Win­dow dress­ing – de­sign state­ment

The Leader (Tasman) - - UNDER ONE ROOF -

Win­dows are a func­tional fea­ture of your home, pro­vid­ing a view to your pic­turesque gar­den or the traf­fic slid­ing past your front gate.

How­ever, a win­dow is not only a por­tal to the world out­side the house; the way we dec­o­rate it helps us ac­ces­sorise the in­te­rior of the dwelling as well.

The ob­vi­ous op­tions lie with blinds, shut­ters and cur­tains but what are the de­ter­min­ing fac­tors that per­suade the home­owner to choose one above the other?

Kate Ro­gan, of Ro­gan Nash Ar­chi­tects, looks at some of the con­sid­er­a­tions to be pon­dered when weigh­ing up the ad­van­tages each win­dow treat­ment af­fords.

When choos­ing cur­tains, Kate says, you need to check out the na­ture of the room in which they will be hang­ing.

‘‘In a cosy or small space, you don’t want a whole lot of dif­fer­ent types and pat­terns of cur­tains. It can be over­whelm­ing and some­times makes a space look smaller,’’ she says.

Ad­her­ing to one colour and type of cur­tain (eg. pleated, floor length or gath­ered) can make a small room look larger. Dif­fer­ent de­signs of homes do suit a melange of styles – ‘‘English coun­try can han­dle a mix­ture of colour, style and pat­terns’’ – but in gen­eral Kate rec­om­mends fol­low­ing one style through­out the house be­cause mul­ti­ple com­bi­na­tions be­come too com­pli­cated.

When wall­pa­per is al­ready mak­ing a state­ment, it’s a good idea to choose neu­tral cur­tains.

When de­cid­ing whether cur­tains should be neu­tral or a state­ment piece, she says: ‘‘Stick to the gen­eral rule that there should be no more than three things go­ing on in a room at once.’’

Us­ing this guide­line, if there are al­ready three sig­na­ture items in a room, cur­tains should be a neu­tral colour. How­ever, Kate does note this is merely a gen­eral rule and some spa­ces are able to take a myr­iad of state­ment pieces with­out look­ing over­done.

Cur­tains should al­ways reach the floor, she says. ‘‘You don’t want them to look like trouser pants that are too short.’’

To give the im­pres­sion the room is larger, take the cur­tains all the way to the ceil­ing, or above the height of the win­dow frame. This tech­nique lessens the vis­ual chop­pi­ness of the decor.

Cur­tains pro­vide good ther­mal in­su­la­tion, soften a room and block more light out than a blind. For this rea­son they are well suited for bed­rooms.

For a small win­dow, it is un­prac­ti­cal to have a cur­tain. Blinds are a much bet­ter so­lu­tion.

A good com­bi­na­tion for the bed­room is the dual use of a roller blind with a drape over the top. This way, you can let the light in dur­ing the day, while main­tain­ing pri­vacy, and draw the cur­tains at night to keep the heat in. How­ever, if a room doesn’t suit drapes, dou­ble blinds (one see-through and the other with black-out back­ing) can be used for the same pur­pose.

‘‘Blinds with a lot of hor­i­zon­tal lines can be vis­ually over­whelm­ing,’’ she says. So they shouldn’t be used in ex­cess.

Kate finds shut­ters are a good so­lu­tion for a door. ‘‘Shut­ters are crisper and less fussy,’’ she says.

‘‘Blinds on a door would just be a night­mare.’’ Shut­ters, which can be at­tached to the door, move with it and can be opened and closed eas­ily. Shut­ters with wide slats are per­fect for win­dows where you don’t want to lose the view. They can con­trol light and al­low good air­flow, which is im­por­tant for a healthy home.

Kate Ro­gan says a small room can look larger by ad­her­ing to one colour.

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