Window Treatment Ideas

When planning a window treatment, think of the scheme as an integral part of the whole room. Consider the proportions of the window with respect to the rest of the room, the contents and the dominant colours. Successful window dressing should be part of the ensemble rather than influenced by the whim of fashion.

If you are starting from scratch, with bare walls and no furniture, then you almost have free range. For some, total freedom can be daunting, so if you have an existing carpet or soft furnishing fabric, take this as a starting point when making your fabric colour choice. The best way to choose colour is to do it on site, with the windows and the rest of your belongings around you. Look through glossy magazines, hooks about art, travel, style, food, gardens — anything where you see combinations of colours that appeal to you. This should he fun and not a chore, so feel free to draw inspiration from whatever appeals to you. It’s easy to become bewildered by choice when looking through fabrics in a store, so allow yourself time to consider the other options available.

Bear in mind, however, that your personal preference is the most important of all, so go with your instincts. There are so many reasons why we like or dislike a colour, so even if purple is the most fashionable colour of the moment but you find it depressing, avoid it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one person’s boring beige is another’s delicious oatmeal. If you like the natural look, consider earthy reds, Oranges and browns that have been dyed with natural pigments. They are warm and restful and look good with ethnic trimmings and accessories.

Practically speaking, you should consider two main elements when deciding on which treatment to use —the weight of the fabric and the state of the wall. A heavy fabric needs the security of strong brackets supporting the pole. You will need brackets at both ends and possibly in the middle as well. It should stay level, not bow in the middle. Check the walls before you invest in the coveted iron pole. Old plaster does not always conceal sound masonry, and it will need to be rock solid. Check both sides of the windows.

If the fabric is light, it may need no more than a wooden dowel and two cup hooks. Sew a channel along the top of the curtain (drape), and feed the fabric on to the dowel to cover it. Then paint the small exposed ends. With this method, the hooks screw into the wooden window frame, so no drilling is needed. Curtain clips are another option for lightweight fabrics. You can adjust their spacing at will to change the way they drape and, with ring attachments, draw the curtains.

The very simplest no-sew way to drape a window is to use a pair of sheets over a pole. Simply throw them over and pull the back and front to the same length. The two sheets should meet in the middle of the pole and be

A selection of materials suitable for hanging, attaching and decorating curtains. Most materials are easily bought and are not difficult to use. It is worth going to a good fabric or furnishing store to ensure the widest selection of materials, such as rings, hooks, brackets, cord and wire pulled back to each side of the window. The idea can be adjusted to fit most windows. Any extra fabric could be arranged on the floor below for a touch of opulence. Fabrics like suit lining, mattress ticking and calico are ideal for draping this way. Allow about three times the drop of your window, and start in the middle at the top. Arrange folds and swags, pleating as you staple. Be creative, and don’t feel as if you have to copy any ‘correct’ way of draping the fabric. There are no set rules, just ideas and inspiration.