When hearing the word “sheer,” is the first thing that comes to mind the pre-made polyester window panels from the ’70s?
Yeah, me too, but in Avocado Green and Harvest Gold. Unfortunately those ^bad boys^ are still available.
Don’t give in to the sheer madness. Instead, open up the windows and hit play on one of my favorite ’70s summer classics, while we talk about your options.
Thankfully, modern sheer fabrics have expanded to include exquisite beading and embroidery details, as evidenced in the Firenze Collection from one of my favorite fabric resources, Schumacher.
Sheers are a great way to lighten up your interior for summer – send the heavy drapes to the cleaners, hang them again in the fall – and these luxe design details make seemingly ordinary window treatments stand out from the see-through crowd. A gauzy fabric blowing in the summer breeze is a delight, but I’d like to encourage you to think about looking beyond the window and find other creative uses for these versatile beauties.
An offshoot of one of Schumacher’s most popular wallcoverings, Imperial Trellis is spot on today’s graphic design trend and would work well layered as a shower curtain or integrated into bedding:
Boboli is a beautiful option for rooms inspired by nature. Perfect for the current monochromatic craze – see Restoration Hardware, et al – the slight shimmer in the embroidery thread adds a little swagger to the linen base. Hang it to add casual flair to a porch, loggia or living room:
Inspired by the movement of water, the beaded crystal embroidery on Bella’s ivory linen would add verticality and sexy sparkle when hung on a four poster bed:
Marquise is simple and elegant with it’s hand-sewn beading, silvery sage geometric pattern and ivory linen ground. The diamond shape of the embroidery is gender and design scheme neutral, making it the perfect fit for almost any space:
Though not as pricey as most handwoven European fabrics, Schumacher’s Firenze Collection takes sheer to the next level with its elegant details and clean lines. (They are To-the-Trade, so call your designer.) The variety of patterns and use of luxe fabrics stand the test of time, making them a smart choice for many summers to come. Mix and match with silks and cottons for a light and airy interior update.
If you want to use sheers at the window, here are a few decades worth of experiential tips keep in mind:
- Don’t puddle them on the floor ’90s style, because they will pick up every dust bunny that hops across your house.
- Don’t hang them too short either. Stopping halfway between the sill and the floor makes your windows look chopped up and unfinished.
- Do hang them as close to the ceiling as you can, just like you would regular draperies. Maintaining the illusion of height is a no brainer.
- Do lose the ruffles. Even though you can still buy them, they scream 1980s Country. (I can say that because I had a pair or two back then. *shudder*) Modern country-style is more refined, with a Swedish sensibility.
- As with all window treatments, consider how they’ll look from the outside of your home. Try to keep some consistency in color and pattern street-side. Just because you can see through them doesn’t mean they all work well together.
Do you have a sheer horror story? Have you found a clever way to use these see-through fabrics? Do you use seasonal window treatments or prefer to let your glass go bare? Get the conversation started in the comment section below!
Images courtesy of Schumacher.