Window Treatments for a Historic Home From 1921

Written by tracey sandilands Google
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Window Treatments for a Historic Home From 1921
Valances were a popular feature in window treatments of the 1920s. (Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Keep a historic home looking authentic by using window treatments that were fashionable around the time the home was built. The year 1921 was part of an era when several different styles were converging. Victorian styles were gradually being replaced by Edwardian and Regency, and the Art Deco trend of the 1920s had a strong influence on decor

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Victorian and Edwardian Influences

The Victorian era featured complicated window treatments with cornices or wooden pelmets, side panels made of lush fabric, ornate valances and brown wood trim. After 1901, this look began to lose popularity, and the fashion changed to a lighter feel for interiors during the Edwardian era of 1901 to 1915. Pale yellows, soft olive greens and lilac colours became fashionable. Styles became softer and simpler, with roller blinds being used for privacy. In the bedrooms, chintz curtains that were coordinated with the wallpaper were used, while the kitchen windows were covered with simple cotton prints like gingham, hanging from plain brass rods.

Geometric Window Treatments

Stained glass was a popular window treatment throughout the late Victorian era right up to the art deco period. While earlier stained glass had fluid, organic designs, the Edwardian and art deco periods resulted in more geometric styles. This treatment was particularly common for garden or bay windows with seats, which were then covered by curtains made from muslin and voile with woven stripes, spots or figurative patterns. These were hung on simple copper or wrought iron rods, layered in sections over one another to create a "cottage" look.

Art Deco Window Treatments

The art deco period included the use of valances, often in a contrasting colour to the curtains. Pleated window panels used in place of a valance created a more ornate look, and the use of a "privacy screen" matching curtain over the lower half of the window became common for ground-level rooms. Popular colours were beige or cream contrasted with vivid oranges, lime greens, crimson, yellow and mauve. The fondness for geometric patterns included chevrons and zigzags, and the fabrics were draped in classical Greek or Roman styles with valances cut to form sharp angles. Silk tassels and fringing on valances and tie-backs added the final touches.

Lace and Velvet

The use of lace curtain panels became fashionable during the 1920s. As residential areas became built up, there was more need for privacy while still allowing daylight to enter the rooms. Lace drops and valances with patterns were used, and heavy velvet embossed with solid and linear patterns was a popular choice for the main curtains.

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