Windows shed light on the interior as well as provide a view of the world outside. That’s the function, but what about the flair? How do you choose window treatments for your home?
From protecting your privacy, to blocking out the hot rays of the sun, to adding color and style to a room, window treatments serve many purposes. But with so many choices—blinds, shades, shutters, drapes, curtains, valances, jabots, swags—where do you start? Here are some tips and ideas to jumpstart your design.
- Look at the fundamental purpose of the window and its treatment. Will the window be opened to let in fresh air? Does it afford a stunning view you don’t want to obstruct (or, conversely, one that you do)? Do you want to add a level of privacy or simply provide a little protection from the bright sun (which can bleach your upholstery and dry out your wood furniture)? Are you simply looking for a splash of color or style? Before you select your window treatment, be clear about the function you want, and let that guide you to the options that serve the purpose.
You don’t have to sacrifice one function for another. If, for example, you want to be able to darken your bedroom when you need to rest, but still want the aesthetics of something lighter, choose a room-darkening shade and accent it with lighter curtains that suit your style.
If saving energy is a primary consideration, look at insulated fabric or lining, or install shutters to conserve on heating and air conditioning expenses.
- Determine the privacy factor. Rooms that look onto a public space (the road, a common area, your neighbor’s back yard) may require a window treatment that affords you more privacy. That doesn’t mean you have to cover it with a heavy curtain or drape. You can add a privacy liner to your desired curtain or drapes. Window film is another option. Window film comes in your choice of textures, patterns, and designs (like stained glass), and is easily applied directly to the glass, without an adhesive.
- Accent your décor. Where does your taste flow? Do you like the formality of drapes, the lightness of sheers, the creativity of layering? As for texture, do you prefer silky smooth or perhaps something with more tactile appeal? Are you sparked by sparkle or tend towards subtle? And do you want your windows to take a back seat to the room or draw attention to their beauty? If your room is filled with patterned fabrics, consider a solid color on the windows.
- Think how they measure up. Are your windows wide, narrow, tall, or short? Do you have unusual shapes, like atrium or bay window? You can use your window treatment to enhance the size and shape of your window. For example, make a short window appear taller by mounting the rod a foot above the top, then use a swag to cover the wall space between the rod and the window. You get full use of the limited window and create the illusion of something larger.
You have so many window treatment options today. Talk to a decorator, visit home stores, and browse magazines and websites to see what other homeowners are doing.