How To: Choose the Right Window Treatment
No matter what your interior style is, chances are that you will be faced with the decision of what to do with your windows. Custom window treatments are an easy, affordable addition to every home but many people don’t know where to begin. Options are limited to blinds, shutters, shades or drapery, but the tricky part is figuring out which one to choose. To determine how to dress your windows, first you should ask yourself, what is the main function of the window? There are so many fabric and textile options out there, choosing window treatments can be overwhelming unless you know exactly what kind of window treatment is best suited for your space. Whether you want to dress up your bedroom, living room or master bath, choosing a window treatment doesn’t need to be a chore. Here are some helpful tips:
First things first: determine the main function of the window you’re looking to cover. Consider how often, if at all, you’ll want to open and close it. Privacy is also a huge factor. Are you looking for a little, or a lot? And style is obviously a big part of the choice as well. Do you want your window dressed to the nines, or would you prefer something simple and understated? And lastly, another important issue to think about is light. Are you relying on the window to light the space? Make sure you keep in mind that the answers to these questions will vary from room to room, so your treatments may also vary throughout your house. Your bedroom window that overlooks the street may require much more privacy than the kitchen window that overlooks the backyard. Once you’ve figured out the function of your windows, you’ll have an easier time picking the right window treatment.
Custom or Retail?
Custom window treatments are great because they offer many pluses. If you prefer a tailored look, custom is preferable, as you can customize the dimensions to your window size. And custom panels come in an endless array of design options, but all of this comes with a considerable price difference from off-the-shelf treatments. If custom just isn’t in your budget, don’t worry, you can still find high-quality retail window treatments at places like Restoration Hardware.
Once you’ve done your due diligence in considering function and custom vs. retail, now it’s time to choose the style of window covering that’s best for you. Consider your room decor– look at the colors, textures, and materials that you already use in the room. For example, valances are well suited for home offices and kitchens, while heavier draperies are better in bedrooms where you might want to block light for sleeping late on weekends. Also, make sure to think about the maintenance of each option before you select. If you have a family with allergies, a hard surface is important. If you want to soften up your interior look with fabric, consider that it may look pretty, but its going to be more work to clean and maintain.
Shutters have been around for centuries and are still a very popular style of a window covering. They’re generally made of wood with hinged panels and adjustable slats. Shutters allow for easy access to the window, as they’re simple to open and close, and they’re also easy to adjust for light and privacy. I did shutters in my bedroom because they best suited my lifestyle. Style-wise, they have a very finished look, which I love, and function-wise, you can almost completely block out the light when you want to sleep. And they’re easy to keep clean with frequent dusting!
Blinds are similar to shutters, but hung vertically. They’ll provide a minimalistic look with optimal functions such as privacy and light control. Blinds, like shutters, allow for complete window access for those windows that you want to open a lot. They can compliment any room and can come in just about any neutral color you can imagine.
Shades come in many functional styles: roller shades, pleated shades, and roman shades. Much like blinds, shades afford you many functions, but with a softer appearance. As the name implies, the shade is meant to offer a solid cover for your window, but can easily be pulled up to expose the window when needed. Texture plays a big role in good interior design and bamboo shades are a fun way to add texture to a room. However, keep in mind that they don’t black out, but they can easily be lined if you prefer to control the lighting in your room.
Drapery is probably the most common term in window treatments. Drapes provide many functions: light control, privacy, easy access to the window, as well as providing a fabric element of design to the room. They can be customized to match your decor style or kept simple and soft to lighten a room. Shades can block the light, but drapery is needed for a complete black out, like you’d find in a hotel room. Something to keep in mind if you’re considering installing drapes in any room of your house, is that they come with a bit of maintenance. It’s not too bad- you need to dry clean them once a year- but make sure you don’t forget or they’ll become dust magnets.
If you still find this whole process a bit overwhelming, feel free to reach out to Chameleon Design and we’d be more than happy to help!