Guest Blog Entry #13 – (Entry #210) July 12, 2010
Window treatments can take a room from simple to complete in minutes. I love how the style, length, and
weight of fabric can change the feel of the windows they adorn, as well as the inhabitants who occupy the space. Today, my guest blogger Marilyn G. Russell shows us the basic requirements of measuring and choosing window treatments.
The aspiring Interior Designer recently departed the insurance industry to focus her attention on her passion for creating beautiful interiors. Marilyn is the founder and author of Love Affair with Color a blog about color and interior design. Several of her blog articles including “I feel Red Today” and “Blue, Once the most Prized Color” has been featured on Modenus.
A Jamaican native, Marilyn spent 20 plus years in Boston, MA and now resides in Orlando, Florida.
“The fabric you choose for window treatments can affect everything from the style or your décor to the mood of the room. The many options give you an array of choices but also challenge you to narrow your decision to the appropriate fabric.”
Let’s face it; fabric is the workhorse of any interior space. When it comes to window treatments, they serve more than just aesthetics. Window treatments add insulation from harsh weather conditions, provide a sound barrier to obtrusive exterior noise or may serve as a divider between two rooms. However you choose to implement your drapery system, the key not only depends on the fabric selection, but also on taking and implementing accurate measurements.
Here are some basic guidelines for installing a fantastic window treatment system:
1. First determine the width of the window.
Grab your steel measuring tape and begin measuring the width of the window. *Be sure to measure each window separately.
2. Once you’ve decided on the window treatment style, you will then need to calculate how much fabric is needed.
3. Next, begin securing measurements for the length of your drapery system.
The drapery rod is usually hung 4” above the window frame so the construction of the drapery doesn’t show when viewing the window from the outside. Also, be sure to extend the drapery rod 4” on either side of the window to prevent light from entering. While the extra 4” on either side of the window is a suggestion, feel free to increase the length as you please. Just be sure that both sides are even and the drapery rod will accommodate your desired width.
4. Determine the length or drop of your drapery treatment that will coincide with your design style.
There are usually four preferred lengths:
- Top of window to sill,
- Top of window to apron,
- Top of window to floor and
- Top of ceiling to floor.
Standard floor length is ½” above finished floor
You may opt for the Puddled look ~ add an extra 8” to 12”.
5. Once you’ve decided on the window treatment style, you will then need to calculate how much fabric is needed.
a. In addition to your basic width and length, which you should have up to this point, there are additional measurements to consider:
Returns and Overlaps:
- Returns are the space from the rod face back to the wall, which are usually 3” to 3 ½” deep.
- Overlaps refer to the center of the drapery when closed and serves to shield light and privacy. Overlaps are usually 3” on each side.
Bottom line: returns and overlaps usually account for an extra 12” of fabric. Be sure to add these amounts to your width.
b. From wool to voiles, including blends, there’s a diverse amount of textiles from which to choose. Most fabrics can be adapted to suit the designs you choose. Further, certain fabrics will need a liner to get a long-lasting effect.
Image credits: “Great Windows & Walls Collection” by Meredith Books © 2005.
Some Friendly Tips:
- Take your time in making decisions about window treatments. This is your home, your window and your money.
- Selection of fabric is very important. Some fabrics will fall gracefully while others may not. Some tend to weaken very quickly during continuous exposure to sunlight. Therefore, be sure to determine when a liner is needed.
- Take correct measurements. One tiny mistake can throw your entire installation off.
- Don’t be afraid to off the grid with your window treatments. Be as daring and dramatic as you want to be. Let your personality shine.
- Lastly, if assistance is needed, consult you friendly interior specialist. We’re here to help. You’ll be happy you did.
For more great design ideas visit Marilyn’s blog at Love Affair with Color.
For more interior design ideas on Stagetecture, click here.