Finishing Touches


For most designers, window treatments represent the final stage of a room’s design. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Window treatments lend a space character, softness and mood, as well as functionality. Their impact was particularly apparent in the Richmond Symphony Orchestra League’s 2008 Designer House, where 16 Richmond-area designers took on the challenge of redecorating a mansion.

Like its literary namesake, Tara II is rich in Southern history. Built in 1901 by Richmond banker E.L. Bemiss, it was moved to its present location in 1925. The house changed hands several times before it was purchased by local businessman Philip Minor in 1994. After Minor’s death in 2007, his wife opened its doors to the Richmond Symphony for a fundraiser in her husband’s honor. Each designer was given a section of the house to redo; the goal was to respect its historic past while breathing fresh air into the traditional interiors.

These pages offer a sampling of the unique window treatments that helped make each room special.

Jeanne Blackburn is a writer in Montgomery Village, Maryland. Photographer John Magor is based in Stafford, Virginia.