Window Treatments: Traditional, Transitional or Contemporary?

Home Design, Window Treatments
Sunshine Drapery sliding glass doors window treatment

When selecting new window treatments, one of the first decisions to make is what type of overall style to radiate. Imagine what type of feelings and reactions are desired based on walking into, visiting, working in or living within the targeted room. Given the room's colors and decor, should treatments be traditional, transitional or contemporary? First, consider the size and shape of the windows, as well as factors out of your control, such as sunlight.Then contemplate the color, patterns or textures that might look in balance with the overall effect you're trying to achieve in any given room. If there already is a focal point in the room, or a more busy furniture pattern, then a toned down color or pattern of window treatments might be in order. If not, more playful, active treatments may be just the right touch. Or, combining portions of the three main design styles could be done deliberately to get a fresh, unique outcome.

Traditional Style

Window treatments governed by traditional styles often are defined by their myriad of details. Historically speaking, the amount of fabric used in drapery was perceived to be indicative of one's wealth. So, the more fabric draped, along with ornate hanging methods, the better. Some homeowners still enjoy the heavier draping of windows, especially if needing to block out light or to achieve utmost privacy. Traditional window treatments can be accompanied by decisions of whether to use tab-tops, grommets, rings, hooks, ruffles, banding, tassels or swags. How to pleat a traditional drapery also is a key decision. In current design trends, traditional treatments typically become a major element in a room, often in ways that emphasize they were never an afterthought. In fact, quite the opposite! Highly patterned fabrics are a key element of traditional window treatments, for example. Drapes of a traditional nature go well with rooms that may contain antique furnishings, floral-print fabrics, and properly placed elements that promote familiarity as well as comfort. Traditional styles convey warmth, a refined approach and a sense of welcome. Traditional window treatments are a good selection for people who prefer classic, symmetrical touches.

Transitional Style

Some people look at updating window treatments as a way to explore a transitional time in their lives, or use them as a valid way to experiment with a design type without having to fully commit to it until they are more sure of what they'd ultimately like to achieve. Intermediary design window treatments lie in-between the details of traditional window coverings and the simplicity of contemporary treatments. Some opt for more color and geometric patterns in transitional styles, using the architectural lines in draperies to enhance a transitional living space. In transitional designs, one can experiment with the scale of patterns for intense impacts. Fabric patterns in window treatments, paired with furniture shapes and different finishes, can convey a blend of techniques.Harmonious colors add balance in transitional applications. Transitional window treatments also are a good choice for people who don't really want to go with something traditional, but nothing too sleek, either. It's also a good way to tie together an eclectic collection of keepsakes, accessories and furniture.

Contemporary Style

For many people, contemporary window treatments spotlight either the simplicity of structures or fabric patterns. Often, applying the "less is more" principle is the mantra of enthusiasts of contemporary options, who also may say they like simplified, more abstract spaces. Another way to envision contemporary window treatments is to ask yourself if you like living in the moment? Changing things a bit when you're in the mood? This style often is about choosing smooth, soft or subtle fabrics and patterns — all easy, unconventional approaches. Sometimes, contemporary window treatments are chosen to highlight the height of a room, or its overall use. Contemporary treatments can be selected to direct the eyes' perspectives. In contemporary spaces, conservative approaches can be turned upside down, so to speak, to create new hanging approaches and more pure effects and environments. Window treatments of this type are more fluid, and tolerate a bit of rule-breaking. Contemporary choices are similar but different compared to "modern" window treatment styles, which refers to a specific design movement that arose in the early 20th century and follows stricter guidelines. Accenting or anchoring rooms with preferred window treatments allows you to reinvent your lifestyle and personal flair. When unsure about what window treatment style for which to strive, we can help you achieve classic looks with modern twists!
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