Design Help Window treatments can serve many different purposes in a room. Before you fall in love with one particular style, it's best to determine what you hope to achieve when decorating your windows.

Privacy: Sheers that cover the window, operable drapes or shades all offer privacy from neighbors and passers by. You may think your home is secluded or off the street enough that this isn't an issue, but at night, with all the lights on, it's much easier for people to see right into your living room! Bedrooms and bathrooms most often have privacy needs.

Light control: Different treatments can work to either filter the daylight coming in (to protect furnishings or soften the sun's brightness), or to completely block daylight, streetlights and car headlights. This is often the case in bedrooms and media rooms. In many cases, treatments are planned to maximize the light coming into a room.

Insulation: Here in the northeast, insulation is a big factor in window treatment planning, especially if you are the lucky owner of large picture windows and glass sliders. Well designed drapes or shades, often with an additional layer of interlining can significantly add to the overall insulation of your home cutting down on both heating and air conditioning bills.

Design factors: Valances, stationary panels, curtains and shades can all work to solve design problems in a room. Windows can be made to look bigger or smaller with the right choice of treatment. Several smaller windows can be grouped with one treatment to give the impression of one larger window. The most attractive window in your home can be highlighted with a spectacular treatment, while a less attractive window can be minimized with a plainer treatment. Using matching or complementary fabrics on all the windows in one area can tie together multi use spaces such as a kitchen that flows into a dining area. If one room has varying sizes and styles of window, using the same fabric in different types of treatment will serve to unify the look.

The number and variety of different window treatments is limited only by the imagination. Innovative workrooms are constantly creating new versions of old favorites and original designs. When you start looking at books and magazines for ideas, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the options. Here is a brief glossary of some of the more popular treatments:

Draperies or Curtains can be stationary or operable. Often hung from decorative rod and rings, they can also hang from traversing rods, or utility rods hidden under valances. They can be pleated, gathered or flat panels. There are many different pleat styles, some work better for traversing panels while others are purely decorative.

Valances are decorative top treatments that can cover the mounting hardware of drapes or shades. They can also stand alone. Pleated, gathered, flat, arched, straight or shaped, the possibilities are endless!

Cornices are upholstered box shapes covered in fabric and trim. The bottom edge can be shaped in many different ways. They are mounted above the window and can conceal other mounting hardware.

Fabric Shades come in many shapes and sizes. They usually raise and lower by a system of rigged cords or a spring loaded roller. Roman Shades and their many variations tend to be flat or pleated horizontally. They raise in horizontal folds. Balloon or Cloud Shades gain fullness from pleats or gathers and have a softer, pouffed appearance when raised. Shades are usually attached to a covered mounting board that is attached either inside or outside the window trim. Some styles can be mounted on decorative poles.

Swags & Cascades. Stationary swags of fabric can be combined and overlapped on a decorative pole or covered dust board. They can be pleated and formal or relaxed and casual. They are often combined with cascades ( also known as jabots or tails) at each end of the window.

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"I am enjoying working with Liz. Liz is very patient and interested in making sure we end up with a look we're completely happy with. Sometimes, I am ready to order right away, and sometimes I need more time or to consider more fabrics. Either way, we're making progress! Liz has a ton of flexible fabric and design options, and she can custom design with ease as well. If she doesn't have something, she will find it."

-- Allison F

"When I first contacted Liz about making a custom window treatment for my bathroom I wasn't sure what to expect. I had never ordered a custom window treatment and thought that it would be out of my reach financially. I had recently renovated my bathroom and had searched high and low for that perfect window treatment at countless department stores. I was frustrated and decided to call Liz and find out what she might be able to do for me.

Liz arranged an appointment to come to my home and take a look at the the window that I needed help with. She made a great suggestion to have the cornice match the same curve as my vanity top. I asked if she could then cover the cornice with the same material as my store bought shower curtain and Liz happily accommodated that request. She also allowed me to go to her workshop and help design how the pattern would be laid out.

The end result was PERFECT!!! I now have a one of a kind window treatment that looks AMAZING and I was pleasantly surprised at how affordable it was!!!

I have since hired Liz to make window treatments for my kitchen and living room. I always get great service and the workmanship is impeccable. I couldn't be happier and I look forward to working with Liz again. Five windows down...thirteen to

-- Andrea D




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