Window Treatments

Finishing Touches

Window treatments are something that most people, and me included, do not appreciate until they are up. Then we wonder how we could have lived without them for so long!


Balloon shades in soft brown silk embroidered with blue crystals

It is true that there are beautiful views that should not be covered. There is handsome wood trim and architectural details that were created to be shown. Sometimes light is a factor and we want as much to come into the room as possible. But all of these things can still be in play if the window treatment is properly designed; made to enhance the space and not detract from any of these other important features.

I personally lived without dining room draperies for five years. I have an octagonal room, with 7 very tall windows set in the angles. The look was very beautiful and we did not want to cover the windows; they were so unique. As the years went by, I found the look to be too stark and wanted more warmth. Floor to ceiling drapery panels were created in a soft gold and pewter silk stripe. They were mounted beyond the frames and did not cover the glass. One continuous valence in the Empire style wrapped around the room at the ceiling line and connected it all together without losing the view. The room became warmer but also much more dramatic and welcoming, especially at night.

Draperies can be quiet and subtle, or a strong dramatic focal point in a room. They can make a room warm and cozy or light and airy. It’s all in the fabric used and the ultimate style.


The use of a padded cornice in yellow and blue French toile over a functional rolled shade in a complimentary plaid makes for a cheerful and welcoming guest bedroom

We often connect home decorating fabrics with those used in the garment industry. I’ve made draperies which look like “ball gowns” made of beautiful beaded silks, satins or velvets. We tie them up or pull back the sides imitating “leg of mutton”sleeves, a treatment that comes from the Haute Couture in Paris.

Mario Buatta is known as the “Prince of Chintz”. His widespread use of glazed cotton floral fabrics began in the 1980’s and is still popular today. Chintz as a dressmaker’s fabric goes back for generations.

Wools and linens that mimic men’s suiting can be used for a clean lined sophisticated study, family room or office. Simple straight panels, padded cornices and roman shades are some of the treatments that work so well with these fabrics.

And don’t forget the light, airy, gossamer look. It is always tasteful and does so much to soften the cold, hard glass.


Regal blue and gold stripe panels are topped with an Empire valence, often referred to as a “Kennedy Valence” This treatment was used by Jacqueline Kennedy for the oval office of the President


A little inspiration and a good fabricator are all it takes!