Image courtesy of west elm
Not all windows are straightforward. Decorating expert and Cityline sewing legend Mary Dobson counts down four of the trickiest windows she's encountered in her career, along with her foolproof tips on how to dress them.
These beauties are often overdressed. Classic lined drapes and easy-glide hardware are the way to go. Look for a minimum 1 3/4-inch-diameter rod as well as rings with a silicone inner core for easier operation of the drapes. Mount the rod several inches above the top of the window's curve and extend it several inches on either side of the total width. Because these windows are often quite large in scale, play up that strength by choosing an oversize patterned fabric.
Most of us would love to utilize basement square footage as living space, but the typical tiny, high windows don't let in much in terms of light (or a view). This is where it pays to indulge in a little trickery. Make them appear two to three times larger by installing roman shades that cover each window frame—and a good chunk of the wall below. No one will ever guess that there isn't a full window behind the window covering. Opt for shades with a top-down, bottom-up construction, which can be raised or lowered accordion-style in either direction.
Sliding patio doors are high-traffic zones, which is why drapes with a grommet header are a great solution. They're easy to open and close, and, if you install them on a solid one-piece rod without a centre support, you have the option of splitting them like traditional drapes or throwing them all to one side during peak patio season. For a more tailored look, conceal the grommets behind a valance.
Varying height floor-to-ceiling windows
This dreaded configuration is what happens when bulkheads and windows collide—a common occurrence in condo design. Again, the simplest solution is always best. Cellular shades, which look like honeycomb from the side, provide varying degrees of light control and insulation, depending on the lining you choose. Although the face of the shade can range from textured linen to smooth sateen in a rainbow of colours, the reverse side is always available in white backing, which is required by most condo boards. When they're stacked up accordion-style, cellular shades have a wonderfully low profile, which maximizes your view. If the budget allows, consider upgrading to cordless operation—and if you want to be really decadent, treat yourself to remote control!