Nothing soothes the brain like Mother Nature, whose intrinsic scenery relaxes and refreshes us, consciously and subconsciously. Therefore, a view of nature should never be completely covered up during the day.
During daylight hours, windows should let in as much light and scenery view as possible, because people who can't see out of their windows during daylight hours get depressed. A view of nature, trees, plants, sky, clouds, and birds diminishes stress, promotes general physical health, and contributes to psychological satisfaction.
Factors such as natural light, fabric color, pattern, and tactile quality will also affect the presence of the room. Fabrics with a soft, tactile quality are good choices for creating a romantic, elegant ambiance, but mini-blinds are hard to clean and look severe. Pleated shades are softer, while shutters have rounded edges, can be repainted to change decor, and will last forever.
Window Coverings as Backgrounds
Window coverings that span a large expanse require the same color considerations as walls, since they become backgrounds for people. Too many patterns on windows will detract from both individuals and furnishings, and small prints in large spaces tend to get lost while adding busyness to a room.
Many windows are really no more than picture frames for views, so it's important that window treatments should complement the view. In general, the better the view, the plainer the window treatments should be. For view windows that don't need coverings for privacy or temperature control, consider lighting the exterior space and leaving the windows uncovered.
Houses with lovely architectural details surrounding the windows need window treatments that don't hide the home's character. For example, magnificently-fluted moldings around windows shouldn't be covered. Use spring tension rods to hang treatments inside the molding instead.
Where windows are perfectly placed throughout a room, accentuate their lines with bold treatments. You can camouflage the size and position of windows that are too small or poorly placed by adjusting the placement of window treatments, such as hanging the coverings higher to visually create taller windows.
Elegant Window Dressings
Window treatments can be plain, functional, or opulent. Formal rooms with exquisite window treatments are fun. Layers of damask, lace, sheers, silks, and overlapping swags can create an aura of richness and refinement. Other elegant details might include scalloped trimmings, fringe, cords, cording, tassels, and rosettes.
On the other hand, if you need to tone down a too-opulent scheme, use a rough-textured trim, because lush and lustrous fabrics can be overwhelming without an element of roughness as a balancing factor.
Puddled window drapes, typical of the Victorian period, can add fullness and warmth to cold rooms. Draperies that are allowed to "pool" or "puddle" on the floor add elegance and rich feelings to a room. The drawback is that too much pooling on the floor will cause the bottoms of puddle draperies to get sucked into vacuum cleaners.
Each house is different, of course, but no matter what your home's style or composition, you'll want to give careful consideration to your choice of window fashions if you're going to create a warm and happy feeling for yourself, your family, and your guests.
(c) Copyright 2004, Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.
Professor Jeanette Fisher, author of Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars, Joy to the Home, and other books teaches Real Estate Investing and Design Psychology. For more articles, tips, reports, newsletters, and sales flyer template, see http://www.doghousetodollhousefordollars.com/pages/5/index.htm