February 1, 2017
Your windows are like the eyes of your home. Not only do they let in light and brighten your space, they also showcase and frame nature’s splendor.
Yet because of all the moving parts involved with window treatments, they’re often overlooked.
Fortunately, your window’s blank canvasses can become high-end works of art simply by understanding the main parts of treatment anatomy.
Unravel the mystery and majesty of luxury window treatments with these simple basics:
Headings deal with the very top hem of your curtain. They greatly influence the overall theme and feel of the entire window treatment. Be it formal, modern, or casual these pieces also have a functional element that dictates how the panel will slide along the rod. For instance, with a basic heading, rings and hooks connect to the top hem itself allowing curtains to move about easily. Alternately, rod-pocket headings are better for more stationary curtains while tab-tops add a soft romantic feel.
Rods are essential hardware that fasten your fabric curtains and panels to the brackets installed on the wall. They typically rest a few inches above your window. However placing them part way up your wall near the ceiling is a great way to add height to your room by lengthening the treatments. Sometimes rods are hidden by valances or cornices (which we’ll discuss shortly), making them purely functional. Others double as decorative elements that can enhance the style of your room.
Valances fit over the curtain rod and headers, occupying the top few inches above your window. The rod may be affixed to the valance itself and bracketed to the wall. The bottom edge of the valance hangs independent to show off fabric styles of all variety. Whether trimmed with beadwork, pleated all the way across, or flat, these are a highly decorative element designed to enhance the look of any space.
A cornice is similar in style to a valance. However this type of hard face treatment differs in that the board itself adds to the overall look. Straight, curved, scalloped, or stepped, cornices usually feature taut upholstery fastened on all sides. However, if you like the look of wood, you can opt out of the fabric coverings in favor of carved details like crown molding.
Panels cover the panes of your windows. They are the swaths of fabric we’re most accustomed to calling “curtains”. Fabric choices can block or let in sunlight, insulate from heat or cold, and come in any number of colors and textures. Consider your privacy needs and light requirements, before you start attempting to pick stylized details like pleated, accordioned, or ripplefolded.
Tiebacks give you the versatility to pull curtains to the side for more light at different times of the day. Depending on the room you may also want to use them to direct attention to a particular outdoor view. Some tiebacks are composed from simple fabrics or ribbon that matches or complements your drapery panels. Others tiebacks are metal hardware known as rosettes that sit part way down your window (about elbow level). They attach to the wall with brackets to “hook” fabrics and complement the rod, valance or cornice.
Shades fit tightly within the frame of your window or outside the frame to diffuse or block out light. They can be used exclusively or in addition to drapery panels. They differ from blinds since they cannot be individually moved and must be “pulled” as a collective whole. From Roman shades to natural woven wood shades, pattern embellished roller shades, they add a great deal of character to your windows.
If simple lines with a clean finish are what you seek, look at shutters. The two double-hang symmetrical pieces fit around the frame of your window and come together at the center.
They’re great for windows with unique shapes and arches. Shutters control your light and privacy options by manipulating a centerpiece that moves the individual planks open and closed.
Now that you have a better understanding of window treatment basics you can move past intimidation and into planning your regal setup. Use this guide to help you transform the “eyes of your home” into a true vision.