CHALLENGE: Fabric window shades seem
to be the popular window treatment in my area of the country (the West
Coast). I would like to design some new and innovative fabric shades for
a particular high-end client.
One room in particular, the game room, includes two windows on each of three walls. The windows measure 40 inches in width and 48 inches in length. They are located approximately 36 inches from the floor and are easily accessible for opening and closing. There are no obstructions near the windows.
The client prefers a rich look in the room, as the style is eclectic. Many different types of furniture styles adorn the room. The furniture is exciting and colorful, using many whimsical prints in creamy beige, burgundy and green. The flooring is tumbled marble in rich beige tones. The natural light in the room is adequate. Recessed lighting illuminates the room, as there is a lot of artwork throughout the space. Spotlights are used throughout the room.
Could you please offer some ideas and suggestions for window shades that will serve as a backdrop for this room?
SOLUTION: There are many options. I will try to narrow it down some for you.
Option 1: The relaxed Roman shade is a great look. The shades are sewn in horizontal folds that stack when the shade is raised. There is a slight curve at the bottom of the treatment. It is simply elegant.
I would suggest a lightweight fabric that does not wrinkle easily. Neutral shades of fabric would have a definite advantage and not take away from all the excitement in the room. Lining the shade with a lightweight fabric is also a suggestion for more energy efficiency. It also will protect the face fabric.
Option 2: The balloon shade has a few options for creativity. By choosing a textured solid fabric, accessorizing the shade will add personality. The top of the balloon may be shirred, French pleated or flat-box pleated. It will work wonders and slightly contrast the design of the shade.
Lightweight to medium weight fabrics work the best if the balloon is to be an operating treatment. The balloon is softly gathered as it bellows at the bottom.
Option 3: Flat Roman shades may include a fabric that has been hand painted before adhering it to the shade itself. This will offer your client a custom look in his room. By repeating one of the patterns or designs of a particular item in the room on the painted portion of the shade, it will tie the room together.
Be sure to use the proper paint. Special textile paints that adhere properly to fabric should be used. Stenciling the design is also an option.
Option 4: Cellular and pleated shades are also an option. Manufacturers offer new and exciting fabric designs each year.
The walls play an important part in the overall look of a successful window treatment design. Neutrals seem to work the best when the client prefers a blending of the window treatment with the walls. The backdrop to artwork and detailed furniture in the interior space is enhanced when proper color choices, textures and patterns are implemented.
Editorís note: This is a continuing series of articles written by Sharon L. Anderson that will answer some of the many questions we receive at Draperies & Window Coverings as well as questions Anderson has encountered in her own business. If you have a question you would like Anderson to address, please send it to:
c/o Draperies & Window Coverings
1724 E. Grand Ave.
Lindenhurst, IL 60046
Fax: (847) 356-9013
Sharon L. Anderson has more than 20 years experience in the residential and commercial areas of interior design. She is currently a faculty member at two Southern California colleges. Anderson has been featured in numerous books and publications.