
So, what to do? First of all, two words: custom made. Then, the options are endless but here are a few of my favorites.
1. First thing’s first, it’s always great to consider the level of privacy required. Do your windows open onto a busy street or a secluded backyard with high fences on a street of single level homes? If your home is pretty private, you may want to opt for sheer (dear god not the of the thin sheer ruffled variety) roman shades in a beautiful quality linen. It will let light in all day, but will still give you some degree of privacy.
2. If you are on a busy street, then block out curtains are a must. Besides, they look fantastic and can really make a huge impact on a room so don’t be afraid to splurge a little on the fabric side. If you live in a colder climate, consider thick patterned velvets. Linens are great for warmer climates.
Curtains usually go from floor to ceiling and vastly extend the width of the window. Yes, it’s a lot more fabric, yes it will make a world of a difference. And choose brass, silver, acrylic (an instant classic) or black classic rods.
3. If you’re a little more preppy, classic or are feeling a little adventurous, here’s one trend that’s making a huge comeback: upholstered pelmets (or cornices or valences). Boxes made in various shapes that will hide the rods or hanging system altogether. These are also great if you have large windows and want a more sophisticated or automated curtain system.
4. Roman shades are fantastic in the kitchen and bathroom, or on any small sized or awkwardly positioned window. They also just generally look great. They come in a variety of styles from relaxed roman to rear tucked (my two personal favorites). They are also cost effective for small windows in rooms with high ceilings.
5. The complete package. Get the best of all worlds by dressing your windows with curtains and bamboo blinds. It’s practical, versatile and extra gorgeous when well executed. Inexpensive bamboo shades work a charm under the curtains.14