What Not to Wear…if you are a window.

How To Create Proper Window Treatment Proportion

In this photo we have relaxed roman shades, outside mount, installed well above the top of the window frame. Right off the bat let me say, whenever possible, I am very much in favor of raising the drape, the cornice, the shades, everything above the window frame to create height and to maximize the light coming into the room. But, there are parameters. We can’t always apply a good design premise and always get good results. The rest of the room must be taken into consideration.

The reason we can often put the window treatment as high as we want is because we also cover the top of the window itself, visually eliminating where the top of the window ends and the wall begins. We have momentarily and sometimes completely fooled the eye. So even if we “kind of know” where the window ends, we forgive it because it is not obvious, our bluff is believable.

However, look at the roman shade treatment below.

Bam! Immediately the exposed sliding door gives it all away. We don’t get even a minute to enjoy the effect of the higher mounted roman shades because the discrepancy between the height of the shades and the sliding door is screaming at us.


Not convinced that I’m on the right track? Take a look at the second photo where the sliding door has been cropped out.

Hmm…beginning to see what I mean? The room looks, well, it looks right…the roman shades seem proportionate in length, in pattern and in scale with the room. They are no longer towering or imposing.
And oh, yeah, when we look very closely we see from the side window they are in fact installed well above the window frame, but who cares? The trompe- l’oeil has been achieved. We have functioning shades which when pulled up maximize the light, we have replaced dead wall space above the window with a pleasing fabric and we have created a focal point for the room.

So, of course, the obvious question hangs in the air…. What do you do when you can’t just crop out your sliding door?

Be sure to check out next week’s post to find out… 🙂

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