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This is the first part of a new series of publications from SimplyFurnishings.com designed to help you create beautiful window dressings that look perfectly 'at home' in their setting.
There is nothing more demoralising than putting your best efforts into a sewing project and realising that the finished product falls short of your own expectations. So, what can you do to avoid expensive mistakes and ensure that your next window dressing project is a success?
Creating stunning window dressings begins with carefully thinking through your objectives and balancing these with a design based around both the attributes and limitations of the window and the setting. Being realistic about what you want and what will really work from a design perspective will be key to your success! Creating the perfect look for your windows comes down to five important factors, summarised below:

Select a design that suits the size, style, positioning, function and setting of the window:

Consider the look and feel you want to create in each room setting with the window being only one part of the overall scheme - bear in mind any existing furnishings, floor and wall coverings and accessories

Decide whether the window treatment needs to be either functional, decorative or a mix of the two

Question whether the dressing will provide the level of privacy and/or light reduction you require

Select a combination of fabrics and trimmings that suit both the style of window treatment and the existing furnishings and decor

Ensure a professional approach and finish to your work - plan thoroughly and do not cut corners

Sense check

Remember, it is also important to question whether your window needs a dressing at all. If you are lucky enough to have an unusual window that makes a statement in its own right, then sticking with what you already have may well be the best option. Volumes of expensive fabric could obscure a lovely view or an architecturally impressive window frame. Shutters or blinds might be more appropriate in this situation.
Understanding Window Dressing Designs aims to help you achieve many of these objectives. Your ultimate choice of window dressing will of course be a matter of personal taste. However, armed with our tried and tested guidelines for what works best in different situations you will able to make informed decisions and avoid disappointing mistakes when embarking on your next project.
This feature is structured in six parts and begins with 'Basic Principles' which is an essential read. The five design areas each focus on how to select the right window dressing design to suit specific window sizes and can be browsed in any order according to your own needs. 

Want to know more? Take a look at Basic Principles and then browse through the rest of this feature by selecting the size or style of window that you are interested in from the list of links in the left navigation at the top of this page.

Select a window style from the list below to learn more about the specific design principles involved in choosing the best style of window dressing for your particular windows:

We hope that you will find this feature useful!
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  Last modified: January 04, 2009