Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I've fallen into Window Treatment hell. For me this is one of the nine rings of room restoration hell. I know choosing paint colors is one of the rings, and plaster work is in there, too. I can't really say what the others are, but I'm sure there are nine of them for old room restoration, if not more.

Google 'window treatments' and you get an eye full of styles and choices to choose from. My big issue with most of them is that they cover the millwork which surrounds the window. I guess in many homes this is not an issue. I mean, a lot of the times the millwork around the window can hardly even be called 'millwork'. In many modern homes it probably isn't even wood!

In my home the millwork deserves to be seen. At least I think so. Sure it looks nice with the 1X6' fluted casing and the complex head blocks which extend above the top casing. That's not really even the point for me. For me it is all of the effort that went in to stripping the paint and reproducing the head blocks. On one window, even the casing had to be re-milled and replaced. 

And now I'm supposed to cover it all up with window treatments!?!?!

I think not.

So, I've been flipping through pages of images of window treatments on Google trying to justify making the same choice on window treatments which I made in the dinning room. No such luck. In the dining room I had the drapes start at the inside edge of the casing.

What's odd, though, is that the more I look at the images on Google, the more I dislike the styles of window treatments which start a foot or two over the window and cover everything. I'm sure if I walked in to someone's home which had that style I wouldn't give it a second thought. But when you really start to look at something closely, the subtleties are exposed which may or may not rub you the wrong way. It's kind of like when you say the same word over and over it can begin to sound like you are saying it wrong. Hmmm, maybe that only works when you're stoned.

Anyway, I can not, with a good conscious, purchase and install window treatments which cover all of my hard work and 117 year old millwork. I can't and I won't. Let the traditionalist cringe and squirm all they want, and if they open their mouths, they will get an earful.

Now I just need to decide on the pattern and color of the drapes. Ugh! I think that is a ring in and of itself.


Shasha Kidd said...

I feel your pain! I feel exactly the same way. I hung ours up slightly covering the woodwork because it was still the original, or almost-original, hardware and I didn't want to drill new holes. Curtains that hang inside the window are period, so are wood blinds. And there's always roller shades.

Greg said...

I am doing roller shades, but there will be drapes in addition to those.

Karen Anne said...

Why not those white lace curtains like but covering just the inside of the windows? I am thinking panel, not frou frou.

Ashley said...

I'm struggling with this for our living room. I adore the millwork in there, but I also like the look of full tall drapes. Guuuuuuuh!

Greg said...

Lace was added years ago to the 'Do Not Use' list, which also include doilies, Victorian wallpaper, and Victorian era furniture.


Oliver's Bungalow said...


They make "decorative" tension rods now. They aren't that fancy, just not basic white anymore, nicer finishes like satin nickel, faux antique brass and oil rubbed bronze.

I've hung almost all of my curtains that way to expose my woodwork, which is craftsman and not nearly as fancy as yours.

Also, I favor just two simple panels for each window. I feel like anything more would detract from my beautiful chestnut trim.


purejuice said...

the urban cottage guy has trim he loves and did a real soul search on roman blinds:

also, kim at einsel house has the best millwork porn EVAR (original 1840s walnut) with windows inset in thick stone walls and wiiiiide gorgeous OG walnut sills. in this post you can see several ways she has gone about curtaining those gorgeous windows -- i'm not sure this post has the half-cafe curtain treatment she installed in the office to keep glare off the computer screen. you can see beautiful jabots (perhaps suitable for your LR too), roman blinds, regular curtains, all set inside the millwork. looks good.

Greg said...

Greay ideas and links. Thanks.


purejuice said...

i'm an idiot. here's the actual einsel house url i meant to give you.

purejuice said...

this woman solicits window treatment dilemmas from blog readers. i'd love to have you stump her.

Greg said...

I think I like what she did at the Einsel house. Of course, this could only be because I want to live in a stone house. I need to be careful.


Mary Cormier said...

I think roman blinds would look smashing. I could not cover the window trim either, no way. All of the work you have done is just superb, I love following your progress!

Mary Cormier said...
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