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Dramatic Window Treatments

In days of old, draperies and curtains were necessities, required for keeping out heat, cold, and drafts. They were a form of insulation, with an important function to perform. This functionality evolved into an art form, and window coverings made of fabrics and tapestries were found on most windows as a matter of course.

With today’s energy-efficient and beautiful windows and new types of insulation and construction, draped windows are no longer the necessity they once were. Many homeowners choose streamlined and cost-conscious blinds and shades for privacy and light control, and if fabric treatments are used at all, the styles are often simple and minimal. One example: swagged valences or side panels that frame the window but are never used to cover it.

The availability of ready-made window draping components is another element in the shift away from dramatic, custom-made window coverings, which are far more costly. Custom drapery workrooms are expensive, and fabrics purchased by the yard are also pricey. Add to that the costs for the design and installation of custom window treatments and it’s easy to see why their prevalence in interior design has diminished.

Nonetheless, there are still plenty of homeowners who appreciate the luxury and beauty of unique window treatments. These treatments can add opulence and drama to large rooms, or give a small room with poor views an elegant, upscale look. Get some ideas here:

  • For a view into what’s new and hot in the window covering industry, digitally available issues of Window Fashions, the leading industry publication, feature a wide range of examples.
  • Mario Buatta, world-famous designer and decorator, is well known for luscious window treatments and works exclusively with affluent clients who can afford the best. For slide shows featuring some of his international projects, go to: Mario Buatta.
  • Jackie von Tobel, an interior designer with a new book specifically about window treatments, has an entertaining, photo-filled blog with wonderful examples.

Whether you choose fabric window treatments, or the simplicity of beautiful, undraped windows, you’ll find many articles about windows for your inspiration in CalFinder’s library and magazine. Happy viewing!

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