Gone are the days when custom window treatments meant elaborate drapes complemented by swags, jabots, valances or cornices.

Interior designer Marika Meyers of meyerinteriors.com/">Meyers Interiors said today's custom window treatments are simpler and sleeker.

"What we have been doing for a while now is very tight and tailored drapery panels as opposed to anything more swooping like we saw years ago with swags and jabots and things like that," said Meyers. "We are just dressing the sides of the windows and using a beautiful piece of hardware as our accent to hold the piece."

Life has become less formal and with it decor more casual. Instead of designing curtains to cover windows, more designers are choosing panels to flank or frame windows.

meyerinteriors.com/">Meyers Interiors
Hunter Douglas

"Clean lines are trending as a result of the desire to live more simply to balance out the manic pace of hectic life today," said Kim Kiner, vice president of product design for Hunter Douglas. "They express a soft minimalist look that has a simple aesthetic with lasting functionality.

Meyers said that even at the ground level, in architecture, great rooms and the kitchen have become the center of the home.

"In older homes kitchens were very small and people used to gather in living rooms and dining rooms," she said. "Now for people, these rooms are obsolete."

Consider these less formal spaces the equivalent to "Casual Fridays" in the work place and now this trend toward the informal extends to window treatments.

This includes doing away with oversized hardware, such as thick wooden rods with ornate finials, said Meyers. Instead homeowners are opting for slim, yet elegant hardware that can showcase the fabric.

"You're also seeing a real growth in the appreciation of the transitional style," she added.

Versatile woven textures, those natural, almost tribal in style, lend themselves to transitional decor.

"There are a number of different companies offering woven textures that can be used as Roman shades, which are a great solution for transitional styles," said Meyers. "And they are available at a multitude of different price points."

Meyers likes to use textured shades with drapery panels to answer concerns about privacy and light control. "So pairing those with a grass shade or a very sheer Roman shade is a great solution and you also get that layered effect," she said.

Window covering manufacturer Hunter Douglas carries the Alustra Woven Textures line, a cross between drapes and traditional blinds and shades. These textured fabrics are available as Roman shades, roller shades or Skyline Gliding Window Panels, which overlap for a seamless, clean contemporary look.

"The appeal of Woven Textures is the unique fabric collection that establishes a feeling of relaxed sophistication," said Kiner. "These intriguing fabrics create the allure of natural textures that offer a light filtering alternative to solar screens that is visually more interesting and comforting in a home."