By Erik J. Martin, CTW Features
Our home’s windows and windowed doors are prized portals to the outside world, serving as crucial facilitators of natural light and providing visibility to the life that exists beyond our front door. But no such portal is fully complete without a window treatment in the form of a blind, shade, curtain, or drapes that can ensure privacy while also adding visual flair to the room.
“Window treatments really tie a room together and add an extra touch of coziness. These soft furnishings can keep your interiors confidential, diffuse light, and add beauty to a space,” says Jenna Shaughnessy, the creative force behind the JennaKateatHome.com blog. “But window treatments aren’t just about aesthetics. They can also be functional. For instance, heavy drapes can help insulate a room and keep it warm during colder months, potentially reducing energy costs. On the other hand, light and airy curtains can allow natural light to filter through, creating a bright and welcoming atmosphere.”
Good candidates for blinds are those who prefer precise control over the amount of light that enters their home and desire a modern look.
“Shades are great for those who want a soft and elegant appearance. And curtains are perfect for those who yearn to add a touch of sophistication to their home while also blocking out light and providing extra privacy,” explains Jackie Chou with Archute.com, an editorial magazine about architecture, home and garden. “The drawbacks of these include the need for more maintenance when it comes to curtains, limited color and fabric options for blinds, and less precise light control and limited insulation properties for shades.”
By taking a fresh look at your room or area in the way you use it, you can best identify the ideal design style for your window treatments.
“For example, a spacious room used for entertaining can be elevated with uniquely patterned drapery. And the elegance can be enhanced by layering the drape over a blind, shade or shutter,” suggests John Weinstock, executive vice president of marketing for Graber, a leading brand of custom window treatments.
“Simple yet sophisticated, Roman shades may be just the right look for your home office. Or a more contemplative room might welcome a view to the outdoors, in which case bottom-up/top-down shades may do the trick while still allowing for privacy. Meanwhile, natural shade materials bring the textured outdoors in, while wood shutters give a room true distinction,” Weinstock continues.
In kitchens and bathrooms, blinds often do best because of their longevity and resilience to moisture. Patio doors, on the other hand, often require a vertical product like vinyl vertical shades, sliding panels, curtains, or drapes.
Proper measurement is crucial before purchasing your chosen window treatment.
“With curtains, start by measuring your window’s width and length, then add a few inches to account for the curtain rod’s clearance and the required fullness,” suggests Christin Ciesarski, blogger for MyHomierHome.com. “Think about the fabric’s weight, texture, and color to make sure it fits within the room’s design and function. Mount the curtain rod above the window to give the impression of height and hang the curtains so that their bottoms barely touch the floor.”
With blinds, determine whether you want to install them on the inside or outside of the window; then, carefully measure the width and length of the window.
“Pick a color and fabric that complement the decor and purpose of the space. Make sure the blinds are level and fastened properly before installing them according to the manufacturer’s instructions,” continues Ciesarski.
Shades can be mounted either outside or inside the window frame, so take careful measurements of the window opening prior to making your final decision. Choose a fabric and hue that matches your interior design well providing the amount of light filtering and noise reduction you desire.