Window Dressings: Are Yours Catwalk Ready?

When it comes to redecorating your home or taking a crack at interior design, the decisions can seem endless – and choosing window dressings is no exception.

Windows and their dressings are often an afterthought during large renovation projects, which can become a costly oversight. It’s important to allow for the cost of windows and window dressings within your budget – especially if you’re hoping for something bespoke.

Before spending any money, you need to consider how space you will use – and the practicalities. For instance, kitchens tend to look a lot better when bathed in natural light, so choosing a dressing that’s either lightweight or looks good when drawn is paramount. Fabric dressings on bathroom windows may need washing often to avoid smelling of damp or growing mould as bathrooms are often steamy with their windows collecting condensation.

You need to consider the look and feel that you want to achieve. However, ultimately, window shapes and styles will determine your choice of window treatments.

So, with all that in mind, let’s look at the options available:

Window Dressings: The Options


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The natural, and go-to choice for most people in the majority of rooms are curtains. They are a window dressing staple.

Buying curtains off-the-shelf and ready-made can be an inexpensive option; (and when eclipsed by the budget, the only one). However, windows are rarely standard sizes so alterations may be necessary, or left long overdue.

Execution Ideas:

  • Like the image above – try moving the rail upwards so that the curtain fabric spans from the ceiling to the floor, this will lengthen the room and make the ceiling seem higher!
  • For east or west-facing windows (that also aren’t facing neighbours or peering eyes) swap out traditional thick fabrics and replace with light, flowing, translucent ones to make the most of natural light.
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If you planned and allowed budget for your window dressings, then bespoke, made-to-measure curtains can be an option; this means having final say over every detail.

Are you hankering after full-length, interlined curtains that puddle on the floor for a truly sumptuous look, or is your style more sleek and contemporary?

If you’re fortunate enough to have large feature windows (and privacy isn’t an issue), you may choose simple ‘dress’ curtains, which soften the edges of the window recess but you can’t close.  It is a great option for when there’s a radiator beneath a window because a blind or net can provide privacy and you can use dress curtains for a more luxurious look.

Roman Blinds

Roman blinds offer a classic look that’s less utilitarian than roller blinds but provide the same level of functionality.

When space is a premium, and you’re looking for a smaller option, roman blinds are the best bet as they’ll fit inside your window recess and tuck out the way.

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You can dress down roman blinds in a nice, neutral fabric to allow all attention to other elements of your home décor. While, alternatively, when made in an eye-catching fabric and teamed with floor length curtains they’ll be the focal point of a room.

Execution Ideas:

  • window dressings: Roman blinds 1 (1)
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    Use roman blinds as an addition to your existing curtains for more privacy in the day if your windows are road facing; because blinds can be hung at any desired length you can roll them half to protect privacy while still enjoying the sunlight.
  • Roman blinds are ideal for utilitarian rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms, where window seals may be hard to reach, in constant use or having a hanging curtain isn’t an ideal option.

Roller Blinds

Roller blinds are available in a never-ending selection of colours, patterns, and fabrics; they are a fantastic window dressing option for kitchen and bathrooms.

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Sheer fabrics, like netting, can be used during the day for privacy without compromising on natural light.

If you’re using a roller blind in a bedroom, we’d suggest picking a black-out fabric to ensure you’re not awake at 4:30 am on the weekends in summer!

Execution Ideas:

  • Roller blinds are ideal for use in rooms such as home offices and utility spaces; their sleek appearance makes them less homely, which is perfect for creating a more formal setting. Adding to this is their low cost and low maintenance that makes them optimal for rooms that aren’t interior design heavy.
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Shutters are probably the rarest form of window dress that you see around, but in our opinion, they’re the nicest. They have a timeless, rustic appeal that works as part of a ‘cute,’ spotless design, or a more shabby-chic theme.

Shutters offer homeowners the flexibility to adjust the amount of light let into a room. Full length and half-length options are available. And shutters are great for windows that are an awkward shape; when made-to-measure, they are particularly eye-catching on curved windows.

Execution Ideas:

  • If you’re looking to up the curb appeal of your home installing some external shutters is a great way to go about it since they’re synonymous with quaint, suburban homes.
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Finding the right look for your windows can make a difference to a room; so, take a bit of time and have fun with different ideas. Remember to allow space in your budget for window dressings to ensure you don’t have compromise on what you want!

If you’re planning a renovation or redecoration project, read these 5 Things to do Before Refurbishing a Home. Stay up-to-date with more home décor advice, interior design news, and DIY tips by liking A Fancy Home on Facebook!

This is a guest post written by Gill Wilkinson at GMW Interiors.