Choosing the Perfect Window Treatments For Your Home
A well-dressed window is like a piece of art. Windows serve the functional aspects of controlling light and sound and create a charming appeal when designed thoughtfully. With myriad window treatment options like curtains, drapes, shades, blinds, shutters, and valances, the possibilities are endless.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Window Treatments
Choosing the right window treatments for your space can provide a sense of harmony. Here are questions to ask yourself to get started:
Will your window treatments be purely decorative or do they have a purpose? For example, if you need to keep out harsh summer sun, you’ll want UV blocking blinds or solar shades rather than sheer curtains. If you’re aiming for a traditional aesthetic, drapes are a good choice. And if privacy is your goal, or you like sleeping in, blackout curtains may be the way to go.
2. Window Shape
Windows come in all shapes and sizes, so your window treatment should complement the window’s design. While a bay window with three sides can be a tricky nook to decorate, vertical blinds may also be a good choice for the space. Double and single-hung, awning, sliding, and casement windows can also require specific styles of treatments.
3. Room Type
Window treatments can vary from room to room. There is no rule of thumb about using one type of treatment for the entire house. Windows add a lively focal point in a neutral room, and mixing and matching window treatments can enhance their design or function. Sheer curtains work well in modern living rooms, blackout curtains in bedrooms, water-resistant curtains in bathrooms, and durable, vibrant cafe curtains in kitchens.
Types of Window Treatments
Once you identify the purpose of your window treatments, your window shape, and room type, it’s time to choose the type of window treatment. Because it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the choices, this is a step where guidance from a professional interior designer can really come in handy.
Curtains are often made of lightweight polyester or sheer cotton to create a bright and airy look. They’re often sold in pairs to hang on rods across the width of the windows. They are suitable for most rooms in the house and, for purposes such as blocking light, can be combined with other treatments such as blinds or shades.
Drapes also hang from a rod and may be made of thicker materials like velvet or silk. Drapes are more formal than curtains and are often used in dining, living, and bedrooms. Many come with a lining for full- or partial light blocking and insulation from heat and cold.
Shades fit within the window frame and can be raised and lowered using a cord or roller. They are typically sold individually and come in various patterns and designs. Shades add a pop of color or texture when combined with other window treatments like curtains or drapes. They are commonly made of cotton, polyester, linen, or bamboo and come in varying opacities and styles including roller, woven, Roman, silhouette, pirouette, pleated, and honeycomb.
Blinds are vertical or horizontal slats made of hard material like wood, bamboo, or vinyl and are available in various styles like vertical, Venetian, and panel. The slats tilt open and closed using a chord, a remote device, or by hand to allow the preferred level of light into the room.
Shutters often have horizontal wood slats fixed in a frame. This classic window covering is great for creating a traditional look. Most shutters cannot be raised to different heights as they are fixed to the frame, so they look great on the outside too.
Valances are short top treatments that run along the width of the window to conceal curtain rods or other support systems or add a distinctive touch. Valances are often made of cotton, silk, polyester, or wood.
Keeping Window Treatments on Budget
Window treatments can require a substantial investment, so careful attention to details can help ensure you stay on budget. Here are a few of the areas where extra diligence can go a long way.
1. After you select your type of window treatment, take accurate measurements. Any miscalculation can result in a costly redo or a hard-to-overlook visual flaw.
2. Before you proceed, review the potential impact of related energy costs to ensure you have the right coverage, material, and type of treatment. For example, if you are covering a window that lets in harsh sunlight, cold air, or moisture, adding a non insulating curtain instead of lined drapes could increase your electricity bills. Interior designers can help identify these considerations and suggest appropriate solutions.
3. Fabrics, materials, and hardware can vary greatly in cost and quality, so shop around and compare options. If you work with an interior designer, take advantage of their access to the trade-only vendors they know and trust to provide long-lasting products at reasonable prices.
The Beauty of Well-Chosen Window Treatments
Window treatments that enhance your home with carefully curated patterns and fabrics can add charm and personality to your environment, especially when combined with the right furniture, paint, wallcovering, lighting, accessories, and art. Consulting a professional interior designer can facilitate all of your decisions, from the type of treatment to your materials, colors, and installation. Many studios, such as ours, exclusively provide window treatment services to our full-service interior design clients. So, if you are only needing window treatments, look for a designer that specializes in them.
If you are looking for interior design services, please reach out to us at 720-735-7533. We offer services coast to coast from our design studios in Denver, Miami, and Montecito (Santa Barbara). We can come to your location or work with you remotely with full-service e-design. My team and I would love to support you!