Published on April 16, 2020

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Photography by Tyler William Parker for ETC.etera

Don’t let the words window treatment fool you into believing curtains can only hang around panes. While blocking sunlight is their number-one duty, you can change the whole mood of a room by extending the panels past the frame. This 360-degree effect adds instant texture to the walls—something that’s hard to accomplish with just paint or wallpaper. But beyond aesthetics, wall-to-wall drapes have plenty of functional applications. You can use the fabric to section off different living zones in an open-concept space, conceal unsightly cords or devices, and even fake the appearance of floor-to-ceiling glass. Here are four more perks of the allover look.

Put Your Furniture Wherever You Please

pink and orange bed with modern wood ceiling and gray drapesPin It
Photography by Matthew Williams; Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel

The two skinny, 18-inch-wide windows that flank either side of Sarah Sherman Samuel’s bed caused the designer quite a headache. One option was to cover the glass with single panels, but she thought this would look wimpy and insubstantial. So Samuel decided to wrap the entire corner of her bedroom with fabric using a mounted track. “Because we have tiled floors in there, it softens the room and almost makes it feel like a hotel,” she says. The best part: She was still able to display art. The sculptural LRNCE mirror that looks like it’s attached directly to the fabric is actually suspended from ceiling-mounted hooks. 

Create a Color Story

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Photography by Laure Joliet; Design by Reath Design

Frances Merrill, founder of Reath Design, always finds a way to incorporate richly hued window treatments into her projects. In this living room, she hung moss green sheers along a corner window to accentuate the nearby fiddle-leaf fig tree. The room now feels like an indoor jungle, and it wasn’t costly to accomplish (by sticking with simple linen, Merrill was able to save on yardage). 

Break Up a Studio

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Photography by Olivier Amsellem; Design by Pamela Shamshiri

Placing a piece of furniture next to the bed is one way to delineate the sleeping area from the living area in a studio apartment, but this double-sided drapery idea, courtesy of Pamela Shamshiri, is so much cozier than a bookshelf. The bright white layer on the outside keeps the room feeling open and airy, even when it’s drawn, but the dark brown textile on the inside encourages z’s when it’s time for lights-out.

Disguise Eyesores

rainbow curtains in a blue bedroomPin It
Photography by Cathrine de Lichtenberg for H&M Home

Denmark-based blogger Cathrine de Lichtenberg has aptly dubbed her bedroom the “rainbow cave.” But what you can’t see hiding behind the vibrant range of sheer panels is her TV. In addition to using the material to conceal the big black box, she put curtains in front of the open IKEA Pax wardrobe in her closet. Now she can access clothes without so much as a snag, and the setup lets air circulate, preventing mold from building up. Once you start, you can’t stop—it’s a ripple effect. 

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