Design trends and functionality are playing a big role in demand for window treatments these days.
The array of options typically starts with drapes or blinds, but there is a near limitless choice of alternatives when it comes to materials and design choices.
Time for an in-house consultation with interior designer Diana Vicenti, who has a fine arts degree in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and ran her own fabrication business for 15 years. Ten years ago, she joined u-fab interiors, which has a 28,000-square-foot showroom and fabrication center in Richmond and a 2,500-square-foot satellite in Charlottesville.
“The window treatment journey usually starts with two key factors: privacy and controlling the amount of light coming in,” she says. Once these have been established, we can discuss aesthetics and functionality.
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Are the window treatments being opened and closed every day? Motorization with remote controls is popular, especially in hard-to-reach locations such as behind large pieces of furniture or with exceptionally tall windows.
Cordless control options are available on all blinds and shades now which makes operation much easier. When it comes to selecting blinds, fabric roman shades and woven woods remain popular.
Window treatments are often used to soften a space. For example, Vicenti recently did a project at a log cabin home with heavy timbers. Drapery panels and valances helped offset the strong horizontal lines of the wood beams. Window treatments are also a good way to “fool the eye,” hiding uneven windows or asymmetrical wall spaces in a room.
If energy efficiency is an issue, layering of window treatments can provide relief from drafts or excessive heat from the sun, saving on energy bills.
Then there is the decision about personal style, such as a clean and simple modern aesthetic or more traditional taste. Often the cues come from the existing decor or furniture in a room. Vicenti asks clients to send pictures before her visit so she can get a sense of their personal style and provide appropriate suggestions for fabrics and treatment options to update their space.
Many clients currently want opulence with layers of decorative elements, Vicenti observes. Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts and nature inspired prints are big now as well as traditional florals but in an updated color palette.
The gray tones so popular in recent years is giving way to warmer neutrals, and jewel tones are big again with purple and greens making a resurgence.
Yes, there’s an abundance of choices.
“We get people all the time walking in overwhelmed by the selection of fabrics. We are very good at guiding people in the right direction in selecting fabrics based on what their end application will be and then helping them coordinate multiple fabrics,” she says.
Just don’t ask about her personal style.
“We are not getting off to a good start when that question is asked,” she says with a laugh. Her goal is to understand how clients live and what they like. Too many people watch design shows or buy a bunch of items at a discount home furnishings store and end up unhappy, having wasted money and valuable time. Diana’s goal is to help clients achieve a space that reflects their style and make their house feel like a comfortable home.
To complete a room’s look, Vicenti can help clients select new bedding, wallpaper, rugs and accent pillows. u-fab also offers new custom furniture and case goods as well as offering reupholstery services.
“u-fab can pretty much fabricate anything,” she says. “We are a full service interior home decor business.”
For more information, visit u-fab.com.