It’s easy to see why so many people leave their windows barely covered. Considerations like function, style, colour and cost get most people nervous, allowing a bed sheet to do the job for them. Unless you live in the country, most of us need window treatments not only for privacy, but to keep the sun out and to dress the windows on the inside.
There are three mainstay choices for window trends this spring: draperies, shades and sheers. Here’s a quick de-briefing of what they’re all about and where to use them.
For the past decade we’ve seen draperies go by the wayside to blinds, but the pinch-pleated, fully lined couture-looking drapes are making a return. They are usually installed as inoperable side panels and dress up the room with fabric and colour. Lush fabrics are what’s hottest right now — shiny silks in bright colours and linen in neutral tones are most popular.
Drapes should be hung 1/3 above the window for low ceilings, and 2/3 above the window for a room with higher ceilings. The drapery rod should never be hanged just at the top of the window or all the way up at the ceiling.
Draperies should not touch the floor (a half-inch off the floor is perfect) which will give them a cleaner, tailored look. They need to have another fabric lining behind for fullness, body and sun protection.
Wondering what colour of drapery fabric to choose? Match it to your wall colour. A shade lighter or darker will work best, for as long as your paint colour is working in the room, then so will the drapes.
Whether it be shutters, mini blinds or sheer shades, the simple, clean look of blinds has prevailed in window fashions for quite a long time. I believe that every window needs some sort of a blind system to filter the light and offer privacy. What’s fashion-forward for spring are matchstick-style roman blinds in neutral sand and driftwood tones for a rustic look, or roll-up woven sheer-weave blinds that create a smooth, slightly see-through effect.
Motorized blinds are all the rage in spaces with tall ceilings. One touch of remote (yes, another remote in our lives) and the blinds can be brought up or down.
For longevity, blinds should be a similar colour/tone as the window trims. If you have white window frames, then your blind should be white. For wooden trims, a neutral linen or pale brown tinged blind will work best.
We all think of sheers as something our grandmother had in the ’50s and ’60s: shiny, see-through fabric bunched up to the living room window.
Sheers have made a return — they offer privacy and light control when closed and the softness of draperies that blinds cannot give. They are also great-looking when stretched wall to wall in a room. They’ll give big impact and help hide various uneven windows and balcony doors. Look for natural materials for blinds like gauzy linens and cottons (no shine please!).
Good sheers will be custom made to sit one half-inch off the floor and will be weighted at the bottom so they hang straight down for a tailored appearance. The easiest way to hang them is with a hospital track-style rod which sits tight to the ceiling and is barely noticeable. A great option to sheers is the Luminette Privacy Sheers from Hunter Douglas.
They have the ease of a vertical blind and the clean-lined look of modern sheers. Sheer-type window treatments tend to look best in fresh, crisp white or in a fabric choice, which is the same colour as the walls.