Window Treatment Designs Dressed
To Define the Style and Decor

Window treatment designs offer you a world of design possibilities and endless opportunities to show off beautiful fabric.

And when sewing window treatments you can tailor almost any kind of dressing to your windows. (If you will be making your own draperies, some sewing room designs and tips may become useful.) Choose a design, fabric and trim that allow you to introduce pattern, color, and texture to your decor.

When choosing window treatment designs think not only of their decorative effects, but of the opportunities to control the amount of light that a room receives.

Live with your windows for a while to learn where the light falls and how you use the room. A beautiful daytime light source can become a cold black space at night.

Windows are a key architectural feature and can have an enormous effect on a room. Some are best left undressed to enhance the shape or to maximize the views and filter in the light.

  • You can still dress your window and emphasize the shape by hanging draperies so that the moldings show.
  • To minimize windows or conceal a view, disguise the area by making the curtain more important.
  • Make a modest window appear grand, by hanging drapes well above the window frame and let them glide to the floor.
  • Hanging a floor length column of drapes high on the wall can elongate windows and is a simple way to add height and grace to a room.
  • Tradition suggests leaving an inch between the bottom of the window treatment and the floor, but if space allows puddle drapes like a sweep of a long gown. To pool drapes on the floor add 6-8 inches.

Always consider the scale of the window and be aware of the effect when choosing a fabric. A small pattern on voluminous curtains will read as a solid, while a grandiose pattern might be confusing on a diminutive shade.

The structure of a fabric's weave, the type and weight of the fiber it is made from and the finish it is given all contributes to its texture.

These characteristics each give fabric it's hand a term used to describe the way some fabric handles or behaves.

Fibers are either natural, like cotton, linen, silk or wool or man-made. Some man made fabrics are made from natural elements, for an example rayon is derived from wool. Decorator fabrics usually use a blend of several fibers.

Cotton and wool are both durable and comes in many weights and finishes.

Rayon and silk add sheen and both including linen take dye well. Fabrics made from rayon often appear luxurious and have intense colors.

Silks have some widely varying characteristics ranging their durability from fragile too strong. Most silks are extremely sensitive to sunlight and can fade, so they need to be lined.

It is always a good idea to obtain a good size sample of any fabric you are considering before you sew window treatments or order custom.

Draperies can be lined or unlined, paired with sheers or hung on their own.
(Here are curtain ideas with pictures to get some ideas.)

Unlined draperies have a loose natural drape and take on a romantic billowy air and can easily be achieved using the techniques of a no sew window treatments, while lined draperies have a firmer structure.

  • “Winter” window treatment designs tend to be heavier and more formal than summer ones.
  • Heavier fabrics like velvet and chenille block light and help retain heat and deeper colors offer respite from the winter's cold.
  • Taffeta, damask, chenille, silk and velvet are some traditional fabric choices for window treatment designs. Their shapely folds can look more formal.
  • Fabrics such as boucle, velvet, and matelasse’ have a texture that adds a dimension.
  • For summery windows the fabrics are generally solid and subtle and in simple weaves like linen and cotton.
  • The sheerest of fabrics at the window like carefree cottons, voile, organdy, and linen filters the sun's rays while still preserving the views beyond and offer more casual looks.

Using a light or transparent layer in the spring and summer lets you open the windows and feel the breeze.

Curtains unadorned by valences or other top treatments offer a clean streamlined look.

Choosing a drapery color in a shade close to that of the walls is a sophisticated way to dress up a room.

Draperies in a solid or understated stripe create a more enduring back round for a room, than a pattern with a showy print.

Fabric draperies also soften a room that is full of hard surfaces like a dining room.

Visit the Fabric Workroom for a complete range of custom and semi custom draperies, designer fabrics and other soft decorating projects.

Woven window treatment designs in various natural fabrics, grasses, reeds, matchstick, and bamboo are very much of today. They are generally more casual than draperies but still suitable in dressy settings.

Blinds, shades and shutters offer tailored solutions to any room. Shutters also contribute a sense of architectural character and are good for reducing noise levels.

All such treatments can be used in conjunction with draperies or teamed with curtains. The blind does the work by keeping the light at an acceptable level while the curtain adds color and texture.

Never under estimate the importance of hardware.

  • Decorative rods, finials, and tie backs are the jewelry that lends elegance or whimsy to your windows and a more finished presence.
  • Drapery rods are usually mounted 4" above the window. To add visual height to a room mount the rod even higher.
  • Using a beaded necklace, tassels, or silk scarves are an added creative touch for a tie back. Try also raffia, a ribbon belt or brooch as an alternative.

Decorative trims lend polish and panache to window treatment designs.

  • Fringe, cording, tassels, braid, gimp and ribbon should have the same visual weight as the fabric you are using.

However there are times when larger or heavier trims are very effective especially as tie backs. Pull your draperies up with a tassel dressed up looks.

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Related Pages 

Decorating a New Home

Furniture Styles

Home Decorating Pictures

Hanging Tips

  • If your artwork is difficult to see and admire, then it is hung too low or too high.  
  • As a general guide art should be hung 60" from the floor.
  • Artwork should hang approximately 5-8" above, and be 75% the width of the furniture you are hanging it above.
  • Don’t worry about an exact match, Remember art doesn’t have to match your sofa!
  • Rotate your art from time to time to keep things fresh.