Q.¬† Dear Haskell,
I have a large arched¬†window in my living room.¬† I have no idea how to treat it with drapery.¬† Do you have any tips or rules for working with arched windows?
Thanks so much!
A. Dear Donna,
Arched top, or Palladian, windows can be a real challenge.¬† And just like many things in design, there area always exceptions, but I do have a few guidelines I like to use when deciding how to treat an arched window.¬† These guidelines are independent of whether your style is traditional or contemporary.
- I never like to create a tepee¬Ě design.¬† We”ve all seen this done before!¬† The rosette at the top and a swag on either side . . . seriously!¬† This looks like putting a triangle on a circle.¬† It totally hides the beautiful shape of the window.¬† So rule #1:¬† never create a drapery treatment that hides the beautiful style and curve of an arched window.
- Next, many people want to stop the drapery treatment below the arch, at what is referred to as the spring line¬Ě of the arch.¬† This look generally bothers me because most of the time it makes the window look short and squatty.¬† Plus it looks like the arch has been completely left out of the design and a bit naked¬Ě and exposed.¬† I generally like treatments that¬†emphasize and bring focus¬†to the arch design, not cover it up or ignore it completely.
So how do I approach draperies¬†for arched windows?√ā¬† There are about as many ideas as there are shapes and sizes of windows and each window presents its own set of opportunities and challenges (is there a view?, do I need privacy?, are there other windows in the room?, etc.), but¬†here are a few of my suggestions¬†-
- Simple full length drapery.¬† This treatment frames the arches without overwhelming them or covering them up.¬† Clean, simple, classic.
- Window shades.¬† In this room we used simple shades on the lower portion to allow the arch window radius to stand out.¬† The shades coordinate with the adjacent standard window and provide a cohesive look.
- Highlight the arch.¬† This room presented a real drapery challenge which we handled by creating cornice boards that flank and follow the curve of the arch. This treatment draws your eye to the arch, but again lets that beautiful window remain the focal point.
- Finally, sometimes it is best not to have a treatment at all.¬† In this bedroom, we created traditional, formal treatments in the 2 regular windows (even playing homage to the curve in the top of the cornice) but¬†with the rooms beautiful Palladian window we left it without fabric.¬† To cover up all that beautiful wood trim and moldings would have been a crime!¬† We simply added blinds for necessary light control and privacy.¬† Sometimes the right drapery treatment is no treatment at all.
If you would like to pose your own design dilemma for Haskell to address, just post it on our FB page http://www.facebook.com/haskellinteriors or via Contact Us on our website www.haskellinteriors.com. He will select one to answer each week.