interior design as applied to window coverings is one of the most important elements of home decor. 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.
The effect of the beautiful arched window above is entirely lost due to the tattered window blind. In the adjacent image the dated and overly femenine valance looked tired and has been washed too many times. By the way, it is never advisable to wash draperies. Quality draperies should only be vacuumed throughout their life. even dry cleaning is not generally recommended because they will never hang as well as they originally did. If they simply must be cleaned use only a dry cleaning establishment that specializes in draperies and knows how to clean them without damaging them.
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. Gone are the swags and jabots of past years. 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. 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. 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.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.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 luxury. 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. 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. The extra long, puddled look of the past is definitely passé, but we do still allow the draperies to be generous in length somewhat, similar to how a man’s well-tailored trousers “break” over his shoe. This is a slightly romantic, but definitely stylish look for draperies. 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, as well as living rooms. Polyester now mimics silk more and more successfully.
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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