Design Master Class

Design master class: The power of window treatments

March 21, 2014 

  • About the Designer

    Anne DeCocco is the lead designer and co-founder of DeCocco Drapes, an online resource for custom drapery panels. Anne received her bachelor’s degree in interior design at Meredith College, with a minor in art, and has run her own design firm for more than a decade.

  • Design Master Class

    N&O Design Team members who will share their expertise twice a month in Home & Garden are all members of the Alliance of Interior Designers, a group of Triangle-area professionals. Learn more at

The Challenge

A renovation turned the formal dining room of this 17-year-old Chapel Hill home into an inviting gathering space that is now in constant use. Replacing the formal furnishings was easy. The challenge was to design window treatments that would take advantage of the light and views, yet provide interest and polish.

Super Space

Although a formal dining room was no longer desired, the special-occasion china and glassware still needed a home, so built-ins were installed on either side of one wall of windows, creating storage. The traditional chandelier was replaced with a semi-flush fixture made of copper and recycled glass. A sofa from another room was freshly slipcovered and leather chairs were brought in to form a comfortable floor plan conducive to conversation.

Taking off the plantation shutters was one of the best days in the eight-week renovation. Light just came flooding in! Now the 12- by 12-foot space was bright and cheerful, but a bit stark with a touch of glare. We hung custom drapery panels in a creamy white, semisheer fabric with a soft stripe on metal rings attached to a 3-inch diameter rod in an oil-rubbed bronze finish. The draperies feature a tape trim, embellished with antiqued silver metal accents that add a modern touch. Across the top, we ran a different trim that follows the pinch-pleated header – a small detail that adds an easy elegance. Now these window treatments stand out against the walls, which are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Latte.

In the bay window we installed custom roman shades in an Arts and Crafts pattern that brings in red and gold for a warming effect. Raised, these shades connect the room with a view of trees and sky. Lowered, they make the space intimate, cozy and luxurious. The use of red created visual excitement in an otherwise calm oasis, and we continued that vibe with accent pillows and a wool throw on one of the leather Ekornes chairs.

Terrific Trick

Hang window treatments high – often just inches from the molding or ceiling to take the eye upward and make the room look bigger. Use chunky rods in rooms with high ceilings; they look more proportionate with full-length drapery panels and can now be found in big-box hardware stores.

(Not) By the book

Variety adds interest. We varied fabrics, colors and styles in our window treatments. The pulls on the custom cabinetry are pewter, the new light fixture is copper, the coffee table is glass with nickel and a floor lamp features brass accents. The overall color palette is neutral, with a pop of red; the result is visually interesting yet calm. Have a party, read a book, take a nap – this room is ready for it all.

DeCocco Drapes

5012 Tallwood Drive, Raleigh

919-612-6464 or

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service