It’s called a formal dining room for a reason, but it doesn’t only mean that this is where formal dinners take place in your home. A formal dining room is also a great opportunity to dress your windows in rich, traditional custom window treatments. In this room, we often see double wide draperies that have been swept off to one side and are held in place with a heavy tassel tieback.
We also see generous swag valances and ample use of fabrics and tassel fringes. To go along with the luxurious window treatments, thick drapery poles in either a dark mahogany wood stain or brushed gold (brass) are often seen, too. This is the room where luxury lives and where using a lot of fabric isn’t a shame.
So let’s see how all these ideas look in pictures of traditional dining rooms.
Striped Scarf Curtain Over A Double Patio Door
It’s a shame that so many patio doors are left bare, without any window treatments whatsoever. There are countless solutions for patio and French doors and frankly, there is no excuse to leave them as is. In this example, two criss-crossing swags were hung over matching pleated drapes. Notice how the valance was installed right under the ceiling, with the tip of the swags falling right on the wooden trim around the doors.
This allows the doors to keep their functionality. In other words, the doors can be opened in high-traffic kitchen and dining areas while the window treatment still stays secured in place. And I can’t let this window treatment go without mentioning the beautiful striped fabric. One of the stripes is picking up the beige in the faux textured walls.
The rest of the stripes make this a traditional dining room with wine, gold, and light blue. If you’re inspired, you may want to read my blog post about some more color ideas for window treatments.
Layered Swag and Balloon Valances with Draperies
The idea of layering is the ultimate when it comes to custom window treatments. This is how windows are dressed in the best showhomes and private estates. In this example, we see a traditional dining room with Chippendale chairs and seating for eight. The rest of the room features a color scheme of sage green and ivory. But what really stands out are the window treatments.
Here again, we see double French doors. But rather than being functional, the doors were treated as windows would be. First, gathered balloon valances were used in an old gold silk fabric. Silk fabric is great for balloon valances. Silk gives balloon valances a “crunchy” texture. But if you want to recreate this in your own room, be forewarned that you’ll need plenty of yardage and silk must be interlined.
Back to this window treatment, though.
The balloon valance was topped off with a board-mounted swag valance in a scroll embroidered fabric that matches the color of the balloon valance. To give the valance an outline (and to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the sea of beige), wide dark gold banding was used on its swag and jabots. Both the balloon and swag valances were topped off with the same onion ball trim.
And finally, a diamond check fabric was used in a matching beige color to frame the rest of the window. Here’s how all the details I mentioned look up close. Notice how each of the three types of window treatments was made in an entirely different fabric.
Yet, the fabrics are so precisely color-matched that it’s almost impossible to see these differences.
Casual Swag Valance Hidden Behind Brushed Gold Hardware
This window treatment is a bit unusual. I’ll be honest – it’s not quite my style, but there are some unique features and ideas worth noting. First, the asymmetrical way in which the draperies of the overall window treatment was installed is unusual.
Typically, when draperies are used on two nearby windows in a single fashion like this, they’re installed on the far end of each window. Here, the draperies were installed immediately next to each other, with a grandfather clock separating them. The valances are simple, casual swags with brown tassel fringe.
But what really makes the window valances stand out is the way they were installed on the brushed gold curtain rod. Instead of hanging by tabs or some other similar fashion, the top of the valance was secured onto the back of the drapery pole using a hook and look mechanism. This exposes the drapery hardware fully and makes it look as if the valance is floating behind it.
Quite a clever trick indeed!
Solid Ivory Swag Valance with Sheer Curtains
At first glance, the black and white dining room set looks more modern than traditional. But once you get past this, everything in the dining room is traditional. Everything. From the crown molding to the neutral wall paint to the black and ivory scroll rug, it’s a traditional dining room. So it wasn’t a surprise that the designer chose this classic board-mounted swag valance in a solid ivory satin fabric.
Simple sheer curtains in white complete the window treatment.
It might be subtle, but the coordinating fabric used on the jabots is a matching stripe fabric. Notice also how the swags were pleated to give the valance a waterfall effect on the board.
Inside-Mounted Roman Shades on Curved Wall
This dining room uses a large dining room set for eight people in its center with a round medallion inset in the ceiling above. The overall room is rounded with its curved walls. While this might be an interesting features, it could become challenging when it comes to the windows.
Luckily, there’s no curved wall an inside-mounted window treatment hasn’t tackled. Inside-mounted window treatments are the standard go-to solution for walls and windows with unusual shapes.
These beautiful Roman shades were the solution for this dining room. The pumpkin orange color and embroidery details in the fabric amplify the warmth of the sunlight that comes through the windows. However, the fact that these shades were interlining also meant that the homeowner wanted to be able to block that very same light when drawing the shapes down.
Notice how by installing the shades as inside mounts, the curves in the walls can be overcome.
Neutral Drapery with Attached Valance
We’ve seen this antique gold and beige color combination before. It’s quite common in formal dining rooms and rightfully so. In this dining room, a triple wide window was dressed with custom draperies on each side. Each drapery was treated as decorative drapery only, and thus, only a single width was needed in this case. The beautiful off-white scroll fabric in the drapery was coordinated with an antique gold solid fabric that was used for the attached valance.
The valance was finished with simple tassel fringe in a sandy gold. Finally, the valance and drapery combo was installed on drapery poles by only three drapery rings. Rather than have one extra wide drapery pole run across the entire width of the triple window (and having to worry about support brackets), the drapery pole was cut to size for each of the draperies individually.
Powder Blue Swags and Draperies with Bullion Fringe on Bay Window
Ah, the bay window. It can become inspiring to many homeowners when it comes to window treatments, but there are plenty of solutions for this type of window when it comes to custom window treatments. In this example, a custom swag valance was mounted on a board that was custom-cut for the window.
The top of the custom valance was adorned by twist cord while the bottom hems of the swags and extra long jabots were adorned with bullion fringe. And to add more of this beautiful powder blue color to the room, two double-wide draperies were added on each side of the bay window.
Pinch Pleat Drapery with Buttons over Woven Shades
This dining featured a dark espresso round table as its focal point that was surrounded by six plushly upholstered chairs with nailhead detail. It’s clear that the aim in this dining room was to keep as much light as possible because of the oversized mirror that was placed opposite to the windows. To help achieve this, it was imperative to use window treatments that don’t overbear the windows.
First, double-wide pinch pleat draperies were used that covered more of the wall than the window. The draperies were adorned by buttons under the pinch pleats and brush fringe that ran along the entire length of the leading edge of the drapery.
Second, woven shades were mounted as inside mounts. That way, regardless of whether they are pulled up or down, some light would still be allowed through.
Vintage Gold Swag Valance Over Double Wide Transom Windows
In this dining, it was important to frame a double wide window with transom windows above it. The overall color scheme of the dining room was neutral, so to stay within that color palette, the fabric chosen for the window treatment was a solid vintage gold.
To dress the transom windows, a board-mounted swag valance with short jabots was used. To frame the overall window, single width draperies in the same solid color fabric were used. Tassel fringe in a gold and brown was used to outline each swag and jabot on the window valance.
Board-Mounted Waterfall Draperies Over Flat Valance
In this formal dining room, we see an eclectic mix of patterns and textures, with an infusion of both Western and Eastern design elements. However, the room remains traditional and coherent because of its red and tan color scheme.
The custom window treatments were quite unusual. First, it’s evident that the waterfall effect on the draperies was achieved by mounting the entire window treatment on a wooden board. Second, a flat valance was used under the draperies.
Typically, valances are installed over draperies, but in this case the focus was on showing the waterfall effect of the draperies. And finally, with the busy print on the fabric, it was important to outline each piece of the window treatment with fringe. Brush fringe was added on the leading edge of each drapery. The valance only needed a center tassel to stand out in this case.
Silk Swag Valance Over Draperies
This dining room is a prime example of how traditional and simple can work together in a dining room. There’s a way to still use plenty of fabric and heavy furniture without being overbearing. In this room, decorations were left to a minimum.
There is no centerpiece on the dining table and no wall art. The window treatment was kept simply by using a solid ivory fabric rather than patterns.
Even the valance was further simplified. Rather than having excessive swags that fall to the center freely as we’ve seen in other ideas on this post, here the swags are strategically pleated. This creates more modest pleating on the swags and gives them a modernized look.
Blue and Green Taffeta Silk Draperies with Pinch Pleats and Brush Trim
In this dining room, we see the classics – Chippendale chairs, a traditional buffet, crystal chandelier and crown molding. The custom draperies that were created in this space were double wide pinch pleat draperies that puddled on the floor. The fabric used was a green and blue striped taffeta silk.
Lastly, brush fringe in a powder blue was used on the leading edge of each drapery. The hardware used was a ridged drapery pole in a brushed silver. The draperies were installed using 2-inch drapery rings.
Euro Pleat Draperies in Stone Over Transom Windows
Not all windows always need a pair of draperies. Sometimes, a single drapery can be used. However, keep in mind that these draperies tend to be double in width. In other words, they use the equivalent amount of fabric that two single-wide draperies would. When it comes to custom draperies, a double-wide drapery is typically about 100 inches wide when spanned out.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get back to this gorgeous formal dining room. Here, we see double wide draperies that were used on single wide windows with transoms.
Upon closer look, we see that the header used on the draperies was the euro pleat. The fabric is a solid satin stripe in a subtle mint color. The gold mirror we saw previously was coordinated with drapery hardware in brushed gold. If you’d like to achieve this look in your home, make sure to order double wide draperies. Each of these draperies is about 100 to 102 inches wide when laid flat.
Now that you’ve seen all these examples of custom window treatments in a formal dining room, which one do you like the most? Are any of the ideas about to find their way into your home soon?