7 Tips for Well-Dressed Windows
Use these eight tips to create window treatments that are designer-worthy.
Run Curtains to the Floor
Homeowners new to decorating often fall victim to this common window treatment mistake: buying their curtains without knowing the height of the wall. For a smart, customized look, curtains should always go to the floor — either puddling a bit, barely skimming the floor, or floating slightly above it. The same rule applies to drapes in a windowsill.
Hang Drapes High & Wide
When you hang your curtains above the window frame — from 12 inches above to just under the ceiling — it makes your room look larger and more chic. To further the effect, also consider lengthening the curtain rod 3 to 6 inches on both sides of the window.
Curtains that fall right above the window frame tend to inhibit the window and allow less light through. This can ultimately create a crowded look in the space. When open, your drapes should not cover more than 2 inches inside the window frame on either side.
Use Multiple Window Treatments
It’s common for designer windows to layer at least two window treatments. Popular pairings include a matchstick shade with drapes, wood blinds with an attractive Roman shade, and a stylish valance atop louvered shutters. Increased functionality and style play into why this rule is important — your window is better insulated with more treatments, and it essentially becomes a design focal point.
The key is to not go overboard, however. Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing quickly. For example, the more fabric you use to dress a window, the less light you’ll get and the more enclosed your space will feel. Before committing to a layering style, try out a few to see which works best.
Choose Wide Slat Shutters or Blinds
When it comes to indoor shutters or blinds, you don’t want to skimp out on cheap plastic versions that look and function inferior. Instead, go all out and make your window treatment become part of your home’s architecture by choosing a wood or faux wood variety that features wide slats. While these high-end treatments may cost more initially, they can bump up your home value in the long run.
Balance Natural Light With Privacy
Choosing a window treatment that makes the most of your household’s natural light is a great way to reduce energy costs, change up the aesthetics of your home as the day progresses, or control the ambiance of your rooms. Just don’t forget about privacy. Breezy sheer curtains may be wonderful during the first part of the day, but they have a way of making your home feel exposed as evening rolls around.
Create an Unexpected Element
In a room with a balanced design that generally plays by the rules, your window treatment can become an unexpected element that brings interest and character — much like a carefully selected piece of art. Using pattern and texture, as well as proportion, placement and execution, something as basic as drapes can become a showstopper.
Take Curb Appeal Into Account
While this may not be something you’ve thought about, window treatments can be seen from the outside of your home. That means they must be visually appealing inside as well as from the road. A shrewd treatment, therefore, not only coordinates with your interior design, but also enhances your home’s exterior architecture and color palette.
One way to effectively balance your window treatments to both the interior and exterior design is to add a neutral liner to the treatment. That way any offending colors visible to the outside will be blocked by the liner.