Happy 2017! I took a little break from the blog to focus on a flurry of client projects around the holidays. It’s human nature. We all want our homes to look their best when friends and family arrive, and there’s nothing like the approaching holidays to give us, myself included, that little push to put the finishing touches on our spaces.
And nothing finishes a space better than beautiful, custom window treatments. They add a luxurious layer and can even be the glue that holds together other colors and elements in the space. And it’s the details that take them from good to great. If you’re going to invest in window treatments that will be in your home for a while, it makes sense to get the details, large and small, right.
Take a look at the new window treatments I recently installed in my own living room. I selected a to-die-for, creamy mohair velvet for the French-pleated panels and a shimmery, metallic for the sheers (both from Coraggio).
The texture and shimmer are subtle but important to the luxe feel. The panels’ solid fabric gave me freedom to have a little fun with the leading-edge trim. This metallic brush fringe from Romo, applied by hand, delivers the fun:
Brush fringe is fresher and flirter than the heavy trims that adorned yesterday’s swags and jabots. Tapes and cords are also modern options that lend a more masculine feel. For a client’s bay window in the dining room, I used a small brush fringe, by Samuel & Sons, on the Roman shade, crafted in a Zoffany sheer.
The panels’ large-scale, botanical print, by Cowtan & Tout, can stand on its own. Because the dining room leans to the formal side, I opted again for a French pleat, but kept the hardware simple with a thin, dark, metal rod (thick, wooden rods went out with swags) and a cage finial.
To give a truly bespoke look to the silk window panels in a client’s living room, I used a custom embroidery program from Taffard Fabrics, in lieu of separate trim. With their program, you select from a range of embroidery patterns and colors.
I went with an elegant, tone-on-tone combination. The program also provides the option of adding a contrasting ribbon of color, and I added a little pop of red silk to tie in with other red accents sprinkled around the room (a work in progress…stay tuned for photos of the finished space).
My favorite look is floor-length panels with either long sheers, as I did above and in my living room, or Roman shades, as I did for my clients’ dining room. The architecture of a space really determines which combination I use. For the living room above, a long bank of windows across the front of the house called for long sheers that would offer some privacy. In the dining room example above, Roman shades were the perfect choice for a bay window.
When you have two windows on a wall, opposing panels — one on the outside of each window — can be a great look. This approach worked well with the layout and furniture placement in the Mademoiselle Chambre I created for the 2016 DC Design House. See how the panels frame the Oly armoire?
Oversize, tassel tie-backs from Samuel & Sons offer both form and function.
With all the feminine details in this bedroom, I chose a tailored construction for the shades themselves.
There are numerous styles of Roman shades. Here’s a quick guide to the main ones:
It can be confusing. There are so many different names for the same shade style or pleat style — and so many subtle variations on the same style. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words! Gather photos of details that you like to show your designer. At A. Houck Designs, we provide our client with an elevation drawing to ensure that everyone’s on the same page. Here’s an example:
This color illustration depicts floor-length sheers with a grommet-style header on a metal rod over a set of French doors. A rendering shows how the finished product will look and puts our client at ease before ordering.
The right details will make your window treatments pretty. But window coverings are practical, too. They can add privacy, control light and temperature, and soften the sound in a room…all of which makes the investment worthwhile.
If you didn’t check off everything on your design to-do list before the holidays, don’t sweat it. February is a great month to take stock of our spaces — without the pressure of impending parties.