There are people lucky enough to have silk draperies from their grandmother’s French chateau hanging in their living room. Perfectly aged, utterly gorgeous, and fabulously in-vogue, period window treatments bring timeless style and panache to a home. But not everyone has a relative who is either willing to part with their 17th century valances or wants to spring for Colonial-era curtain rods. So how do you get the look of an antique without a trip to France or an appearance at Sotheby’s? You go faux.
Faux For It
Nowadays, applying a period touch on your interior décor is easier than ever thanks to faux, that fabulous French word that helped make fake leather chic again. Designers and drapery hardware companies are routinely producing lush fabrics and spot-on replicas that feature the detail, colors, and styling of an antique without the frayed edges or King Louis prices. Once you decide on a style (Regency meets 21st century?), acquiring the pieces is as easy as comparing the real thing to a window fashions website.
The Hallmarks of Style
Need a little help with your foray into faux period window dressing? No need to take a history class. Grab a notebook and glean your inspiration from these sources:
- Favorite flicks: Period pieces like Marie Antoinette, Elizabeth, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Atonement all offer glimpses into the interiors of antique styling.
- Design books: A visit to the library or bookstore will provide you with an abundance of visual source material. Take photocopies or scan your picks.
- Museums: Art, history, and textile museums will provide plenty of inspiration while you view collections close up. Bring a camera is the museum is flash-friendly.
Keep It Modern
Gone With the Wind-style drapes in my new child and dog-filled home you ask? Of course! The wonderful thing about antique meets modern is that a vintage style look can always be updated to fit in with your lifestyle. Go for the faux, and keep these tips in mind so function can exist without sacrificing an ounce of style.
- Forgo puddling drapes that take a beating from pets, children, and not-so-sure-footed guests by hemming them so they just brush the ground.
- Pull back curtains with tie backs, so excited pets can’t snag or pull down gorgeous fabric. You can also tuck potentially dangerous blind cords behind a handsome tie back too.
- Opt for washable fabrics wherever possible; even luscious silk will still be a possibility.
- Tassels should be kept out of a pet’s reach; attaching them on a valance can solve this problem.
Don’t Overlook the Details
The curtain rods and drapery hardware you choose for your antique-style window treatments are just as important as the fabric for achieving a cohesive and complete look; you don’t want your 18th century England-style swags marred by a Mission-style rod that was lying about. Window fashion websites are good at organizing products by period or style; Kirsch drapery hardware features a Buckingham collection, for example; when has Buckingham Palace ever been more stylish?