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The relaxed flowing feeling of floor-to-ceiling sheers complements the relaxed vibe many homeowners prefer.

Safety and ease of use dominate window covering trends

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Versatility is becoming a watchword for trends in window coverings. This is being driven by two major factors: an increase in the number and size of windows in today’s homes and legislation banning corded blinds and draperies.

That legislation, effective this spring, is set to drastically change the face of window coverings going forward, says Janice Brock, co-owner of Custom Shades of London and Exeter’s Custom Covers.

“It’s going to be a huge change for all of us,” she says, noting that it will push the current trend to automation. “More people are doing motoriza-tion and with the new regulations it is going to be the trend of the future,” agrees Willi Van Deven, designer at Covers Designers’ Edge. Style has not been forgotten in the push to achieve better functionality.

Flowing ripple folds are replacing pinch pleats as a popular look in drapes, Brock says. “Sometimes called a wave drape, they’re stylish and contemporary and operate under a decorative rod.” These have the advantage of being hand-drawn as opposed to operating with a cord. According to Brock, sheers are making a comeback.

“They are hot, hot, hot,” agrees Van Deven. The updated versions are often lined, offering the softness of fabric and the practicality of light control. “Sheers with light filter linings look gorgeous. You get the look and also more privacy.”

Layering drapes is out, Van Deven adds. “When layering, it’s a blind and a drape or a blind and a sheer, depending on the desired degree of opacity or privacy.” Shades and blinds with dual function are gaining in popularity, Brock says.

She cites the example of sheers with a built-in roller shade. “At night the roller shade can come down to provide privacy or darkness and during the day there’s a soft look with the sheer fabric.” Banded – or ‘zebra’ – shades are popular since they are attractive, versatile and available at a lower price point, adds Brock.

These feature solid and sheer bands, attached to a bar at top and bottom, allowing a continuous roll-over to control the amount of light. Both Van Deven and Brock note that drapery colours are warming up, a change from previously popular cool greys.

Van Deven sees more taupe tones, with punches of colour, while Brock thinks textures and prints will be more popular.

"More people are doing motorization and with the new regulations it is going to be the trend of the future.”


Sheer blinds allow in light but give privacy where needed.

living room

Contemporary, modern or traditional, automated sheers work with any design style.

living room

caAutomated blinds work well when safety is a concern for families with young children, and are easy to use when mobility can be an issue later in life.