“There is something different about the house,” our daughter, Kelly, says after she and her husband, Britt, spent the day with us. “I don’t know what it is, but it feels cozier.”
If I ever doubted the power of window treatments to add the perfect finish to a room, here was proof positive. I had just dressed our living-room windows with paneled drapes after years of letting the windows fly solo with shutters.
Often, the window treatments are one of the last things we do when we decorate a room, but a room just isn’t “done” until the curtain call. Need to cover a window or two in your home? Here are three of my favorite treatments.
Made in the shade
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The Romans are still conquering the world — the world of window coverings, that is. Roman shades, a classic in the world of interior design, are at once simple, clean and gorgeous.
The shades also offer another opportunity to bring color and pattern to a space. And these shades are an ideal option for a room with awkward window placements, where drapes would look uneven.
Another great perk about Roman shades: If you have pets, they can’t soil or destroy them. Fido can’t rest against them, like he can long drapes, and the cat can’t use them to sharpen its claws.
There is something about the way drapery panels frame a window — the perfect borders to a great view.
Panels can fill any role you have for them to play in your room. They can be almost invisible in the overall scheme of the décor, serving to add a last, warm layer. Or they can explode with personality, the stars of the show. You can use them to interject new colors or patterns, or have them repeat a theme in the room.
My favorite way to hang panels is a few inches below the ceiling molding, then hemmed in the spot where they just break on the floor, like a man’s trouser. I’m partial to pinch-pleat tops and sides and bottoms finished with a contrasting welt, a Greek key band or a mini pleated flange.
Whether you want to go bold with your drapery fabric or pick a quieter color and pattern, make sure you get a fabric you will love for years to come. Drapes are an investment, so you don’t want something you will grow tired of in a year of two.
If you have a window in a hardworking room, like a laundry room, check out simpler window treatments, such as cafe curtains. They add charm to the space but don’t get in the way.
Layer upon layer
Often in decorating, more is less. But, sometimes, more is definitely more. On windows, well-done layers can be transporting.
When you think of pairing a ballooning shade with curtain panels on a window, you probably imagine a heavy, dated Victorian look. But you can perfectly execute the look by picking clean, modern fabrics that stem from traditional roots.