Arched windows convey Old World elegance and add architectural interest to a room. When dressing an arched window, simple treatments often provide the best solution. The key is to accentuate the window's architectural beauty rather than conceal it. Curtains mounted in a variety of ways can accomplish this goal.
Curtains that follow the curve of an arched window offer a classic and elegant treatment. Caroline Clifton-Mogg, the author of ''Curtains: A Design Source Book,'' recommends using lightweight fabric such as silk, unlined cotton or sheers to add airy volume. Using pinch pleats or French pleats at the top of the curtain, then tying them back where the curve becomes the downward fall of the window, completes the look. The curtains can be mounted on curved rods or affixed to a board mounted to the wall. Only stationary panels, however, will work with this option.
The simplest option for dressing an arched window is to use a straight rod mounted below the arch, at the top of the straight sides of the window. Curtains can be drawn at night for privacy without concealing the beauty of the arch. The highlight of this treatment is its simplicity. On a practical note, the curtains can be functional, eliminating the need to use shades or blinds.They can also be mounted on a decorative rod, as stationary panels used in conjunction with shades or blinds.
A floor-length curtain on a rod mounted at the top of the wall provides another option for dressing an arched window. Because the curtains are mounted above and to the sides of the arch, it remains visible during the day when the drapes are open. The arch is then concealed at night when the drapes are closed. Shades or blinds, however, can be mounted below the arch for privacy, so the curtains can be left open and the arch can be exposed at all times.
For a casual or bistro look, mount cafe curtains halfway down the rectangular portion of an arched window. Use lightweight cotton fabric clipped to rings slipped over a simple brass or iron rod. This option is especially suited to arched windows in a breakfast nook or kitchen. The cafe curtains lend a bistro ambiance, allowing diners to enjoy the view outside while retaining some privacy.
- ''Curtains A Design Source Book''; Caroline Clifton-Mogg; 2005
- ''Curtains, Draperies & Shades''; Carol Spier & the Editors of Sunset Books; 2007
- ''Great Windows & Walls Collection''; Heidi Tyline King; 2005
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