I’ve been asked to do a window treatment in an older home. The homeowners are very lovingly restoring this beauty and are taking care to do it with period appropriate designs. We have a photo to work from; it’s a perfect design for the room and the home. But, it’s a very complicated design – one that isn’t done often and so I have had to do some homework. I’m very fortunate to have access to a network of people like me throughout North America and I asked for advice. I was directed to a gal in Georgia who had done exactly what we are planning here and was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from her. She shared invaluable information and suggested I look at another site that was specific to ‘Old World Window Fashions’. ( From that site I was directed to a gal who actually teaches old world patterning and I’m going to attend her spring course).
As I was looking at the older window fashions I was struck by how similar, in many ways, they were to what we do now with our window treatments. Good fabrics, well considered design; good construction. In his definitive book on the subject, published in 1887; one of the most prominent window drapers in the US; Frank Moreland; states: “In most cases the choice of colors is controlled by the previous treatment of the rooms; for usually the hangings are the last things considered, and the draper the last person called in.” Did you catch that? The window coverings should be the last thing done in a room. Not the first.
I know I’ve lost sales because I advised potential clients to wait to make the decision on window coverings. I know the temptation is there to pick fabric and run with it; matching the room furnishings later. Believe me, though, it’s a lot easier to pick fabric to coordinate with the walls and furniture than it is to pick a sofa to match the drapes. Your windows will have specific requirements, heat and light control, privacy, functionality – and don’t forget budget. You won’t know all of the requirements until you have lived in the room for awhile.
So – back to the older home. We are taking our time; we have fabric to work with that is presenting challenges; the design is a challenge too; but the homeowners have waited and now know what the room needs and what they’d like to see. I’ll keep you posted