I am having trouble designing my treatments to fit the proportions of the many window styles that are available. Could you please offer some help in this area?
SOLUTION: I understand your dilemma, more than you know! Here in California, new home construction offers so many different window styles and designs that the hard-to-treat window is becoming the norm.
I will start by offering you the definition of a term that may not be familiar to many decorators: the golden mean. This term will help you understand the specifics of proportion as it relates to window treatment design.
The golden mean is defined as "the most aesthetically perfect rectangle." Another definition is "divine proportion." Let me explain.
The Greeks discovered the golden mean theory of proportion when designing the Parthenon in Athens. It was based on the mathematical ratio of 1:1.6. The golden mean can be defined as the division of a line at a point somewhere between one-half and one-third of its length. The accompanying illustration and photograph illustrate this concept and how it was used in installing interior shutters in a window. The golden mean often us used to determine the point at which drapery panels are tied back.
By using the golden mean formula, your window treatments are sure to be a success. If you are interested in learning more about the mathematics behind the golden mean, a great Web site that will explain this concept is: www.mathsoft.com/asolve/constant/gold/gold.html.
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience as a professional interior designer in both commercial and residential design. She has taught at numerous colleges throughout California and currently is an educator at Moorpark college in southern California. She is a published author and frequent public speaker.