windows form the shell of a room along with the floors, walls
and ceilings. They can be treated simply to blend
unobtrusively into the background, or they can be a decorating
opportunity for setting the room's mood and style. Whether you
treat windows as a background element or as focal point,
always remember that the purpose of a window is to provide
light and air. Before you consider the wide range of design
possibilities, analyze the functional aspects of the window
and determine exactly what you want the window treatment to
|THE IMPORTANCE OF
Several functional issues
must be addressed before you consider styles, fabrics and
colors. If you spend time considering these aspects, you will
save time and frustration later. The following questions will
help determine your functional needs:
- What degree of privacy do you need?
- What is the exposure of the room
(north, south, east, west)?
- Do you need the window for
- How much light control do you want?
- Do you want to maintain the view?
- Is energy efficiency a concern?
- Do you want easy access to the
window for cleaning?
- Are there any interfering factors
such as window handles, security locks buttons, window
cranks, window air conditioners, skirting heaters, etc.?
- Are there light switches or wall
sockets that need to be considered?
- Are there any interfering
architectural features such as moldings, beams, chair rails,
built-in cabinets, etc.?
- Is the window located close to a
corner of the room so that extension of the treatment may be
prohibited or operation of a traverse treatment limited?
- Is there a combination of doors and
windows in the room that needs to be treated? Is the door
- What about cleaning and maintenance
of the treatment itself?
- Will children be in the room?
- Will pets be in the room?
|One of the key
advantages of asking these questions is that you can begin to
narrow down the possibilities of window fashions to those that
are most appropriate for the situation.
INCORPORATING DECORATING NEEDS
Once you have fully
considered the functional requirements, you can begin to look
at designs that meet the decorative needs of the window and
room as a whole. A well-designed window fashion suits not only
the window but also the room. It harmonizes with the rest of
the room and adds to the sense of unity. It is in scale with
the room and its furnishings and is well-proportioned. To
determine the design of the treatments, consider the
- Do you prefer a particular
- What degree of formality do you
- What is the overall mood you want
- What is the size of the room
- How many windows are there? Are all
the windows in the room the same size and shape?
- Are the windows in scale with the
room and its furnishings?
- Are the window proportions
pleasing, or should they be altered with the window
- Should the windows play a starring
role or be a background element?
- What other furnishings (furniture,
wall covering, flooring, accessories) will be in the room?
- What colours, patterns and textures
are used in the room?
- What can/should the window fashions
contribute to the decorating scheme (achieve better balance,
repeat lines and/or colors to add to rhythm, unify other
elements, provide a focal point for an otherwise uninspiring
answers to these questions narrow your window fashion choices
further as you now have information about both your functional
and decorative needs.