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Dress Up Your Windows!                                                         August 2010
In this month's newsletter we share the secrets of window treatments. Do you need guidance when it comes to picking the right window treatments? Are you confused as to what the difference is between hard and soft window coverings?  This month we seek to calm your window treatment woes and help you discover the many ways to dress up your windows, making them both functional and beautiful.
Feature Article
Dress Up Your Windows With Style!

Woven blinds act as a great hard  window treatment in this light-filled dining room. They pick up on the warm tones and textures repeated in the dining chairs, giving the space a clean look and cozy mood. 

hard treatments
What is a Hard Window Treatment?
Hard treatments are factory-made window treatments: blinds, shades, and shutters.  Hard treatments are not always hard (roller shades or fabric-slat verticals, for example).
The least expensive hard treatments with the fastest lead time include cellular shades, honeycomb shades and wood blinds whereas the most  expensive hard treatments include wood shutters and silhouette shades. And, shutters often take up to 8 weeks for delivery. Therefore, unless you plan to be in your home for a long time, we do not recommend you invest in shutters.

The other consideration in choosing hard treatments is the depth and frame of your windows. Most hard treatments (especially those with top-down/bottom-up capabilities) have a significant headrail (a sophisticated term for the operating mechanism found at the top of the treatment). Most headrails are pretty deep and project outward when mounted on window frames (often leaving a large gap between the treatment and the window frame). Therefore, before making a decision about which window covering to purchase, you should consult a window treatment professional to ensure the final result meets not only your functional, but also your aesthetic needs.

Hard treatments are available as stock items found in home-improvement stores or can be custom made to order.  Stock merchandise comes in standard sizes while custom-made treatments can be made in any size. Colors and options are limitless with custom-made hard treatments.

What is a Soft Window Treatment?

These soft window treatments are made of silk and were custom designed to coordinate with the colors we selected for the walls and artwork. Our client loved that we were able to install the panels above the arches, adding height to her living room, which had previously appeared dark with low ceilings because heavy window treatments were installed below the arch. In addition, the silks used were chosen from our discounted Silk Dupioni stock ($30/yd), saving our client hundreds of dollars over competitive products. 

soft treatment
Any window covering sewn from fabric is considered a soft treatment. Soft treatments are generally used as decoration on top of hard treatments, but can also be used alone. Soft treatments can be custom-fabricated to fit any window by a drapery workroom. Your decorated window will be completely unique -- one of a kind.  Any fabric and trim can be selected and practically any style can be created.  Professional installation using custom hardware also adds to your distinctive look and is highly recommended to ensure a professional end result.

Common soft treatments include swags and cascades, shaped valances, drapery panels, balloon valances and scarf treatments.

Mix It Up If You Want!
Finally, you can always mix and match hard and soft window treatments to achieve a wonderful look for your windows. Mixing the two is encouraged and easily doable.
Many times when mixed, the soft treatment stands out while the hard treatment is subtle. For instance, in the living room picture above there is a silhouette shade with the panels (that is difficult to see as the shades are raised). Still, the shade exists to control light and provide privacy as the panels are not intended to move with this design. In other examples of hard and soft window treatments, the hard treatment may stand out with a color or pattern and the soft treatment may be a simple light sheer or other non-competitive fabric that frames the beauty of the hard treatment. The possibilities are really endless when it comes to mixing hard and soft window treatments!
Want more advice on window treatments for your home? We offer discounts on designer fabrics and hardware, and our lead time is faster than our competitors.  To learn more about our window treatment services, check out our website, or contact us at 703-714-7343 or info@decorbydenise.com to learn how easy it is to get started! 
Partner Spotlight

Design-Build Partner of the Month
This month we highlight AV Architects, PLLC, a member of our Preferred Home Connections Team. AV Architects + AV Builders is architect owned and operated. Supplying both architectural and construction services, they build what they design. AV Architects specializes in high-end residential projects like integrated additions, custom renovations and unique homes.

If you are interested in learning more about AVArchitects and how they can help you in your home, please contact Francisca Alonzo at 703-927-9184 or avarchitects@verizon.net.  Please tell Francisca we sent you. 
To learn more about our Preferred Home Connections Team, please visit our fan page on Facebook at Preferred Home Connections
Slate Countertop
Denise Willard is a professional interior decorator with over a decade of experience working with clients in the DC metro area.  Denise and her team specialize in creating simple, but elegant transitional and contemporary interiors that are reflective of their clients' personalities and lifestyles.  
Her work has been showcased in Home & Design Magazine, Washington Home & Garden, The Washingtonian, Elan and The Washington Post.  Denise is also President-Elect of DC Chapter of the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), writes a regular design column in Viva Tysons Magazine and is a member of the "Design Diva" team for AskMissA.com.  

To learn more about Denise and her team, check out her online portfolio at DecorbyDenise.com, visit her weekly blog posts at DreamDesignLive.com or contact her directly at 703-714-7343 or email her at dwillard@decorbydenise.com.
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If you are a member of the trade and are interested in participating in our collaborative marketing efforts, please contact Denise at dwillard@decorbydenise.com
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