Question: My client is collecting ideas for a new home. The home has many windows including two bay windows. One is located on the first floor and the other is on the second floor. Each face the front of the home.
First, I am concerned about the outer appearance of the window treatments. The client does not want hardware showing from the outside of the home. We both agree that a clean look from the outside would be appropriate. Second, I am recommending to the client a tab top window treatment. The client would like a loose fitting window treatment as the over treatment. What type of hard window covering would work well with this treatment for insulation and privacy purposes? Other suggestions that have been discussed are scarf swags, a simple valance with blinds and sheers.
Please give your opinion and any additional ideas you might have.
Answer: Your concern about continuity from the outside of the home is very important. Many times this concern is overlooked. A home's appearance from the outside, from a window coverings perspective, should be one of continuity. One color throughout.
Continuity does not mean all of the window treatments must be the same. An example of different treatments that retain continuity would be shutters and wood blinds, if both were colored a shade of white. Or possibly, in your client's case, one set of bay windows can be treated with shutters and the other with soft shades in the same color. This would work. The color will pull together the continuity needed from the outside of the home.
As for the tab top draperies, when a hard treatment such as horizontal blinds are used as the under treatment, the hardware for the draperies normally would not be visible from the outside. If you use top treatments such as a valance or swag, the variation of the treatments from one floor to the other will not be visible from the outside. The continuity, again, should be with color. For example, the downstairs bay could have wood blinds with a valance. The upstairs bay could be treated with wood blinds and a different over drapery or swag treatment. If the top treatments were installed high enough on the wall, even when the hard treatments were open, the valance and swag may not show.
Sheers also are an excellent suggestion for the bay windows. If privacy is not a factor, sheers are an elegant window treatment. Loose swags on a decorative rod will add interest. There are many new styles of sheers with decorative finishes and applied decoration that will give the windows new personality.
As you are doing the final measuring for this job, be sure to have your drapery installer with you. Go over any necessary items of concern. The installer will tell you of any problems or changes that need to be made before the design is finalized.
In reference to you seeking a source for new ideas, ask your supplier of decorative rods and hardware to supply you with photographs of the new rods available. Many times, they will include window treatment ideas. Also, if you have not already started a file of window treatment ideas, do so now. Collect from everywhere, it will prove invaluable!
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.
Sharon L. Anderson, Associate Member, Interior Design Educator's Council (IDEC), has more than 14 years experience as a commercial and residential design professional. She has taught numerous courses at colleges and universities throughout Southern California and is a published author and frequent public speaker.