For a moment, come with me back to the 1980s. No, no, I’m not going to pull off the scab off our fashion faux pas…eeek, but we could dish about the window treatments ?! Equally as scary, but less personal were these over the top “window ensembles.” It was nothing to top a double traverse rod of full sheers and drapes, with stationary panels and a festoon valance with double cascades… or a big, padded cornice with 3” welt top and bottom, crowning a fluffy balloon shade, flanked by puddling side panels and all this in a collection of polished cotton prints by Waverly! It was as if every window was covered in a bad bridesmaid dress, too much fabric, too much fluff and too many patterns and prints… funny stuff.
Welcome to the utilitarian era in window coverings and the “Working Window.” Today, more than ever, the home upgrade is about the application that serves the home owner. They would never tolerate a sleeping mask for an afternoon nap or closing off their view because the sun is too bright, because they don’t have to! The popularity and importance of window shades and blinds is evident and it is your job as designers to make this necessary utility work with your design and not sabotage its coolness.
The current buzz is all about the technologically connected “smart” home, controlled from your phone or tablet. The home that, if you are running late, lets you “button up,” turn off, turn on and close down, while waiting to board! Now you can add “motorized window treatments” to this list of modern conveniences, programmed on your phone to open or close your blinds on a schedule you design. These state-of the-art window coverings can be found at DA through Graber’s “Virtual Cord,” JC Window Fashions “Glydea Range” program and Hunter Douglas’ “Power View” collection. And according to Donna, virtually all blinds can be adapted for motorization.
Additional trends in the window fashion industry are focused around our bigger lifestyle concerns and have become an offering, in the product line of all companies.
Energy Efficient Blinds: keeping the heat in and the cold out.
Compliance with Child Safety Standards: cordless blinds, becoming the new standard.
Green Design: Fabrics treated with repellents to combat allergies, mold and mildew. Stain resistant fabrics and blackout fabrics for restful sleep. Faux wood shutters for “no moisture” issues.
Trends in window applications…
The fashionable window is still a minimalist. Moving away from excess led us to the blind/shade world, where the window covers do all the work and the full drape flanks, like columns on a porch, adding a grand softness.
Interior drape walls; Simple pleat, floor to ceiling fabric walls, minus the exposed hardware.
OR as a division of space within a room.
The exposed hardware, drape wall, one rod, 2 or 3 drape divisions, and multiple needs are met.
Also a solution for arched windows, the drape wall or café curtain.
Shutters, wide vane, plantation like, simple, clean always stylish in fun colors or stained, on windows or as doors.
The humble bamboo roll up shade…organic, clean, natural coloration and affordable, what’s not to love?
For multiple openings, on to a tropical paradise, try these organic reed-pole awning windows or stationary shutters.
What are windows wearing?
SHEERS, Exquisite gossamer sheers with embossed or printed patterns.
Sheers in dramatic colors like coco or smoke, or combining 2-tones of sheers, and always the whites and neutral sheers.
VELVET Still the best hang for drapes!
BOLD PRINTS and embellished patterns for drapes and fabric blinds.
Of course the classic, casual LINEN weaves for drapes is still the forerunner, with longer, less gathered pleats, like the “euro” or the “inverted” pleat styles, hung tight to the rod and higher on the wall. However, ultimately the best application, is the one most appropriate to the room. Trends are fine, but consideration for the architecture, your clients’ needs and the design style always trump a trend! Bottom line: if a heavy, damask brocade completes your room design, then that’s the right choice!
Come lunch with Donna as she shares what she knows about window wear and teaches us how to sell the new, hi-tech blinds and shades at our Window Wisdom “Lunch and Learn” on Thursday, June 4!