Moroccan Window Treatments

You can bring the brilliant jewel tones, lush fabrics, elaborate curves and arches of Morocco straight from North Africa into your home with the proper window treatment. Moroccan window treatments are light and airy so that the desert winds tease them into gentle undulations.

They can be intricate and complex, layered in rich, textural fabrics and materials.


Sheer fabric panels hung to either side of an arched and mullioned window allows the architecture of the window to play the focal point. The panels, though, should be no less brilliant for their secondary role. Select a rich gold, red or blue for the sheers. Hang the rod at ceiling height and choose panels that are floor length and with enough width to present with deep folds.

For windows with less architectural appeal, add a reed Roman shade to the window. Hang this inside the framework of the window. The airy, gossamer sheers will contrast with the course texture of the shade's reed material, a contrast that shows up frequently in Moroccan design.


Drapery in Moroccan design is bold and textural. Select a fabric with repeating patterns of a graphic nature. The patterns should present in a linear fashion, either vertically or horizontally.

Choose a drapery fabric that has a dark blue or cocoa brown background. The design should be jewel toned and contrast with the background.

Hang the drapery from floor to ceiling. The hardware, which includes the rod, finials and holdbacks, should be ornate and made from dark wood or wrought iron. The holdbacks are installed to either side of the window and the drapery panels are looped into them to create a curving slope in the drapery line.


Use layers to create a lush Moroccan style window treatment. With a reed Roman shade mounted inside the framework and sheer panels in a solid colour framing the window, you already have two layers that provide contrast in colour and texture.

Instead of hanging the sheer panels at ceiling height, hang the rod six to eight inches above the window. Purchase or make a cornice that is shaped in the traditional Moroccan arch, with the peaked middle. Use a stencil to paint a pattern onto the cornice. Use a traditional pattern such as Greek key, stylised floral vines, five-pointed stars or segmented circles.

If a cornice is too large an accessory for your space, add "dummy" drapery panels to your window treatment of sheers and shade. Add an extra rod that extends several inches beyond the rod on which the sheers are hung. Hang panels of ornate drapery fabric to either side of the sheers, allowing for a slight overlap. These panels do not close but rather add additional framing to the window.