There are so many different styles of window treatments it can make your head spin. And, with so little time to devote to decorating and redecorating your house, most people tend to default to ready-made, department store drapery.
Now, normally I’d assure you that there’s nothing wrong with department store curtains, but I just can’t in honesty do that anymore. When your window treatments bare the telltale signs of having been folded, packaged and shipped from the other side of the world and every room in your house begins to look strangely similar, I’m sure you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
That’s when a little help from the experts comes in handy.
DIFFERENT STYLES OF WINDOW TREATMENTS
Valances are a nice step up from the standard curtains. They look like a shortened curtain that
hangs just at the top of your window. Most are tab-top, the issue with tab-top curtains though
is they are meant to be stationary rather than movable.
Cornices and Lambrican
A cornice is a little bit different from a regular valance in that the fabric is actually upholstered
onto a padded board or a shaped piece of foam and mounted just above the window. Often
times you’ll find these in hotel rooms and doctor’s offices. They add nice dimensions to a room
without intruding on the space and can be combined not just with standard curtains, but with
vertical blinds and shades to create a cozy and homey feel
in a place that would otherwise feel drab and sterile.
Lambrican combines the structure of a cornice with the flowiness of a regular valance. The
fabric is still upholstered onto a structure, but it’s mounted in a way that creates folds and
shapes that hang from either side of the mounting board. Because of their elegance, you can
usually find lambrican in fancier hotels and restaurants or formal dining rooms and sitting
rooms. When they are done correctly they can elevate any room in your house, but when
done incorrectly they tend to look like something you’d find hanging in an abandoned theater.
It’s for that reason that construction of lambrican and cornices is best left to the
If you have a large arched window somewhere in your house, chances are you’ve tried swag
window treatments before. They’re really very simple. All you have to do is choose your fabric
and mount a number of hooks (usually at least 3) above the window in question. Then, you
simply drape the fabric, resting it in the hooks in each place to create a sort of drooping frame
for your window. This is extremely easy to do and looks wonderful when combined with other
window treatments. Unless you do extensive research and are amazingly skilled at guessing
the length of fabric you’ll need, it’s much easier to custom order a piece of fabric for a swag.
Remember the “department store curtains” I mentioned earlier? Well, here they are! They
look decent and come in a variety of colors and fabrics, though most are synthetic and must be
steamed several times to remove creases. They work okay, though they tend to get stuck
while opening and closing the curtains. You also have to be careful to purchase the correct
size and number of panels. It’d be a shame to take them home only to realize that the package
you bought only contains one panel and that it doesn’t cover the bottom 6 inches of window.
With customized tab-top and grommeted curtains, however, fabric choices are endless.
They’re easy to personalize with beading and tie-backs, and most custom drapery places will
even steam everything for you once everything is finished! Plus you wouldn’t be reading our
blog if you were interested in store bought curtains!
Customized Vertical Blinds
This may sound strange, but don’t ignore the vertical blind just because in your head, you
picture a box of a room with shag carpet and stained yellow vertical blinds. They are actually
quite practical and stylish when installed properly. You can even overlay fabric onto the blinds
themselves to create a unique and stylish look for a guest room or office. The fabric gives the
blinds a softer look that can really add to the coziness of a room.
Function Meets Design
Before we go, we’ll leave you with one last bit of advice, and that is this: Functionality is key when designing your window treatments. Take the vertical blinds. An unusually thick fabric would be impractical because it would decrease functionality of the blinds themselves. A leather curtain would hardly look as good as, say, a cornice made from ostrich leather. If your windows are facing east or west, you might want to line your window treatments to block out the sun at certain times of the day. And if you decide to use silk, remember to line it to prevent fading. Of course, if you’re completely lost as to what you could do to spruce up your dingy guest room, you can always snap a few pictures and bring them in. We would be happy to help you find the perfect style of window treatment.
Need help with you next redesign? Just want to see what we can do? Stop by our stores or check us out online at www.fabricsdirect.com.