From the June/July 2010 Issue:

Eye on Design: Windows

What are the latest trends in window coverings?

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enlarge | Courtesy of Calico Corners: Ikat design — which originated in Northeast Asia — ranges from bold geometrics to floral, bird, and animal imagery to detailed figurative patterns. The edges of the pattern elements are feathered not sharp. “Ikat fabrics are classic — they don’t look dated,” says Jan Jessup of Calico Corners. “They’re great to pair with denim or duck for a casual look — and we even have damask design ikats for a dressy look in a more formal room. Onion fringe down the center leading edge of the Limonia drapery is a pretty detail that finishes off a custom window treatment, Jessup says.
Jan Jessup
Director of communications, Calico Corners
800-213-6366 or 610-444-9700

- Designs that reach back to ethnic cultures from centuries past are absolutely au courant. For example, ikat-style jacquard wovens and prints are strong design influences this season. These patterns resonate with our love of exotic lands and antique textiles, yet modern designers have made them accessible and affordable.

- Braid or other simple trim, which is popular because it adds a custom touch but isn’t too over-the-top.

- Streamlined window treatments with less elaborate, tailored panels, valances, and cornices.

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enlarge | “Pelagos” in lime and clove and “Riad” in Caribbean from Kravet and Thomas Paul bird and plant prints in tangerine and earth from Duralee are good examples of modern twists on classic designs.
Nina Alexander Spinelli
Owner, The Decorating Store at Terminal Mills End in Union. 800-439-9416

- A lot of selections lean toward modern twists on traditional looks. Clean, simple, and inviting seem to be the goals.

- People are choosing fabrics in bright colors with either no print, a simple print such as a large flower, or artistic prints or patterns with a modern edge.

- We have more requests for insulated window treatments now that incentives are in place for homeowners to use them.

- Sustainable materials are popular, as are natural textures and colors reflecting rooms that are bright, airy, and relaxing.

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enlarge | Woven wood blinds under textured panels keep this family room bright while also allowing for privacy in this window treatment by The Curtain Exchange in Ridgewood. Simplicity is the key in window treatment design today, as demonstrated in these elegant panels by The Curtain Exchange.
Mary Gorman
The Curtain Exchange in Ridgewood.

- Clients today are looking for simplicity in their home environment and on their windows. Elegant side panels with beautiful hardware finish the look. People are moving toward a more streamlined, clean look. The less fuss the better. Heavy top treatments have moved out of favor.

- Woven wood shades have become popular and provide great versatility. Available in rattan, bamboo, and natural fibers, these shades can stand alone or be paired with side panels. They look fabulous with many different fabrics, from sumptuous silk to gauzy linen. They also can be the starting point in a layered treatment that can

- More and more customers are looking for a light and airy look, which can be accomplished with sheers. We see a trend toward lining sheers to provide privacy but at the same time give customers the airy look they want. Sheers have come a long way in design and texture. They can be an integral part of a layered treatment, working beautifully along with panels.

Keri Russionello
Designer, Stitch n’ Sew Centre in Lakewood

- I see a trend toward simpler window treatments such as decorative side panels. If you want to be trendy, do it with an accessory rather than a window treatment.

- Silks and linens are in demand for these uncomplicated treatments. These classic materials will build a foundation for the window.

- Build a room with neutrals and then if you want color or patterns, do it with a lamp, a painting, or accessories because they are more easily updated if you grow tired of them.

- Grommet drapery panels are part of this growing trend.

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enlarge | Embroidered fabric like this is becoming popular for window coverings.
Kelli Chitty
Owner of Interiors by Kelli in Sea Girt and president of the Central New Jersey Chapter of the Window Coverings Association of America

- Purple looks like the big color trend.

- In terms of style, drapery panels are quite popular, with simple styling done in a luxurious way. For example, silk panels with french blackout lining, beautiful trim on the lead edge, and beautiful hardware.

- Roman shades are also popular, even in light of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission safety alert. (The alert regards a child’s potential accessibility to the inner cords of this type of shade. WCAA is working with the Window Coverings Safety Council to develop standards to reduce this risk.)

- Regarding fabric, hand embroidery is becoming popular on a variety of types of ground cloth.

- In terms of technology, rendering software is emerging as a real sales tool. Clients love when I provide renderings of window treatments on their room photos.

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enlarge | Silk fabrics for window treatments are available in a wide range of colors and prices. Woven wood shades made by Hunter Douglas and available at Metropolitan Window Fashions stores are layered with simple silk drapery panels on metal poles. Courtesy of Metropolitan Window Fashions
Lois Croce
Director of design, Metropolitan Window Fashions in North Plainfield, Paramus, and New York City. 908-755-4700

- In styling there’s a continuance of simple lines and toned-down formality with side-panel draperies that are pinch-pleated, grommeted, or ripple-folded on tracks or on metal and wood poles. The panels are often layered with sheers, solar or Roman shades, and textured woven woods, either alone or combined with fabric-covered cornices or clean-lined box-pleated top treatments. Natural wood shutters and motorization of draperies, shadings, and blinds continue to grow in popularity.

- Natural organic fibers — such as silks, linens, cottons — are popular, as are blended fabrics in solids, stripes, embroidered textures, prints, small checks, plaids, geometrics, and tone-on-tone patterns.

- Sophisticated monochromatic neutral tones of cream, beige, taupe, gold, silver, charcoal, and black dominate the color palette, splashed with accents of purple, lavender, fuchsia, turquoise, chartreuse, and orange. Additionally, earthy shades of rust, terra cotta, tan, and khaki combined with green, camel, and berry provide warmth and style.

- Stainless steel, metal, brushed nickel, copper, and wrought iron hardware provide contemporary styling, while wood poles in fluted and smooth finishes work well in today’s traditional rooms.

- Wide color-coordinated banding, braided, and subtle beaded trims offer an elegant, finished look to all styles.

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enlarge | “The use of sheers in all types of Roman shades has become very popular, replacing the traditional pinch-pleat sheer,” says Steve Furman of Steve’s Custom Drapery Shoppe.
Steve Furman
President of Steve’s Custom Drapery Shoppe Inc. in Haskell and industry partner of the American Society of Interior Designers

- The use of banding trim has increased significantly. Band trims are being combined in different widths to create truly unique borders on shades, panels, and cornices.

- Window treatments with nail-head trim are making a comeback. In fact, I made a panel with nail-head trim for a room in the Mansion in May Show House and am making cornices with nail-head trim for two boy’s bedrooms in another home.

- Hobbled (pleated) Roman shades seem to be making a resurgence.

- Roman shades made of sheer fabric are becoming very popular, replacing the traditional pinch-pleat sheer. This is especially true among younger clients.

Kim Kiner
Vice President of product design, Hunter Douglas in
Upper Saddle River. 800-789-0331

- Layering is a trend I see in both fashion and window treatments that provides intriguing beauty and style, yet also serves practical purposes. At the window, the beauty of layering is in creating exquisite combinations of different window treatments, fabrics, and colors. The first layer provides a soft diffusion of light as well as light control and privacy. An example is the Silhouette® window shadings from Hunter Douglas, with soft fabric vanes suspended between sheer facings. The second layer is decorative, typically draperies, valances, or a second shade or shading.

There also are practical purposes for layering, such as correcting odd-size windows and improving the proportions of a room by using a heightening window treatment that makes the room seem larger. Additionally, layering can save energy by protecting a room from the heat or cold outside and covering any leakage around the sides of the first layer of the window treatments.

- Consumers want to make responsible decisions in products, particularly for their home. Window treatments can fulfill this desire by helping to improve energy efficiency. For instance, Duette® Architella® honeycomb shades feature a patented cell-within-a-cell design that more than doubles the energy efficiency of the window, helping to lower heating and cooling costs.

- Consumers are also seeking multifunctional products. Window treatments such as Pirouette® window shadings diffuse light while also offering ultraviolet protection and light control. These shadings can be completely concealed in the headrail for an unobstructed view to the outside.

- “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” DaVinci said. For a paired-down style of window treatment, products such as Luminette® Modern Draperies feature woven fabrics with the look and function of traditional draperies with refined folds for a clean, modern statement. Simple roller shades made from textured fabrics are another option.