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Create the perfect window dressing

Perfect window dressing

Dressing your windows to enhance your internal décor is the easy bit, but what about the functionality and appropriateness of your desired dressings? After all, window treatments can’t just look good; they have to be functional to.

Ground floor rooms normally require more privacy than first floor rooms, especially if you have houses opposite or live on a main road. Think about your options – do you want something that offers complete privacy at all times or would you be happy to have clear windows during the day providing you can have complete privacy during the night? Consider how busy the road is and the level of footfall. Give special attention to any bedrooms and think about what kind of privacy they would need; you wouldn’t want any window dressings that allowed silhouettes to be seen!

Understands how sunlight works in each individual room of your home. Are the rooms north or south facing? North facing rooms may require thermal window dressings to help keep the room warmer during the winter months, but don’t go too heavy as this will block out natural daylight as may leave the room feeling unwelcoming and dark. Rooms that have direct sunlight need careful consideration. Direct sunlight can fade rich colours over time, so consider how much sunlight you want to allow in. Think about your décor and the cost of your possessions. Want to allow sunlight and protect your things? Then consider light filtering materials such as muslin.

Once you understand the functions required, start to consider style. Long gone are the days when net curtains where the main ingredient of a well-dressed window. Curtains, shades, blinds, shutters or any combination of these can help create and complete an interior look.

When choosing your style of window treatment, think about the style of your room. Is it traditional, contemporary, eclectic or country? Do you want to introduce a style that can be repeated throughout the home?

Be Creative
Create your own individual look by thinking outside the box.

  1. Use MDF to create custom valances – especially effective in bedrooms. Can be painted to match walls or papered to match a feature wall. Use a jigsaw to create your own individual design.
  2. Venetian blinds can be teamed with fine pieces of muslin to help soften edges. Put both panels of muslin over the window and secure to the curtain pole with ‘clip’ rings. Gently pull each panel of muslin to opposite sides of the window, causing a natural ‘cross-over’ drape effect at the top of the window.  Use decorative, luxurious tie-backs to keep the muslin in place. The venetian blind is then raised to the bottom of the drape to allow daylight in, and then dropped back in place for night time privacy.
  3. Extra-long curtains look great in bedrooms as they fall elegantly onto the floor. This will only work if the curtains are for decoration only.  Covering the radiator when closing the curtains is not ideal, especially in the winter months.  Also not a great idea if you have to walk past the curtains as you could trip over the excess material.  Combine them with blackout roman blinds/ roller blinds or vertical blinds for an effective, stunning look.
  4. If you have an extra wide window, such as the kitchen, consideration needs to be given to the weight of the window dressings.  Having one huge venetian blind could cause problems especially if the blind is raised and lowered on a daily basis.  Why not consider getting several venetian blinds? This works really well and looks effective as you can have the blinds raised at different heights.

Colours and textures
Getting the right colour, pattern and texture is paramount to your dressing success. Think about the focus in your rooms.  If you have introduced a really strong feature wall, then use a colour that blends in with the rest of the room – whether this is a light or dark colour.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t use a mixture of styles or a mixture of different materials and textures to create a functional yet stunning window treatment.

If you have plenty of patterns then keep the window dressing plain and simple. The idea here is to enhance the look of the room, not add to it. Likewise if your room is very simple with clean lines consider soft, voluptuous muslin teamed with wooden blinds. If you have the room, why not consider wooden shutters for a simple yet effective look?

Sue Hessom
Tidy Interiors


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