Design Crush : : Lambrequins

A lambrequin (pronounced lam-ber-kin, lam-bri-kin) is a formal window covering that’s been around for centuries. It is similar to the cornice, but the similarity stops there. Lambrequins are much more elaborate with their impressive curves and architectural shapes. While the lambrequin has had its ups and downs over the years, it remains a popular and classic window treatment to this day.

The word lambrequin is derived “lamperken” a Middle French/Middle Dutch name for a protective cloth cover that provided medieval helmets protection from the elements.

Think of a lambrequin as a cornice extending down one or both sides of a window. It frames the opening, typically extending one-third or half length, down to the sill or even to the floor.

You can layer curtains or shades under lambrequins to add color, texture and privacy.

As with most historical window treatments, lambrequins were used to block the flow of cold air from drafty windows. Not only were they practical but lambrequins were quite decorative as well.

When lambrequins first came on the scene, they were made from wood or stiffened linen. The earlier versions were typically painted or stenciled. Later versions were covered in wallpaper or upholstered in fine textiles.

As interior styles evolved, the designs became more ornate and were often embellished with cording, trim and tassels. Today's lambrequins are extremely versatile window coverings. They can take on the look of any decor style whether it be formal, traditional, tailored, exotic or modern.

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