Designer Secrets – Fabulous Window Treatment Ideas

It’s easy to see your windows in a whole new light with insights from a professional designer. With just a little bit of thought about the look you are trying to achieve, combined with the design savvy of window treatment experts, windows like those seen in the top design magazines are just days away.

To get you started, Smith+Noble, America’s leading catalog and online retailer of custom window treatments, rugs and fabric décor, suggests following these five tips from top interior designer Michael Payne. Payne is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers whose weekly show, “Designing for the Sexes,” can be seen on HGTV.

* Don’t be afraid of color. Many people play it safe and select neutral window treatments. Yet, mixing two colorful window treatments is a simple way to inject energy and excitement into a room. Select tones from opposite sides of the color wheel — for example, pair a golden honeycomb shade with deep aubergine velvet panels — to brighten and add punch to your windows.

* Vary textures when mixing neutrals. If bright colors aren’t what you are after, mixing subtle colors in wonderful textures can instantly bring elegance and ease to your rooms. For example, combining rich silk in an earthy bronze with delicate, sheer georgette in a creamy color results in a beautiful effect that goes with any décor. Woven reeds, grasses and bamboos used in Smith+Noble’s Natural Roman shades perfectly complement tailored herringbone edge bindings.

* Use a corner to your advantage. In homes with wall space between two corner windows, use panels or draperies with one side stacking to the left, the other to the right. Panels meet in the corner for the dramatic look of one continuous window. In contemporary homes where windows meet without wall space in between, honeycomb shades are a wonderful solution. When closed, the windows appear as bold bands of color; when open, shades virtually disappear for an unobstructed view.

* Give small windows big impact. Don’t be stumped by small or unattractive windows. One terrific way to make small windows appear larger and more dramatic is by using light-colored panels that start well above the window and puddle onto the floor. To enhance the width of a narrow window, specify panels significantly wider than the window and hold them open with tiebacks-the effect draws the eye outward. Then, build on the visual impact with details like ring tops, prominent wood poles, finials and brackets.

* Design in stages. If your dream windows are a little out of reach right now budget-wise, don’t fret. Designing windows is an evolving process that doesn’t have to be finished all at once. When you move into a home, privacy and light control are most important, so focus on installing functional blinds and shades that will be the foundation for your window treatment masterpieces later. Then, when time and budget allow, layer luxurious panels and draperies or add architectural details like cornices and sconces.

“Designing beautiful windows can seem intimidating, but it’s really not,” says Karin Miller, vice president of merchandising for Smith+Noble and member of the Color Marketing Group. “Smith+Noble has taken the hottest design trends and edited them into easy-to-work-with color palettes and fabric groupings. Whether you want the function of wood blinds or the luxury of silk draperies, Smith+Noble has the right design solution for you.”

Smith+Noble, America’s leading resource for custom home decorating solutions, offers innovative, high-quality window treatments, custom area rugs and fabric décor items that are well-priced and backed by superior customer service and support. The company is based in Corona, Calif. To obtain a catalog, call Smith+Noble at (800) 765-7776