Trends in window treatments have changed considerably in recent years. The new model is "less is more." Gone are the ruffles of lace and the layers of rich gold cording, fringes and passimenterie. Today we want simplicity without all the frills – window treatments that are easy on the eyes and draw you to the window, rather than the symphony of detail that surrounds it. Even the more traditionally styled rooms have window treatments designed with less excess – clean lines without the fuss and elegance without the muss.
Draping our windows with fabric blocks out the light and maintains privacy, but not all windows in the home need to have the full treatment. Function considerations include the amount of sunlight or privacy needed in the room. If the window is a beautiful big Gothic window, perhaps hiding it behind heavy drapery may not be the answer. Sheers do a wonderful job of diffusing light. They also add a certain amount of privacy without drawing attention away from the window itself. On the other hand, if the window is insignificant or isn't particularly pleasing, curtains or drapery can hide its flaws and add instant beauty to the window and the room.
Windows treatments are very often the last design element the designer will consider. It is usually number four on the designers check-list, after the walls, floors and furniture decor is completed. Window treatments finish the room, closing it and adding warmth.
For the designer today, the choices in textiles, finished curtains, rods and other treatment elements are almost without limit. Curtain and drapery textiles are varied and what you choose depends only on your imagination and the style of the room. Choose a treatment the decor in the room dictates. Fully dressed windows are perfect for traditional decor, but would look out-of-place in a contemporary room.
Once you have settled on the style of the room, you need to consider the style of the window to help you decide what sort of window treatment it needs. Narrow windows can be made to look wider by adding a wider rod and running the drapery panels across the track well passed the edge of the window frame. If you want the the window to appear taller, mount the rod close to the ceiling. Designers learn to choose fabrics that blend with the wall, furthering the illusion that the widow is bigger than it really is.
Designers often encourage homeowners to have custom-made drapery. Ready-made drapes may not fit the window perfectly and they may not be lined well. Interlining between the two layers offer more privacy and result in a richer looking room. In the day, the color of the drape is stronger because it is less see-through. With an interlined drapery, the fabric takes less time to fade. It improves the actual drape of the material, or the way it falls, and has better insulation value. It looks better from the outside as well. By having your drapes custom-made they can be designed with this in mind. With custom-made drapes and curtains you can have the fabric you really want and you can be less stingy with the amount of material you use. Rich, full drapes with a slight puddle are difficult to achieve in ready-made drapes. Custom-made drapes and curtains give the room individuality and richness.
To dress a window, the designer always begins at the back. In the living room, sheers behind the drapery soften the light. Sheers are exactly that – sheer or see-though. Gossamer sheers come in many textures and patterns. Some have other materials woven into the fabric or they may be embossed with florals or geometric patterns. Others may have tonal embroideries. Colored sheers are also popular and can be used to add uniformity to a room. The designer can find exactly the style, color and design of sheers needed to match any room – perhaps a rich red for an Asian-inspired room, or a two-tone beige and brown for an African-inspired room. Cocoa browns and smokey blacks are very trendy today and can immediate add drama to both a feminine and a masculine space. The most beautiful sheers today have subtle detail, exquisitely unexpected. Today''s sheers are casual and luminescent – as important to the window treatment as the drapery itself.
The richly colored velvets of the 1990\'s remain today as a classic drapery material. We love the way the fabric feels, the way it drapes and falls into a puddle on the floor, the way it catches light and shadow. During the renaissance , the old masters loved adding velvet drapes to their paintings for this very reason. It was a study in velvet. Silk offers the same luxurious texture. Another popular trend for living room drapery is novelty fabrics, like zebra prints, but novelty fabrics for drapery are usually short-lived in the design world. The classics have been used in drapery since silk was brought from China to Europe. As classics they never go out of style.
Drapery textiles are expensive. To avoid errors, use a test piece of the fabric you choose and place it near the window. Note how the color changes with the changing light throughout the day. This is a good way to determine how well it blends with your decor.
Tone-on-tone natural colors and textures offer a streamlined tailored look to any room. It works in contemporary design and traditional design. In traditional design, you can still have the the braids and cording if they aren't a hodge-podge of rich colors. Tone-on-tone, tones it down. It\'s sleeker and less busy.
Drapery pleats are now longer than they were ten years ago. The short pleats at the rod were prim, tight and too perfect for today's tastes. For a less "decorated" look, designers lean toward looser pleating, double pleats as opposed to triple. Pinch pleated curtains did loose some fervor with the changing trends, but they are a classic element in drapery. Pleated curtains have had some design modifications. You can now have inverted pleats, box pleats, Parisian pleats and pencil pleats to name a few. These modifications and choices update the traditional styles of the past. Many designers prefer grommets to pleating, but the choice depends on the room's style. Traditional decorating warrants the less-formal pleating, while a more contemporary styled room would suit grommets. But when the grommetted curtains are opened and closed again, they need to be straightened and rearranged. Pinch-pleated drapes characteristically retain their shape, maintaining a consistent appearance opened or closed.
When longer drapery settles on the floor, it is known as puddling. The amount of puddling isn't as severe as it once was. Today, a few inches is enough, rather than the extra-long length. This can be very opulent and luxurious when not overdone.
Interesting and unusual drapery rods add pizazz and style to your window. Today you\'ll find curtain and drapery rods with matching tie-backs in metal, glass, wood and ceramic. These can be very decorative for those who miss all the cord and passimenterie of the 1990\'s, but this hardware can also be very streamlined.
Other rooms in your home offer different challenges to window treatments. In the kitchen, you have airborne grease to consider. Less is certainly more in this room. Easy-wash fabrics are ideal and if the kitchen curtains are custom-made, ensure the fabric is pre-washed against shrinkage after they've been made. Designers consider no window treatment at all in the kitchen or a simple sheer.
The bathroom window also has special needs. Sheers will soften the hard enamel surfaces. These should be easy-wash. If the fabric has too much substance, the bathroom humidity will cause it to sag.
The bedroom needs to both block light and allow light while offering privacy. Designers prefer to dress bedroom windows in layers with side panels of fabric, sheers and even a roller blind. This offers the needed privacy, diffused light when the blind is up and full darkness when the blind is down.
Today's trends in window treatments and drapery are geared to offer better functionality. We have cleaner lines, richer fabrics, and a better ability to allow sunlight, diffuse it or turn it off. Window treatments finish a room and the treatments of today finish it with style, comfort and elegance. And don't forget, you can add custom valances to your draperies for an even more unique look.
Today's curtains are definitely more sleek and bolder. Nobody does grandma lace curtains anymore lol.
Yes, simple is key today. No frilly lace or pink cabbage florals, thank God!