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Window dressing tips from a top interior designer

Jun 2 2011

Window dressing tips from a top interior designer.
Window dressing tips from a top interior designer.
Linda Merrill has seen her fair share of interior design mistakes over the years, and one place where homeowners seem to make recurring mistakes is in their window coverings. According to The Bellingham Herald, dressing up windows is tricky and requires some special considerations to ensure that you are providing the optimal energy-efficient benefits as well as an aesthetically pleasing home environment. Merill recently wrote a list of tips and tricks that will help renew the look of your interiors for the spring.

Merrill's first tip is for individuals that live in apartments with low ceilings or homeowners that live in ranch-style dwellings. She suggests using floor length panels to help draw the eye upward when someone enters your space. Use some floor length panels from ceiling to floor on either side of the window will make the space feel larger by giving the illusion that the window is much larger. Try some lightweight draperies during the summer and use some soft sheer shades to increase your light-filtering ability. These window shades will help provide privacy in your home and will still give you a view to the outdoors.

Another tip for apartment owners is to use a slim drapery rod above their windows. Having a strong vertical line for the space will make the room feel taller and it's a great replacement for outdated gold rods. Merrill contends that hanging curtains lower will help to make the top of the window appear taller. For instance, if the space between the top of the window and ceiling is above 10 inches, hang the curtains a tad lower. This will create the illusion that the window is much larger and will add to the homey quality of the space. She is a huge fan of bamboo woven wood shades, and uses them in a number of her designs. By hanging them just below the curtain rod, you can help to hide the dimensions of the window and instantly add warmth and a natural aesthetic to your space.

If you're looking to make your windows appear a bit wider, one trick is to place the draperies or curtains as side panels. This is a wonderful option for narrow windows and Merrill suggests hanging them at the inside edge of the window and extending outward about 8 to 12 inches. You will need a larger curtain rod to accomplish this, but it's the easiest way of dressing up a smaller window without affecting your light quality or energy-efficiency benefits.

A home with two adjacent windows has some inspiring decorative potential. If the windows are very close to one another, use a single curtain rod to hang one large drapery for the windows. This will create a sense of balance and it will make guests believe that it is one large opening instead of two smaller windows. Another option for this layout is to hang a mirror or a piece of artwork between the two. This will provide a welcome burst of color and it will instantly add a warm touch to your living space.

Draperies and curtains require some careful planning and execution, but they are a welcome accent to include with some window blinds and shades. If you'd like to add some more texture to your windows, roman shades could be your best bet. These window treatments come in a wide range of colors and styles and can be custom-made to fit any window. They have a timeless quality that never seems to go out of style.  
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