Building Out a Window: Adding Style and Dimension
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, what does that make windows?
Aside from providing ample natural light, your windows also serve another purpose – aesthetic appeal. They are an often-overlooked, yet still incredibly important aspect of interior design. When built out properly, your windows can greatly enhance the visual appeal of any room, adding style, sophistication, texture, and dimension. But how?
Covering your windows is a great way to add layers, lines and textures to a room. Whether you choose to keep the lines elegant and simple or be more dramatic, the right window treatments can tie together the design you are trying to achieve. But what do you choose? Do you go with blinds or shades for increased functionality and light control, or do you choose curtains? Well, why not both?
Layering curtains over blinds or shades is truly the best of both worlds, however, finding the right combination can be rather tricky. Window treatments and curtains come in an endless array of colors and textures. Finding the perfect combination can be a laborious process, but the end result is well worth the effort. Your blinds/shades provide the energy efficiency, privacy, and light control you desire, while the curtains help tie the window into the existing décor.
“Complete an entire window treatment with both a cornice board and matching draperies,” says interior designer Betsy Burnham.
Other techniques in building out a window is to pair contrasts together. One simple way to do this is to add a cornice, a hardtop treatment made of either wood or fabric tightly adhered to a shaped board. They are designed to cap a window, adding drama, excitement, and visual appeal to any room. Cornices are an effective way to add a texture, design, and color.
“Up the ante of your great room’s aesthetic by adding a meticulously stylized cornice board,” says interior designer Cynthia Mason.
By themselves, window treatments can provide aesthetic appeal. But when you pair window treatments, such as blinds or shades, with draperies and a decorative cornices, your windows take on an entirely new level of visual appeal.
Illusion of Height
A common ‘trick of the trade’ to add height to a window is to mount the window treatment 6 inches above the window trim. This will give the appearance of a larger more dramatic window. To further elongate a window, add fabric panels and hardware and be sure to mount the hardware higher than the shade/blind. As they say, the devil is in the details.