To layer or not to layer...
that is the question.

As the eyes are the windows to the soul, so windows are the soul of a room, and dressing them is the single most overlooked decorating element. It’s surprising, really, because it is also the easiest way to create visual harmony in home design.

“Dress your windows well and you will notice your room perk up and say thank you!”

Window treatments are multifunctional. They let light in. Keep light out. Insulate. Provide privacy. Add color. Create neutrality. Break up a boring wall. Hide an unfortunate view. Frame a gorgeous one. Soften. Bring warmth. And long, dark drapery panels are always in demand during a game of hide and seek…but those of you with families already knew that!

When choosing what to do with your windows, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What style are you going for? Formal or informal? Traditional or modern? Somewhere in between?
  • How many windows do you have and how are they spaced?
  • How much light do you want to be able to let in?
  • What type of mood are you trying to set?
  • What are the size(s) and shape(s) of your windows?

Once you’ve answered those, it’s time to answer one more important one: To layer or not to layer? That is the big question.

Layered windows lend polish and sophistication, and when done properly, can be the piece de resistance of a room. Here are some of the layered, combination looks we love:

Bamboo rollups + sheers = natural warmth

Bamboo is so hot right now! Timeless and stylish, bamboo is taking on a new life in interiors in the form of flooring, bed coverings, textiles, and window treatments. Bamboo rollups are a minimalist’s dream, offering privacy and graphic intrigue; a perfect accoutrement to a Global or Loft lifestyle. When you add linen or silk sheers to the mix, you not only soften the lines but also set a breezy, serene, tropical tone. Roll up the shades and close the sheers for semi-privacy and ambient light; open the sheer panels and roll down the shade for a more sophisticated look.

Tips, tricks, and secrets for this look:

  • Exact measurements mean the difference between perfectly tailored and poorly tailored windows. Like they say, exact measurements matter in baking and blinds! Well they don’t really say that, but we think it sounds about right.
  • Choose a less ornate curtain rod for your sheers. Anything too bulky or decorated will look out of place.

Roman shades + structured valances = handsome living

Roman shades are a sound, structured option for narrower windows. With so many innovative options to choose from, you can opt to keep it simple with uniform, neutral hues or go bold with brighter, popping colors or overscaled modern patterns like a fleur de lis or batik. Roman shades, traditionally, look great on their own; however you can take them up a cool notch by finishing them off with a structured valence hung above. A solid linen or unique patterned textile is a fabulously modern, chic way to up the style ante.

Tips, tricks, and secrets for this look:

  • Creates dimensional depth with clean, distinct lines.
  • Your design consultant can show you a portfolio of textile and trim options to make this window treatment choice completely bespoke in styling. Think nailhead trims. Quilted tufts. Ooh la la.

Sheers + drapery panels = classic design

Winner in the popularity contest is the sheers and drapery panel combo. This coupling is multifunctional and has great “change-out” potential: You can easily (and fairly inexpensively) freshen your décor by swapping out drapery for a new style or texture. Wintertime making you wish for warmth? Go for a luxe library feel with rich, sumptuous velvet layered over sheer panels. Summer sun has you dreaming soft? Swap the velvet for linen panels with grosgrain ribbon trim. The possibilities here are truly endless. Be sure to choose double rods for this option so your sheers and heavier drapes can each be opened/closed fully. Your local design consultant can show you how to measure your windows for the perfect fit.

Tips, tricks, and secrets for this look:

  • Width of drapery panels should typically be 2½ to 3 times that of the window frame.
  • Fringes. Tassels. Tiebacks. As little or as much. Accessorizing details can add a world of whimsy!
  • Measure panels so they “pool” slightly at the floor—it will make the room appear larger and windows seem taller. And will make you look like a design guru.

There’s no time like the present to introduce livable style into your world. So go ahead—embrace your windows. Tailor to your taste. Take risks. Be dramatic. Go custom. And by all means, when in doubt, allow a design consultant to help you design—it’s complimentary!

Classic design. Modern perspective℠

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