Picture of Wendy Gimpel
Wendy Gimpel

Window Treatments

Let’s talk about window treatments for a minute. Sometimes we need window treatments to be functional and sometimes we need them to be beautiful. I prefer to achieve both!

Now, depending on where your house is situated and what your privacy needs are, the options are many. If I am in a home with no one behind me, I prefer to have nothing on the windows at all…just something lovely to frame the window.

Someone just mentioned to me that draperies are coming back in style. To this I have to reply: they never went out of style! Now, if you’re thinking of the dusty old drapes from your mother’s house years ago, then yes, those are gone…no swags, no valances, nothing like that. I’m speaking of beautifully tailored draperies that frame a window. They don’t have to be incredibly expensive or custom-made. I’ve had fantastic luck at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. If you wait for a sale, it’s reasonable. You can even find some that will do from Target or T. J. Maxx. I think that draperies are the earrings of the window…that finishing touch that brings the whole room together.

Next, let’s talk about how to hang draperies: I prefer to go a minimum of 4 inches out and 4 inches up from the top corner of the window frame. I know you can’t do this in every case because you will have some constraints from the adjoining walls. The idea is to make the window seem larger than it is. I like the inside edge of the drapery to graze the window trim when the drapes are fully open. I also prefer to have the draperies just graze the floor, whether it’s carpet or hardwood. Measure carefully! My husband has learned the hard way that drapes are not always sewn perfectly, so you should measure the actual drape before hanging the rod in case you need to make any minor adjustments to the height.

For fabrics, I tend to go with classic linen or velvet because they are timeless. In my living room, I even went with a pattern…it’s muted and it ties my whole room together.

Don’t be shy, get out of your comfort zone a bit!

White linen drapes.
Roman shades.
Plantation shutters.
Fixed roman shades in my kitchen…not operational, just for looks!
Patterned drapes in my house. I have grasscloth pull-up shades on the widow for privacy; the drapes are fixed and are just to soften the room.

6 thoughts on “Window Treatments”

  1. Hi honey! Love your blog and thanks for all the tips on window treatments. I’m so having Russ read this. Options for sliding doors or door-walls as I like to call them? I’m growing tired of my heavy drapes. We used to have those vertical blinds/slats back in the late nineties early 2000’s. Thoughts? Love ya, Deb

    1. ugh sliders are a bit tough. I have in the past used a very small cellular shade that pulls up completely to the top and only leaves about an inch visible. That seems to work best. If you use a lighter lined linen drape you can mount on a rod with rings and pull shut in the evening. I am not a fan of vertical blinds they are cumbersome and leave too much stacked to the side of the widow. I prefer to have nothing at all but that is difficult if you need privacy. I hope that helps!

  2. Wendy – love reading your blog posts. Wondering for colors. You have white trim – what is a fail safe for whites or a toned down white? Do you have some go to colors? Greens, Grey’s and Whites ?

    1. Hi Kami! Great question, my favorite white is White dove by Benjamin Moore. I find it the perfect shade of white, not too cool or warm. It goes nicely with almost any paint color! The color I used most when staging homes that I will be selling is Revere Pewter by BM. its the perfect Greige I call it. A nice mix between grey and beige. I love a good green, lots to choose from depending on your carpet and light!

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