Design Elements : Dressing up a Window

While doors are the protective shields, windows are the eyes of the home, ok eyes that can breath. Too much of an analogy? But window dressings are an interior designer's magic wand to turn a so-so space into a thoughtfully decorated room. While curtains and blinds are standard elements in the design of a room, getting these right so that they add color, pattern, texture along with function is indeed a thought worthy deal.

Source : West Elm

There are number of ways to dress up a window. While curtain panels are the primary and most common method, they are not the only way.

Roman Shades :

While they do the same job as that of a curtain, roman shades differ in the fact that they stack up evenly and smooth when they are open. They are similar to blinds but will not be bumpy or have in b/w opening as in blinds.


Blinds :

One of the best ways to add texture and privacy is using blinds. They don't visually take up space yet add sophistication. Blinds are available at any price range with a variety of materials, as in vinyl, wood, faux wood, bamboo even fabric. They can be hung vertical and horizontal designs. While they are neat and excellent in controlling the flow of light, they do need special hardware to mount and most of the times are cut to specific measure



Best thing about blinds are, they are an easy way to layer the windows for added texture and sophistication.

Source: Lonny

Valences & Cornice:

Valences are treatments that cover the uppermost part of the window and can be hung alone or paired with window blinds, or curtains. Valances primarily chosen for decorative purpose, mainly in concealing drapery hardware. Window valances were popular in Victorian design and adds a formal touch to the space.

Cornices are very similar to valences in form and function, only that they are solid and mostly fabric covers wood/ Faux wood.

Source : Lonny
Cornice source : Lonny

Window Films

Without the trouble of having to mount hardware, measure and stitch etc, we can easily have privacy and décor with window films. There are peel and stick designer films available which is really good for high humid areas as bath rooms.

Source : HGTV


They don't need introduction since it is hard to find a room that doesn't have one in the internet world. Even though that is the case, this is one form of window treatment that is actually difficult to get right. The pattern, hardware even the method chosen to hang them have serious visual impact on a room.

There are number of types to choose from.

For example, 1) they can be hung with rings ( most basic) , 2) stitched with rod pockets ( a channel through which curtain rod will pass) , 3) Stitched as pleated ( suitable for formal syle rooms) 4) Stitched as Tab Tops, with flat loops attached at the hem.

There are number of ways to hang the curtain panels.

If the situation permits ( as in no radiators or furniture pieces in the way) , floor length panels are way to go. Most ready made panels are available from 60 to 144 inches. While there is nothing wrong in having curtains that reach only until the length of window, they sometimes look off and most of the times dwarf the whole space. Length wise sometimes they are hung just to skim touch the floor ( I personally prefer this way, cleaner look?) or puddle on the floor which is more formal and lux way.

Source: Houzz
Source: Houzz

 Fro the top too, it is advised to hang them higher and wider than the windows so as to frame the window well and give a grand look.


There could be hundred other things to talk about when it comes to window treatments as in type of hardware to use, measuring etc. But I hope I have covered all the primary points. It indeed is a wide and tall topic. Have you come across Ballard Designs, they are a great source for furniture and furnishings. What is cooler is their blog How To Decorate, which has more detailed information on our topic.

Do you pay attention to your window treatments ? Have you come across any window decorations that caught your eye instantly?

Keep Smiling,


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