How to Achieve the Perfect Layered Look for Window Treatments
A layered window treatment is the perfect way to finish off a formal living room, dining room or bedroom and is simple if you follow the tips below.
A layered window treatment usually involves building up layers of fabric in front of a window, it can consist of blinds or sheers as the first layer with a second layer added over the top of this - usually in a colour that complements the existing room decor - or brings a pop of colour into the room, and finally, the main colour and fabric to complete the look. Now there is a simple solution if you want to bring a layered window treatment into your home.
Layering with Blinds or Sheers
Before we look at 3-panel window treatments as an option for windows, we take a look at various layering methods using fabric blinds, shutters, sheers and voile. Not quite as elegant as 3-panel window treatments, this type of layering is more suited to homes where the decorating style is less formal and leans more towards casual and relaxed.
A layered window treatment consisting of drapes and fabric blinds, such as that shown below, and whether Roman or roller blinds, provides an interesting frame to highlight a view, or can be used to frame features or furniture in a specific room.
• Keep it simple
When layering a window treatment, especially if you want to frame an outstanding view outside the window, you have plenty of options, but one of the easiest and least expensive options is to pair the drapes with fabric Roman blinds or roller blinds in colours and patterns that tie them together for a cohesive look.
Keep in mind that a dressed window should be a pleasing feature or even go as far as being eye-catching, but it is only one element in a decorated room and should reflect the style and colours already used in the room.
By using fabric blinds as the backdrop for the curtains, you have the ability to choose a plain, embellished or patterned fabric to make up the blinds. Whether you decide to make your own Roman blinds or have them custom made, select a fabric that not only complements the colour scheme in the room, but one that also brings ontrend designs - such as ribboned or taped edges, or a pattern that ties in with the fabrics and textiles used in decorating the room.
In a room lacking pattern, fabric blinds let you bring this into a room while at the same time creating a window frame around a window.
If you prefer a more sedate look rather than one with busy patterns, it is possible to combine fabrics for both curtains and blinds, especially if you want other pieces to attract attention, such as the upholstered dining chairs feature below. The subtle stripes echo the colours in the room but provide a backdrop for the dining suite rather than overpowering the room. It is all about restraint. Don't install curtains with patterns that distract the eye and create chaos.
• Hide the hardware
Unless you have splurged on designer hardware for hanging your window treatments, you may want to disguise or hide the curtain rod, pole or curtain track. A stylish option for this is to make up a pelmet to fit at the top of the curtains and hide the hardware.
Pelmets have been used for hundreds of years as a finishing touch to window treatments, and give you even more opportunity to dress up a plain window and bring elegance into any room. Pelmets can be wrapped in plain or patterned fabrics, embellished with ribbon or tape or even tassels - it all depends on the final look you want to achieve for a room.
Adding a pelmet to the top of a window also gives you the perfect opportunity to raise a curtain rod or track to install curtains with extra length to make the ceiling appear higher. This also gives windows more impact and lets you be more creative with patterns and designs.
Another reason to add a pelmet above a window is when you want to create an atmosphere that is romantic or whimsical. Decorating a bedroom with pelmets instantly gives the room a new look and feel. And making your own pelmet is a DIY project that should take no more than an hour, tops! A pelmet is simply a frame (front and two sides joined together) that is mounted onto the wall above a window using angle brackets. Use a material such as 3mm plywood or SupaWood for lightweight construction that can be painted or covered with fabric that matches the curtains and/or blinds.
• Create a fabulous feature
Curtains should never be completely functional but rather be used as a finishing touch - the adornments to finish off your interior design process. Yes, a window treatment needs to offer privacy if required, and yes, a window treatment should be able to control the amount of light that enters a room, but over and above that, use a window treatment to highlight architectural details in a room or to introduce a theme or style.
Increasing the length of curtains by hanging a curtain rod or track higher than it would normally be installed will make any space appear spacious, and adding extra width on either side of a window increases the effect of a visually larger room.
A pelmet does not have to be overly decorative and can be a simple banner at the top of a window that is used to hide curtain hardware.
• Select the right hardware
If you are working with a new window or one that doesn't have any existing window treatment, the first thing you need to decide is the type of hardware you will need. Making this decision will determine what curtains you will be hanging and how the curtains will fall. For example, a plain rod with tab-top curtains is a basic window treatment that does nothing on its own, but when combined with a fabric blind or sheers, or perhaps with a pelmet mounted over the top, the look will be enhanced, and you can make inexpensive curtains a stunning feature.
The purpose of a particular room will also come into play when deciding upon the right type of window treatment. Bedrooms, for example, may need sheers or blinds for privacy. That indicates you will need a double curtain track to allow for both curtains and sheers. If you are hanging fabric blinds, then a single pole or track will be sufficient. It is important to keep this in mind before making your final selection on hardware so that you can, at a later stage, add more curtains.
Pleated curtains are perfect for a room where you want a more formal touch, and this type of curtain is best on a curtain track that allows easy opening and closing.
3-Panel Layered Window Treatment
One window treatment trend that is featuring in designer homes around the world is the 3-panel style. This exciting trend ticks all the boxes if you are looking for colour, texture, drama and high-impact, or want to bring elegance and sophistication into a room. Rather than layered multiple lengths on a single or double curtain track, the 3-panel layer is achieved by combining multiple fabrics into a single curtain.
By combining fabrics for this effect, you are reducing the total weight of a window treatment simply by joining the fabrics together to create a single curtain that hangs down either side of a window.
Installing tiebacks at both sides of the window allow you to let the curtains hang straight or gently fold down either side to create an opulent look that screams divine!
The trick to successfully putting together this look is to choose your fabric carefully. Not something you can purchase readymade but one that can be custom made to your request, discuss options for sheers or voile with decorative trim along the inside edges, as this is important in achieving the overall look. You can then select fabrics in colours or patterns to be made up as curtains.
Shop for luxurious fabrics in colours that complement your decor and include a patterned strip that ties the two colours together.