THE SKINNY ON WINDOW TREATMENTS
Don’t think you’re alone if you’ve been in your home for 3 years and still haven’t addressed the window treatments. It’s a bit overwhelming to look at a house full of naked windows and instinctively know what to do with them. A great window treatments is an expense that will give you the most bang for your buck!! And yet, the windows are most often neglected, leaving a home feeling unfinished and incomplete.
One mistake most homeowners make is to throw up some wood blinds and assume they’ve solved the problem. Sure, you’ve taken care of privacy concerns. But not only have you not fully resolved the issue, you’ve added another hard surface in a space where you probably want to feel comfortable, warm and inviting. A fabric window treatment will soften the hard surfaces and corners in a room and can serve to make the room more cozy, elegant, dramatic or inviting depending on the style and fabric selection. If you’re skeptical of this statement, I suggest trying it in one room just for fun. I promise that you’ll see and feel an enormous and positive difference.
Another mistake is to run out and buy some prefab window treatments that don’t fit the window or compliment the style of the window & furnishings. It seems like such an easy, inexpensive means of dressing up the windows doesn’t it? Trust me, I’ve done it and I know most of you have tried it at some point, and the results are seldom what we’ve hoped. Here’s the problem. Windows come in all shapes and sizes and our needs for covering them are different room to room. Prefab window treatments and the hardware required to hang them properly are usually offered in a couple of sizes and we then try to adapt those options to fit our needs. The end result is a treatment that is too long, too short, to narrow, or even an inappropriate style to meet our needs. If you’re like me, you’ll live with your decision for a while, but in the end you’ll find yourself trying to find a more appropriate treatment . . . . and the cycle continues.
Before you jump in with both feet and make this mistake again, contact a reputable professional designer. A professional designer can evaluate the window style and size to design a treatment that will provide the desired effect. A designer can provide fabric options, hardware style options, and professional installation services to ensure that the length, width and proportions of your draperies are appropriate and fabricated correctly. I strongly advise clients to have a reasonable budget in mind when contacting your designer so that he or she is well informed as the design and selection process begins. And don’t feel pressure to attack the whole house at once. Start with one room. You’ll be astonished at the transformation and you’ll spend your money once and wisely.
And finally, there’s mother of all window mistakes – leaving a window undressed to avoid blocking a view. Window treatments are not meant to block a view UNLESS you specifically need them to do so. While a window treatment can be a functional element when a homeowner needs to diffuse the sunlight or provide privacy, they are imperative in complimenting and reinforcing the interior design of a space. As I mentioned earlier, a window treatment will soften the hard edges of the window that, when left untreated, make a room feel cold, uninviting and unfinished and they can cover or reveal as much of the window and view as one desires.
Many homeowners balk at the expense of window treatments if they aren’t planning on staying in a house long term because so often they feel they have to leave the treatments behind when they move. Well, that rule went out with wearing white after Labor Day. There is no hard and fast rule that says you can’t take your window treatments with you. A good designer can often find a way to adapt a window treatment to a new window by redefining the style or adding fabric or trim accents. And if all else fails, the fabric can be reworked into decorative pillows, seat covers, placemats or table cloth.