Cristina Marais: Ending with Window Treatments

January 20, 2015

'Do you know anyone that could help us with window treatments?', I hear this question during site visits towards the end of a project, or in renovations. Clients suddenly realize just how much light comes into their home when they add lots of large windows. They feel like their whole living space is on view to their neighbors and is too bright when the sun is low. At this point window treatments can be added but there are fewer options to design them into the architecture.

When people think of window coverings ornate box valences, overdone swags and balloon drapes in outdated patterns come to mind. There are many alternatives to these less desirable options that will add the finishing touch to your space. The first approach is to use a roman shade or butterfly shade, which can be mounted just inside the window frame if you have enough depth. This option allows for some bold color and a tailored look.

tms architects

TMS Architects, Interior Design by Lovelace Interiors, Photography by Rob Karosis

Another option with the same mounting location is a horizontal blind, which can be made out of stained or painted wood to blend seamlessly into a window. This allows for some shading with partial view, or can be pulled all the way up for full view.

tms architects

TMS Architects, Photography by Rob Karosis

The third option is to add a curtain rod into the window frame with hanging pull -tabs which is commonly done with a tension rod. The downside is when the curtains are pulled to the side they still obstruct the view.

A fourth option that can help with the view obstruction is to do a swing out rod. Manufacturers such as Restoration Hardware carry this type of hardware in several finishes. The down side is that the curtain is either totally open, or totally closed and you also have to have wall space on either side to accommodate the swing arm.

Margaret Donaldson Interiors via Houzz

You can also use the swing out rod combined with a horizontal blind to offer more privacy. A fifth option is to make the curtains an architectural feature of their own. In this photo the designer used a continuous metal rod mounted above the windows with a dramatic neutral tone drapery.

EB Interior Designs via Houzz


You can read Cristina's first guest blog "Starting with Window Treatments" here

Window treatments can be a daunting task to complete but with a little help from an interior designer, or a curtain seamstress, there are many great options. Remember to have fun with color, texture and patterns.  

Cristina Marais runs the Interior Design Studio at TMS Architects in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. An elegant balance of efficiency, high-design and material awareness, guides her design sense. She is both an architect and interior designer so she brings a depth of knowledge to her projects.

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