One of the most important elements of a room design is the window treatments which play an important role in defining a space and completing the design of the room. Windows allow natural light into the room which affects the way everything appears in the room at different times of the day from colors on the walls to fabrics on your furnishings. Window treatments are categorized as functional and decorative. Thousands of fabrics from classic to contemporary can be used to create your window treatments and there are just as many custom drapery options. Choices range from simple fabric panels that complement blinds or shades, to multi-layered treatments that add beauty and drama to formal rooms.
It’s important to determine what functional treatments you require first. Examine the lighting in the room at different times of the day in relationship to the furnishings in the room. Consider where you want privacy, need to avoid glare (where is your TV located), where you need natural light for reading and performing tasks (like the kitchen, bedroom, office), and harsh sunlight streaming into a room that can ruin fine fabrics (a window over your sofa). Once you determine which windows need a functional treatment, decide which product suits your needs and style best. There are many functional window products to choose from such as shutters, blinds, cellular shades, Roman shades, woven wood shades and panel track shades. They all serve the same function of providing privacy and controlling the amount of light in a room however remember shades can only go up and down unlike blinds or shutters that have vanes that can be adjusted to let different amounts of light in.
Decorative treatments can be draperies, panels, valances, cornice boxes, or lambrequins. The clean lines of an upholstered cornice or the elaborate detail of a valance can add just the right touch to any window. Drapery panels are a beautiful way to frame your windows especially when you have a functional hard treatment. They soften and complete the window design. Drapery panels can be fabricated with different headers from French pleats to grommet tops-formal to casual and contemporary. Your design style will determine what type header you choose. You may opt for a full, functional, traversing drapery that covers the entire window. Full draperies are a nice choice when a hard treatment is not required or can be combined with fabric shades in a formal room or with woven wood shades or blinds in a casual room. Properly scaled hardware is just as important as the fabrics you choose. Remember the fabrics and hardware should complement your style, décor and room color scheme.
If this sounds overwhelming, consult a professional Interior Designer for advice. Your choices are endless but the final result will be beautiful and functional window treatments you can enjoy for years.