CHALLENGE: I find that windows are not always placed in the most ideal space on a wall, architecturally speaking. The living room in a home I am working on is open and airy and the natural light its windows bring into the room is wonderful. But one window is located tightly in the corner of the room. Another is located to its right with a few feet of wall space between. On the wall to the left of these is a large three-frame bay window.
The windows are enhanced by a rich wood casing, or molding, around
each. This casing is about six inches in width and frames each window
beautifully. The customer currently has sheer treatments on the
windows mounted inside the window frames (see photographs), but
the sheers do not offer much privacy.
Because the room is open, all three windows are immediately visible
at once and throughout the space wherever you may stand or be seated.
I would like to suggest some new window treatments for the client.
I especially would like to mount decorative poles on the windows
to go with highly decorative treatments I’d design, but I
am not sure there is enough space inside the window frames to mount
a decorative rod. How can I design a window treatment that works
for all of the windows?
SOLUTION: As I see
in the photographs, this room is filled with warm rich woods in
addition to the window trim. This provides a challenge for the proper
design of the window treatments. The rich warm colors throughout
the space, the furnishings and their placement in the room will
command attention and demand the window treatments not compete.
If you would like to stay with neutral colors throughout the space,
I think it would be a wise choice.
You’ll be happy to know a decorative rod can be used on all
of the windows. The key to a successful design is to make sure that
the scale of the rod is right for the size of the window. A rod
that’s too bulky or large will not look right, and you’ll
find it is crucial to choose a size that flows with the scale of
the widow—and, yes, you will need to mount the rods inside
the frames. If you have trouble doing this, consider installing
the rods to the inside top of the frame as if you were mounting
onto the ceiling.
Because, as you say, all the windows can be seen at once, I would
choose a style of window treatment that would bring continuity throughout
the space. For example, a soft swag and cascade on each of the two
windows on the one wall and a matching swag and cascades on the
large bay window will work well. Remember, keep your swags in odd
numbers and create a focal point inside the window without taking
away from the furnishings in the room. Also remember the scale of
the treatment within each window is also important. You do not want
to overdress them. The rich wood around each window is a statement
For drapery panels I would choose a fabric with a rich tone-on-tone
texture that compliments the furniture and other wood surfaces around
it. Another suggestion would be a soft shade beneath with an over
treatment including the Continental™ rod valance from Kirsch.
I would include a one- to two-inch heading to create texture visible
to the eye at the top of each treatment. If this treatment seems
too casual, dress it up using a soft, flowing silk fabric.
If you feel you need some additional color in the space, choose
various patterns, small in scale, picking up the colors already
in the room. This also will create a continuity of color throughout
Editor’s 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
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.