Window treatments are the best way to add a fresh updated look to your space. From traditional to modern, window treatments can be the key component in the design of any room.
For any designer, I think it is very important to have a “Window Wizard” on speed dial for all design projects. My “Window Wizard” is Monte Coleman. I have been using Monte for many years and it’s great to work with someone who knows exactly what you want without having to tell him. Monte also has a great aesthetic eye and vision to go along with that gift. I am not one for complex window treatments and I mostly use roman shades which allow more natural light into a room. Natural light can help to breathe life into a space.
When I do shades or curtains, I usually take them to the ceiling even if a window does not go all the way up. The purpose of increasing the height of a shade is to make the window feel taller which creates an illusion of a full height window. I will do dummy shades from ceiling to the top of a window or better yet, mirror from the ceiling to the top of window increasing the sense of openness. Many times, I do schoolhouse shades that go from the bottom up which gives you privacy but do not obstruct the sky.
For curtains, I love using taffeta or polished wool like the Collette wool fabrics available at VW Home. The taffeta works great in giving you a luxurious feeling and the polished wool hangs beautifully as curtains and has a tailored sense. Bare windows to me always look incomplete like an unfinished thought, so just finish your thought by adding the appropriate punctuation.
Vicente Wolf with Window Treatment expert Monte Coleman
1. Why does Roman shades cost so much when they are so simple?
ROMAN SHADES ARE VERY LABOR INTENSIVE. YOU HAVE TO FIRST MAKE THE ACTUAL SHADE. THEN YOU HAVE TO HAND SEW RINGS ON THE BACK FOR THE CORDS TO RUN THRU TO MAKE THE SHADE OPERATE. THESE RINGS SHOULD BE NO MORE THAN 12" APART HORIZONTALLY AND 8" APART VERTICALLY. FOR A SHADE 6' X 6' THAT IS APPROX. 63 RINGS TO BE SEWN BY HAND, THIS TAKES A LOT OF TIME. THE SHADE HAS TO THEN BE APPLIED TO A DUST BOARD OR A CLUTCH SYSTEM. IF YOU ARE USING A DUST BOARD THE BOARD HAS TO BE COVERED IN CLOTH, SCREW EYES PUT ON FOR THE CORDS TO RUN THRU, THE SHADE ATTACHED AND STRING, THIS PROCESS ALSO TAKES QUITE A LOT OF TIME. OF COURSE YOU HAD TO MEASURE IN THE FIRST PLACE AND INSTALL IT. SO IN FACT FOR SOMETHING THAT LOOKS VERY SIMPLE IT IS NOT.
2. What's the best track to use for curtains?
MY FAVORITE IS AN EXTRUDED ALUMINUM TRACK THAT COMES IN WHITE THAT IS 5/8" X 5/8" THAT USES SIMPLE NYLON CARRIERS. IT IS VERY SMALL AND CLEAN. I ALSO LIKE THE TRACK FROM A COMPANY CALLED "GOELST NORTH AMERICA" THEY HAVE MANY PROFILES SOME OF WHICH COME IN COLORS. IF YOU WANT A TRACK THAT IS CORD DRAWN THIS IS A VERY GOOD PRODUCT AND CAN BE BENT FOR CURVED USES.
3. When will you not line curtain fabrics?
UNLINED CURTAINS CAN BE VERY BEAUTIFUL. THE CHARACTER OF THE CLOTH IS NOT ALTERED AND IT ALLOWS MORE LIGHT TO COME THRU. UNLINED SILK IS VERY WONDERFUL BUT IN MOST CASES SILK HAS TO BE LINED BECAUSE STRONG SUN DETERIORATES IT VERY QUICKLY, IT WILL ACTUALLY FALL APART. COTTON LINING IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA BECAUSE IT DOES PROTECT THE FABRIC AND HELPS WITH THE DIRT ELEMENT. INTERLINING IS ALSO WONDERFUL FOR A RICH LOOK AND CAN HELP MAKE A STIFF FABRIC HANG BETTER. UNLINED WOOL HANGS THE BEST. I HATE THE IDEA OF LINING SHEER I THINK IT DEFEATS THE POINT OF THE FABRIC.