Interior Design as it Relates to Custom Window Coverings

When working toward completing the interior design of a room, one of the key design elements is the use of  custom draperies, shutters and blinds to add grace and flair. Fabric embellished windows are another area of the home that help carry our colour story that flows through the home. Since 1993, Mulberry Interiors has done many and varied window coverings for residential clients all around the GTA.contemporary black bathroom with floating vanity, black floor and wall tile, and black venetian blind

Do the windows below resemble something that you live with every day? So often, we encounter clients who have added good quality furniture, luxury flooring and beautiful area carpets to their homes, not to mention the late model luxury car(s) in the driveway, but the windows have been left unadorned or have the equivalent of limp rags hung on them. Many times, they have lived for years with the windows in their otherwise beautiful homes neglected in this way.

Outdated, ugly, damaged window coverings are very common, even in otherwise beautifully appointed homes. Some lovely, otherwise stylish people still have balloon shades or swags and jabots on their windows. Window coverings are as essential to the look of a finished room as the furniture, artwork and accessories.

dreary metal venetian blind on beautiful arched window before treatment  outdated and ugly drapery valance outdated swag and jabot valances and draperies in ugly sheer fabric ugly pink sheers with tiebacks

The variety of ways that we can adorn windows is endless. Even utilitarian rooms such as bathrooms are much more elaborate and luxurious these days. Treatments can be formal, casual, multi-layered, or even just valances atop the window. Whether the room is casual or more formal, we usually no longer do the elaborate swag style layered draperies. The modern trend is to simpler lines with beautiful fabrics, well sewn, and always with top quality linings. Drapery hardware is another area where we often see substandard material. Skimpy rods drooping unsupported in the centre add nothing to the overall look of your home.

paired transitional chairs in cream fabric with tall silver grey draperies classic custom draperies in neutral fabric with pleated heading on metal decorative rod and ringscrystal finials for drapery hardware formal master bedroom in silver grey tones with tall tufted headboard and coloured sheers

Many times, we see rooms with several windows, all differing in size. This creates a design dilemma as to how best to add draperies so that all windows in the room and in adjacent rooms are well done. The height of the drapery rod can actually draw the eye up to give the impression that the ceiling is higher than it actually is. Similarly, installing blinds and window valances far above the top of the window frame draws the eye up and can make a very small window look elegantly tall. Combined with tile to the ceiling as we see below, there is a feeling of spaciousness where there may actually be very little space.

custom draperies with banded leading edge in formal dining room 

Fabric choices abound. Tailored silk panels are glamorous and hang as only silk can. Even simple draperies must be lined and even interlined to hang well and block damaging ultraviolet rays. Cotton, linen, polyester/cotton blends and sheers are all legitimate and beautiful choices for the construction of custom draperies. Whether patterned or plain, drapery panels add interest and flair. Either side of French doors, draperies act to soften the practical side of the entranceway.

streamlined Roman shades in geometric fabric in dining room

Valances these days are often tailored and quite simple. They may stand alone or act as an embellishment above shutters, blinds or drapery panels. Top quality blinds and shutters installed in combination with custom draperies are a vehicle for colour and texture, as are draperies.  upscale bedroom with built-in cabinetry around window with custon draperies and shaped upholstered valance  Blinds and shutters allow us to meld several windows in the same room and achieve matching treatments on different sized windows, creating a sleek, pulled together look.

charming small living room in optimistic blue wall colour with custom white window shutters

Fresh white window shutters convey a Coastal décor vibe and this is what many clients are looking for in a shutter. Many other clients are also looking for a more masculine or dramatic look in their home décor. A shutter in a wood tone or a colour will suit these clients. There are clients who absolutely love black in their décor. Black shutters are available and they look wonderful.upscale living room in black and white colour scheme with black caned chairs and black window shutters    Woven roller shades add casual texture and earthiness to the décor, so that the room does not become more formal than desired. Paired with patterned draperies, we are able to give the eye a place to rest. Roman shades act in a similar way to blinds, in that they are often functional and help block light without being an over-powering element on the window. Valances may simply dress the window and lend a finished look.  custom window valance in taupe and white fabric with box pleating

Patterned or striped window treatments or area carpets add drama to a room. Decorative drapery rods with elegant finials are as important as the furniture in the room. The range of options available in drapery hardware has become enormous. The character of the hardware helps achieve the level of formality of the finished effect.

charcoal striped leaded sheer with paired button tufted leather armchairs tall living room window with custom draperies and shutters patio door off kitchen with custom draperies and shutters

Some windows are so architecturally interesting that we design treatments that allow the details of the window to show. Sheer fabric draped simply along the top of the window dresses the window but allows the viewer to see the architecture of the window.

In contemporary room design, it is often desirable to keep the window treatments simple but not boring. Shutters, blinds or Roman shades may be the way to go when this is the desired effect.  Accessories, artwork and fabrics in other areas of the room may have a graphic character that we want to showcase.

transitional living room in neutrals with Hunter Douglas Roman shades

In casual rooms, we can use simple panels combined with shutters or textured natural fiber blinds. Casual elegance can also be achieved by unifying the colour scheme, such as a variety of cream fabrics in varying textures. Bamboo blinds come in a top quality format through Hunter Douglas (some photos above courtesy of Better Homes). In days past, low quality bamboo blinds were often used by home owners, and the poor quality resulted in frustrating performance issues. Good quality bamboo or wooden venetian blinds can be used with a privacy lining. In a sun porch, where privacy is not an issue, light filtering through the woven strands is charming and perfect. Mulberry Interiors is a Hunter Douglas dealer.

Hunter Douglas Provenance window shade Hunter Douglas Roman shades in an ensuite bathroom with deep blue wall colour

Cornice toppers can unify the look of several windows in a room. Drapery panels can be used underneath the cornice for a fuller look, and blinds can be used to control light and bring privacy. The panels can be pulled back on opposite sides to achieve formality and openness.comfortable neutral living room with uphostered valances, stationary drapery panels, and HD wooden venetians

This effect frames whatever sits between the windows. A large grandfather clock between two tall windows graced with well-constructed draperies and hung on beautiful rods is a wonderful effect. Add a grand piano or dramatic accessory alongside, and you have a truly spectacular room. If there is little space between adjacent windows, draperies from both windows can join to achieve a cohesive and formal effect. Valances act to add colour to the window and hide less attractive, but functional hardware of curtains and blinds. Some blinds, however, are really much more than functional. They are quite beautiful and they can perform interesting functions, such as top down bottom up. See below left a semi-sheer Hunter Douglas blind with top down bottom up function, and to the right a Hunter Douglas Venetian blind with standard top down function.

Hunter Douglas Tiered Vignette shades with top down bottom updramatic contemporary bathroom with free-standing tub and black stone wall, and black wood venetian blind

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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