Putting different fabrics and styles of window treatments together can be a hard choice to make. Most people play it safe and try to match all the fabrics and colors in the room. But if you want your room to have a unique design, you have to get away from the safe and from what everyone else is doing in their homes.
So the question is – Should your window treatments match? The answer is that either choice is possible. You can put together contrasting or complementary fabrics, or you can simply match the colors and styles of all the window treatments in the room.
Let’s take a look at some examples to help you find what solution is right for you.
When Window Treatments Match
Matching is perfectly fine. Consider matching if:
- You’re trying to achieve a formal look in your overall room design, especially when using neutral and lush colors like gold, cream, burgundy, or federal blue, for example.
- The room is otherwise busy, cluttered, or relatively small. For example, if the wall has a busy wall art gallery, consider matching the window treatment to the wall to simplify the wall. Pick a shade that’s slightly lighter or darker than the wall to create just a bit of depth and keep it simple with subtle patterns or solids.
- You want to make the window appear larger than it really is. Do this only if the window treatment must be hung close to the window frame and there is no room for the window treatment to be hung further out from the window.
Formal window treatments tend to match. Here, a blue and gold fabric was used for traditional window treatments in a living room. You can still add a pop of color – notice how a vibrant gold was used for the accent lining and chainette fringe.
Notice the formality again in this dining room. Both the draperies and flat valance were made in matching fabrics.
Faux silk in an olive green is used on both the swag and jabot valance and puddled drapery over a French door facing a patio. The valance used here is a bit on the short side compared to its overall width, so matching draperies help offset this disproportion.
Don’t match the wall exactly. Pick a color that’s slightly lighter or darker. This will create depth, yet won’t be distracting. You can read more about this concept of picking fabric colors in this post.
Don’t let colorful patterns keep you away from using the same fabric for all your window treatments. Even though this Chinoiserie fabric has a large and colorful pattern, there are plenty of opportunities to “calm” things down elsewhere in the room with neutrals and solids.
Solid silks are best when they’re allowed to drape and puddle. In other words, the more yardage you can use on your window when it comes to silks, the more luxurious the window treatment will look. For that reason, it isn’t unusual for window treatments to be made in the same silk fabric.
Pick Coordinating Fabrics That Flow
You may find that the happy medium may be to pick coordinating fabrics for your window treatments that somehow tie in together. For the sake of our discussion here, we’ll define coordinating colors as those that pick up another color from the main fabric. Because of this continuation, the design flows.
The good thing about this is that you can choose how much each color is used in the room. If you like to keep things neutral, a more powerful coordinating color can still be kept at a minimum.
Let’s take a look at how that looks in action.
The ivory in the wall is carried over in the pinch pleat draperies that are framing the window. The striped fabric on the London valance also continues the ivory and introduces red as an additional color. Notice the flow of the ivory color and how it connects the wall and the two styles of window treatments.
You can sometimes continue with the same exact colors, but switch it up with the pattern or texture of the fabric. Here, the valance was made with a paisley that was printed on a rough, natural linen fabric, while the draperies below were made in a plaid pattern made of a smooth, woven polyester. The accent pillow on the brown leather chair is a completely different fabric. But, it continues the colors, so it works beautifully.
This living room double window was framed by check plaid draperies on each side. But notice the fabric that was chosen for the attached balloon valances on each of the draperies. A very different fabric!
Coordinating fabrics can be used in a very subtle way. Here, a silk drapery was made using a light cream color. But take a look at the swag valance above it. The valance is still a light ivory, but the fabric used was a stripe. If you have a room with a low ceiling, consider two tricks that the designer used here to create the illusion of height. First, the valance was hung right under the ceiling. Second, the fabric for the valance had vertical stripes.
Coordinating two fabrics doesn’t necessarily have to be subtle. But as long as the choice of fabrics flows and tells a coherent story, it all works in the end. Take a look at this scalloped valance. The dark red diamond checks were the inspiration for the side-swept drapery and wall color.
It’s also perfectly fine to deviate a bit from the overall colors. If you look close at the blue fabric on the board-mounted valance here, you’ll realize that the urn and floral scroll pattern on it is a very light gold. Yet, the draperies underneath aren’t light color, and neither is the tan wall. But, the pumpkin color of the draperies is very close to gold and tan, so it all works together.
Now, a matching drapery could’ve been made for the same valance from above. Then, you could consider adding tassel trim to the leading edge in a matching color to bring the whole window treatment together.
Consider matching contemporary with traditional, or formal with casual. In this modern apartment, the valance was made in a dark green solid. But the drapery is very interesting. It’s made in a floral fabric with a tropical theme, as well as a country-style gingham check. I hope that I’ve helped you understand how to pick colors for your window treatments.
In case you’re wondering how interior designers put together fabrics when selecting window treatments, I’d like to show you a few of our color families. Take a close look at how the main fabrics and coordinating fabrics were put together. If you look closely, you’ll also see Sherwin Williams wall paint suggestions.
Source – Red Meets Gold.
Source – Endless Horizon.
Source – Adobe Palace.
Do Your Window Treatments Have to Be the Same on All the Windows?
Once you get past the fabric and color choices, you may be wondering if all your windows need to be covered with the same type of window treatment.
In other words, if you have blinds and drapery panels on one window in your open living space, do the rest of the windows in your home have to be dressed the exact same way?
The answer is – no.
Take a look at a trend that interior designers have been using in the past few years. It’s very popular to dress a wide window using draperies, and then to dress the smaller, adjacent windows in a Roman shade, faux shade valance, or some other valance that’s intended for narrow windows.
In fact, don’t be shy to selectively dress only a few of your windows with a drapery. Take a look at the example above. Even though both windows are side-by-side and in the same room, one was dressed with a drapery and knife pleat valance, while the other window was only dressed with the valance.