Electric light bulbs are genuinely one of the greatest inventions of all time, right there with air flight and sliced bread. But nothing competes with pure, natural sunlight when it comes to boosting the entire mood and magic of your home’s interior. Photographers, Instagrammers, farmers, interior designers, all recognize the prescient need for natural light to power their end goal of beauty and vitality. Maximizing natural light is always one of my top priorities in any new space, scouting out every window, door, and opportunity. It’s the reason why one of the first things I envisioned at the Urban Firehouse was replacing the solid steel engine room doors with mammoth, floor-to-ceiling windows.
Beyond harnessing the flow of sun rays into your home, windows also connect the sanctuary of your home space to your surrounding environment and community. Everyone’s needs vary for privacy and protection from the sun’s heat, and in this blog, I’m excited to share some tips, ideas, and trends on how to treat your windows.
Quick ideas as you’re surveying your window situation…
– When working to increase or maintain privacy, remember your landscaping is an ally. Added shrubs, trees, or even a privacy fence can deliver privacy while still inviting plenty of sunlight.
– For needed protection from the heat, there are several energy-efficient window options to block UV rays. As well, UV blocking window films can be installed if you prefer to keep your current windows.
– Not all windows will actually need a treatment; some can be left elegantly bare and bold. If a home has beautiful decorative molding around the windows, let them sing solo. Especially where you are merging two design worlds.
Best-dressed windows achieve perfect harmony between needed light and elevating the exceptionality of your room’s design. The top tip in window coverings is to “hang high and wide.” This lets in the maximum amount of light while adding the illusion of bigger, grander windows. Aim for as close to the ceiling as you can get (if ceilings are vaulted, then about one foot above the window). Hang the rod at least one-half to two-thirds distance between the ceiling and top of the window. This helps your ceilings look as high as possible and makes your entire space appear larger! Curtains should just kiss the floor unless you are going for a puddled look. You don’t want “high-waters” on your window treatments. Hang them wide means you should extend the curtain rods beyond the width of the window. The curtain rod should extend 10-12” the width of the window on either side.
Drapery panels instantly make a space more polished and elevated. They lead the eye upward and help lengthen and soften a room. I often recommend panels in neutral hues, like white, ecru, or soft gray. A linen-blend fabric will gather and drape well, whether open or closed. I prefer a French or inverted pleat and drapery rings for hardware and mounting. Here are a few ideas:
-There are endless options for linings and hardware. Always remember the fuller the look of the panels, the better. We like to do either double width panels or 1.5 widths to add fullness.
-Panels should never hang above the floors more than a half an inch. They will look too short and make the room feel awkward.
-For depth of texture, layer with curtain panels and window shades. Choices for treatments can introduce lush texture and dimension into the space.
People are astonished at how many kinds of draperies and shades exist. Once you start shopping or scouting online, I promise you will be surprised by the many great options. Among those are some go-to choices we at Urbanology Designs absolutely love because they are versatile for different styles and functional without losing one bit of beauty.
– For a modern, no-fuss look, I recommend roller shades. They blend seamlessly into the mounting of the window and still offer functionality.
– For spaces calling for a touch of elegance, a roman shade in a neutral, linen-blend fabric is divine. Roman shades are fabric window coverings, which stack neatly at the top of the window when retracted. While some retail stores carry ready-made sizes, often, these need to be custom made to properly fit your window and deliver a wonderfully tailored look.
– If you need these for privacy, open them during the day and simply pull them down for the evening, so you don’t miss out on any of the lovely sunshine.
– Some pleat options are more modern, while others are more complex/formal. My two favorite styles for roman shades are the flat fold and the relaxed pleat where the bottom slightly droops, making a smile.