Window Treatment Ideas: Lambrequins

rowley company

rowley company

Are you familiar with lambrequins?  Pronounced lam-breh-kinz.  They are a more traditional window treatment that has been around since the medieval times, where they were used around windows as a pretty way to keep out drafts.  As with all classic design elements, the popularity of lambrequins has ebbed and flowed, but they are popping up more and more in recent years.

So what is a lambrequin?  It is similar to a cornice, but it has sides that continue to the sill or even the floor.

For example, these window treatments feature cornices;

david hicks

david hicks

whereas, these windows are dressed with lamberquins.

miles redd via elle decor

miles redd via elle decor

When lambrequins were first being used, they were typically painted or stenciled wood, or covered in wallpaper.  It wasn’t until around the Victorian Era that they became more elaborate and covered in fabric.  The photo below is circa 1850 from the book “Upholstery in America & Europe from the Seventeenth Century to World War I”.

In 1873′s “Miss Beecher’s Housekeeper & Healthkeeper”, the author states “A tassel at the lowest point improves the appearance”.

miss beecher's housekeeper and healthkeeper, 1873

miss beecher’s housekeeper and healthkeeper, 1873

Of course, the fun in a lambrequin is that they can be in any shape, style, or fabric, you choose.  Tassels or no tassels.

the encyclopedia of window treatments

the encyclopedia of window treatments

I think they are best suited for smaller windows that you want to add excitement to.  (especially if you live in a home without many architectural details like moldings, trim, etc.)

houzz

houzz

source unknown

source unknown

nick olsen

nick olsen

the drapery shop

the drapery shop

architectural digest

architectural digest

source unknown

source unknown

Of course, on bigger windows, they are a wow factor for sure!

chez elza

chez elza

greenbrier hotel

greenbrier hotel

source unknown

source unknown

You can layer shades or drapery underneath the lambrequins for more coverage from the outside elements or simply for effect.

As I was looking at these pictures, I noticed many of the windows had panes like mine.  You know I am looking around now for a window that needs a lambrequin.  ; )  I love designing things like that!  The shapes and fabric choices get me excited!

lily pad interiors

lily pad interiors

What about you?  Could you see a lambrequin in your house?  Though they have probably been thought of in the past as stuffy and overly formal, I think the above photos show they can still have a modern flair, yes??

Written by Grace

2 Responses to “Window Treatment Ideas: Lambrequins”

  1. emily February 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    love this post, and love learning something new. they definitely add an amazing layer to the rooms. these would be a great option if you wanted to see an entire pattern, as opposed to having it fold up in draperies.

    • Grace February 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      Hey Emily, I think so too! I think the extra layer adds so much interest! It’s definitely something to think about. xo, G

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