One of the quickest, simplest and most affordable ways to change the whole
look and feel of a room is to change the window treatments. Wallpaper, fresh
paint, or new furniture will, of course, nicely do that too. But changing the
window treatments is something you can do yourself in no time at all, and the
visual rewards are immediate.
If you prefer to have the focus of your room be away from the windows,
and toward, for example, your furniture, or a colorful rug or wall
hanging, the obvious choice for the window is a natural or neutral color,
and a relatively simple style. Even a simple style, however, can be
graceful and pleasing. Plain curtains can be tied back in the middle, down
low or up high, depending what looks best to you.
Some people prefer more of the room focus to be on the windows, to
complement or contrast with neutral color in their furnishings, or to
emphasize a view out the window. In this case, perhaps more color or a
bolder style in the window treatments is called for. Layering a top
treatment over a curtain or a sheer, for example, definitely makes more of
a statement at the window.
Colors in window treatments always play an important role in your
overall decorating scheme. It’s common today to mix naturals and whites,
or prints, stripes and solid colors. Warm shades of
reds, yellows, and pinks will add life to a quiet room. Cool colors --
gray, white or blue -- are restful tones. Greens and browns are pleasing
earth tones. The key is to pick colors that make you feel good, and that
coordinate with or complement the other colors in your room.
Curtain length is yet another factor to consider. Longer curtains will
visually lengthen a window and add perceived height to a room. Curtains to
the floor generally lend a more formal feeling to a room. Shorter
curtains, to the sill, to the apron, or between the apron and the floor,
feel more casual. Holding curtains back with fabric or rope tiebacks, or
with holdback hardware, can visually widen a window.
Then there’s the issue of light control. To soften and filter the
incoming light, laces or sheers produce a wonderful effect, and lend
themselves nicely to layering. To block out the light, consider a lined or
insulated curtain, or a fabric shade. The latter choices will also afford
privacy when you want it, and allow you to let in lots of light when you
Rods and Hardware
Next, remember that hardware -- curtain rods in various shapes, styles,
and materials; finials; swag holders; etc -- can help you to easily create
the silhouette you want. Whether it’s tailored or ruffled curtains on
continental or mesa rods, or tab curtains on wooden or wrought iron rods,
or swags draped over wood, ceramic or glass swag holders, there’s a look
available for every taste.