Be it city, sea or streetscape, the view from your windows plays an integral role in the mood of your interior, especially in contemporary homes where wide expanses of glass beckon the exterior to come inside. This open, spacious style, however, does run the risk of feeling a bit like living in a fishbowl. So finding the right shade options for your windows means creating a private interior environment that still makes the most of all the outdoors have to offer.
Simplicity in look and function in window coverings is vital to maintain a contemporary theme. Practical considerations such as the location of the window, the type of room in which it’s located and the need for variable light control need to be considered first. From there, clean lines, minimal trappings and a practical mechanism will ensure your windows are stylishly shaded and ready for summer.
Curtains are an excellent way to introduce colour and pattern into a neutral interior while blocking out a varying amount of light, depending on the fabric and style of the curtain. An underlying lightness either in the fabric or the print should be dominant so that the curtains blend with surrounding furnishings. Simple chic designs, which hang straight down without too many embellishments, are ideal.The stylised florals and lively stripes of the Simonii collection from Roma Fabrics are a great option for a contemporary lounge or family room that requires a fair amount of light control, as these prints work best in rich, opulent folds. Taking their inspiration from nature, the vivid designs are transposed on textured cotton-linen with a soft glaze finish. In chocolate brown and soothing mineral tones, the fabrics have a tranquil and calming element that balances their exuberant design.
Another method is to relegate the curtain to a subtler role in the room through using wispy, lightweight fabrics and softly coordinated colours. Christian Fischbacher’s collection of drapery fabrics, for example, comes in a series of airy sheers, organzas, dégradé stripes in crepe, textured plains and simple cotton-like scherlis. Delicate graphics across the fabric reinforce the inherent lightness, creating the feel of fluttering butterflies.Outstanding among the sheers in this collection is a fine, weightless relief-striped material. This fabric achieves the effect of a double weave through the use of special yarns and a unique after-treatment and typifies the modern approach to Fischbacher’s autumn collection this year.
Combining the lightness of classic sheers and the privacy of soft draperies in one window treatment, Luminette Privacy Sheers from Hunter Douglas is a new product that offers an alternative to sheer curtains. This window treatment can be drawn open like a curtain, with the use of a cord loop, and when the sheers are drawn closed, the fabric vanes can be rotated with a simple twist of the wand.
More traditional types of blinds and shutters are a practical and flexible option for windows which, thanks to their simple look, can be easily tailored to contemporary interiors. Roman blinds, for example, have a clean, classic appeal that suits a minimal interior scheme. There are multiple versions of this popular shade, the most well known being the flat panel that creates soft folds when raised and one with overlapping folds that are visible when lowered.For bi-fold or sliding doors, roller blinds are a practical, flexible option. Offering a new take on this style, Ambience linked roller blinds from Verosol allow multiple blinds to be linked together and operated from a single chain control. The reduction in chains gives a much neater look to the system and a span of up to 12 metres can be accommodated without chains hanging in the middle of the opening.
Timber venetians, which are made up of a series of horizontal slats strung together between a head and bottom rail, have a unique character that blends the softening tones of wood into a home. Timber can also be utilised in the form of shutters and louvres which give a breezy open feel to a room and are the essence of classy style and sleek function — so much so that they are considered a piece of furniture for your windows.
Whichever option you decide on, your window coverings should be flexible enough to both open a room to the outdoors, and shutter up for a more intimate environment. Function and style are the biggest considerations and with the range of contemporary products currently on the market, covering up has never been so fashionable.
Marco Fabrics, Tel: (03) 9882 7238Website: Victorian Shutters and Shades, Tel: (03) 9849 0355Website: Silent Gliss, Tel: (02) 9810 4300Website: Verosol, Tel: (02) 9784 4141Website: