What Todays Windows Are Wearing

Window coverings are often overlooked when clients are ready to update their homes. Often, in all innocence, they simply do not realize how bad their existing draperies and blinds look. They are used to them and while they would not tolerate such ugliness in the car parked in their driveway, they are unaware of the unsightliness of their window coverings. Let us show a few examples of what would greatly benefit from updating and a little interior design expertise.

outdated and ugly drapery valance100_5657ugly pink sheers with tiebackscheap poorly made venetian blinds collapsed and failed badly

Contemporary décor style has lightened up in today’s age, and become more accessible to those who would normally lean more to the traditional side of things.  Window coverings are popular in a big way and the trend is to a relatively minimal approach, while retaining the fullness and glamour of traditional styles. Some of the most clean-lined window coverings are shutters or blinds. These come in a wide variety of vane sizes, with many technological advances, such as top-down bottom-up operation, in the case of blinds, and are not always white. We find that many of our clients love shutters because of their clean lined look and excellent functionality.   upscale master bedroom with custom wood shutters in dark stain

Back in the 80’s, windows were dressed elaborately in swagged styles loaded with trims, tassels, and fringe. Opulent valances graced the top of the window. During the 90’s the look began to be more pared down and sleek, and contemporary details began to become more acceptable to the formerly traditional crowd. Our tastes now run to a less excessive look, although there is still a luxurious feel due to the use of layered treatments. We now use simple panel styles with pleated headings. As in the past, drapery panels are full and lined with top quality drapery lining and often, flannel interlining. Well sewn and fully lined, custom draperies bear no resemblance to the bedraggled but ubiquitous tab top panels from the discount emporium.

updated draperies, furniture and area carpet  clean lined white kitchen with black top down bottom up window blinds and door hardware

Panels are hung from beautiful decorative drapery rods with finials and rings. This drapery hardware often has the quality of fine furniture. The detailing of the hardware determines whether the look of the drapery treatment will fall into the traditional or contemporary style, or somewhere in between. Rods, finials and tie-backs in wood, metal, glass or ceramic are treated almost like jewelry. In combination with these simple panels, we use top quality blinds to ensure privacy and control damaging ultraviolet rays.

dining room with geometric print chairs, custom draperies and contemporary crystal chandelier

Blinds, themselves, have become much more interesting and are manufactured to offer stunning textures and sheens, even bling, in the fabrics, and the operating systems now come in top down bottom up, motorized, and sideways. Some styles can be banded in twill tape, bamboo shades are now a quality item, rather than the low end matchstick efforts of the past ( see photos courtesy of Better Homes or Houzz). Blinds can look like Roman shades, but can operate as top down bottom up, if desired. Blinds have also become very energy efficient, with inner layers of fabric which add a much higher R value to the window treatment. Strong operating systems now allow us to cover enormous windows in condo units. Whether your style is restrained or eclectic, blinds can add function and decorative impact to your home. Nowadays, many clients are moving toward motorization in their blinds. This allows more control over light coming into great rooms and other two story spaces.

contemporary casual dining space with colourful sheer blinds, orange chairs, and turquoise window seatHunter Douglas Pirouette window shadeshorizontal sheer type window shadeneutral formalitymotorized window shades on tall wall of windows in a living roomcasual living room with large wooden table lamp and Roman blinds

As to the fabrics, themselves, there have been a great many innovations. Sheers are no longer the frilly, harsh textured fabrics of the past. They come in wide widths so they can be seamless. They are remarkably varied with soft sheens, embroidery, heat set wrinkles, embellished with bling, thin as gossamer, patterned subtly of vibrantly, and they come in an enormous range of fabulous colours. Cocoa and smoke sheers look terrific. There is also a trend toward the use of two differently coloured sheers used together on the same window. White and cream sheers do still exist, but they are much more interesting than in the past. Velvet is back in a big way. Velvet catches the light in a unique way and lends a look of luxuryblack and white dining room with black draperies and marble accent wall

Many styles of pleating are now used in the heading. Often, a loose look is desirable, and it is achieved by means of the pleating. Pleats are sometimes as long as 6 or 8 inches now. Grommets are often used now, rather than pleating. This immediately makes the treatment look more contemporary, even industrial.

custom draperies with 8 inch long pleated heading for tall ceilings

Roman shades are also a popular window covering, with a clean lined, tailored look which controls incoming damaging solar rays, as well as adding a decorative touch to the room.

kitchen dining area with custom Roman shades tailored Roman shades in upscale home office in light neutral colour palette

The extra long, puddled look of the past is definitely passé, but we do still allow the draperies to puddle a little sometimes, similar to how a man’s well-tailored trousers “break” over his shoe. dramatic black dining room with bench seating and black banded cream

Fun patterning is more acceptable now. Animal prints are making another resurgence, and interesting embellishments, such as crystals or feathers, or an overall glitzy shine are surprisingly popular. Clients are allowing a more whimsical look into their homes. Gauzy coloured sheers lend a spa look to bathrooms and bedrooms. Polyester now mimics silk more and more successfully.    serene and elegant bedroom with mirrored dresser and custom blue silk draperies

Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.


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