Talking Window Trends with Cathy WilkersonKristin Crane
After graduating with a degree in textiles from the Rhode Island School of Design, Cathy Wilkerson spent the early part of her career as a designer and then Design Director at Robert Allen. Each season she worked on their ubiquitous color books. This work kept her intimately in tune with current trends in the textile industry, especially color and design trends. In her current position as a Regional Sales Manager for Norman Window Fashions, her design background and eye for tracking trends prove useful in her approach to selling. Currently, she is tuned into window treatment trends and sat down with Design Pool to tell us what she’s seeing.
When it comes to window treatment trends, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Window treatment trends are guided by the broader trends in the home furnishings industry, not a leader. In general, this is because they are intended to last a long time. They are not super trendy or fashion-forward. Usually, interior designers choose treatments near the end of a room’s design to support the concept already created. Rarely is a space designed around the window treatments, although they can be designed around the window itself.
Function guides window treatments. The primary concerns of any window treatment are privacy, light, energy conservation, and ornamentation. From there, treatments fall into either soft treatments, such as draperies and shades, or hard treatments, such as shutters and blinds.
So, what does Cathy see trending in the window world?
In general, Cathy sees hard treatments growing in popularity as they are less fussy and create a clean-look at the window that consumers want. Louver sizes in shutters are getting bigger to allow a better view to the outside when opened. Honeycomb cell sizes are expanding too, as the larger cells tend to emulate draperies.
In terms of soft treatments, the fabrics used in window treatments are following trends happening in upholstery. Softened geometrics are a big trend, as well as transitional patterns and images. Textures and open weaves are gaining in popularity, especially when used in natural fibers. For example, nothing too contemporary or too traditional. Trimmings continue to become an important accent with banding and beaded trim. Layering fabrics and treatment types is growing too. Draperies layered with sheers or Roman shades that are soft and simple are on the rise.
Ease of use and safety in a space are also important considerations.
With that in mind, cordless treatments continue to be a significant trend, especially in homes with small children or other safety concerns. Easy to operate motorized window treatments were once viewed as high tech and luxurious. However, over time they have become more affordable and likewise more popular.
Wood continues to trend in more natural tones.
Interior designers who want wood, want the grain to be a feature of the blinds. Sometimes, we enhance the natural grain of the wood with natural dyes, and other times with a technique called “Quarter Sawn.” Overall, warmer tones are an important trend in wood treatments.
Black windows, with black window-pane dividers, is another trend with architects and interior designers. The effect is a bit farmhouse chic. With curb appeal in mind, the black of the windows has pushed interior designers toward window treatments with black on the back (or street-side to blend in nicely with the windows).
Windows play a critical role in supporting the design of a space. Window treatment trends may move at a slightly slower pace, but they are always working within, and ultimately complimenting, the broader interior trends.
Visit Norman Window Fashions for examples of their window treatments. Also, check out Cathy’s passion for teaching shibori and indigo dyeing at The Indigo Squirrel.