So what are the  current trends in window treatments?  The key words are simplicity and minimalism with an emphasis on crisp, clean lines. Gone are the days of heavy draped effects using jabots and swags; tab curtains or gathered valances. If you are wondering if  any type of valances are still in style this post will answer the question. 

Not a lot has changed since I wrote this post in early 2012.  Because it is so popular with my readers I thought I would add updates that reflect 2015 choices.  You might also like to check out Choosing Drapery Hardware.

 Layering

While layering is  popular, the overall look remains clean, and the palette is usually consistent for both treatments.  Blending colours rather than contrasting ones work best when you want to layer treatments. Any type of blind can be used under drapes for a layered look.


window treatments layering drapes woven wood blinds
Layering drapes over woven blinds
window treatments layering drapes Roman shade
Layering drapes and Roman shade in bay window

 This is an interesting look with drapes and two romans with the outer printed one stationary  I suspect. I am not a lover of the partial rod because it creates a chopped look and I never choose dark rods with light drapes because the rod becomes the dominant feature as it is above. You can purchase rods with elbows that allow you to span the width of a bay window. This is a much more finished look.


Pattern is hot
When you look through new fabrics you are bound to notice that textures and patterns abound. You can't go wrong with geometric patterns, trellis designs, large scale florals, bold colours, whimsical motifs etc.


window treatments geometric designs drapes
Geometric designs are always popular

window treatments striped valances drapes
Stripes never go out of style
window treatements drapes floral trends
Floral patterns on light backgrounds are very popular

Banding
Vertical or horizontal banding is very popular and adds beautiful detailing and interest to any plain drape. You can add banding to good advantage if you want to add visual height or width to a space.

 
window treatments vertical banding
Vertical banding to match duvet

window treatments drapes with banding
 Horizontal banding

Wider drapes

window treatments drapes 2014
Visual width added by mounting drapes beyond the window frame

 Overall, drapes are  getting longer and wider to accommodate the trend to make windows appear larger in scale which is a trending look right now.  Lush materials like velvet and silk add to this look.

Tone on tone
The window treatments in the room below are simple, harmonious with the walls, and allow the view and the room to shine.  When deciding the colour of your drapes you should first consider the look/feel you want in your space.  If you want restful, choose solid colour with texture and keep to the colour tones in the room.


 window treatments tone on tone drapes
 Tone on tone draperies  for a restful look

Longer, looser pleats (5-6 inches)
While on a recent trip to Europe I noticed that pleats are getting softer and longer to provide a more contemporary and less formal feel in a room. There are many different headings to choose from to get the look you want .

window treatments  6 inch pinch pleat
Longer pinch pleat
You can't beat pinch pleated drapes.  They continue to be the industry standard for elegance. Pinch-pleated drapes characteristically retain their shape, maintaining a consistent appearance opened or closed and hang beautifully. 

window treatments long loose pencil pleat
Long looser pencil pleat

Long inverted (back) pleat


Cleaner look in headings

 
The inverted  box pleat (back pleat), my personal favourite,  is a soft but tailored look for modern decor.  It has been replacing pinch pleat styles when a more clean contemporary feel is required. Lighter colours and tone on tone add  softness to home decor.

window treatments inverted back pleat
Inverted back pleat is contemporary and tidy

Grommets have been around for  a number of  years and are definitely  still in vogue.  While some grommet drapes can look very informal, it is possible to have a more styled look too.  The banded grommets below are a great example.

 For grommets to look "lush" you need at least 7 or 8 folds at the top.  That means purchasing two sets of ready made panels or have custom fully closing ones. .If you plan to open and close grommet panels daily be warned that you will spend a lot of time fiddling to adjust them so they hang nicely. 

livingroom contemporary kids


Updated Sheers
Yes, sheers are still popular, but they are a world away from the fussy, frilly and lacy ones that the word sheer brings to mind. The "new" sheers have subtle iridescence and are interwoven with unexpected materials, or have embossed or printed patterns or contemporary headings as in the room below.

window treatments contemporary sheers
Contemporary look in sheers

Houzz 

Layered drapes over sheers with contemporary headings are still popular

Global Living / Bluefish Home - Showroom eclectic living room
Printed/textured sheers add interesting light play
Global Living


Roman Shades
Roman shades continue as a  favourite for contemporary homes.   Who can resist their clean lines and  the options for amazing patterns?  Because they are a flat construction the fabric needed is much less than full drapes.  This allows you to upscale your fabric choice and make a real statement.  I can't say enough about Roman shades because they are my personal favourite.  Their flat surfaces are almost picture like and work especially well in kitchens, eating areas and bathrooms.

window treatments Roman shade valance
Roman shade with valance
House Beautiful

window treatments Roman shades patio door
 A bold patterned Roman on patio doors
 Houzz

A more traditional Roman with banding
source 

Metal Blinds Return
Who thought we would see a resurgence in metal blinds?  It's driven by the popularity of stainless appliances, and other metals especially bronze in an industrial style loft living.

window treatments metal blinds
Metal blinds for lofts and contemporary spaces

Woven Wood Shades
The trend to more eco-friendly materials has prodded this design aesthetic along. most are made from sustainable materials including: grasses, sisal, reeds or  bamboo. 


 Woven wood blinds come in many colours


Cellular shades
window treatments cellular shades
Cellular shades offer great versatility



Cellular shades are one of the most versatile window treatments available today.  They can be hung by themselves for a very contemporary look or layered with other treatments and provide additional insulation for your windows.  Options for cordless, corded, remote and top down/bottom up round out this very popular window treatment.

RollerShades 

Hunter Douglas patterned 

Modern and room darkening 

Roller blinds/shades are sleek, simple and very functional and economical as well.  I can think of no other window treatment that solves as many problems as the roller blind:

  • they fit into tight quarters;
  • can be used as an inside or outside mount;
  • look great layered in a more traditional style or stand alone;
  • are available in a  range of opacities from room darkening to almost sheer, and a range of colours;
  • choose from plain, patterned or textured;
  • are available in materials that are wipeable making them perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.

So many options for today's windows.  All you have to do is decide which works in your home.  Do you have favourite window treatments?  
 
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