Window treatments play a major role in the functionality and aesthetics of a home. They offer privacy, allow you to control the amount of light that gets in and block drafts, thus helping to make the home more energy-efficient. They are also the finishing touch to a space. They take something that already looks nice and make it complete and beautiful.
Because they’re so important for the state of your living space, choosing window treatments can be an overwhelming task. From shutters to shades, blinds and curtains – there are unlimited options available. No matter what your budget, needs and tastes are, it helps to have a plan before approaching this task. Here are some tips that can help you make an informed decision that can benefit your home in the long run.
Ordering Custom vs Shopping Retail
The first decision on the path to revamping your windows is whether ordering a custom treatment or shopping retail is better. Most designers recommend going for the former as it means that you get more control over the final look. You can get a say in the materials used and the colours and patterns of the window treatment. Whether you opt for shades or a combo of blinds and curtains, ordering custom cuts down the risk of error as the treatment will be manufactured according to your windows’ precise measurements.
Some homeowners go for retail window coverings as they are generally less expensive than custom ones. However, this also means that your windows will get a stock treatment that other homes will also have. So, if having a one-of-a-kind home design is important for you, this won’t be an option. But if your budget is tight and you think you won’t be able to afford a custom window treatment, you can cut down on part of the cost by opting for DIY window measurement and installation. There are many manufacturers of custom coverings that operate online and offer free resources that will guide you through the measuring and installation process so that you can not only get great results but also save some money.
Hard vs Soft – Or Both?
Window treatments are divided into hard and soft treatments. Blinds and shutters are considered hard treatments because they are made of metal or wood arranged in vertical slats. They can open completely allowing for an unobstructed view, partially for some light filtering or be closed for privacy.
Depending on the way their slats are arranged, blinds can be either vertical (such as Venetians) or horizontal. Blinds are considered the most affordable window treatment option along with curtains. On the other hand, shutters are often the most expensive as they are made of durable materials that can withstand outdoor conditions. Besides offering functionality, shutters are also great for curb appeal.
The soft treatments are curtains and shades. When it comes to curtains, you have an endless supply of fabrics and patterns to choose from. But note that sunlight can fade the curtains over time, so it’s smart to invest in UV-resistant fabrics or opt for colours such as beige or soft gray. Curtains are also relatively easy to install by yourself. Shades are a notch more expensive than curtains and come at varying levels of opacity. They come in three main types: roller, Roman and cellular or also called honeycomb. Rollers and Roman shades are great for controlling the amount of light that gets in, especially dual roller shades. On the other hand, cellular shades are made of pleated chambers that trap air and as such can increase your home’s energy-efficiency.
If you can’t make up your mind that easy, don’t feel restricted to pick a single type. For one, you have many rooms in your home, and the window treatments you use in different rooms don’t have to be the same. You can also use two types of window treatments for the same window, like for instance, blinds and curtains. Layering different window coverings can give the space a more lush vibe.
Seek Inspiration from Your Existing Design
Like any home improvement project, the existing style of your home is the starting point when choosing what window treatments to use. For instance, both Venetians and roller shades can look stunning on their own, but the individual look your space should affect your final choice. Look around you and get inspired. If your interior is already decorated in a contemporary fashion, focus your attention on the more modern treatments such as Venetians or cellular blinds. On the other hand, traditional and vintage interiors will look much better adorned with more classic window treatments such as shutters, roller blinds or curtains.
Think About Materials
The material of your window treatments can affect a lot of factors about your home’s functionality – from energy-efficiency, to privacy and light control. For instance, curtains made of sheer materials aren’t a great choice for private areas such as the bedroom or bathroom. If you want to enjoy the soft light-filtering effect of curtains, but also be able to create privacy when needed, dual roller blinds are a great choice. Dual roller blinds consist of two fabrics – one that’s translucent and one that’s block-out. This allows you to get the best of both worlds.
Additionally, the material will also affect how durable and easy to maintain a particular treatment is. For instance, in areas exposed to high humidity or heat, such as the kitchen and bathroom, wooden inside shutters aren’t a sustainable choice as they will start to wrap. In this case, aluminium Venetians or curtains or shades made of moisture-resistant fabrics are what you should consider. If you’re really a fan of wooden shutters, it’s best to reserve them for areas free from any humidity, such as the living room or bedroom.