Designing Window Fashions
Windows form the shell of a room
along with the floors, walls and ceilings. They can be
treated simply to blend unobtrusively into the
background, or they can be a decorating opportunity for
setting the room's mood and style. Whether you treat
windows as a background element or as focal point, always
remember that the purpose of a window is to provide light
and air. Before you consider the wide range of design
possibilities, analyze the functional aspects of the
window and determine exactly what you want the window
treatment to do.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FUNCTION
Several functional issues must be addressed
before you consider styles, fabrics and colors. If you
will spend time considering these aspects, you will save
time and frustration later. The following questions will
help determine your functional needs:
- What degree of privacy do you
- What is the exposure of the room
(north, south, east, west)?
- Do you need the window for
- How much light control do you
- Do you want to maintain the view?
- Is energy efficiency a concern?
- Do you want easy access to the
window for cleaning?
- Are there any interfering factors
such as security buttons, window cranks, window
air conditioners, baseboard heaters, etc.?
- Are there light switches or wall
sockets that need to be considered?
- Are there any interfering
architectural features such as crown moldings,
beams, chair rails, built-in cabinets, etc.?
- Is the window located close to a
corner of the room so that extension of the
treatment may be prohibited or operation of a
traverse treatment limited?
- Is there a combination of doors
and windows in the room that needs to be treated?
Is the door used frequently?
- What about cleaning and
maintenance of the treatment itself?
- Will children be in the room?
- Will pets be in the room?
One of the key advantages of asking
these questions is that you can begin to narrow down the
possibilities of window fashions to those that are most
appropriate for the situation.
Once you have fully considered the
functional requirements, you can begin to look at designs
that meet the decorative needs of the window and room as
a whole. A well-designed window fashion suits not only
the window but also the room. It harmonizes with the rest
of the room and adds to the sense of unity. It is in
scale with the room and its furnishings and is
well-proportioned. To determine the design of the
treatments, consider the following:
- Do you prefer a particular
- What degree of formality do you
- What is the overall mood you want
- What is the size of the room
- How many windows are there? Are
all the window in the room the same size and
- Are the windows in scale with the
room and its furnishings?
- Are the window proportions
pleasing, or should they be altered with the
- Should the windows play a starring
role or be a background element?
- What other furnishings (furniture,
wallcovering, flooring, accessories) will be in
- What colors, patterns and textures
are used in the room?
- What can/should the window
fashions contribute to the decorating scheme
(achieve better balance, repeat lines and/or
colors to add to rhythm, unify other elements,
provide a focal point for an otherwise
uninspiring room, etc.)?
The answers to these questions narrow
your window fashion choices further as you now have
information about both your functional and decorative