“There’s no one-size-fits-all solution,” designer Meghann Landry of McMillin Interiors says when asked what makes the ideal window treatment. Whether dealing with picture windows or French doors, figuring out the best way to dress the frame can be harder than you think.
“A lot of people don’t see their drapery as a design element, and dress their windows simply for coverage,” she continues. “But each window always has its own story with different factors that influence how it’s treated. Privacy and sun are usually the most common problems clients are trying to address, but drapery can also be used to draw the eye up in your design, or add texture, color, pattern and softness to a space.”
Long panel drapes are ideal for framing a tall window, for example, but it’s important to consider the placement of hardware when hanging them. “In the case of panel drapes, whether they are stationary or functional, hardware should always be mounted up and out from the window you’re dressing to make it look taller and wider,” Landry says. “It makes the whole space feel better and more open.”
Combining two window treatment styles is often an effective way to ensure that a space has both the look you’re after and the privacy you need, Landry notes. “Sometimes layering and mixing panels with Roman shades or woven woods is the most effective way to achieve the perfect balance of beauty and function,” she says.
When it comes to selecting fabrics for window treatments, it’s all about the ambiance you seek for the space. For a serene aesthetic, opt for a solid fabric with little to no pattern. If you are looking for a happy medium, a textured solid will never look out of place or out of date. “There’s something to be said for solids when you need a quieter backdrop to your overall room design,” says Landry.
However, Landry says there’s also a place for bold statements and playful patterns, which can provide energy to a room. “I love pattern and color!” Landry says. “Just make sure to select fabrics that are classic and timeless—not trendy—and you’ll never tire of it in your space.”