Window Dressing

Notice where Mrs. Bunny Williams hung her drapery; ceiling to floor panels bring your eye up and add a touch of luxury.  ~from Architectural Digest

Notice where Mrs. Bunny Williams hung her drapery; ceiling to floor panels bring your eye up and add a touch of luxury. ~from Architectural Digest

Window metaphors and references are endless.   Our eyes are windows to our souls, God is said to open one when a door closes, and the law of window cleaning claims that “it’s on the other side.”

Despite our love of window analogies, often times the windows in our homes get neglected or poorly dressed.  I have been quite guilty of this, too.

from Carter & Company Interior Design

from Carter & Company Interior Design

In my study of the greats, Bunny Williams, Mary McDonald, Miles Redd, and Dorothy Draper to name a few, and from my enrollment at birth in my mother’s school of observation, I have learned the rule that great design moves your eye. 

A beautiful Bunny Williams designed room; notice where the curtains are hung, connecting floor and ceiling.

A beautiful Bunny Williams designed room; notice where the curtains are hung, connecting floor and ceiling.

Careful attention is paid, by the designer, to the eye’s journey from floor to ceiling. One of the best ways to bring your eye up is attending to how you “dress” your windows.

Dorothy Draper's designed interior of the Greenbrier Hotel. Notice where the curtains are hung... from ceiling to floor. ~from Good Housekeeping

Dorothy Draper’s designed interior of the Greenbrier Hotel. Notice where the curtains are hung… from ceiling to floor. ~from Good Housekeeping

Dress your windows from ceiling to floor when using drapes and curtains. DESPITE the pictures on overstock.com, most curtain and drapery rods should be hung at the very top of your WALL, almost flush with the ceiling, NOT at the top of the window.  

Mary McDonald's soothing palette still intrigues the eye with her attention to scale. ~from House Beautiful

Mary McDonald’s soothing palette still intrigues the eye with her attention to scale. ~from House Beautiful

I promise this will cause your room to appear larger and add that bit of luxury and allure that just makes a space better.

Throw wide your windows and hang high your curtains…  it’s a rule worth following.

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2 comments

  1. Rather than going all the way to the ceiling, I have noticed more decorators are hanging drapery mid-way from the top of the casing to the bottom of the molding. Sarah Richardson even recommends hanging drapers mid -way rather than all the way to the top in one of her design books. The drapes in my home now are hung as high as possible. I think starting out high makes more sense because if the bottom get soiled you could always hem them and then rehang slightly lower. I have white silk drapes in my living room and dining room and the bottom hems are slightly soiled from rubbing against the hardwood floors. Of course you can add a panel too if the hem gets dirty or frayed.

    1. Hey Kathy,

      I haven’t seen that as much lately, but I will be on the look-out. I’ll look up the Sarah Richardson book. I am always interested in adding a new design book to the shelf.

      You are SO right about the hemming.

      I love the billowing of drapes at the floor, so when the look calls, I have a nice puddle of fabric. There is something luxurious to it (and old fashioned, but it’s a part that I just can’t seem to shake. 🙂 )

      <3

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