Window Coverings for Your Vintage Home

Selecting and purchasing window coverings for our vintage homes can be a challenge, especially if you want to be “period correct”. Luckily, you have many good options. Fabrics with a nubby texture such as bark cloth, linen or cotton blends work nicely, as well as velvets and damasks for more formal interiors. Patterns such as stripes, simple traditional florals or patterned cotton voiles are also appropriate. The lovely French windows many of us have are great candidates for either 1” wood blinds mounted directly on the windows or full length draperies mounted on decorative iron or wood rods and rings. You can do an overdrape with a sheer underdrape for maximum light control. Roller shades in a linen-look texture with a festive trim work well in Craftsman homes. A small self valance or a decorative fabric valance can be added to complete the look. If you have dormer windows, a tailored Roman shade works very well and can stack up to allow easy movement of the windows. Café curtains and valances on small decorative rods work well in kitchens and breakfast rooms. If privacy is an issue in these areas, a roller shade can be tucked behind the valance for total privacy.

Lining any of your window coverings with the proper lining can help tremendously with energy conservation. Depending on your exposure, you can use a standard sateen lining or step up to a flannel faced lining or blackout lining. You can also select a honeycomb type shade, which are available in a variety of sizes and insulation levels. Although they are not as “period” as some of the other options, you can add a decorative top treatment and side panels to add the period character to your room.

The correct rods are key to completing the look. There are many options available for both iron hardware and decorative wood to work with a variety of architectural styles. Shutters are a great solution for the many picture windows you find in our neighborhood, both straight and arch top, especially if you do not have the stacking space for conventional drapery on either side. As you make your selections, please keep in mind that the proper coverings can add style, save energy and protect your interior from fading, not to mention eliminating the glare on that flat screen TV!