The many options for making your windows pop
Window treatments have come a long way since the days of plastic mini-blinds and standard off-white curtains. Today, custom shutters, draperies, blinds and valances tie any room’s décor together and become the highlight of your home. This is a critical piece in any home remodeling project.
Customizing windows is separated into three main groups: function, cover and accessories.
Window blinds, shades and shutters serve both functional and decorative purposes. They can provide privacy and add beauty.
Blinds are easy to use and save space. There are a wide variety of blinds to choose from, so consider what your needs are and what kind would service the windows in your home best. Included are:
- Wood—Can be stained to match or painted
- Shutters—Versatile and easy to open or shut
- Vertical—Good for large windows or sliding glass doors
- Panel tracks—Good for large windows and doors
Shades are similar to window blinds but provide an added bonus of more design capabilities. Some more popular designs to choose from are:
- Cellular or honeycomb—Most energy efficient
- Woven wood—Roll-up shades, very cost-effective
- Roman and roller—Made from fabric, can be rolled up in folds or into a headrail at the top of the window
- Pleated—Thinner shades
Shutters are one of the easiest ways to improve the look of your windows.
- Aluminum awnings—Protection from the sun and storms
- Bahama —Provide privacy, weather deflection and security
- Colonial hinged—Can withstand hurricane winds
- Roll—Defense against debris, hurricane winds, theft, forced entry, and noise
- Accordion—Durable for security, privacy, and protection
- Storm panels—Aluminum panels designed for simple installation and removal
- Security shutters—Best for security
While looking through an interior design magazine, you see those exquisite rooms perfectly designed to match with their adorned windows. Besides their expensive appearance, they add an extra touch of beauty to the window treatments. While most of us aspire to decorate our homes that way, we have to face economic reality. However, there are plenty of simple ways to do the same without spending a lot of money.
Draperies can either complete window treatments, or they can be an added to other window treatments, depending on the design.
Floor-length drapes are the most adorning and can also be used to hide the less attractive window treatments in a home. Drapes with valances produce a well-dressed window. A popular style, combined with shades or valances, includes a light, sheer drape hung over the top and sides of the window. For kitchens and baths, a short drape can add some extra perkiness to other decorations in the room.
Valances can complete the drapery image and hide the curtain rod they’re hung on by spreading across the top of the window. There are four different kinds of valances: balloon, swag, ascot and Italian. Balloon valances actually “balloons” out equally across and makes a full look on the window top. Swag goes across but is longer on the tail ends of the valance. Ascot forms triangular shapes over the drapes and has special decorations like tassels or fringe. Italian valances form a curve, with the shortest width meeting in the middle of the window.
While adding a splash of color to any room, curtains also have practical benefits. Perhaps the most useful point of having window curtain is the barrier they provide between your home and the sun. Extended exposure eventually can take its toll on your interior decorating and harm it. The other great benefit of a good set of window curtains is keeping the temperature the same during winter and summer. It’s also hard to beat curtains when privacy is needed for your home.
In the bedroom, when bringing new window fashions to your room, don’t forget the next biggest accent piece to tie it all together: bedding. Most designers feel it’s the height of decoration to bring a room together with accents throughout. Imagine your showcase bedroom, complete with custom curtains and drapes having a fabric pattern or treatment that follows through to the bedding.
For most other rooms, one of the best areas for bringing a complete window fashions design to light is through accent pillows. Let’s face it, most areas in your home where window treatments are in place have seating nearby. This is the perfect opportunity to bring accents pillows into play, setting off and complementing the custom curtains and draperies.
Of course, there are other areas for window fashion accessories. Curtain rods have come into their own as a decorative focal point. Now, you can have curtain rods ranging from simple to very elaborate. Nothing else accents a custom curtain rod like rod end-caps. Again, this area of window fashions is often overlooked and can often make the difference between a great window treatment and a fabulous one.