When someone walks into my house, I don’t want them to say, “What lovely window treatments!” I want them to say, “What a lovely home.” For me, every element in an interior space, from the furnishings to the accents, should work together to create a cohesive look. To get there, each individual piece in a room needs to be superb but not selfish, screaming above the rest to get the attention. This maxim is especially true when it comes to window treatments, which have the unique challenge of pulling a room together without stealing the show. The secret to achieving this careful balance is to select the right style of treatment and the fabulous fabric that pulls it off perfectly. Here are three sensational looks.

Look One: Romantic and Timeless

For the past 22 years, the windows on my main floor were covered with plantation shutters. I really like how the shutters offer privacy and light control, all with a simple tilt of the levers. But this year I decided to take the next step and dress up the windows a bit more by adding drapes.

I’m not a fan of fussy window treatments. In fact, I think designers go too far when they concoct complicated treatments that detract from the beauty of the overall room. So I opted for simple pleated panels hung from a nondescript curtain rod. (I mounted the rod well above the tops of the windows, just a few inches from the ceiling, then hemmed them so they barely broke on the floor, just like a man’s trousers.)

What makes the window treatments so beautiful isn’t the fancy design, but the killer fabrics. Because I used simple, classic, unassuming pinch pleat panels, I had more freedom to give the drapes lots of personality through gorgeous textiles and trims.

I wanted fabric with colors and pattern that would complement the room’s decor, yet was so subtle I wouldn’t get tired of it. The hands-down winner was the lush blue and cream floral print you see in the photo of my living room window above. I’m gaga over this fabric line, which we just started carrying at Nell Hill’s Briarcliff, because it’s a reproduction of an old English pattern, yet is surprisingly affordable.  Then, to give the drape a bit more kick, I trimmed each panel with a one-inch flange in parrot green silk.

This was my first foray into bringing bright green into my living room. And I have to say, I love how that green pops! To tie in the drapes, I added just a hint of lively green through a few accent pillows. I like how these contemporary pillows look paired with these lovely old chairs that were Dan’s mother’s.

Find the Fabric at Nell Hill’s Briarcliff:

If you’re dreaming of a romantic, classic look for your window treatments, we have a wide array of great fabrics to temp you at Nell Hill’s Briarcliff. Here are a few that are wonderfully romantic:

Look Two: Cozy and Classic

The English men’s club look, with its yummy leather furnishing, men’s wear fabric pillows and hunt-club accents like silver trophy cups and faux antlers, is one of my favorites. So when I designed our den, I wanted to play up the room’s dark and cozy feel by weaving in some elements of a men’s club look. The chocolate brown sofa, covered with men’s wear fabric pillows, is one of Dan’s and my favorite places to snuggle in to watch TV, read or enjoy our morning coffee during the winter months. Since the sofa stands in front of the room’s biggest window, I knew that the fabric I selected for my panel drapes would need to frame this sofa well. My pick was a black watch tartan plaid. And once the window treatments were up, I cheered when I saw how well they tied in with the navy blue velvet, camel toile and tartan plaid pillows I already had on the sofa.

Find the Fabrics at Nell Hill’s Briarcliff: There are so many great fabrics to choose from if you’re trying to create a warm, masculine look in your study, living room, bedroom or library. Here are a few from the fabric room at Nell Hill’s Briarcliff:

Look Three: Just for Fun

With its cream colored walls and cabinets, my kitchen defines the word neutral. I love it because it is so sophisticated. But now I’m craving a hit of color and I’m getting it through some snappy new window treatments, pictured above. Since I only have three small windows in my kitchen, I knew I could get away with a fabric that had a lot going on – lots of bold color and an energetic pattern.

Simple top treatments or shades are a great way to go in a kitchen. I had my heart set on Roman shades mounted inside the windows, and I was not disappointed when the curtains went up. I’m crazy about the combination of this unforgettable fabric and the soft folds of the Roman shade. Now that the curtains and up, I’m wondering why I waited more than two decades to do it!

Find the Fabric at Nell Hill’s Briarcliff: Here are a few fun fabrics that I think would work well in a less formal space, like a kitchen, mud room, sun room or a child’s room.

Next Week … Is your home’s entry inviting? I’ll share some tips that will help your foyer make a great first impression.

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41 Responses to “Fabric Makes the Window Treatments”

  1. Lisa Says:

    When I went to the stores last month for the open house, I saw Mary Carols fabrics. The textures and layering and the way she puts them together is so dreamy. I love the fall because there seems to be more of a focus on the kind of textures and fabrics. The cool temperatures bring a desire to nest and the textured fabrics bring comfort and feelings of home.
    I love the curtains but believe me Mary Carol, when we come into your home the first thing anyone utters is “Oh My What A Beautiful Home! It’s not the individual pieces, or curtains, or pillows, or lamps, it is the whole ensemble, the vibe you bring into the home is felt in every room, the warmth of the lighting and details resonate and give off a feeling that “this home is loved.”
    I loved you home. Why do you think I copy every thing you do? Hee Hee

  2. Debbie Murphy Says:

    Do you carry the Black Watch Tartan Plaid that you show in the pic of your den? If so, could you please list fabric content, size, cost per yd., etc and also cost per panel to have ready made as well? Thanks-

  3. Jan Says:

    I went to your home for the open house in September. My son teases me about my love of Nell Hill’s. Before I left to visit your home he remarked that like the cobbler whose children are shoeless, I might find the same thing at your home. I returned with my own remarks that Mary Carol’s home was more than I could even imagine, AND you were so SO very gratious to match the welcoming atmosphere of your home. I was fumbling around in my pocketbook looking for a pen for a signed copy of my “Feather Your Nest” book. You ran down the the front steps to help me – so conscious of my dilemma and needing a free hand. Thanks for sharing your home, your style, your advice, and a helping hand when needed! Love and blessings to you, Jan

  4. Mindy Says:

    I want to put window treatments in my main living areas but the main window areas have a window seat. How do you do window treatments? The house came with custom wood blinds, but I want something more.

  5. Pat Says:

    MC, you never disappoint! I love your styles and choices in design. You are always so consistant with your classy looks. Thanks

  6. Thresa Moser Says:

    Please give me the particulars on the very first fabric in the romantic line….width, fabric content, price per yard. It is the print on white with what appears to be a shade of pink dahlia.

  7. Machelle Says:

    I would love some ideas for window treatments in my living room. Could I submit a photo for some expert advice?

  8. Elizabeth B Says:


  9. Carrie Says:

    I love the fabric you used in the last example for your kitchen window. Is that available at Nell Hills?

  10. LOU SCObie Says:

    I love the window treartments and the fabrics are glorious

  11. Emily Says:

    Do you have any suggestions for window treatments in a kitchen that is open to the main living area? The windows are all very large with great views. Would you suggest using all the same treatments or different treatments with the same fabric? The room isn’t terribly large. Does anyone have any ideas?

  12. JoAnn Says:

    ‘Enjoy this soo much, and reread your books regularly! It is fun seeing rooms you have designed in KC Spaces magazine! JoAnn

  13. Market St. Consignment House Says:

    Love all your fabric and window treatment. The fabric you used in your
    kitchen windows do you sell that at Nells Hill. I just love it, I have been
    redoing my house and those are the colors I am using in my home Could you
    share the fabric with me and do you sell it at the store.

  14. Mary Carol Says:

    Yes Debbie we sure do. The fabric is 100% wool, 54″ wide and $50.50 per yard . Please call the fabric department @ 877-746-4320 for an estimate.

  15. Mary Carol Says:

    Hi Mindy—We would suggest putting the window treatments outside the window seat.

  16. Mary Carol Says:

    Hi Thresa–The fabric you are referring to is $39.50 per yard, it comes in shades of pink and green. It is 54″ wide and is a beautiful linen blend.

  17. Mary Carol Says:

    Absolutely Machelle–would love too! Just e-mail to fabric@nellhills.com

  18. Mary Carol Says:

    It sure is Carrie. The fabric name is ‘Divinsky’ and sells for $39.00 a yard.

  19. Mary Carol Says:

    We most certainly do sell that fabric at Nell Hills/Briarcliff–Becky. It is ‘Divinsky’ and sells for $39.00 a yard. Call 877-746-4320 and ask for ‘Fabrics’.

  20. June Says:

    Would love to see a photo of “then hemmed them so they barely broke on the floor, just like a man’s trousers.”
    Thank you.

  21. karen shackelford Says:

    I WANT THE FABCIR YOU USED IN THE 2 small windows in your kitchen- the reds and blues-Divinski? on a Roman shade. Where to find this? would it be good for upholster?

  22. Diane Says:

    I too am interested in the tuqoiuse/red pattern fabric you described in your kitchen windowd. I cannot stop thinking about them! (42F1812. Can I order that from you. Price per yd?/

  23. Diane Says:

    Do you
    make the Roman Shades also?

  24. Mary Carol Says:

    Hi Diane—Just call 877-746-4320 and one of our fabric specialists would be happy to help you with your question. The price per yard for the the fabric you are interested in is $40.00 per yard. We have specialists we can refer you to, who will make Roman Shades—give us a call.

  25. Lori Says:

    How can I get my hands on that gorgeous fabric in Look Three? I adore the high contrast of the red and aqua and would love to use it in my own home.

  26. Debra Fuller Says:

    I too am looking for the fabric in LOOK THREE…the red, aqua, and cream. After two years of searching for a fabric that would look great in my new kitchen I finally saw here on your blog.

    Please respond at your earliest convenience as to where and when I can get this GREAT fabric.

    Thanks! Debra Fuller

  27. Janet Feinauer Says:

    Love the gorgeous fabric used for your kitchen. Would like to order fabric. Please send email as how to place order.

  28. Mary Carol Says:

    If you will just call 877-746-4320 Janet, and ask for ‘Fabrics’. The name of the fabric is ‘Divinsky Cinnabar’. Then we will be happy to place your order!

  29. Jennifer Says:

    Hi, Can you tell me the name of the fabric in look 1? I love it!!

  30. Mary Carol Says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    That particular fabric is N/L/A, however, we have a couple of fabrics that just might work. Venetian Ottoman Sepia, or Avalon Ink. Just call our store @ 877-746-4320 and ask for Rita or Sydney and they would be happy to send you out a sample.

  31. Jeanna Says:

    I too love the material used for the kitchen. I am no where near your store. Can I order the fabric and have it shipped?

  32. Mary Carol Says:

    Absolutely Jeanna, Just call 877-746-4320 and ask for ‘fabrics’. The fabric you are referring to is Nell Hill’s ‘Dvinsky Cinnabar’.

  33. previous page Says:

    previous page…

    Fabric Makes the Window Treatments…

  34. Heidi Says:

    Love your fabrics. Do you sell them in Houston Tx?
    If so…where may I ask.
    Thank you

  35. Heidi Says:

    Do you sell them in Houston Tx?
    If so…where may I ask.
    Thank you

  36. Jennifer gilmore Says:

    I’m looking for the just for fun fabric. Can you tell me who makes it and where can I get some of it?

  37. dionne parker Says:

    i am asking about the material in picture 3 — i love the red. i am interested in having some roman shades made I would need 6 for my particular room.
    do you have a store location in new orleans, la 70115?

  38. Lisa Says:

    I would love to purchase some of the fabric I saw on this website. I would really love it already made into a couple of pillows. It is the red, blue,cream, gold and green. Where can I order this?

  39. Normand Molenda Says:

    This will be a fantastic site, might you be interested in doing an interview regarding just how you developed it? If so e-mail me!

  40. Daphne Says:

    I need to purchase a yard of the just for fun fabric. Is hat available? And if so who do I call. Please help, I love the fabric.

  41. Kathy Says:

    Would you be able to provide instructions on how to create the curtain in Look 3? Love the look!
    Thank you.

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