What to Know When Picking Window Treatments
Explore the latest options in window coverings, including a variety of blinds, shutters, and curtains.
Choosing the right window treatment involves more than managing sunlight or ensuring privacy. You must decide whether the treatment should stand out as a statement piece or blend in subtly. Also, consider your home’s architectural style – should you showcase it? Professional interior designers skillfully layer blinds and shades with curtains, prioritizing functionality before aesthetics.
In planning a room’s decor, it’s crucial to assess the room’s requirements and the home’s overall style. Aim to complement rather than obscure the inherent features of the home, like a classic window casing, by choosing a treatment that doesn’t detract from its unique characteristics.
For a guide to the features and installation processes of various window treatments, read on!
Shades are known for their extensive range of designs, styles, and materials, offering great flexibility as a window covering option. Made from a single piece of fabric or woven material, shades can be adjusted up or down to regulate the amount of light and privacy, unlike the rotating slats or louvers found in other window treatments.
Make your match. Whether you’re looking for shades that merely soften the daylight or completely block it out, there is an extensive selection of designs, textures, and colors available. The lineup of styles includes:
• Roman shades
• Roller shades
• Solar and screen shades
• Woven wood shades
• Cellular or honeycomb shades
How they work. The mechanism of operation for shades involves a system similar to a pulley, enabling the movement of the shade via a pull cord, loop chain, or an automated motor for ease of use.
Blinds offer a reliable solution for light management and privacy. Wooden slat varieties bring organic texture into a room, whereas vinyl options and fabric “zebra” blind/shade blends add a contemporary aesthetic.
Make your match. As a cost-effective alternative to shutters and shades, blinds can be found in a wide range of materials and a few fundamental styles, such as:
• Composite faux wood
• Dual or “zebra” options
How they work. The functionality of blinds is straightforward: slats are adjusted with a simple twist of a wand or pull of tilt cords. For a cleaner look, cordless blinds can be raised by manually pushing the bottom rail up to the top headrail. Vertical blinds, or sliding panels, hang from a top track and can be drawn using a wand, pull chain, or an automated motor for added convenience.
Shutters offer a timeless choice for window furnishings, providing effective light filtration and privacy, although they are generally pricier than blinds and certain types of shades.
Make your match. Available in various slat sizes, shutters add sophistication to any window. Plantation shutters with their wide louvers, whether in authentic wood or faux wood vinyl, impart a stately charm. Styles include:
• Composite and vinyl faux wood
• Full-length designs
• Café-style, which covers half the window
• Double-hun configurations
• Sliding bypass options
How they work. Shutters utilize a central tilt rod to adjust the louvers’ angle. Some shutters are designed with a hidden tilt mechanism within the framework, allowing all louvers to be adjusted simultaneously by manipulating a single louver.
Drapes and Curtains
“Soft” window dressings play a significant role in interior décor, offering light control and privacy. There’s a huge spectrum of choices, from understated café style curtains to opulent, pleated drapes.
Make your match. Selecting the perfect curtains involves various factors such as length, material, and the design of the heading — the part that tops your curtain or drape panel. Options range from short café curtains suitable for smaller windows to those that sweep the floor. Drapes typically extend to the floor and feature elegant, pleated tops. Choices include:
• Rod pocket curtains
• Tab top drapes
• Ring-topped curtains
• Grommet curtains
• Ripple fold drapes
• Pleated draperies
• Café style curtains
• Top treatments like valances and cornices
How they work. Curtains and drapes are typically maneuvered manually and hung from rods using rings, grommets, tabs, or a sleeve sewn into the fabric. Alternatively, motorized drapes can be attached to a track, allowing for remote operation.
Installing blinds, shutters, and shades is a task that demands expertise, with accurate measurements of the window or door being crucial for the setup. Accuracy when measuring is particularly important for an inside mount that fits within the window frame.
Conversely, mounting hardware for curtains and drapes is more direct, involving rod installations either on the wall or exterior of the window frame. The placement of fabric panels is often a simple matter of sliding them onto the rod.