Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to have beautiful windows

Window dressing is one of the essential element to decorate or add color in a house, it gives intimacy and protects from strong sunlight, especially in a bedroom where light effects can be created with the use of transparent fabric and more privacy can be achieved with heavier textiles.
Curtains define a room even if they should not become a focal point, but they should enhance the atmosphere.

Elements to take in consideration are:

1-  the style of your interior decoration is the first element to take in consideration:  modern, traditional, classic, eclectic…
2-  the type of window or door
3-  the natural light in the room
4-  the view and the landscape to be framed
5-  finally the general effect you like to achieve.

Do you remember when you moved from one house to another and windows were bare for weeks? Do you remember how all of a sudden the whole room came together when finally draperies were installed? Surely a sense of intimacy, a touch of color or a filtered light added personality to the room, like the necklace you put on before going out for an event!

Kelly Wearstler

In a few decades we went from opulent draperies with valances, fringes and tassels to a minimalist approach as bamboo blinds and plantation shutters, now draperies are back but we see less lavish textiles and more sheers, or more unexpected materials and dramatic hues and patterns, as in the image above.


Linen and wool or, for a more refined look, sheer linen and silk can make your room sing. Just remember to add an inch or two so the fabric gently touches the floor or go to extreme length if the interior decoration calls for it.  Always use very generous yardage or they would look stingy.



In a more formal decoration…if you use tie-backs remember not to put them in the middle but always a third above or below the mid section, to follow one of the golden rules of decorating.


 Relaxed Roman shade

a branca
Alessandra Branca
Relaxed Roman shades can create a romantic look as above.

10-11-2011 6-04-32 PM
Muriel Brandolini
These two images show a different style of shades, more for decoration,
with sheer fabric and exotic trims, than for intimacy or for filtering intense light. 

10-11-2011 6-01-39 PM
Muriel Brandolini

Shades and drapes
Sheer shades and silk drapes together create a luxurious look in a dining room,
I particularly like the unexpected red trim on the drapes .

Walls of fabric:
Another use of draperies is not only to create privacy from the outdoors but to divide areas within the home itself. Canopies  around a bed add elegance and cozy atmosphere to a bedroom and fabric can add a visual depth to any space.

Cote de texas

Vicente Wolf

Alessandra Branca

From House and Home


Theresa Casey 
A warning: precision and accurate measurements are a must to avoid mistakes, when doing window treatment, because there is always a close relation between fabric, mechanic parts and labor, so a professional should always be called unless it is a simple small curtain applied on the window frame or a loose, unstructured  look like the one in the last image, one of Suzanne Dimma's (of Canadian House and Home magazine)  favorites in her latest blog post.

No matter what your style is, the use of textiles in a house can create drama or simply add character to any decor, just try for a moment to imagine all the above rooms without any window covering...what do you visualize? 
Do you have a favorite way of dressing a window?
A different, unexpected way of using curtains?

 Sources: House Beautiful, Paul Costello, Cote de Texas, Canadian House and Home; ATCasa, Elle Decor.

©2011 Brillante Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".
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Susan Hargraves said...

BRILLIANT selection of photos! As always, your refined eye has found some exceptional images. Many thanks for this gorgeous eye candy, Albarosa!

peggy braswell said...

Wonderful post, Albarosa.

mary said...

I love this post, and I agree on every item. I do have one suggestion: if there are pets (dogs or cats) and more important small children in the home, drapes should just touch the floor. Babies are enthralled with anything on the floor within reach (great to wipe their mouths on) and we all know the pet issues. Thanks. Mary

Claudia Juestel said...

Often client on a budget do not fully comprehend the huge difference great window treatment can make in a room. Custom is the only way to go in my opinion.

I use drapery more than shades, as they give rooms a certain softness, and with thermal lining they are also very practical at keeping out the heat and cold.

Personally I love wool and alpaca for their drape. Sandra Jordan has an exceptional collection of alpaca, great colors, great hand, and the price is not out of this world.



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