How often have you been in a home where the curtains or blinds looked like an after-thought? Often people spend a lot of money on the decor of the house, and then at the last minute think of drapes as something to cover the windows. This is like wasting the money on the decorating because the window treatments actually detract from the rest of the room. Let’s spend a bit of time talking about style and decor as it pertains to your window treatments with the hope that you will be able to select a curtain or blind that will meet your needs, your price tag and your style!
How to Match the Drapes to your Decor
What Are Your Needs?
First look seriously at the areas you are decorating and ask yourself a few questions. What are the needs of this area? Are you trying to block out sun or insulate from heat or cold in this area? Do you want to emphasize the light and simply filter the sun? Is there a particular type of ambience you are trying to create in this room or will the room have more than one use so the drapes need to open and close? Write down you answers to these questions as they will figure in your choices later.
What Is Your Style?
You may have a different style in different areas of you home, and if this is so, the same curtain or drapery styles will not apply for all areas. In some areas you may want blinds to underlay your curtains in order to filter the sunlight. In each room that you intend to do window treatments, ask yourself what style the room is. Is it a traditional room, where heavier drapery with lightweight voile under curtains will set a formal stage? Or are you a modernist, preferring valances or window scarves only, with blinds to control the light? Before you set out to look at curtains, think about your style and you will have a much easier time deciding once you begin to search for the right choices.
Color and Texture
Texture and color speak a lot to the mood of the room. They can be used to draw out drama or formality, or they can be used to make a room dance with informality. For example, if you use velvet, which is of itself a great insulator, you are immediately speaking formality. It has its place in the living room, or in a formal dining room, but never in a child’s room or in a family room, where it would appear too stuffy. Conversely, using lightly flowered cottons, at home in a dayroom, children’s room or a family room that you want to have a light and fresh air to it would be fine, but you would not use this light fabric with a highly formal room with heavy leather or suede furniture, where it would seem out of place and frivolous. You can use colors to match the decor of a room, or you can really make the style pop by choosing complementary colors – those opposite on the color wheel, to draw out the styles and colors of your decor. Try matching your draperies and some choice pieces like a throw rug or some art pieces in a room to really make the room speak.
Decorating Specific Rooms
Living Room: Think 100% wool or silk lined draperies for a formal living room. These high quality draperies have no comparison. They are woven into beautiful patterns or smooth fabrics and the calibre of the workmanship is unsurpassed. They are excellent for insulation properties against both heat and cold and can be under-dressed with sheers for a light-filtering effect. There is also an option for a black-out lining for total sun control.
There is the option of formal draperies or slightly less formal print draperies, but often people opt for floor to ceiling draperies in a dining room, where the option of drawing the drapes and creating an ambience can be chosen. Woven silk or velvet are both good choices, depending on the formality of the furniture; polished cotton with a good lining can be an excellent choice for patterned drapes. A neutral color is sometimes chosen in order that table dressings can be interchangeable.
Bedroom curtains or drapes are often chosen to complement the bedspread; therefore it is not surprising to see print or striped curtains or even a jacquard. In order to accomplish the privacy desired, it is common to use honeycomb blinds under the curtains, and these have an insulating quality in themselves. They can be purchased at varying levels of privacy or blackout value. The length of curtain in the bedroom is at your preference.
The view in the kitchen is usually of primary importance, and so the curtains are of less importance. Often a good selection is café rods, which cover only the bottom half of the window, or double hung blinds which can be pulled from either the top or bottom. It is common to use prints in curtains in kitchen curtains, to complement the colors of the kitchen, and cotton fabrics which are easily washable are the most used.
Of course, it is your own taste and style that is the most important in choosing window treatments. Follow your instincts, ask yourself the questions above, and above all, enjoy!