Window Treatments are either the last thing a new homeowner thinks of, or it’s the first thing for the simple fact they need privacy, quick! Because of this, the windows are covered quickly without much thought of function, except privacy. Very little attention is paid to aesthetics, desired function and overall look of the room. People often think, “Throw cheap blinds up and we’ll deal with it later.” Unfortunately, 5 to 10 years goes by and the windows still sit, with outdated blinds and no personality. This leaves the room feeling incomplete and do I dare say boring.
As a Designer, Window Treatments are usually the first thing I think about, and I often build the room around the fabric we choose. I know without a doubt your window treatments are what sets the mood in your space. It also shows off the homeowner’s personality, making the house truly theirs. It can be overwhelming with all the choices out there, but you just need to consider a few things to give those windows the attention they deserve.
When considering a window treatment, the first thing you need to consider is function? You might be thinking, “Well duh, Captain Obvious!” Okay, hang in there with me. What kind of privacy do you want? Blackout for those that might be sleeping during the day, or do you live here in Arizona where the sun shines at 5:00 am during the Summer? Maybe it’s in a Theater Room? Does this person like to wake up with the sun? Although they want privacy, because let’s face it no one wants to see that… they might want more of a light filtering shade or drape. Are you wanting to show off the view from your window? In that case I would not recommend plantation shutters. Although beautiful, they cover up a lot of the window, obstructing the beautiful scenery.
Once you find the needed function, you can decide what type of window treatment you want. Yes, we have several options to choose from; wood or faux blinds, shutters, cellular shades, roman shades, valance or cornice, draperies, and side panels (my favorite!), or any combination. Mini blinds? Sorry, won’t do it! Find another designer! No, seriously… I will never specify mini blinds.
This would be a very large book if I went into the details for each one, so for the sake of keeping this blog short (well… sort of), we will stick with my two favorites; draperies/side panels and roman shades. The amount of fabrics you can choose from are endless… making it unique to each client and their home. Oh, and I’m the one writing this blog, so yeah me!
ENDLESS SUPPLY OF FABRIC!
When it comes to fabric, I’m a geek! And if you have been following me for any length of time you know I love color and patterns. I don’t typically do a solid beige or gray. (Insert yawn here.) I’m sure I’ll find a need for a neutral at some point, but I like to stretch my client’s vision for their space. If you are going to do custom, then let’s do custom and not something you see at some big box store.
With that said I just designed my first solid fabric side panels for a client. It’s going in the office where it’s open to the main living area, and they already have beautiful side panels and coordinating faux Roman Shades. In this case we didn’t want to add yet another pattern to the mix, so we went with a solid but bold color. It still makes a statement without competing with the other patterns.
So, how do I come up with the right fabric to use? Well, it’s all about the client and what they like. I ask questions, show them samples and often will find a piece of art they already love, and I play off that… like I did here:
This artwork was already in my client’s home and she loved it, and why not, it’s beautiful with lots of color. Using that as my inspiration I got busy finding the colors as well as her style. As you can see, we found the perfect coordinating fabric from Fabricut.
Finding the right fabric is critical in creating the feeling your client is looking for. We all react differently to color, so it’s important to find what our client loves. It’s about how they feel when they walk into that room and nothing else. In this case our client loved the fabric choice, so we moved forward. The result? A beautiful space that flows together from one room to the next. From the pillows, to the drapery panels and sheers that hang with an elegant feel, to the coordinating faux roman shades.
The faux Roman Shades (below) are becoming my favorite alternative to the typical Valance. You have an updated look without the old fashion 80’s ruffled valance… ugh! In this dining area the odd configuration of the windows and the doggy-door made it awkward for panels. Instead we opted for the faux Roman Shades. We were able to make an impact by using the bold solid color and trimming it out with the same fabric we used for the panels in the adjacent room. You might be asking why we did “faux” and not Roman Shades that came all the way down. First, clients already had wooden blinds, so privacy was not an issue. Second, the cost was much lower especially for the number of windows we had to cover. As your Designer, I take this all into consideration.
There are so many more design details when it comes to Window Treatments, which is why this is Part 1 of 2… or maybe 3. Stay tuned for more things to consider when selecting Window Treatments. And if you’d just rather hand it over to us, we can do that too in our exclusive Window Treatment Consultation.