Combining form and function in a McLean dining room, Barbara Hawthorn selected custom-sized window panels by Kinnasand with oval cutouts that admit plenty of light while concealing an unappealing view. The delicate, parchment-like fabric is coated in a wipeable surface, while the leaf-like shapes contain half-moons of fabric tinted pale green and blue. © Kenneth M. Wyner
On the stair landing of a Chevy Chase home, Hawthorn designed a Roman shade made from B. Berger cotton fabric embellished with  an appliqué that resembles a work of art. The shade is trimmed in Dupioni silk from Carole. © Kenneth M.Wyner
Chevy Chase designer Jodi Macklin tapped Gretchen Everett to fabricate window treatments for a house in Georgetown. In the living room, Everett selected drapes in Colefax & Fowler fabric with embroidered detail. © Anice Hoachlander
Deftly mixing applications, Gretchen Everett created two separate treatments from the same Victoria Hagan fabric for a bedroom in a project by Jody Macklin. © Anice Hoachlander
Macklin decorated a pool house in Bethany Beach, which was adorned by Gretchen Everett in cotton-linen, wraparound Sunbrella draperies. © Anice Hoachlander
Rockville Interiors, a fabricator of custom window treatments, works in a range of styles and materials. Among them: Roman shades in a bold Clarke & Clarke fabric with banding for strong, graphic contrast. Courtesy of Clarke & Clarke
Rockville Interiors carries Hunter Douglas’s Pirouette shades, which can be customized from a choice of 500 fabrics. © Pirouette Window Shadings by Hunter Douglas

Window Dressing

Design pros navigate the wonderfully creative world of window treatments

No decorative element completes a room more dramatically than window treatments. From billowy sheers to elegant draperies to sleek shades, this important touch is also an investment—and as such, it’s best to get things right the first time.

“Know what you want the window treatment to do,” advises McLean-based designer Barbara Hawthorn. “Should it take center stage or is it part of the background? Some window treatments are like art.”

According to Rockville Interiors owner Ilan Fulop, “People are going for fabric-based window treatments, with colorful, large-scale patterns.” He adds that motorized solutions are also popular. “It’s easy to put a motor on a shade, so it’s operable with a time-clock app. We do it often.”

Recent trends are towards lighter, more practical fabrics. “Applications are simpler and cleaner,” says Gretchen Everett, whose custom drapery workroom in Silver Spring does a booming business among DC-area interior designers. “We are seeing a lot of indoor-outdoor fabrics. And sheers are at the forefront.”Another change: innovative hardware, which Everett also designs.

When it comes to window treatments, there are so many choices, says Everett, homeowners should adhere to her philosophy: “Keep it simple and make it beautiful.”