The return of luxe window treatments?

Yes please to the return of luxe window treatments! But – no worries – I’m not talking about super formal treatments like this:

Linda Merrill AI Formal overly fussy luxe window treatments in a dining room
AI assisted design by Linda Merrill

Although they certainly have their place:

Luxe window treatments
Design by Linda Merrill | Photo by Michael J. Lee

Over the last fifteen years  it seems that window treatments have gone the way of the dodo. I remarked on this a few years ago when I photographed one of the Newburyport House tours I’ve been on. Almost all the houses were gray and lacking in window treatments. Were they still beautiful? Sure. But also – a little lacking in my view.

2017 Newburyport Kitchen Tour BradKu living room
Photo by Linda Merrill
2017 Newburyport Kitchen Tour BradKu dining
Photo by Linda Merrill

The Wall Street Journal had an article on this topic The Return of Luxurious, Traditional Drapes: How to Make Them Fresh, Not Fusty. They credit shows like Bridgerton for bringing back luxe window treatments.

Linda Merrill Decorative Surroundings Hingham Sitting Room and Home Office Work From Home 3

Linda Merrill luxe window treatment detail

Window treatments add color and warmth to a space. Also – personality. And they offer other benefits as well – not only light control but also sound control. I had dinner the other night at the new Bluefish River Tavern in Duxbury. The food was delicious – highly recommended. Have the scallops!

Bluefish river tavern duxbury

There has been a restaurant in this location for generations. It was The Milepost for a few decades and The Dory before that. And before that it was the site of a restaurant owned by one Mildred A. Pierce who may or may not have been the inspiration for the book and subsequent movie starring Joan Crawford.

(Side note – way back in 1976 my parents met the builder of our house in Duxbury when sitting at the bar of The Dory lamenting finding a suitable and affordable family home in town – kismet!)

Here’s a photo of what it looked like for many many years before the new owners renovated:

The Milepost duxbury

The update is fresh and inviting and the Edison Bulbs give off a warm and cozy feel in the evening – offsetting all the whitewashed woods. So – why am I talking about this on a post about window treatments? The restaurant is LOUD! With no carpet on the floors and no window treatments – there’s nothing to soak up the sound. Having been in this room many many times over the years – it’s a noticeable difference. Of course – I’m not suggesting overly fussy luxe window treatments – it wouldn’t suit the space.

But cute little cafe curtains in a sheer with a sweet tape trim detail wouldn’t go amiss.

Bluefish River tavern with cafe curtains luxe window treatments

More pretty please!

Linda Merrill luxe window treatment design detail
Custom window treatment detail by Linda Merrill


Linda Merrill Colorful Cape Cod blue and white sofa sofa closeup
Colorful Cape Cod project by Linda Merrill


Linda Merrill Design colorful modern coastal glamorous blue and white bedroom Plymouth MA
Colorful Modern Coastal project by Linda Merrill

Here are a few AI assisted designs that I created to showcase some more luxe window treatments:

Linda Merrill AI bluw and white sunroom with luxe window treatments roman shades
AI assisted design by Linda Merrill


Linda Merrill AI colorful sitting room with lux window treatments
AI assisted design by Linda Merrill
Linda Merrill AI serene feminine bedroom with luxe window treatments
AI assisted design by Linda Merrill


Linda Merrill AI simple window treatment layered sheer shades and linen drapes in a kitchen
AI assisted design by Linda Merrill

While this image above isn’t “ornate” it shows how even a calm neutral space will be warmed up by coordinating window treatments.

Linda Merrill AI luxe window treatments pleated box valance over contrast drapery with coordinated tape trim
AI assisted design by Linda Merrill

This beautiful window treatment is the epitome of “luxe” to me. The attention to detail – the coordination and matching trims on the box-pleated valance and drapery panels.

Linda Merrill AI box valance with trim over luxe window treatments detail
AI assisted design by Linda Merrill

So – what do I mean by Luxe Window Treatments in today’s world?

  • Attention to detail but not overly fussy
  • Special touches like contrasting/complementing colors and trims
  • Designs that suit the space they are in
  • Functionality (sound, light and heat control as needed)

Going back to that Wall Street Journal article – if you read the comments – there’s push back (from people with no taste – sorrynotsorry) and negativity when it comes to luxe window treatments. But much seems to focus on them being dust catchers. Yes – everything collects dust. Fact. That’s why the good lord invented the person who invented the vacuum cleaner!

This image below was my parent’s dining room in their house on Cape Cod. They had this custom traditional swag and cascade window treatment in that window from around 1990 until I sold the house in 2014 after my Mom passed away.  Was it dated – sure. Did it collection loads of dust – nope! And they were smokers. Periodic cleanings did the trick.

Design by Bob and Dot Merrill | Styling by Linda Merrill | Photography by Michael J. Lee

So – what are your thoughts – are you ready embrace a more ornate and detailed version of a window treatment? Or are you still on Team Clean (and boring) Window?

You may also like:

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13 thoughts on “The return of luxe window treatments?”

  1. Hi Linda – love your style and celebrate the return of curtains. What to do when there are baseboard heaters – where do you stop the curtain panels: at the top of the baseboard, or the bottom of the window, or let them go to the floor? This is for a cape house – so very casual, but still want the windows to look dressed. Thanks!

    • Hi Elaine – I would always run them to the floor over the baseboard heaters – they usually don’t get hot hot. But – don’t use linen drapery fabric because linen shrinks and grows with heat and humidity. Cotton works best. You could do sill length cafe curtains which are always cute for a Cape house – but not hanging off the sides of the windows where the hems just kind of stop in front of the wall – I think that always looks a little dated. I hope that helps!

  2. I love how you fill out your posts with such enticing images! I used to design window treatments back in the day when I was doing interior design work. I love seeing the directions the window treatments are going these days and the attention to decorative detailing. Well done, really enjoyed this post!

  3. Linda, what great content, as always. I could not agree more about the trends for modest or non-existent window treatments…those spaces look so naked to me! (Even a bit provincial.) The custom window treatments our clients are asking for are right in line with what you talk about here. Let’s hope that beautiful window treatments are back for good!

  4. I’m on the team boring. Do I have an unnatural fear of dust? Maybe. Or I could just be lazy. The thought of taking anything down to have professionally cleaned and put back up again is just “too much”. I do adore your design of the porch and would actually find the energy to have those window treatments cleaned if I got to have that room added onto our home. It’s so pretty and it makes me happy just looking at it!

    • It’s definitely work no question. But you can have cleaners come in and clean drapery and window treatments in situ without taking them down. Or just use a wand attachment on a vacuums cleaner or a strong hair dryer to remove dust.

  5. Always enjoy your posts full of inspiration and helpful tips.
    Totally agree about the noise level of the Blue Fish renovations cute but the sound echoes painfully.

  6. I personally don’t feel like a room looks finished without window treatments! And I am definitely a window treatment snob – IYKYK. I love custom details, I love trim, I love fabric…and I have no unnatural fear of dust LOL. #justsaynotoboring


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