A Crash Course in Window Treatments

Friday, February 29, 2008 | Category: Windows

Material Girls are very passionate about our window treatments! We believe every window should be “addressed.” Whether you decide that it is beautiful with or without curtains, it should be a well thought out decision based on the integrity of the room.

But where to start?? A house full of blank windows is certainly overwhelming and cha-ching expensive. I do wish I could grab every newlywed couple buying their first house before they pay money for white “wood” blinds just to get their windows covered and say, “WAIT, you DO have other options!”

Pre-made curtains are available anywhere, from big box retailers to home furnishing chains and can be priced from $9.99-$399+/ panel. Custom window treatments jump more in price due to purchasing fabric by the yard as well as the labor for design and the workroom that actually makes them. However, this investment can be well worth it.

A favorite option from retail giants…bamboo/woven blinds. Very chic and very affordable.

Kona Roman Shade from Target $21.99 – $59.99

Bamboo Roman Shade from Target ranges in price from $25.99 – $69.99.
{photo credit: Tria Giovan} {design: Suzanne Kasler}
If your window is not a “standard size” custom sizes may be available, I know you can special order through Lowe’s.
With so many panel options out there, how do you know what size? We believe that you should hang the curtains as close as you can to the ceiling. We normally bring the rod down from the ceiling a couple of inches to clear the crown moulding and allow adequate space for the brackets and finials. Buyer Beware: check the height of the window treatment panel. If you have a 9′ ceiling, 84″ high panels will be too short. For example, this linen curtain with rings is only $29.99 BUT it is only 84″ high by 44″ wide.
This brings me to another integral aspect of window treatments…FULLNESS. This is what creates the drama. A 44″ wide panel on a 6′ wide window is simply too skimpy. A designer can help you determine to proper fullness for you window, usually 2.5 to 3 times the width of the window. If you are working with a large window and using ready made panels, Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware offer “double width panels.” If a double width panel is not available, I would use two panels per side.

Peyton linen drape from Pottery Barn is available in a “double width” which is really what we recommend.

{ photo credit: Tia Giovan}

A favorite photo of ours that shows a combination of bamboo shades and full curtain panels.

{photo credit: Jeff McNamara} {design: Jan Showers}

Great “designer” trick that is elegant and chic: match your curtain panel with the wall color. This makes for a beautiful backdrop that allows other elements in the room to the focal point.

{photo: William Waldron} {design: Ann Holden}

“Ballgown Curtains” are a favorite of Material Girls!

Roman shades have classic simplicity with modern sensibility! They range is style and function but are always in good taste.

Tory Burch’s sons’ room with great Greek-Key detailing on the shades and slipcovers…eek I don’t remember where I got this picture!

{photo credit: Jean Allsopp}

Shades with a twist, love the graphic punch!

{photo: Van Chaplin}

Fringe, banding, decorative tape, grosgrain ribbon, pleating, etc. can be used to give dressmaker detailing to an otherwise plain curtain panel.

When in doubt, or for complicated windows call a professional! Custom window treatments are well worth the investment and can often be a very strong selling point for a potential buyer. Don’t ignore those windows, but take your time and get it right! It makes all the difference in the world.

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1 Comments to 'A Crash Course in Window Treatments'

Jessica Claire 04 Mar 08 at 6:03 pm

love tory’s twins’ room! I think I have an obsession with greek keys

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