Solving the problem of covering a large window can be a daunting task from both the financial and decorative perspective. However, with planning and creativity, you can meet both challenges with a result that pleases the pocketbook and eyes.
There is no design rule that mandates two panels or less for a window treatment. In fact, repeating the same panel in multiples over a large window space is ideal to get maximum coverage, break up the open space, and add design interest. Measure the length of your window to decide how many curtains you will need to fully cover the opening. Then decide if one extra long rod will cover the length of the window, or if two or more are needed for the job. The fewer the rods the better, both for installation and to avoid gaps in window coverage between the panels. Next, hang the rods as closely together as you can, allowing space to attach clips or hang rings. Whether a neutral solid or a small pattern, choose a fabric that will not look too overbearing since it will cover a large space. Purchase or sew panels in sets of two for symmetry, and hang so that they cover the window fully. If that means four panels on a long rod instead of two, opt for the fuller look. To tie back panels in the center of a window, attach decorative ribbon to the reverse side of one of the panels. When you want to close the middle panels, allow the tieback to hang behind the curtain until needed.
Sheer top curtains
Sometimes a tall window is as difficult to dress. One way to create a sense of scale and proportion in a tall window is to section the curtains by adding a sheer top. You can easily modify an existing window covering by adding a sheer fabric, such as gossamer or voile, to the upper 1/4 to 1/3 of the window height. Don't section the curtain by more than 1/3, as it will look out of proportion. Sew the sheer top to the existing panel or curtain and add clip hooks to the new topper. The sheer will allow light in through the uppermost part of the window, protecting privacy, while drawing the eye down to a more comfortable height adding proportion to the room.
Patterned sheer coverings
The design reality when planning large window coverings is that a lot of one fabric spread across a wall can be too overwhelming to a space. Dark colors, heavy material or bold patterns can interfere with a balanced room design. To resolve this problem while maintaining the privacy function of the treatment, consider using a generous application of heavily printed sheers. Lightweight and patterned sheers will allow plenty of filtered sunshine in while providing an economical, nonobtrusive design element for your space. Choose a sheer decorator fabric or pre-sewn, sheer panels with a large, pleasing pattern that covers most of the surface. If you would normally use two panels on a rod, multiply that to four panels for privacy and texture. An additional benefit is the the full, luxurious look of plenty of fabric without the bulk of heavier materials.
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