Home & Garden

Curtain call: the perfect finish for your room

Often, the window treatments are one of the last things we do when we decorate a room.
Often, the window treatments are one of the last things we do when we decorate a room. MCT

“There is something different about the house,” our daughter Kelly said after she and her husband, Britt, spent the day with us. “I don’t know what it is, but it feels cozier.”

If I ever doubted the power of window treatments to add the perfect finish to a room, here was proof positive. I had just dressed our living room windows with paneled drapes after years of letting the windows fly solo with shutters.

Often, the window treatments are one of the last things we do when we decorate a room, but a room just isn’t “done” until the curtain call. Need to cover a window or two in your home? Here are three of my very favorite treatments.

▪ Made in the shade: The Romans are still conquering the world — the world of window coverings, that is. Roman shades, a classic element of interior design, are super hot now. A Roman shade is at once simple, clean and gorgeous.

The shades also offer another opportunity to bring color and pattern to a space. And these shades are an ideal option for a room with awkward window placements, where drapes would look uneven.

Another great perk about Roman shades? If you have pets, they can’t soil or destroy them. Fido can’t rest against them, like he can long drapes, and the cat can’t use them to sharpen its claws.

▪ Panel discussion: Beautiful drapery panels are my all-time favorite way to finish a window. There is something about the way they frame a window, the perfect borders to a great view.

Panels can fill any role you have for them to play in your room. They can be almost invisible in the overall scheme of the decor, just adding that last, warm layer. Or they can explode with personality, the stars of the show. You can use them to interject new colors or patterns, or have them repeat a theme in the room. The sky is the limit, so you can let your creativity run wild.

My favorite way to hang panels is a few inches below the ceiling molding, then hemmed in the spot where they just break on the floor, like a man’s trouser. I’m partial to pinch-pleat tops and sides and bottoms finished with a contrasting welt, a Greek key band or a mini pleated flange.

Whether you want to go bold with your drapery fabric or pick a quieter color and pattern, like I did in my bedroom, pictured here, make sure you get a fabric you will love for years to come. Drapes are an investment, so you don’t want something you will grow tired of in a year of two.

If you have a window in a hard-working room, like a laundry room, check out simpler window treatments, like adorable cafe curtains. They add miles of charm to the space but don’t get in the way.

▪ Layer upon layer of lovely: Often in decorating, more is less. But sometimes, more is definitely more! On windows, well-done layers can be transporting.

When you think of pairing a ballooning shade with curtain panels on a window, you probably imagine a heavy, dated Victorian look, right? But you can perfectly execute the look by picking clean, modern fabrics that stem from traditional roots.

One of the bedrocks of my company’s looks is to pair the rustic and refined. Nothing brings this to life, when it comes to window treatments, like rich panel drapes over bamboo blinds.

This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at www.nellhills.com. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com .