There are countless fabric window treatments you can use in your home decorating. Every style has a twist to it, every design a unique feature.

Some windows are relatively easy to treat, while others are more of a challenge. Fabrics can be used for curtains and drapes, roman and roller shades, and other more exotic shades such as festoons.

The hardware you use has an important influence on the overall look of your treatments. Selecting a heavy three inch wood pole instead of a one inch metal rod will completely change the effect.

On this page we have assembled a selection of illustrations to show just a few of the ideas you can use. You can copy them just as they are, but usually it's best to take the ones which appeal to you, and adapt them for your own situation.



drapes on pole

This is one of the classic ways to treat a standard window in the average home.

The window finishes about two feet from the floor, which means that if you finish the curtains at this height, they look a bit odd.

By using a sheer fabric which hangs just under the pole to the floor, the wall section is hidden.

The curtains themselves are hung from a black pole which contrasts with the plain cream of the walls. They use a modern eyelet system which gives a neat finish.

An added feature of these curtains is the deep border along the base. This is in a contrasting fabric which matches the chair seats.


curtains gathered

Whenever you have one or more windows where space is limited (very little room above for headings) and you don't want the curtains to project out into the room area, this method is useful.

The curtains have slots made at the top, through which the pole is inserted.

They have also been tied back to keep the fabric off the windows and allow some light into the room. By using semi translucent fabric and no linings more light is let in.



curtain inset

Another situation where compact treatments are called for is illustrated here. In this bathroom a curtain was needed to give softness and warmth, but couldn't be fixed outside the window.

The track was top-fixed inside the recess and the curtains hung from it. The heading is a triple pleat, or french pleat, and adds style. The tie back gives a nice curve to the fabric, contrasting with the horizontal and vertical lines in the room.

(Visit the window treatment hardware page for more information on curtain tracks and poles.)



living room curtains

You can achieve good effects by using more than one track and fabric for your fabric window treatments.

At the back is a floor length sheer curtain covering all the window. In front of that are pale yellow curtains, and on either side in front of those are two false curtains. All these are hidden behind a plain white cornice box.



fabric roller

A fabric roller shade is always useful where you can't have full curtains, or just want something simple but practical.

You can select the fabric from a manufacturer's catalog. Many of them also offer a service where you can supply them with your own fabric, and they will make it up into a roller shade.

Sometimes there are limitations on the types of fabric you can use, so check on that if you use this option. (There's more information on the window shade page.)



curtain stairway

Often viewed as a problem, this situation is easily treated by using a simple pole. This way, it doesn't matter if the window is square, round or arched as in this case.

Here an eyelet heading is used for simplicity. If you use this fabric window treatment, be sure to extend the pole over the window either side.





When the room size and window allow it, swags and jabots (or tails as they are known in some countries) will add classic elegance to your room.



sheer curtains

Fabric window treatments for tall bay windows can follow the idea in this kitchen diner.

Using sheer patterned fabric in four sections (covering the window frames) allows in plenty of light, but also softens the window. (You can see more about sheers on the sheer window treatments page.)



roman shade behind curtains

This is a popular way of treating a tall window. The roman shade can be pulled fully up, or left part of the way down as shown here.

In this illustration the inside edges of each curtain has been trimmed with a soft blue. (There is more information about roman shades on the window roman shades page.)


As you can see, there are many ways in which fabric window treatments can be used to dress your windows. You can find out more about other methods by going to the main window treatment page of this website.



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