Whether you’re thinking of dressing up windows in a home that’s new to you or you feel like what you have has seen better days, you have a wealth of window treatments to choose from. Depending on the style, fabric, thickness and texture, you can provide privacy, control the amount of light that gets in, insulate the room and of course spruce up the décor. You can even add two types of dressings to the same window to allow even more functionality.
Treat your windows right in one or more of the following ways:
Curtains, usually made from a lightweight, sheer or semi-sheer fabric, this window treatment hangs from a rod above the window. Tying them back with matching or contrasting fabric or ribbon increases their decorative factor. Curtains provide a little privacy, filter some sunlight, but mostly, they create ambiance. On the other hand, blackout curtains don’t let any light in, protect furniture from fading and reduce cooling energy costs.
Drapes, although similar to curtains, drapes are made from a heavier-weight fabric. They hang from the top of the window to the floor and can be stationary, tied back, or you can open and close them as needed. When draperies are lined, they insulate the room and block out light.
Blinds typically filter the light coming into a room in either a horizontal or vertical configuration of slats kept in place with fabric tape, cord or string. You can pull them all the way up (horizontal) or to the side (vertical) to allow the maximum amount of sun in and have a full view of the outdoors. Wood, faux wood, metal and bamboo blinds all look way better than the plastic kind of years gone by. If you want to keep the upper portion of the window uncovered, install café blinds. When used in conjunction with a valance at the top of the window décor, you’ve created a cozy-looking room.
Shutters are attached to the interior frame of a window and often louvered so they can be closed for security reasons or to keep light out. They might be made out of wood, polyresin, vinyl or fiberboard and block out more light than most window dressings. Wood shutters keep homes warmer in the winter months by insulating the windows. Because you can also see them both from the outside and the inside of the home, they do double duty as a visual statement. They don’t fade from sunlight like material window treatments.
Shades are made out of solid plastic, fabric or any material that can be wrapped around a roller and then inserted into the top of the window frame. You control the length of the shade you want covering the window with a pulley of some sort. You manage how much light streams into the room and the shades eliminate any glare that might occur. Multilayered or honeycombed shades trap air and insulate the windows.
6. Decorative Accents
Decorative accents can be sheer curtains that hang under draperies or outside shades. Sheers are made of a lightweight, translucent material and create a layered look. Another decorative look can be achieved with swags or valances, which are a curved bundle of light fabric in the center with a length of fabric hanging down on both sides. Swags usually embellish windows, but don’t have much in the way of functions.