Just as the eye is the window to the soul, the window can be the soul of a room and attention to the treatment of that window can turn a plain room into a spectacular one. Unless the window is facing an incredible scenic view, a room without a well-dressed window is like a fashion model leaving the house without wearing any makeup. A beautiful window treatment can turn an ordinary room into something extraordinary. It needs to be more than a just a covering to provide privacy or filter the daylight. The window treatment should pull the design and color elements of a room together. It can be the focal point of a room, the first thing you see when you enter the space. The window can provide the ‘WOW’ factor, it can make a room inviting, a place where one would be proud to entertain family and friends.
It is the one design element of a room that should never be overlooked and the one thing you should consider splurging on. A sharply dressed window will raise the rest of a room to its level.
Now let’s get down to business and for Act I let’s make some decisions. If an interior designer is not in your budget, start by collecting home decorating magazines, saving the pages of your favorite window treatments. Also check out decorating sites on the internet and use them for inspiration. Keep in mind the architectural features of your room and look for styles that are designed for windows similar to the one you have. A window treatment that works for a large wide window doesn’t necessarily translate well for a room with several small windows.
For Act II decide on your style whether traditional, modern, Asian, Mediterranean or whatever floats your boat. Do you want to top your window with a valance, swag or cornice? Perhaps the look you want can be achieved by framing your window with curtains or maybe curtains and a top treatment. Do you want to add sheers or blinds? Maybe you want to use blinds alone or in combination with curtain panels? Don’t be afraid to put on your creativity cap and come up with something that is uniquely yours, something that reflects your personality. Make it fun or sophisticated, light hearted or edgy. Also remember the devil is in the subtle details. Cording, fringes, tiebacks, rods, brackets and finials can all play a part in this drama.
The next act is to K.I.S.S. your decorating palette when choosing the colors for your window treatment. Keep It Simple Stupid is my design mantra. Limit your color scheme to just three colors. Too much color and your décor can get out of control but then again it is something you can experiment with. Your palette can come from a decorative item you’ve fallen in love with such as an area rug, a painting, or perhaps an antique vase you inherited. You can use a photograph from a decorating magazine as your muse. It doesn’t matter where your ideas come from just as long as you love the way the colors play off one another. If you have an open floor plan, these colors should flow from room to room. If color is not your thing, go monochromatic. Several shades of a neutral tone can result in a stunning design.
Go minimalist if home décor is really not your thing and you feel overwhelmed coming up with a window treatment. Do a clean crisp look such as roman blinds topped by a padded cornice board covered in a bright jewel tone fabric that pops. Your walls and furniture upholstery should be in matching or tone on tone neutral colors. Add decorative accessories such as pillows, wall art, area rugs, and knickknacks that match and contrast with the cornice board color and voilà your friends may think you paid a professional.
And now for the final curtain, my last piece of advice. Whether you are decorating a mansion or a mini studio apartment, your window treatment is an important investment and the first thing to consider when starting any decorating project.