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. 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 Outdated, ugly, damaged window coverings are very common, even in otherwise beautifully appointed homes.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.
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. Beautifully made custom draperies, whether casual or more formal, add a classic finished touch to any room design. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
Full Décor Service Flooring
Paint Colour Consultations a Specialty Space Planning
Window Coverings including Draperies, Blinds, & Shutters Accessories and Wall Art