Apartment Window Treatment: Transitional Style

So you have discovered that the style you love is transitional.  But you're still not sure how far you want to carry it into your apartment.  That's why I'm making the case for adding window treatment to your apartment:  transitional style.  Remember, transitional style is mixing traditional with contemporary elements.  See my post Part II 13 Reasons Why I Love The Transitional Style.

There are practical reasons for adding window treatment :

  • retain a more even temperature in your apartment, whether for heating or air conditioning;
  • block out unwanted noise from the street, even the wind if you are in high rise; 
  • block out too much light, especially at night if for example your bedroom is invaded by a street lamp; and
  • to create a real sense of having a home, not just a place you park your stuff and clothes.

For aesthetic value, window treatments give a finished look to your decor and frame your windows. The casual elegance of the transitional style also offers the opportunity to extend your color palette.  

It's simple and elegant.   Though not limited to just the following four variations, the major themes are this:

  • draperies only with statement hardware or hidden hardware;
  • draperies with shades, such as roman shades;
  • roman shades only (comes in about six different styles); and
  • draperies accented with pelmet/box style valance.

1.  Draperies Only With Hidden Hardware or With Statement Hardware

2.  Draperies Complemented With Shades

In the image below, the shades extend to the floor, giving a clean visual look.

3.  Shades Only (from Roman shades to bamboo shades)

Houzz for Axis Mundi, Architect and Building Designers

Houzz for Axis Mundi, Architect and Building Designers

4.  Draperies Accented With Fitted (box) Style Valance

Although some may not define this as true to the transitional style, I think it fits very well with its clean lines and elegant presentation.  Such as the case below where the valances beautifully adorn full draperies with soft, clean lines accentuated and are accented with a border.

Pelmets come in a variety of styles:

By now you may be screaming or scratching your head, thinking "It's insane to invest money and time in adding draperies--or even a valance to apartment windows.  And you're probably right:   if you only plan to live in the apartment for a few months, a year or maybe two years; if your career means you will be moving a lot; or if you love living like a vagabond with temporary stuff.

On the other hand, if you are looking to live in the apartment for say three years or more, if you want the feel of having a real home to live in, then invest in window treatments.  Even draperies, space permitting can be made to go beyond the normal window length and width, making them transferable to another place.  Hardware for which the rings and finials are often expensive can be installed and uninstalled.  They then become a ready addition to the home you may be planning to buy in the future.  Believe me, you'll be happy that at least some of your window treatment is already paid for.

All of my draperies were custom made when I had purchased my last home.  And with the exception of one room and two bathrooms, I took every finial, every drapery ring and of course every drapery panel with me.  And they will be going up in my apartment where I am making a home.

A couple of good resources:

  • Calico Corners  (I always bought when the fabric was on sale for at least 15%, then waited for labor to be on sales for at least 10%)  Check out a store near you and work with a sales associate who are often very knowledgeable.
  • The Creativity Exchange has a wonderful post on her DIY project for making a Pelmet/box valance, along with great examples of the styles.

Not quite there yet?  Let me know.  Would love to hear from you!