From the December/January 2015 Issue:

Detail Analysis: Window Wisdom

    Compiled by: Mary Vinnedge |


Article Photo
enlarge | Courtesy of Stitch n’ Sew Centre
Back to main story

Creative ideas and well-chosen materials elevate these architectural elements.

Windows are to interior designers as a blank canvas is to a painter: an almost infinite opportunity to do something creative. These tips can make your windows and treatments enduring, dramatic and spectacularly successful.

(Photo Left) Grommet-top draperies are modern, rod pockets gathered onto rods are ideal for country and casual décor, and a classic pinch pleat is traditional or modern, depending on the fabric, according to Window Treats in Red Bank and the Decorating Store @ Terminal Mill Ends in Union.
April/May 2011

Big, billowy window treatments work in large rooms, but they can make small rooms feel claustrophobic.
— Design NJ staff

Lining can make an expensive drapery fabric look like a million bucks, says Michele Caprio of Interiors by Michele in Medford. She adds that all custom window treatments except sheers should be lined; linings protect fabrics from ultraviolet rays that cause fading and rot.
August/September 2004


Article Photo
enlarge | Photo by Marisa Pellegrini
A common blunder with arched windows above a large rectangular window is to cover just the bottom one, says Norman Rosenberg of Rosenberg Window Treatments in Fair Lawn. “Many people ignore the arch and treat the other as a window by itself, decapitating the upper window. The problem is that the treatment is very low. … Proportionally it’s bad.”
April/May 2003


Article Photo
enlarge | Photos by Marisa Pellegrini
Window sleight-of-hand:
• (Top Left) Two designers say a special treatment can help a so-so window become a focal point. Patricia Gaylor of Patricia Gaylor Interiors of Little Falls raised the valance to the ceiling and mounted the panels wider than the window frame to make the space look larger (directional).
April/May 2003

• (Bottom Left) In addition, designer and visual coordinator Linda Montgomery of Attention to Detail in Flemington uses a tablescape about sill height to help sell the focal point (directional).
Fall 2001

• A window treatment can hide a multitude of sins. Allison Valtri Interiors in Ocean View, for example, suggests mounting window treatments at the ceiling to disguise short, squat windows.
February/March 2008

• A caveat: Some people say you can make a ceiling look higher or a window look taller by placing draperies at ceiling height. But unless you hide the space between the ceiling and the top of the window with a valance or cornice, it looks like you goofed when you measured.
— Ren Miller, editor of Design NJ


Article Photo
enlarge | Photography PeterRymwid.com
(Photo Left) Diane Gote, ASID Fellow of Design Works Inc. in Summit, used fish netting as a window treatment for a bathroom in a lakeside home in Morris County. Privacy was not a concern, she says, so the netting “seemed appropriate for casual simplicity.”
August/September 2012

If a window looks out onto an unattractive view, remove it and then install a decorative round or oval window higher on the wall. You’ll no longer be able to see the unattractive view but will still bring in daylight.
— Ren Miller

Film Stars
• Fading is a serious problem at beach houses. Window films, which are almost invisible nowadays, and wood blinds can thwart the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.
Summer 2002

• Bruce Heyman, owner of Metropolitan Window Fashions in Paramus, Wayne, North Plainfield and New York City, highly recommends window films. “For us, film is the first layer, then a privacy layer such as sheers, then the decorative layer.”
October/November 2008


Article Photo
enlarge | Photo by Melabee M. Miller
Homeowner Jessica Sporn, owner of To the Moon Designs in Glen Ridge, painted the recessed area of this small window lime green to give it some pop.
August/September 2004


Article Photo
enlarge | Photo by Patricia Burke
(Photo Left) Interior designer Elizabeth B. Gillin of Elizabeth B. Gillin Interiors in Westfield designed this window seat to double as a bed for a shore home that accommodates lots of overnight guests.
August/September 2009

A properly insulated window covering can reduce energy costs as much as 15 percent, says Lois Croce, director of design at Metropolitan Window Fashions.
August/September 2013


Article Photo
enlarge | Photo by John Ferrentino
Kirstin Schultz of dBk Interiors Inc. in Washington Township suspended sheer panels from holdbacks in her master bedroom.
October/November 2004


Article Photo
enlarge | Photo by Barry Halkin
A standard window provides unexpected verve when rotated 45 degrees in this Middlesex County home. Design: Nicholas R. Carnevale, Architect/Planner in Princeton.
Summer 2001