How to dress and style your windows

With attention to detail and a little vision, the so-called eyes of the home can be one of its most outstanding features
Armelle Habib

Windows are a key architectural element that reveals a home’s character. The right ones will celebrate the heritage of an old building or bring out the finesse of a modern structure. They can add a layer of loveliness when extra personality is required, and precision when a dated space is in need of cleaner lines. Inside, window dressings will filter sunlight, add warmth and deliver privacy when required, all while adding to a home’s beauty.


(Credit: Armelle Habib)

Not all views – in and out – need to be embraced and not every window has inherent appeal. Fortunately, shutters are effortlessly charming. “Shutters are perfect when you wish to permanently obscure an unsightly view out of the window, or where privacy direct to street frontage might be an issue,” says Karen. The classic plantation shutter is particularly suited to bedrooms and in homes where people suffer from allergies, as they don’t hold onto dust like fabric. Luxaflex has versions in both real timber and a low-maintenance custom product called PolySatin, in hinged, bi-fold and sliding options. “Custom colour and a wider blade than standard makes them feel more luxurious,” says Samantha.

Roman blinds

Featuring fold upon fold of raw linen or just the right pattern, “Roman blinds have a textured and layered look that creates softness,” says interior designer Karen Akers. Custom Romans look fabulous on windows above a desk in a study where sill-height curtains – a cardinal design sin – or the machine-made look of roller blinds just won’t do the job. And just like roller blinds, Romans take up very little wall space, explains Karen. “However, they do require a drop allowance above the actual window, blocking some light,” she adds.

Sheer curtains

(Credit: Derek Swalwell)

Enhancing the ambience of a room, sheer curtains are a beautiful addition to spaces. “We all love that relaxed, elegant look that a floating sheer curtain brings, whether it’s a pure linen or a linen blend,” says Melissa Bonney of The Designory. Melissa also likes sheers for bedrooms, in a darker colour to reduce light. 

Roller blinds

The beauty of blinds is their ability to go unseen. “Blinds are the right choice when you want a clean, contemporary look with low maintenance,” says Samantha Eades, design director of The Stylesmiths. “The secret is understanding what you want them for: privacy, or insulation from the heat or cold.” Concealed blinds are a refined non-feature in contemporary spaces and, when motorised, are easy to control across large and high windows – try Somfy for nifty ways to make this happen. Block-out blinds offer UV protection, insulation and absolute darkness, while translucent ones filter glare without blocking views. It’s even possible to combine the benefits of two roller blinds on the one bracket – try Kresta’s DoubleView range.


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