Designer Tips for Window Treatments
Window treatments can dramatically impact the way a room looks and feels. Whether you are starting from scratch or trying create an entirely different look in a room, there are certain points to consider when trying to narrow down window treatments for your desired space. Finding the right window treatments depends on a number of factors, including style preferences, the amount of light you want to let into a room, how much privacy you want,and your budget.
Before you start brainstorming, get the basics out of the way first. Measure your windows twice. This is just to make sure that you get the measurements right. There is nothing more frustrating than finding the perfect window treatments and finding out that they don’t fit. This is especially a problem with shades and blinds. Start a notebook that includes:
- Window measurements
- Color choices (at least narrow it down)
- Basic color scheme of the room you are designing
- Inspiration ideas (don’t worry about your budget right now, just jot down ideas)
Light and Privacy
The main purpose of window treatments, aside from aesthetics, is to control how much
light gets into a room. The amount of light you want in a room depends on the room. In a
bedroom, you usually want to keep the light out at night; or at least to a minimum. In a
living room, you may want more light in the morning and less light in the afternoon when
temperatures usually get higher. More light is usually preferred in the kitchen to make the
most of natural light, especially while cooking and socializing. Aside from light, privacy is
also a main factor to consider. Your light and privacy options include:
• Roller shades – Different fabrics allow in different amounts of light. Some fabrics allow in
light while still obscuring the view.
• Drapes/curtains – Heavier drapes can block out the sun in rooms with way too much light.
Half-window curtains (placed on a rod in the middle of the window with nothing at the top)
or sheers are great for kitchen windows when you want to maximize your view and let in as
much light as possible.
• Shutters – Louvered interior shutters control the amount of light with different sized
openings. Depending on the spacing of the openings, you can still retain a certain level of
Ready-made vs. Custom Made
Ready-made window treatments are less-expensive, but still give you plenty of design
options. You just have to look for styles that come in the size you need. This sometimes
involves making allowances for sizes that don’t exactly meet your requirements by doing
things like adjusting your rods. Custom made window treatments can be tailored to your
exact specifications and include fabric and design choices that are unique. The problem
with this is the price tag. Ready-made window treatments costing hundreds of dollars can
cost thousands of dollars when they are custom made designs. This doesn’t automatically
eliminate custom made choices though. With a little shopping around, you can find
some good deals – although custom made is typically more about style than price.
You don’t have to opt for just one window treatment. Consider layering to create a unique
look for your window. A common combination is shades mixed with curtains. You have a
wide selection of textures and styles at your fingertips. If you have a shade for privacy, for
example, you can go with a lighter curtain. Layering boosts the functionality of your window
treatments and gives a more textured look to your window. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
You can even combine custom designs with less-expensive ready-made options. Only you
will know which is which.
Don’t be so quick to throw out your old window treatments. Outdated curtains can be made
into a simple shade held up by tension rod. If your main complaint is the hardware that
holds up your blinds or curtains, change the hardware or paint it. If you have some DIY
skills, you can easily find patterns online or in craft stores. If you take your time, nobody
will be able to tell that you recycled your window treatments. You are only limited by your
George Dennis is president of King Shade and Window, a home improvement company
that helps customers compare roller shade and replacement windows in Boston for all
windows. Find the perfect roller shade ideas from KingShadeandWindow.com for your
home, apartment, or condo.
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