Owner of Boston’s Designer Draperies Julie Murphy shares how custom window treatments can take any design project to the next level.

From lavish drapery panels to minimalist motorized shades, window treatments are the icing on the cake that upgrade the feel of any home. With endless fabrics, styles and hardware to choose from, deciding on a window treatment that best suits the layout, design and nature of a space can be a feat.

That’s why Designer Draperies of Boston collaborates with designers at the start of a project to seamlessly incorporate custom window treatments into a room in a way that accentuates the space.

We talked to Julie Murphy, owner of Designer Draperies of Boston, to learn about the benefits of custom window treatments, what’s gaining popularity right now and what trends she’s forecasting for the coming year.

Why should designers incorporate window treatments in every project?

Window treatments serve multiple purposes: They protect floors, artwork and furniture from harmful UV rays. They also act as a thermal layer, assisting with keeping the cold out and the heat in during the winter months, and keeping the temperature down in the summer months. Plus, they help with acoustics, and let’s face it, they are the jewelry to the outfit.

Jane_Beiles-3794.jpgOperable panels and Romans can be closed to prevent sun damage. Room design by Trellis Home Design. Photo by Jane Beiles Photography.

How can window treatments transform or elevate a space?

They literally elevate a space by helping draw the eye up with strategically mounted drapery and hardware, and they can provide a pop of color or bring calmness to a space if soft, neutral hues are used. We do a lot of work in new luxury high rises in Boston, and it is amazing how the texture of a woven shade or the presence of drapery panels instantly warms up a room. A space is unfinished when the windows are not properly dressed.

A home in The Four Seasons Residences at One Dalton designed by Leblanc Design Interiors features motorized Conrad shades and stationary panels. Photo by Reed McKendree/jbsa.images.

What are some window treatment styles that you’ve seen on the rise recently?

I have seen very old-school, traditional treatments peeking through. Rumor has it that swags and jabots may be coming back—I personally am not looking forward to that! But drapery and Roman shades have had the floor for a while now.

What trends do you expect to gain popularity in 2024?

People want convenience to match their busy lifestyles, so motorization is the future. No more putting multiple shades up and down in one room twice a day. Now, you can walk into your house and tell your smart device what room and what window coverings you want to open or close.

Motorized Roman shades allow for ease of use in this room designed by SLC Interiors. Photo by Tria Giovan.

What are your favorite drapery or window treatment trends right now?

I am a huge fan of the natural woven shades and the fact that there are many different options and price points. I love that you can get functional coverage and beautiful texture in one item. I would also choose to add another layer, whether a top treatment or drapery panels to it as well, depending on the light control needed. I also love a shade that disappears behind a beautiful top treatment when not in use; put a motorized roller shade behind a fun print faux Roman valance to add function and color to any space.

20190911_GilWalsh_41SoSummerSt_MV_007.jpgIn this room designed by Gil Walsh Interiors, Horizons woven shades are complemented by tailored boxed valances.

How can designers discern which window treatments best suit different rooms?

Function dictates form, and that is why I encourage the designers we work with to collaborate with us on a project from the very beginning. Part of our service is to walk through the space or look through the specs with the designer, discuss the lifestyle, needs, wants and sun locations of each room, and assist in coming up with the best decisions.

For a young girl’s room, Diane Murphy Interiors paired motorized Roman shades with a comfy window seat. Photo by Jared Kuzia Photography.

How does Designer Draperies of Boston work with designers to incorporate window treatments in projects?

Designers encourage builders and clients to get them in on projects from the get-go to help avoid costly mistakes—I like to think the same way about our window treatment services. Designers can ask us what the pocket size needs to be to house a shade or drapery panels, or where the blocking should be located to support operable panels.

We’ll also work with the electrician to properly place the wires for motorized items. And finally, there are fabrics that are appropriate for drapery, Romans, pillows, bedding and cushions, and there are fabrics that are not! Our extensive knowledge and experience can assist designers with these purchases for the best results.

The Designer Draperies of Boston team, with Julie Murphy fourth from left.

Offering white-glove, concierge-level service, from consultation to installation, Designer Draperies of Boston works in tandem with designers to help spaces and homes reach their full potential.

Learn more about Designer Draperies of Boston at designerdraperiesofboston.com.