THE BEST WINDOWS are well-dressed. If you've seen one, you know instantly that it didn't just happen by chance. No, it took time and some planning to pull it all together.
Take time to look at home decorating magazines to see what the latest fashion is. Plan a shopping trip to several stores that offer ready-made draperies to see if they will accommodate your particular window size.
Call in the help of a designer or decorator to brainstorm some ideas for your windows that you might not have thought of. All this preparation and research will result in a great window treatment, special occasion or not.
For fabulously well-dressed windows that are just irresistible, here are five window dressing secrets:
Don't be afraid of color. Many people play it safe and select neutral window treatments. Mixing two colors in window treatments is a simple way to inject energy and excitement into a room. Select tones from opposite sides of the color wheel — pair golden linen shades with deep wine cotton velvet panels — to brighten and add punch to your windows.
Vary textures when mixing neutrals. If bright colors don't appeal to you, mixing subtle colors in wonderful textures can instantly bring elegance and ease to your rooms.
Woven reeds, grasses and bamboos used in roman shades perfectly complement any textured neutral panels.
Use a corner to your advantage. In homes with wall space between two corner windows, use panels or draperies with one side stacking to the left, the other to the right. Panels meet in the corner for the dramatic look of one continuous window.
In contemporary homes where windows meet without wall space in between, designer screen shades are a wonderful solution. When closed, the windows appear as bold bands of color; when open, shades virtually disappear for an unobstructed view.
Give small windows big impact. Don't be stumped by small or unattractive windows. One terrific way to make small windows appear larger and dramatic is by using light-colored panels that start well above the window and puddle onto the floor.
To enhance the width of a narrow window, use panels significantly wider than the window and hold them open with tiebacks — the effect draws the eye outward. Build on the visual impact with details such as ring tops, prominent wood poles, finials and brackets or grommets.
Design in stages. If your dream windows are a little out of reach right now budget-wise, don't fret. Designing windows is an evolving process that doesn't have to be finished all at once.
When you move into a home, privacy and light control are most important, so focus on installing functional blinds and shades that will be the foundation for your window treatment masterpieces later. Then, when time and budget allow, layer luxurious panels and draperies or add architectural details like cornices and sconces.
Reach Toni Berry at Marie Antoinette Interiors, 925-862-9064 or Toni@MarieAntoinetteInteriors.com. For more design advice, go to www.marieantoinetteinteriors.blogspot.com.