This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
The moment that definite colour, and especially patterned colour, is introduced in window hangings they become a vital part of the decoration of the room and need special consideration. The windows are deco-ratively more than a continuation of the wall area, and may therefore be given a livelier interest, but it is seldom that they should become the strongest colour-note in a room - that to which the eye first travels. An exception to this rule is covered in the following section.
If the walls have been treated so as to maintain their place as background, if there is a sufficient sense of restful spaciousness in the room, and not already too much colour, then the windows may be given richness and decorative value by the use of over-curtains in solid colouring, plain, striped or patterned, or in two colours, or varied colour if not too insistent in effect. The degree of prominence the windows will stand is determined by the room and its furnishings. If the room seems already small and stuffy, over-curtains will increase both defects if they be heavy - usually they had better not be used at all. It is always to be remembered that white curtains increase the apparent size of a room while those of colour lessen it.
As has been noted, it is not necessary that over-curtains be heavy if shades or Venetian blinds are used: our facilities for securing just what is desired in colour and effect are therefore much extended. In many rooms, especially those which already are sufficiently dark, the translucent effect given by unlined striped and plain silks (Plate 84 A), poplin, printed linens and cretonnes, thin brocades, etc., is superior to the lined and heavy velvet, corduroy, damask, brocade, tapestry, heavy silk and other goods which are appropriate where opacity is desired.
A study of the room will indicate whether trans-lucence or opacity is best