Monday, December 7, 2009

Window treatments 101

I thought it might be interesting to talk a little bit about window treatment style, detail and terminology. When I start to talk about window treatments with clients they sometimes get that deer in the headlights look when we start talking about detail. Sometimes we forget that clients dont know all the terms we use in design and there really is no reason you should...this is something we do constantly but most of you can count on 2 hands the amount of times you have had to design a valance. We can talk about style and detail using these examples from Williams and Sherrill. Keep in mind that different people use different names for the styles so ask your designer for a picture before committing to a style to make sure you are on the same page.

This is a box pleated valance with a scalloped bottom. It is mounted with finials instead of on a board- make sure you have enough room between the top of your window moulding and bottom of your crown moulding to accommodate this treatment. it has a contrast welt on all 4 sides and is lined with the same contrast fabric.

This is a flat shaped valance with pelmets that are contrast lined. It is embellished with medallions mounted to the face board. It has a 1/2" fabric banding around the bottom of the treatment. This is a pretty heavy and powerful treatment you need some room to use it.

We call this the Candace valance. It has great little detail and does not use alot of fabric. We have hung it with gathered tabs on a decorative rod. Again with this treatment make sure you have enough room between the top of your window moulding and bottom of your crown moulding to accommodate it. The treatment has contrast cord on the top and bottom and a small pleated fabric ruffle on the bottom. Dont forget to line bells and sides with the same or as we have done with a contrasting fabric.

This is a casual Kinston valance (I know it looks pretty formal). It is a very stately top treatment that we have mounted by sewing on decorative rings and using a decorative rod. Again check the space above your window moulding to make sure you can accommodate it. On any of this kind of treatment you should not see the window moulding in the gap between rod and fabric. This treatment is done fairly straightforward using a decorative tassel trim that was sewn to the face of the fabric, we also contrast lined the bells and jabots.

This is a great little simple valance called the Winston. It looks great with a large repeat and is good to use in a little more transitional room. We did it with a decorative tape trim an inch from the bottom...dont forget a contrast lining, you'll see it when you look up into the pleats.

This is a relaxed roman shade also called a butterfly shade. It is shown here under a cornice but can also be done on a board without the cornice. We added a 2" band to the bottom and a fabric band with a decorative taping on top for the cornice. This treatment can be done stationery (if you dont need to raise and lower it for privacy) or aware it takes awhile to train the pleats to lay right if you do it functioning.

This is a Carlisle valance with gathered fan top pelmets and we added a great contrasting button and cording to the bottom of the treatment. Dont forget to contrast line it. This treatment can also be done a little cleaner by eliminating the fans on the pelmets.

This is a Kinston valance, a variation of one of the valances I showed you earlier but this one is mounted on a board. This treatment has a decorative taping on the bottom of the treatment as well as a decorative tassel trim sewn into the seam and again...dont forget the contrast lining.

Lets talk a bit about panels. This picture shows a hand gathered pinch pleat on the left. The left panel also has a decorative tassel trim sewn on the face 2" from the leading edge. The panel on the right is a regular pinch pleat with an attached valance. The decorative tassel trim is sewn on the face at the bottom of the valance.

Here are 2 more variations of a panel. The panel on the right has goblet pleats and a fabric cording going all the way around the panel. The buttons are covered in a contrasting fabric. The panel is tied back with a fabric tie back from the same fabric. The panel on the left has what we call a ball gown top It makes a beautiful and formal treatment.

This is a close up of the goblet pleat panel. It really shows the contrast cording and fabric covered button.

Here are some examples of some cleaner and a little more contemporary panels. The panel on the left is a grommeted panel with a 3 inch contrast fabric band on the leading edge. The panel on the right is a flat panel that we've added a pleated fabric band to the top. The rings are sewn to the treatment. Under the panels is an Austrian shade that we've done in a gauzy crewel fabric. Its great for privacy but still lets in light.

Close up of the grommetted panel.

Close up of the pleated contrast band at the top of the panelon the left

This is a good (but a little over the top) example of a top treatment with panels. The top is actually a lambrequin (done on a board form with batting) that we added a great greek key tape trim and decorative buttons to. The panels have 2 rows of the same trim at the bottom to pull the 2 pieces together.

This is another example of an over the top combo. The top is a pagoda valance that was monogrammed and we added a wide contrast banding to the bottom shape. The banding is seperated from the main fabric with a fabric cording. The decorative objects on the top of the treatment are actually curtain rod finials.

If you dont want to be so adventuresome you can always opt for a gathered panel with a rod pocket. Just make sure you make your pocket large enough.

I purposefully used some terminology while describing these treatments that you might not know, but when you look at the treatments you will understand what the words mean. If you dont just email me and I will explain for you.

1 comment:

  1. I always love goblet pleat panels because they are just so sophisticated! I’ve learned from a seminar that the main key is to know how to measure the fabric. This is to attain uniformed goblets and pleats in equal distances, thus making it look more attractive.