Norfolk by Design: Window dressing

. . . and after

. . . and after - Credit: Submitted

Dressing a window? It can make such a difference to a room, says interior design specialist Lanassir Lawes of Swank Interiors

Before; the windows which posed a problem of symmetry for Lanassir to overcome . . .

Before; the windows which posed a problem of symmetry for Lanassir to overcome . . . - Credit: Submitted

One of my priorities when looking for a new home was rooms filled with natural light. In my apartment I am very fortunate to have five large, south-facing sash windows. These are major focal points within the property and a major consideration in the design of the rooms.

Windows in a room can limit furniture layout and in order to change the look of the room I would use an interesting decorative scheme that takes the eye to a different place, such as altering the lighting and adding different feature walls and maybe even decorating the ceiling with another colour.

When it comes to dressing the windows there are so many more considerations than just choosing the fabric. Clients are often amazed at the amount of things that I point out when discussing new window treatments with them to ensure that the windows look balanced and sit well within the room.

Very few rooms have perfectly positioned windows that are of equal proportions with even spacing between. In properties that are period conversions - such as my own - large rooms have often been divided into smaller spaces, therefore the classic symmetry of the windows has been lost.

In my bedroom I have two lovely sash windows but the one on the left is tight to the wall and the one on the right is narrower and set in from the corner of the room. I have created quite a symmetrical feel with the bed set opposite the windows and wanted to make the windows look balanced. With many years’ experience of soft furnishings it was lovely to have a challenge in my own home. The solution was to use poles the same size at both windows, overlapping the smaller window more on the right hand side to draw the illusion window closer to the corner of the room like the other side.

The heavy foil printed velvet by Wemyss that I chose has been interlined so they are heavy and hang beautifully. In order to distract from the wall imbalance further I have painted the wall in a Designers Guild paint that is almost a perfect match to the fabric.

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To keep the look contemporary, I have added roller-blinds underneath for some privacy but still allowing the light to come through and keeping the room bright. The cabinet between the windows gives a centre point to the symmetrical illusion, and the chairs continue the symmetry. But by mixing up the other accessories in the corners I continue to hide the differences.

Windows are the eyes to a home. Taking a bit of time and maybe advice framing them to look their best really is worthwhile. w

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