Do window scarves 'go' with wooden blinds in a FR?

gardenwebberJanuary 4, 2009

Still pondering my wooden blind dilemma in our family room. I would love some fabric to go along with the new blinds, but don't know what type. We will have sofas against two of our windows, so panels will just look stuck behind the furniture, won't they? Was thinking of valances, but saw a color today at JCP that came in panels or scarves. They are semi-sheer, solid color that match the wall color in my DR (adjacent to FR) but, would scarves work over wood blinds? And, will they also look stuck behind the furniture if they are so long that they go behind the sofa?

As usual, I appreciate your thoughts on this.

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Can you post a picture please? I'd opt for floor length panels or at the least a great topper.

Have you been to the Pate Meadows site? Do you or a friend sew? There are tons of beautiful toppers there. Click on their gallery and see all the eye candy.

Also, you might want to consult the "living rooms" thread in our gallery for a few hundred inspirational photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Gallery

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 9:54PM
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I'd vote for the panels........and maybe something heavier than a semi-sheer if furniture is in front of the window. You may not need anything at all, but that depends on your decor and style of window.

Just be sure not to push the furniture up against the wall and keep it pulled out some so that the curtains can hang correctly. You may even want to pull the sofa out enough to place a sofa table behind it!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 10:55PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Another vote for the panels. This is strictly my personal feeling, but window scarves look funky to me unless they're done extremely well and the home has the right decor for them. They're seldom featured in design magazines any more, although that doesn't mean you shouldn't have them if you like them. Pairing them with wooden blinds does seem a bit unusual and pictures of your area would help.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 11:54PM
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I agree with the panels and I'd put them to the side of the blinds rather than over them. I've seen it done and it's a very nice look.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 1:24AM
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Thanks, everyone, for your advice. I am working on pictures - I have them taken, now I have to get DH to tell me why I can't upload the doggone things!!! *sigh* I think a wire is not connected somewhere, and I don't do wires. More of a software gal, I guess.

Anyhoo - in the meantime - I wanted to say that scarves weren't my first choice, but I saw a color I liked in panels/scarves only. Probably the wrong reason to choose a scarf. Decorating is not my "thing", so I appreciate the reasoning behind your thoughts - truly. There was something about the scarf idea that didn't sit well, I was just hoping for the color.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 8:56AM
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OK - Here are pics of the FR in question. Sorry for the varying sizes - don't know how I managed that. Anyways, this is one of two of the windows and the furniture arrangment. Please ignore the treadmill in the corner. We are moving that! We have been renovating and are just getting everything put back together.

Here is the back window - it is a casement I have posted about - not sure whether to do one large blind, or 3 blinds, one for each window. Again, please look past the clutter and mess.

Here is a quick shot of my dining room, it is visible from the FR through one standard doorway. I thought it'd be nice if I could find a window treatment with that wall color in it somehow.

(BTW: I need help with window treatments in there, too, but will be posting a separate thread)

Now that you've seen pics, what do you think? Skip fabric all together and just use blinds? Or do panels? Or valances? (I haven't purchased the blinds yet)

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Do panels on those windows so you can still see some of the lovely deep trim at the top!!!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 10:18AM
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Downsy - should I do a solid color, or a print? Also, where do I hang the rod - on the trim, or on the wall outside the trim? How high?

Notice how the back casement does not have that nice trim. It was put in by the previous owner and the trim is just mitered flat stock. Should we treat that window the same way - with panels?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 10:40AM
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I just had a thought: Could I do panels in the two front windows, then a scarf in the back window (all same fabric)? That would show off the nice trim up front, and cover the mis-match trim in the back? Or, would it accentuate the fact that the trims don't match?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 10:55AM
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You could do panels on the 2 windows with the matching trim and a scarf over the other window,but use the same fabric.

Hang the rod wider than the windows and let the panels just cover the side frames and the rest will stack on the wall. The panels will cover some of your trim at the top and sides, but you will still be able to see it enough at the top to know that it is an exceptional trim. ON the other window that you do the scarf - make it have 3 swags and match each one to the width of the glass. (The center swag will be wider than the 2 outside swags.) Using the same fabric will tie all the windows together.

Fabric scarves take alot of playing around,but you can do it nicely if you take your time and work at it.

As far as fabric choices go - you have solid fabric on your furniture so it would be ok to use a patterned fabric if you find something you like.

I have an idea for your dining room windows that you posted a photo of on another thread. Have you ever seen top down/bottom up shades? That would work nicely in your room. I'm not sure if you can order those from some of the semi custom places (like Smith and Noble or another ready made place), but they would give you the option of lowering the shade from the top and still seeing out of the top or covering it all up. I don't know if you could get them in lace either!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 12:11PM
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Downsy - so, where would I hang the rod on the two panel windows? Just under the crown, or in the middle of that flat top piece? Would I want a pocket for the rod to go in, or should the panels be on rings?

And for the back swags - all one long scarf then? And what would I get to gather the scarf at the different points on the window?

(I'm truly sorry for these questions - I'm telling you, this is not my forte!) I am so sick of spending money on things and ending up not liking them. I have $500 worth of JCP drapes sitting in my attic from the last time I attempted this room and I ended up hating them. I need "window treatments for dummies".

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 1:24PM
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"I need window treatment for dummies".

I think that they, actually, published that book. I'd love to have the copyright on "for Dummies". :)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 2:25PM
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I would hang the drapes above the window frame (halfway between the crown and the top of the frame.) So the top of the pole would be at the halfway point. I personally like panels on rings. I think they have a more sophisticated look. If you are buying ready made drapes you may have to hang the poles where you need them in order for the panels to hit at the floor.

(I like a break in my panels - so they rest on the floor, but that's not everybody's taste.)

When I do scarf swags for clients - I use "L" brackets and make a knot in the fabric scarves to hang on the "L" brackets. So there are fabric knots in between the swags. You can use rubber bands to gather up the knots and make adjustments in the drape of the swag with the rubber band there, but once you get it how you want it to look - tie the knots with string or cording. (Rubber bands rot with time - ask me how i know!!) Tuck the fabric around the string so it doesn't show.

You can also use medallions on the wall and drape the long piece of fabric over the medallions. Fan fold the fabric into nice even folds and drape over the medallions pulling the lower folds down into nice swag shapes.

I am attaching a photo of a recent scarf swag over a medallion tie back. (These were custom mirrored medallions I fashioned from mirrors and crystals from a chandelier the client had.) This just shows the outside medallions. The swags were raised up in the center on a much larger mirrored medallion. You also need to secure the fabric to the medallion post in some way to keep the valance secure and in place - either with some sticky tape of string.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 2:39PM
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Parma - this is the room you helped me with - you probably remember. This is "Powell Buff".

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 2:57PM
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So, Downsy - I would have 4 medallions, correct? Would I attach those right to the wood trim?

Thank you so much for sharing your expertise here - for free!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 3:23PM
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Yes 4 medallions for that window. I would attach them on the trim (near the top, but predrill and don't split the wood!). When you drape your fabric - pull the top of the swags taut so the tops don't droop down and reveal the trim. Does that make sense? You want to hide the trim on that window. You will have a very short (short point) right below the medallions so you will have to play with the fabric to hide the trim under the medallions.

I'm also posting another photo of a treatment I did several years ago. This is a long rectangle of fabric that I used ties to form the swags. It is similar in style to the shape that your swags would be, but this window may be wider than yours. It is board mounted and I draped the fabric into the swags and used the ties to hold them in place. This style could be mounted on the wall above your window because it won't droop and reveal the trim. Also, it has a longer short point due to using the ties instead of medallions.

(I'm suggesting the valance in this photo - not necessarily the panels too!)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 4:16PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I'm afraid I have to disagree with the scarf idea. It would look much more cohesive if you had curtains on all the windows, on rods, that you can open and close as needed. I suppose you could do just panels where you already have the blinds. It would be interesting to see the curtains you already have that you say you hate to see if anything could be done with those to make you dislike them less. You simply can't go wrong with floor-length panels and curtains. They never look overdone and have a classic look that will not be dated very soon. I think scarves and fancy valances are already on their way out since you almost never see them in the good decorating magazines. I don't mean to cause offense to anyone who has posted with suggestions, it's just my own opinion.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:58PM
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Ingrid: Here is a pic I had used in another post a few months ago when I was actually pondering what you are suggesting - reusing my older drapes.

They are pinch pleats and a bit of a burgandy color. Would they be ok to use over the wood blinds? I guess I was thinking that the burgandy clashes with the plum in my DR. I guess I am trying to get the colors to flow from room to room somewhat.

Being able to open and close curtains will be a bit of a challenge due to my furniture placment. Not so much of them getting stuck, but rather a matter of reaching them over the furniture, know what I mean?

Ah... I don't know what to do. I could live in a fishbowl for another year and put this whole thing off. *sigh* Maybe I'll just get the blinds for now, and forget the curtains?? (But I really want to complete the look NOW)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:23PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Those sheers are really pretty although I'm not quite sure how you were planning to use them.

I think the burgundy drapes are probably a loss. I don't think they go with anything color-wise and are too shiny which makes them too formal. I would pick a color that blends in well with the wall color and is a good match with the furniture (I'd probably find something in a pretty pattern with a cream background).

1. Move the furniture forward a little and put panels on those windows. You'll never have to move the panels since you have the blinds for light control.

2. On the big window you have to decide whether you want blinds with panels or curtains that close. Either way of course they have to be the same curtains as the panels. Some curtains come in different widths but if necessary you can use curtains that are wide enough to cover a window as panels, they'll just stack more tightly. JCPenney has a sale on right now with a large variety of curtains to choose from. I just ordered some on-line yesterday. The largest number of choices is on-line and they have some very pretty ones. Since your carpet and furniture are all in solid colors I think a pattern would make the room look friendly and pretty. A cream background with a blue pattern would look nice I think and will go well with the gray carpet, paint and furniture.

I hope this is of some help to you. I know it's very difficult to make these kinds of decisions and it can drive you crazy.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 10:15PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I went to the JCPenney site and looked for curtain panels for you. Here are some that I thought were very pretty.

1. Garden Images in parchment
2. Antoinette
3. Picturesque
4. Waverly Saison de Printemps in creme or red
5. Whitley Floral

They also have lots of solids if you don't care for prints but I personally think these prints would make for a more interesting look.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 10:52PM
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Ingrid - you are so awesome! Thank you for taking that time! I have $90 worth of JCP gift cards burning a hole in my purse - I am dying to use them towards WTs!

Going to check out your ideas now... thank you, thank you!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:20PM
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Ingrid - in your #2 point in your other post, I don't quite understand what you are saying about the curtains vs. panels and how they stack? Also, when you say "big window" are you referring the odd on in the back of the room, the casement window with the fixed pane in the center?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 11:38PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

Yes, by big window I meant the one that has the fixed panel in the center.

About the #2 point this is what I meant: Let's say the drapes are 100 inches per drape. You can scrunch that much material together (stack it) on each side of the window so that you still see most of the window even though there is twice as much material there as a 50-inch panel. I have that in my dining room where the drapes can be drawn all the way across a very large French door but I almost always have the curtains open and pushed to the side (called stacked because there's quite a bit of material stacked on each side of the window).

I'll be anxious to know whether you've found anything you like.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 1:18AM
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Thanks for posting the pics. I think with your heavy dark furniture and the substantial and lovely woodwork around your window, a scarf just wouldn't balance the picture... too lightweight.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 3:50AM
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Ok, everyone - I have made a "mockup" on my computer of one of the curtains Ingrid suggested. I also made an attempt at putting in wood blinds as well. What do you think?

This is "Antoinette". I am going to try to attempt some others when I get another minute. Do the wood blinds look ok? And, I don't think I would hold back the panel, I would just leave it straight. I cropped the photo, so my furniture looks huge - but this room is actually 19X 20 or so.

Also - you mentioned my "grey" carpet and I just wanted to clarify that it is actually a bit of a marbled color, tans, browns, there are a few grey specks in there, but it comes out in the pic very grey looking but in real life in most lighting, it is warmer than that. For what its worth.

Thanks everyone. I'll post more mockups as I get them done today.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 10:08AM
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OK, I remember now. Powell Buff looks great.

I think that Ingrid is on the right track with a patterned drape.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 10:42AM
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I don't like that pattern with your furniture.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 11:24AM
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Your furniture and the wood blinds seem to suggest a stripe or plaid drapery fabric might be better, or at least not a delicate looking fabric.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 2:43PM
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Here is my favorite one from the JCP site so far: "Garden Images" in Parchment.

Here it is again with a green panel on each side:

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 4:43PM
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Is this the right place to hang the curtain rod? Rather than hanging it on the actual trim? Does it give the room some height this way?

I know my images are getting worse and worse... Need to step aside for awhile! I've been staring at this computer way too long today! :)

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 8:19PM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

You have the right idea with hanging the curtain rods up higher. That looks much better. Just be sure that you hang them at a height at which the drapes will reach the floor. Curtain lengths only come in a few standard sizes and you have to adjust your rods to that. But definitely higher is better than lower. It just gives the windows and your whole room so much presence. I like the idea of the solid-colored outer drapes but am not sure what color they should be. I think the printed curtain you like looks great in your room.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 10:05PM
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Thanks, Ingrid. I think I will stick with green for the outer panel, but lighter than my furniture, and in the same color family.

We are getting new furniture soon, so this has me stressed. We will get a solid color because I'm just not a fan of printed furniture, but I will be limited to the colors in these drapes, because I don't want to through this again anytime soon!

There is a small piece of me that thinks I should get the wood blinds and just use them alone until we get new furniture, then get the curtains.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 8:12AM
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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

If you're planning on getting new furniture I would really not buy the drapes now. You don't want to be limited by the color of your drapes when buying big ticket items like furniture. You can always find drapes to match your furniture but you might find the perfect furniture and not be able to buy it because it doesn't go with your drapes.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 10:58PM
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I agree...hold off on the drapes until you get the new furniture otherwise you will be struggling to match furniture to the curtains. I do want to say that I like the dark wood blinds in that room, definitely.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2009 at 8:41AM
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