Designer-Worthy Window Treatments: Dos and Don'ts

Designer-Worthy Window Treatments: Dos and Don'ts

It is not necessary to style your windows in a pane. To get the most out of your living room's window treatments, follow these guidelines.

DO: Make your curtains tall and wide.

Hang curtains at least 12 inches above the window frame or all the way to the ceiling to make your home appear larger and more opulent. Extend your curtain rod 3 to 6 inches on either side for the best effect.

DO NOT: Hang them directly above the window.

Drapes that hang directly above the frame obstruct the window and let in less light, giving the entire space a congested appearance. Keep in mind that your curtains should not fall more than 2 inches within the frame on either side when open.

DO: Layer Window Coverings

Designer windows nearly always have at least two window treatments, whether it's a matchstick shade with curtains, wood blinds with a lovely Roman shade, or louvered shutters with a sleek valance. This rule not only improves practicality (more window treatments, better insulation), but it also improves style by making the window a design focal point. Consider the above window sans the yellow draperies. Isn't it boring?

DON'T: Go Too Far

Window treatments are no exception. Too much of anything is usually a negative thing. The more fabric you drape over a window, the less light comes in and the smaller your area appears. Before you commit, experiment with a few other layering approaches.

DO: Lower the curtains to the floor.

Buying store-bought curtains without first measuring the height of the wall is a common mistake made by inexperienced decorators. Drapes should puddle slightly, kiss the floor, or hover a half-inch above the floor for a fitted look. Cafe curtains on a windowsill are the same.

DO NOT: Come to a halt on the windowsill.

High waters were not cool in high school, and they are most emphatically not cool in your living room. Consider the window above, which is draped with floor-length drapes that are hanging high and wide. That would completely change the appearance of the room.



DO: Choose wide-slat blinds or shutters.

A good window treatment adds style, but a great window treatment becomes a part of the architecture of your home. Spend more money on wood or faux wood blinds or interior shutters with wide slats. These premium solutions may be more expensive up front, but they can actually boost the value of your property over time.

DON'T: Scrimp on Quality Blinds

Plastic blinds often shatter and discolor, detracting from the overall appearance of your area.

DO: Experiment with Patterns

Complementary motifs with comparable scale and tone. Be bold. Choose some patterns that stand out. You can mix and match traditional print with modern prints as well.

DO NOT: Complicate Your Idea.

Color blocking can work with drapes, but this mismatched "pair" apparently echoing the abstract painting is just odd. Avant-garde ideas, in general, are better articulated in coffee table books than in dining room window treatments.

DO: Take Use of Natural Lighting

Taking advantage of Mother Nature's most recognized energy source lowers household expenditures, changes the appearance of your space throughout the day, and can even influence the atmosphere of your rooms. A well-chosen treatment, such as these translucent rolling blinds, maximizes those benefits.

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