How to Deck Your Windows

October 28, 2015

How to Deck Your Windows

Windows are a fun way to change the look of a room. Just start with the basics—shades, blinds, shutters, curtains, valances, and cornices—then release your creative genius.

We asked designers from around the country to share their favorite tips for creating windows with a wow factor. With so many dazzling ideas, you’re sure to find the perfect way to make your windows shine.

Create A Custom Look

For a custom look that also adds years to the life of the draperies, line the curtains, suggests Josie Abate of Ambience Design Group.

Or copy the four-inch double invisible hem in custom curtains: Start by buying curtains long enough to allow for a four-inch hem. Undo the hem that came with the curtain and iron it flat, leaving the raw edge along the bottom. Turn the raw edge under one-half inch and iron. Turn up again to create the four-inch hem. Blind stitch in place. To ensure an even look, add curtain weights to the hem before stitching, she says.

Get Creative with Cornices and Valances

A cornice is an upholstered board that covers the curtain rods at the top of the window. Mark Cutler, chief designer at Los Angeles-based nous Decor, likes to play up cornices in a coordinating fabric. A well-done cornice can become a major player in your room’s decor, so spend extra time making yours sparkle.

Valances are another decorative way to cover curtain rods. The Real Simple Tyler and Savannah curtains come with a solid valance that adds visual appeal to the window treatment.

To add visual interest, Pennsylvania designer Rachel Schwartz embellishes valances and cornices with leather or bead trim. “A band of trim a quarter of the way up breaks up the monotony of the pattern.” She also uses smocking on them for one-of-a-kind designer looks.

Try Trendy Trims

When it comes to window treatments, it’s the small details that can pack a punch. Add oomph by splurging on luxurious trims like crystals, beading, fringes and tassels,” says S.A. “Sam” Jernigan, interior designer with Renaissance Design Consultations. Another tip: Edge window treatments with a band of coordinating fabric. “The wider the band, the greater the impact”

For a less-crafty-but-still-chic option, using iron-on adhesive tape, apply three one-inch ribbons along the top or bottom of a curtain panel, says Tonya Olsen, senior interior designer for LIV Showroom + Design. Need inspiration? Pinks, like fuchsia, mauve and rose, are hot this fall.

Trim embellishments look beautiful on just about any of the solid color Real Simple curtains. For example, add three horizontal rows of trim to the bottom of the Boden curtain and it becomes a one-of-a-kind creation that adds personality to the room.

Trick the Eye

Want windows to appear taller than they are? Purchase extra-long shades and blinds and mount them at the ceiling. Lower them to just past the top of the window, Cutler says. You’ll cover windows while adding height.  “Its perfect for dealing with badly proportioned openings,” he adds.

For wider-looking windows, Olsen advises extending curtain panels two or three widths beyond the window. For added interest and light, try installing shutters on only the bottom two-thirds of a tall window.

Think outside the box

The possibilities for window treatments are limited only by your imagination. For example, dress up dining room windows with quirky-cool curtains or shades made by sewing vintage napkins together in square or diamond patterns, says Cutler.

Or, affix decorative film to windows for a translucent, textured look that also blocks 95% of harmful UV rays, he says. Easy to apply and affordable, it’s available in etched, colors, trellis, frosted, stripes, patterns, and stained glass.

Privacy not an issue? Combine art and function by hanging framed stained glass over windows instead of using traditional coverings, suggests Joan Goodyear, glass artist with Georgia-based Armstrong Glass Company.

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