New! Creative ideas on choosing your window covering style
by Daryl Plaza
Window coverings have a process on how you should choose your window curtains and drapes. You have three basic choices to decide from on what window treatment is best for your homes decor. You first have to decide whether you want informal or formal window coverings? Secondly unlined or lined? And thirdly the style and type of heading desired. After you have decided on the type of window treatment you are looking for you can start to finalize the design. Window coverings are influenced by several elements, which include the function of the space, the style of the architecture of the home, and the window treatment preferences of the homeowner. The resulting factor is the same window design can be treated very differently depending on the person's taste. Imagine a dining room that has a bay window. This type of window style is usually a multi layered floor length window treatment - basically it's a formal window covering. If your taste is a more casual laid-back style you may introduce an informal appearance of café curtains with some sill length and some tied back side panels.
What is a full formal window treatment?
A formal window covering usually will have two or three layers. The first layer may be the casement curtain and will be installed within your Windows trim area. Usually you would use a sheer, solid or maybe a lace panel that will lay straight or either gathered at the top. Over draperies usually called just draperies will be your second layer. Generally they will cover the trim and window and if there is room left stretched further to each side or even the area that is above your window. Optionally the third layer of your full formal window treatment will be a valance this is also known as pelnet that horizontally runs across the top of your window and will cover the curtain or drapery heading. Another piece of the formal window treatment is a hard valance, also known as a lanbre-quin or a cornice. It is normally made with wood, which is then covered with upholstery or some fabric. To some people by not using the third treatment it will appear like the window covering is unfinished but in all sense this depends on the taste and style that you are trying to obtain. By using heavy but curious fabrics which would include brocades, Tapestries, silks, Damasks and velvet you will enhance the prestige of the formal treatment. The downside of these fabrics is that they will require cleaning from professionals every couple of years.
What is an Informal window treatment?
An informal window treatment can consist of one or two basic layers or you may decide on having nothing at all. If you have a great window location with privacy a beautiful window can look great even without a dressing especially if you have a great view. Sometimes just some basic casement curtains look great for a casual room. If you need to cover only the lower half of the window a Café curtain can offer you privacy and not block the light. Fabrics that are used for the informal look consist of chitz, ticking, linen, muslin and gingham. A benefit to the informal window coverings over the formal window coverings is that most of these are washable and easy to take care of.
Window drapes and curtain linings
Depending whether you have a formal or informal curtain or drape covering it will often decide if your window treatment will be lined. Factors will include the amount of natural light you want in your room and the length of time you expect the arrangement will last. Unlined curtains diffuse daylight but won't exclude it. Being the simplest form for your window covering it is still very effective by itself as a window under treatment. The unlined treatment doesn't have the extra thickness of a lining and will stack lightly back. A good choice is to use a fabric that looks attractive from both sides so there will not be a right or wrong side for the inside or outside of your window covering. Classic choices for unlined treatments would consist of lace, mobile, Muslim and sheers that are made out of cotton or silk organza. You may even have textured fabrics that have open weaves; an unlined curtain will filter the light beautifully and give you some privacy in the evening when the lamp is on. Try consolidating sheers with window blinds and shades. Unlined curtain drawbacks are the damage from the sunlight on the window treatment because there is no lining for your window fabric for protection it will deteriorate rapidly.
Lined curtains and drapes
Lined curtains and drapes have more body, which will give you softer and deeper folds and improve the window treatment appearance. The lining will block sunlight and protect the window fabric from fading. A lining also preserves the color and increases your privacy and will reduce noise from outside. Look for linings that are treated to resist sun damage and rot, once the lining becomes deteriorated you can just realign it or just hang the window covering without the lining on. The rule of thumb is that if you line one curtain in the room do all the rest the same so they will match, Usually the lining fabric will be off-white or white although you can get colored linings you should know that this will affect the hue of the window covering when light passes through it especially in a lightweight curtain fabric get samples and test them together for a color change
Daryl Plaza is a regular contributor to Windowcoveringresource.com a website that has window reviews and resources for all your window covering ideas.