Have you ever seen a room filled with designer furniture only to find that the windows are bare? It's a look that you might see in a magazine spread or a minimalist high rise, but not one many people want to live in real life. Window treatments offer practical solutions for privacy, light control, and heat infiltration, while also being an essential part of the room's decor.
The right window treatment can take a plain room and make it into something extraordinary. If you want to upgrade your windows, here are three steps to get started.
Step #1 Go Floor to Ceiling
Running drapes from floor to ceiling visually heightens the room, making it feel more expansive. This works quite well in homes with ceilings that are 8-feet tall or less, though the look works in rooms with taller ceilings as well.
How you hang the drapes will affect how it looks in the end.
The first thing to consider is where to mount the curtain rod. The traditional option is to mount the hardware on the wall above the window, and that works quite well if there is sufficient room between the top of the window and the ceiling. A non-traditional approach is to mount the curtain rod to the ceiling. It frees up the wall space above the windows for other treatments.
The next thing is where you want the bottom of the drapes to land. For a tailored look, you would want to end them about 1/4-inch above the floor. For a more luxurious look, you can go with a longer drape that pools on the floor.
Step #2 Upgrade the Hardware
Part of the look of any window treatment is the hardware that you use to hang it and control its movement. You can go unobtrusive and select window treatments that use hidden hardware or hide it behind a valance.
If you choose to use visible hardware, consider how it will enhance the window treatment as well as the room's overall decor.
Select a drapery rod appropriate for the weight of the window treatment. An undersized curtain rod will look cheap and often sag under the weight of the drapes.
Select a color and material that complements the window treatments. You can find drapery rods in metal, wood, or plastic. Most of them tend to be neutrals such as natural wood, white, or a metal finish.
Consider the rest of the hardware as well. For example, many drapery rods have finials on the end, which can be quite traditional and ornate or sleek and modern. Match the style to the room's decor.
Fabric tiebacks can be made of the same fabric as the drapes or of contrasting material. These tiebacks can attach to a simple hook on the wall. Another option is to go for a fixed holdback hook.
Step #3 Go for Layers
Layering window treatments offer practical benefits as well as additional opportunities for design.
First, the practical. Multiple layers of window treatments allow you better control over the light and heat that comes into a room. A sheer under a heavy drape gives you the option to let light in without completely compromising privacy. A decorative valance above drapes can hide the hardware. A simple roller blind can keep harsh sun out of the room.
Multiple layers also offer you the chance to mix and match for a richer, more luxurious window treatment. The first layer, against the window, is usually what you use for light control. It's often a sheer or blind.
The next layer is often a curtain or drape, which adds dimension and structure to the window. The fabric you select often sets the tone for the rest of the room as far as color and style, traditional or informal. A brighter color works well in an informal room, while a richer jewel tone gives a more formal note.
If you want a more formal look, you can add a valance to the drapes. You can go with a hard valance or choose from any number of fabric valance designs.
These three steps will upgrade your windows into something special. Which one do you want to try first?