From the June/July 2007 Issue:

How to Dress a Palladian Window

How would you dress a Palladian window?

Karla Trincanello, CID, Allied ASID Interior Decisions Inc. in Florham Park; 973-765-9013,

Andrea Palladio and his Palladian window design are as popular in architectural home design today as they were in Renaissance times. The softly rounded arch brings historical influence and architectural interest to almost every classical design. This window treatment design addresses the style and shape of this beautiful style of window by exposing as much as possible of the arch, the true Palladian feature. The window treatment is soft and romantic, using a lightweight sheer fabric to give hint to the glorious arch and architectural pilaster column accents. Classic rosettes at the corner of each sidelight at different heights and dressed with elegant tassels add detail and carry the design upward to the arched top. A decorative rod with finials and crystal accents brings the viewer to dramatic height of this favored classical window.

the details...
Fabric: lightweight sheer
Accessories: classic rosettes, tassels, decorative rod with finials and crystal accents

Mary Gorman The Curtain Exchange of Ridgewood in Ridgewood;201-612-0999,

Palladian windows are probably the most challenging to treat. Some customers who built homes tell us they would have chosen differently had they realized how difficult they are to dress. Of course, Palladian windows add so much character to a home. They are so beautiful you don’t want to cover them up. For this configuration, we put simple taffeta Roman shades on the two side windows and hung a beautiful sheer (embroidered and banded with the same taffeta silk as the Roman shades) on medallions at the center window. By using the sheer, the window’s character is not lost — it is clearly visible through the fabric.

the details...
Fabric: The Curtain Exchange
Walls: Benjamin Moore Shelburne Buff (HC-28)
Trim: Benjamin Moore White Dove (Int. Rm.)
Medallions: The Finial Co., bronze with gray and gold (color 107)

Lesa Knowlton Knowlton Associates LLC in Haddon Heights; 856-547-8282,

Window fashions today should be minimal, as the two examples above illustrate. Gone are the days of heavy Tuscan and Victorian draperies with enormous fringes. Palladian windows take us back to the Neoclassic/ Federal Period when architecture was more important than fabric. If you have great design, then simplicity is key to style.

Silk fabric will add a lovely shimmer. Dressing the side windows will draw your eye toward the center. Careful selection of pattern is crucial — the greater the pattern, the more distracted your eye from the rest of the room.

Fabric color, on the other hand, is a must. Don’t get stuck in a different time period. Adding a bright color will put a contemporary twist on a classic. Carry a touch of the color elsewhere in the room, such as on pillows or a small detail in an area rug. The walls and trim are perfect in a bright white semigloss paint. This will ensure the look of very expensive wood paneling even if you can afford only applied moldings.

Furnishings, just as in fashion, can be overdone.

the details...
Fabric: brightly colored silk
Walls: bright white semigloss paint

Terri Fiori Fiori Interior Design in Wyckoff; 201-848-9797

I’ve chosen to dress the two windows flanking the center window in silk goblet-pleated panels pulled back with large tassel tiebacks. Six-inch fringe completes the panels. The arch on the center window treatment is inside-mounted on a curved board, and the shape along the bottom of the fabric follows the curve.

The silk Kravet fabric is embroidered with a repeating branch pattern. An embossed sheer beneath the pleated drapes also features a branch design. All fabrics are lined and interlined, and the windows are treated with a film to protect the fabric from fading because of the sun’s rays. A motorized shade is hidden beneath the center treatment for privacy.

This style of window treatment is an accompaniment to the beautiful architecture and moldings and won’t take center stage. The goblet pleating ties all treatments together, and the shape of the center treatment with its gentle scallops connects the two panel treatments visually.

the details...
Panel fabric: silk with embroidered branch pattern
by Kravet
Sheers: branch pattern
by Carole Fabrics

Lois Croce, CWTC Metropolitan Window Fashions in North Plainfield; 908-755-4700, Metropolitan also has locations in Paramus and New York City.

Swags and jabots are the perfect treatment for this window. They provide a dual purpose: not only do they mimic the arch of the Palladian window itself, but they soften all of the horizontal and vertical lines on the window and wall. The treatment elegantly envelops the window, providing a beautiful focal point in the room, and at the same time framing the view to the outdoors.

the details...
Embroidered silk panels: E-7060 in color D
Solid silk panels: dark pink (Pattern: “My” in color 53)
lighter pink (Pattern: Dupioni in poppy)
Trim: Silk Pom-Pom in pink
Tiebacks: pink
Medallions: Genette in bronze d’oro from Villiers Collection
Walls: Benjamin Moore Morning Sky Blue (2053-70)
Ceiling: Benjamin Moore Tear Drop Blue (2053-60)
Trim: Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace (OC-65)

Carrie Oesmann, ASID Bailiwick Design LLC in Mount Olive; 973-347-9066,

Typically, I base any window treatment design on criteria such as privacy needs, views, facing direction of the window, and natural light. Because this project starts with a blank canvas, I will assume that privacy is not an issue and that the window has a northern exposure to a wooded area. I wanted to make the window treatment the focal point of the room, but not overpower the rest of the décor by its scale.

I worked with the shape of the window by using a hanging system based on tiebacks that follow the arch. The panels are a combination of three fabrics that play off a subtle palette. Using an embroidered silk floral as my inspiration, I added the detail of a gathered swag at the top in a gold diamond tone-on-tone, a quiet repetition of the parquet wood floor. A striped sheer in celery green finishes the outsides of the panels, softening the window while allowing in natural light. These additional fabrics pull their color from the floral, but remain soft to the eye. The beautiful shimmer of the selected fabrics gives them a lightweight feel through reflected light and the partial sheerness of the panel. The gathered swag on top adds drama without overwhelming the presentation.

To balance the treatment to the walls, I used the same floral panel fabric to upholster the larger inset panels flanking the window. The wall colors relate with the floral without overpowering the fabric, with the lighter neutral color as the surrounding base and the darker color as accent inside the wood-trimmed panels. The cream and gold finish on the tiebacks adds a subtle jewelry effect. This design offers a full dress to the large window without the heaviness and light-blocking nature of some styles. The end result is understated sophistication and drama, which I refer to as a ball-gown effect on the Palladian window. -DNJ