A fabulous way to add height and scale to a room is by creating architectural interest over windows and doors. That is part of Layer 1 of my Seven Layers of Design — Paint and Architectural Embellishments. We're going to show you how to build a transom look over a window very easily. Here's how:
- one 4-foot x 8-foot sheet of luan
- 1/2-inch thick quilt batting
- decorator fabric for drapery panels and sleeve for luan arch
- drapery lining fabric
- lightweight coordinating accent fabric for fan arch treatment
- wood screws
- safety glasses
- staple gun and staples
- power drill
- optional: Sheet of 3/4-inch plywood
- Cut a half-circle arch of luan approximately 3 inches wide from edge to edge of the window. We also added a 3/4-inch plywood shelf cut in a semicircle that was screwed with wood screws to the top of the window casement.
- Staple batting to the top of the luan arch.
- Cut a strip of fabric 9 inches wide and double the length of the arch. Fold the fabric lengthwise with right sides together and stitch along the long open edge. Turn the sleeve right side out.
- Thread the fabric sleeve onto the batting covered luan arch and scrunch the fabric together creating even gathers over the arch. Imagecl160k If desired, pull the gathers taut and staple to the back of the arch.
- For the shirred fabric to simulate the transom portion of the treatment, we pleated and stapled fabric directly onto the wall. Rather than stapling the fabric directly to the wall, you may cut a semicircle of luan the same as the outer dimensions of the luan arch and pleat and staple the fabric to the luan semicircle.
- Cut a strip of fabric the width of the center point to the outer edge of the arch and double or triple the length depending on the fullness you like. Start with one edge of the strip at the center point and staple. Pull the edge of the fabric to the outer edge of the arch and staple at the outside of the arch.
- Make a pleat at the center point and staple. Continue the pleat outward to the outside of the arch and staple. Continue in a radius like you're making a large fan.
- Attach the arch over top and screw to the wall.
- Cut decorator fabric panels and lining panels triple the width of the arch and 18 inches longer than the length of the top of the window to the floor. Stitch the lining to the decorator fabric with right sides together, leaving an opening to turn the fabric right sides out. Stitch the opening closed.
- Gather one fabric panel at one short end and position along the outer edge of one side of the arch approximately 8 inches from the bottom edge of the arch. Staple to the outside of the arch, turning under raw edges. Repeat on the other side of the arch. You may also glue the fabric to the arch using hot glue.
What's great about the combination of the fabric panels and this fabulous fan arch is that a column effect is created starting from the fabric on the side, pulling the eye up and around the window arch and back down to a generous puddle of fabric on the floor. This is a great idea for a French door because the fabric will not interrupt the opening and closing of the door. YOU CAN DO IT!