Q & A — What Window Treatments For Ashley’s Living Room Windows?

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Ashley has four windows in her living room that have created quite a decorating challenge for her.  Here’s what she says:

I recently found you on Facebook and I’m so glad I did! I found your post for Andrea’s windows, and it inspired me to take another look at my living room and attempt to finally tackle my windows. I always avoid dressing windows, because I never like what I do, but this room poses several issues that make my head spin! First, I always hang high, and can do so on the fireplace wall. And I could screw my rods into the entertainment center, as you suggested to Andrea, but I can’t do both….the entertainment center only goes so high. If the rod is hung as high as I think you would suggest, then it will go over the top if the entertainment center and I wonder if that will look funny.

Second, since the window butts up to the ent. center, obviously I can’t put panels there, so should I NOT put panels up against the fireplace either, or treat them separately? And thirdly, since my windows are 35 in wide(inside trim), and since there is little spaces on some sides of some windows, is a 60 inch panel good for all around? Just one? See? My head. Spinning. HELP! It’s been 3 years since we built this house, and the windows are still naked. (Good thing we live in the middle of a ten acre pasture!) I was originally thinking plantation shutters to continue the old Craftsman style house we have here, but think I need curtains for softness, color, and pattern. Thanks for your help!

Kristi’s Suggestions:

First, I can tell you that I think plantation shutters used as a complete window treatment in this room would be a mistake.  In my opinion, the last thing you need in here is the addition of another hard surface.  Fabric window treatments would add some much needed softness to the room.

However, I do see your challenge with the windows around the fireplace being spaced quite differently from the windows flanking the entertainment center.

It’s a challenge, but not necessarily a problem.  I don’t see any reason why the two sets of windows can’t be addressed (and dressed) separately.

If I’m looking at the pictures right, when someone enters your house through the front door and walks into the living room, the first wall they see is the fireplace wall.  And in most rooms where there’s a fireplace, that wall is the focal wall of the room.  And since those windows have more space, that works out perfectly.  I would definitely put draperies on those windows.

Hang them high (place the rod about 10 to 12 inches above the window, and hang them as wide as you can while keeping the panels evenly spaced on each side of the window.  Use two 50 to 55-inch panels per window, one on each side.  (Remember that industry standard for draperies is that the fullness of the fabric should be 2.5 to 3 times the width of the window, and that includes not only the window, but also the trim and any wall space that you also want to cover with the fabric.  So in your case two full-width panels on each window would be just right.)

Now to coordinate the fireplace wall windows with the entertainment center wall windows, there are a few things you could do.

The first option would be to use natural woven shades on all four windows, like this…

Traditional Bedroom by Vero Beach Interior Designers & Decorators jill Shevlin – Intrinsic Designs

You can see that the designer of that room used draperies only on the one main wall, but tied all of the windows together by the use of the woven shades on all of the windows. That would definitely work for your entertainment wall, while also adding some beautiful texture and a rich dark color to contrast with the white of the trim and entertainment center.

Another option would be to use the same fabric on all of the windows, but make draperies for the fireplace wall, and Roman shades for the entertainment center wall.  That combo of Roman shades and draperies made out of the same fabric is what I’m using in my own living room, and you can see it here in this living room also…

Traditional Living Room by Vancouver Interior Designers & Decorators Enviable Designs Inc.

A third option would be to choose two coordinating fabrics. Use one of them for the draperies on the fireplace wall, and then use the second fabric for Roman shades that could be used on all four windows. That would give you a look like this…

Traditional Bedroom by Alexandria Interior Designers & Decorators 2 Ivy Lane

So those are my suggestions for solving your window treatment challenge. The main things are (1) your fireplace wall needs fabric, softness, height, and color, (2) your entertainment center wall doesn’t have to be dressed in the same way, but (3) there needs to be something coordinating the two walls so that your separate treatment of the walls looks intentional.

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