There is little doubt that since at least the mid 70’s curtains have been receiving a bad rap from the design community. This is understandable considering that architectural fashion swung from the austerity of Modernism to the excesses of Post Modernism in the space of a few years, leaving our windows either starkly unadorned or heavily shrouded and almost always just a cog in the wheel of a larger design. This is not to say that the tradition was not openly carried on by everyday grandmothers and aunts, and no so openly by friends and siblings. After all what is fashion when faced with our feelings about home and the nostalgia of place. Maybe a major 21st century design trend is no trend at all. If so, there is a lot to recommend pulling the curtains out of the closet and installing them back on the window in time to enrich the upcoming summer.



The photographer wrote the word “Perfect” on this picture. I have to agree. These weightless curtains make the perfect frame for a lovely summer green space.



Alas, not all of us are lucky enough to look out onto a beautiful green garden, in which case, what better alternative than natural linen with an organic pattern blowing in a summer breeze. This one is either poly chromatically died to change from a natural color to hues of green, or artfully photographed to appear that way. Either way, it is opaque enough to suggest a summer landscape without actually showing one.



Here the scale of the black and white print moderates between the dark interior and the very bright daylight outside. In any other application the print might be a bit much. Here it is fresh and causal, adding hospitality to a room that might otherwise send a spatially oppressive vibe.



Classic cotton chintz, a timeless option for a summer dress, a summer table, and for sure a summer window. Matching the background of the fabric with the wall color extends the garden, enlarges the window and creates interests by adding complexity to the room. This is a great way to enhance a window with special features like this deep sill, triple pane glass and middle latch.



Yards of pastel silk, piled on the floor and haphazardly tied, takes luxury for granted, telling us it is for all seasons. Heavy, for sure, but never overbearing, it is not for the budget conscious but may be enjoyed by all.



Deeply personal, and whimsical as summer flowers, these color blocked windows express the personality of the resident as surely as a painting installed on a museum wall delivers the artists message. They have been turned into a poster for summer fun.



Nothing says cool as ice like black and white and making it highly graphic defines summer sophistication, conjuring visions of glamor, even in a 4th floor walk up.


Bridget Gaddis, is a Licensed Architect and LEED-accredited Professional practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. She holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design. With a comprehensive background in both commercial and residential design, planning and construction, Ms. Gaddis has successfully completed projects for such well known brands as Chloe, Zegna, and Bvlgari. Her work in the residential sector has been with major renovations and has focused on responsible building practice. Ms. Gaddis is the author of two blogs dealing architectural subjects. For more information please visit her official website and commercial projects blog:,  or her residential projects blog is:“Real people don’t hire architects.

Image credits: Flickr