Friday, 12 April 2013

Wonder of Windows

This is the debut of a new series that will run for the next 4 Fridays.

After working for a number of years as a Custom Window Treatment Specialist, I have seen it all.
Let me just start by saying flags, tin foil, newspaper & blankets with wolves howling at the moon
do not constitute as a window treatment, EVER!

I believe that drapery can make or break a room. Just as much attention need to be paid to the windows as the art and furniture that are going into a space. Often times the windows coverings are an after thought and by then, there is no money left in the budget for them to have the attention they deserve.

In this series I will address the constant question of, how to calculate yardage, solid or pattern fabric & what style of treatment. 
Also, how to deal with "tricky" windows, & the off the shelf drapery VS custom debate.

The things to consider are:

This is what I feel, an easy decision to make.
Do you want the window treatment to stand out or to almost disappear so you see what is beyond?
If you want to simply frame the window and highlight what is beyond, like a beautiful garden, then select something that is similar in colour to the wall but with some added texture.
By opting for a fabric in a bold colour or pattern, this will draw attention to the drapery.
 I love a colourful or patterned fabric.  I have chosen to use 3 different silk fabrics and created a wide vertical stripes in my living room, and in other areas I have added embellishments to more subtle fabrics. In general I love mixing fabrics, colours, patterns you name it!
Subtle fabric choice similar to the wall colour

This definitely a bold and exciting selection of fabric.

 Lining is important.
Lining not only gives protection, it also gives your main fabric the extra body that it requires, especially if they are drapery panels. Silk fabric most definitely needs to be interlined in conjunction with the outer lining. Depending on the room and the use of the treatment an out-black lining may be required to keep the light out. Having you drapery lined will also keep the exterior of your home consistent so all of the windows will show white / ivory to the outside.

The example of the left shows a combination of lining and interlining and the right is a standard lining.

Custom is just that. Custom made to the specifications of your windows, in the fabric & style that you selected, with the correct lining, you can choose you pleat / heading & added embellishments if you so desire.
I will break the myth here - Custom does not automatically mean having to BREAK THE BANK.
If your budget is realistic and you let your specialist know up front, it is most certainly possible.
Now, you might not be able to have the super expensive fabric as the drapery but perhaps a chair can be upholstered in it or cushions made.

Off The Shelf drapery are available almost anywhere now & I have to admit the selection is pretty good. I find the fabric selections to be more focused on the solids, because that is what the majority of consumers are after, and frankly they are easier to sell. Many times they are lined & silks are interlined. Sometimes different length are also available. They are sold by the panel (50"-54"w) and if you require more than one panel per side or they need hemming then you will have to have them joined, and once you add all this up, it can become pricey.

I have both in my home. After much experimentation I have discovered that I like to have colour & /or pattern on my drapery, out black lining (so the colour is consistent when the sun comes through), decorative hardware & they need to fully operate.
 In cases where I have off the shelf drapery, they were white linen and I added a vertical lead edge band. 1 Pair has a Kelly Wearstler decorative 4" tape and the other has both horizontal and vertical  grosgrain ribbon to create a pattern & they are hung on beautiful decorative rods.

To help you weed through all that is drapery I have added a new section to my shop, Pick my Brain.
For $10 per question you can ask for yardage calculations, options for drapery styles, fabric choices and pillow / fabric combinations or anything else decor related.

I look forward to your questions.

Monday I will have the reveal of Operation Sewing Room.
Have a wonderful and hopefully dry weekend!

Hollie xo

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