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Dressing your windows
Treatments add the finishing touch to any room


May 2015

While they serve a practical purpose, window treatments can also make a huge aesthetic impact. Whether you’re partial to drapes or blinds, a stylish window covering will easily elevate the design of any room.

"Window treatments really do make a space," says Andrea Koehnlein, manager for Collaborative Design in Waukesha. Koehnlein says the design firm often hangs window treatments first because they create instant atmosphere.

"Until the window treatments go up, it doesn’t feel like the room is done," she says. "It’s like the period at the end of a sentence."

Though choosing window treatments is really a matter of personal preference, here are some current trends to help guide your decision-making.

Outdoor Influence

Like so many other areas of the home, window dressings are going green. Organic materials such as bamboo, rattan and heavy linen are on trend in a big way. Among the many pluses, the natural weave of these fabrics lets in diffused light, keeping you connected to the outside without sacrificing privacy.

"Natural materials bring the feeling of the outdoors into a living space," says Emily Winters, an interior designer with Peabody’s Interiors in Brown Deer.

And whether you’re going for casual warmth or earthy elegance, eco-friendly window treatments can work in any room.




Heavy Metal

If you’re seeking a more polished, sophisticated look, consider metallic blinds. Reminiscent of the ’50s and ’60s, metallic finishes are making a bold comeback. Along with the classic silver, metal blinds are now available in warm tones like bronze and copper.

Winters says the appeal of metal blinds is consistent with the overall interior design trend toward minimalism and crisp, clean lines. "Metal blinds work especially well in contemporary spaces like lofts," she says.

An added bonus? They’re easy to clean


Pop of Pattern

Simple doesn’t have to mean boring. Set off neutral colored walls and furnishings with window treatments in vibrant colors, geometric prints or stylish stripes.

"Using window treatments with pops of colors or bold prints creates interest," says Koehnlein. "It works best if you choose a color or pattern that complements an accent piece in the room like artwork or throw pillows."

If you’re hesitant to cover your windows in vivid hues or oversized prints, you can dress up neutral drapes with a vertical or horizontal band of contrasting fabric or eye-catching pattern.

"Banding adds interest without overwhelming the space," says Koehnlein.

Automated Systems

It seems like everything in the home today works with the touch of button — even window treatments. Like lighting, security systems and kitchen appliances, window dressings can be automated and controlled via a wireless remote or smartphone.

"You can program your blinds to go up or down at certain times of the day," explains Koehnlein.

But high-tech window treatments don’t have to be stark and uninviting, says Winters. Consider layering simple blinds with draperies in soft textures or lux fabrics for a more inviting look.




This story ran in the May 2015 issue of: