Window Dressing For Success

by Jamie Mitchell in Designer style at home

There’s more to successful window dressing than simply choosing nice-looking curtains or blinds. Thankfully, Debra Kacher of dk Interiors has plenty of advice when it comes to this deceptively tricky element of interior design.

‘We consider the window dressing to be an integral part of the overall design scheme,’ says Kacher. ‘The way the window is dressed has to be in keeping with the style, design and of course colour and fabric choice; it also has to enhance the light source in the room.’

There are many options: blinds, both roller and Roman, sheer curtains, full-length curtains and dress curtains, all of which may be the right choice for a particular room.

‘Layering window treatments can add to the feeling of luxury, as can the fabric choice. It all depends if the scheme determines a dressed, simple or contemporary look,’ says Kacher.

Alongside these choices are the finer details:

‘There are so many different poles that can be used from Perspex to stained wood to wave tracks, which are very contemporary and simple. There are also covered laths (tracks covered in the same fabric as the curtains). Again these choices depend on the style of the window, the overall look I’m striving to achieve, the client’s own personal taste and the type of window,’ says Kacher.

Unsurprisingly, light is one of the most important factors to bear in mind when dressing windows, and there are some tricks of the trade that can make all the difference.

‘It’s important to consider whether adding a window treatment will detract from the light source in any way,’ says Kacher. ‘Sometimes a roman blind can be placed higher above the window soffit to allow as much light as possible into the room when the blind is open.’

Subtle window dressing can make the best of a good view – but Kacher also has some advice for treating windows with less impressive outlooks.

‘In this case, just using a sheer weave fixed panel will allow light to come through while also screening the view,’ she says.

Electrical blinds and curtains may need to be thought about at the construction stage of a project, as electrical cabling often needs to be installed early on. Also, during construction of a home or extension, the ceiling can be lowered to cover the top of the curtain heading so it gives an appearance of the curtains dropping from the ceiling.

Size, shape and direction of windows all help to inform the style of the window treatment, as does how the client wants to use the room. Some people like their bedrooms to be very dark while they sleep, so blackout curtains are a good choice, and for rooms with lots of big windows or glazed sections sunscreen blinds can be useful. Kacher says: ‘We used motorised sunscreen blinds in one recent project so that during the day the sunscreen fabric minimises the glare of the sun on the TV and furniture.’

Bathrooms and kitchens have to be thought about practically as well as aesthetically, says Kacher, as the type of fabric needs to be moisture resistant and easy to clean.

Window dressing is also hugely subjective and often depends on the client’s personal style; as with all areas of design, it’s also subject to fashion. ‘Shutters are a great look for many window types and suit a lot of design schemes,’ says Kacher. ‘They have been extremely popular over the last few years, but fabric can really soften a look and be the perfect finish for a room.’


All images: Susan Fisher Plotner / Fisher Hart

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