It’s not just about smart phones anymore. There are Apps coming to market daily that allow us to control the temperature, lighting and mood of the spaces we live in. So, why not your window coverings. From cellular shades to wood blinds and draperies, most of your window treatment choices can be motorized. Don’t be left behind the trend curve thin k about motorization for your next window project.

Where to Start

First , there are a couple of questions, you’ll need to ask yourself.

  • What window coverings do I want to motorize?
  • How do I want to control the window coverings? Wireless or hard wired?
  • Can I control the window treatments they way I prefer?

Once you have asked yourself these questions, it’s time to call a window covering professional to help you navigate the motorization waters.  We’re here to help!


Why Window Coverings

bare window

As a window covering pro, it drives me crazy to see windows untouched and uncovered. I know all the excuses- I don’t want to cover up the view. I want to keep it clean and simple. They’re too expensive.…  Not a good enough answer for me. Window Dressings play an integral part in completing a room. I often think a big part of leaving windows bare is that designing window treatments is  the most technical and complex process and people don’t know what to do, where to start or how to proceed. That’s where window fashion professionals come in. Before I get into the reasons why you should work with a professional, let’s talk about why you should consider putting {custom} window coverings on your window.

Why Window Coverings? Here are my top reasons for putting some sort of treatment on your windows.

  • Privacy. It goes without saying; no one wants to see their neighbor naked.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Light control and glare.
  • The dreaded Blackhole. Most people don’t give this a second thought until it’s pointed out. The Blackhole is about looking into a bare window on a cold or rainy night and staring into darkness. The cold black of night seems to permeate the room and throws the room’s energy off. It can be a bit unnerving. A sense of security, or lack of, definitely comes into play.
  • As a finishing touch. It’s the glue that holds all the diverse components in a room together.
  • The view. Think of window treatments as the frame around that fabulous view and design for it; or use treatments to mask a ugly one.
  • Enhance the room’s architecture or camouflage it’s shortcomings.

bare window

Do you really like the idea that your neighbors can see what you are doing?



Cool view with cool window dressings.


Window Treatments can enhance a room.


curtain drapery

Curtains are casual, informal window treatments that are shirred onto rods or poles with rod pockets or hung by unstructured simple headings like tabs. Depending on their intended use, curtains come in different lengths- usually to the sill or apron and floor and are typically unlined. Draperies are considered more formal; usually lined and frequently interlined with sewn and pleated headings. Draperies are most often hung from drapery hardware to the floor. While both types can be designed to either be stationery or function, curtains are regularly pulled by hand and draperies can be hand drawn or traverse by pulling a cord.

Both curtain and draperies have side and bottom hems and headings. The heading is the top of a curtain, drapery or valance; hangs from a curtain rod or drapery rod or pole and is what creates the fullness and body or drape. With loads of different styles available it’s the designer’s choice. That decision should be based on the panel style, fabric, the mood you want to set in the room and the design intent. Tab tops or rod pockets are typical curtain headings and pleated headings for usually for draperies. Pleated headings usually have a stiffener called buckram to form and stabilize the pleats.


Euro pleats are often used on draperies that hang from rods and rings. The fullness starts at the top of the pleat and the bottom of the ring rather than  4” down. Any pleat needs at least 2” of sewn seam to accommodate the drapery pin. Pinch pleats generally have three fingers (folds), but two or four fingers can create a different look. Hand sewn pleats offer a softness you can’t achieve by machine sewing. The depth of a pleated heading can vary and traditionally is  4 .  Today the pleat depth should be longer- somewhere in the 6-8” range- as it is a better proportion for draperies 84” or longer.

Other popular headings today are:




Goblets- pinch pleats with open pleat or no fingers. This pleat needs to be stuffed to keep its shape over time.








Inverted Box Pleat – Inverted box pleats are sewn at the top of the panel creating the heading. The fullness is folded into the back of the panel and creates a smooth tailored, modern look on the face. Finished, it appears to be formed using two layers of fabric, the box pleated drapery is actually one piece of material double pleated back to back, hence the term “box pleat” for the appearance of a series of collapsed boxes.  This heading works best as a stationery treatment because it stack open in more space,  doesn’t function as well as other headings making it awkward to open.









Ripplefold -is the trademark name for roll-pleat drapery fabrication. Ripplefold style drapery give a clean, elegant appearance from both sides. They resemble ribbon candy or waves. Ripplefold panels are sewn flat and snap tape (twill tape that has snaps sewn onto it every few inches) is then sewn onto the top of the drape which attaches to a traverse track creating smooth, evenly spaced curves in the fabric.



Runway 2 Window Trends

I’ve selected some of my favorite trends from the recent catwalk season that are crossing over into interiors to showcase here:


The simple life embraces classic comfort and basics on the Spring ’14 runway with a resurgence of deconstructing and reconstructing American basics. It’s inspiration is a mix of French Country and American pastures- think fresh country looks, rolling hills, Sunday afternoon picnics.

Complimentary colors such as blue and orange are used together to create high contrast, while gingham checks and earthy tones add to the 1940s aesthetic.

Delft blues and white with pops of cheery red, lemon yellow or grass green; mid- range pastels are seen on crisp linens, denim, ginghams and most importantly- Toiles are back!

Vintage tableware and linens jump from apparel and move to the window for a bit of a kitschy look. Does that mean kitchen café curtains will see a revival?


Heavy Metal-lics

Metallics in all shapes and forms continue to walk the runway. Fluid drippy look in burnished golds and copper lead the way. No wonder there is so much buzz around brass. Look for metallic threads giving luster to solar screen materials, chain mail curtains, and metallic papers wrapping poles for the window.

Whether in the form of shiny chain mail, liquid-gold lamé, or toughened-up sequins, the precious-metallic fabrics of spring are sweet.


Laser cut “metallic”  fabric- Mood

Walcot House drapery hardware- one of my all time favorite companies

Kelly Weartsler’s  new trim line

Modern Romantic

There is a new mood for feminine romance with ruffles, pretty detailing and a palette of pastels. To go with that Modern Romance look, there’s a full on bouquet of floral prints ranging from rose gardens to tropical, with everything in between. These are not your shrinking violet type of flowers.  Floral motifs are subtly screened, filtered and altered to create new perspectives on traditional patterns.

The results are painterly qualities that feel artisanal and hand crafted,  but are layered with mixed media-both digitally and physically. No more graphic pattern at the window; instead flora and fauna take the spotlight. Roses, butterflys, botanica, birds -to name a few. Next up- fruits and veggies? Oh and  if you didn’t spot it already, there’s also a huge focus on sheers as one of the most important fabric trends for the season.

Jessica Szoob for Romo

Appliqued sheer Jakob Schlepeakler


This Summer, modern window dressings will influence a room without appearing heavy or bulky thanks to delicate voiles, burnouts with open-work patterns, lighter fabrics in small- and large-format prints and embroidered motifs using yarns of various thicknesses.


Driven by the consumer wanting romantic, pretty looks, Lace is back, and we’ll see an impressive array of net, tulles, laser cuts and interpretations of the motif that moves lace out of grandma’s trunk and into the contemporary arena.



Window fashion stylings also appear lighter; even when layered and have volume created by good bone structures.


Stationery panels are still popular but are moving toward full blown traversing draperies to control light, sound and shut out the world when you want. Look for Ripplefolds mounted at the ceiling, layered looks and more interest and structure at top, bottom and edges of panels.


Color is bigger than ever followed closely by pattern. Look for color blocked panels, bold awning stripes or alternating colors that create rhythm at the window.


Drapery hardware also gets sleeker and more elegant. Smaller diameters are replacing tired looking over scaled wood poles. Round poles gave way to rail systems and now they are being joined by other geometric forms like octagons. Many collections include rods with inner profiles for sliders, plexi poles or transparent mounts, giving them the appearance of floating freely within the room.



Stainless steel and chrome finishes add refinement to the looks. On the horizon is Brass- unlacquered, lacquered, antiqued and warmed up- with interesting undertones and Finally, color…..


Walcot House 2011

On the “Shadey” side of things- Double roller blinds comprised of two panels with alternating opaque and transparent striped segments moving one behind the other are the up-and-comers this season. These blinds make it possible to vary both the view and the amount of light let through as desired. Roller shades continue to grow in popularity now offered in an array of colors and patterns for the fashion forward.


  by Its Oksana      


Sunny Outlook

Serene colors, sophisticated art and family friendly style drove decorator Tim Corrigan in the renovation of a 1930’s gardener’s cottage in Lake Forest, IL that is showcased in the June issue of Architectural Digest and I had the great pleasure of being part of it. Tim called on me for the custom window treatments throughout the home. Our client, an art collector with a modern sensibility and a ken design eye, veered off her contemporary design path by choosing to renovate a gardener’s cottage as a weekend home that was once part of a Van Doren Shaw designed estate. It was a dream project in many ways.

Every project has  it’s own personality and this one  is no exception- taking on the role of teacher, I learned many lessons. Often when you are in the middle of a project; the day- to- day details take over and it isn’t until it’s finished and you can step back that you get a new perspective. Tim agrees, “Working with the Hellers pushed me in a different direction, the project was less about pattern and strong color and more about paring down, about taking things down to their essence and Diane opened up to tones besides white and gray and tan; all of us stretched and grew.” So true! I learned that a great window treatment isn’t necessarily about being a visual feast, or stuffed with dressmaker details, but about a tightly edited, fabulously fabricated silhouette with good bones. I learned that design tension can be achieved without defaulting to strong contrasts. Finally, I learned you can still create drama and be subtle. Take a quick tour to check out th finished results.


The entry opens onto the greenhouse turned conservatory.


Sheers and draperies control light, protect the art and soften the room.


The master bath sheer rooms are reflected in the shower glass.


The guest room in yellow draws its inspiration from Lichtenstein’s Sweet Dreams Baby. Roman shades with valances finish off the windows.


The master bedroom’s serene and sophisticated palette is topped off by sheers and hand painted silk  draperies hung from custom painted rods to match the woodwork.





All images courtesy of Architectural Digest