Your Options for Window Treatments
The Many Types of Window Treatments
Whether you’ve just replaced your windows, moved to a new home, or are just ready for a new design, figuring out your window treatments can be daunting. Window treatments are often overlooked and underrated. They usually don’t get replaced or installed unless it’s a need (like blaring sun waking up your toddler at six in the morning or that neighbor that can’t seem to mind her own business). Regardless of why you need new window treatments, there are things you need to do before rushing to the first store and buying the first thing that fits your windows.
First you need to ask yourself, what purpose do you want these window treatments to fulfill? Are they for light control, aesthetics, or privacy? After figuring out what you want them for, figure out what kind of treatment do you want. Window treatments are generally, shades, curtains, blinds or shutters.
Shades and blinds are like those siblings everyone mixes up, they look similar, but actually completely different. Both shades and blinds offer privacy, but shades are generally less expensive. Shades also don’t have the slates that blinds do. Shades are generally fabric or another light weight material. They are more for light control instead of blocking light. Even when closed, shades still let soft light filter in.
Shades come in a variety of colors, patterns, and materials. Shades can even be printed on (like a logo or image of your choice). Different types of shades include: Roman shades, roller or solar shades, honeycomb shades, and pleated.
Roman shades are folded at the bottom or have many folds throughout. They are often made of heavier fabric and great for a room that you want less light.
Solar shades are easier to clean and reduce UV rays. They even come in bamboo and hemp for that “green” home owner.
Honey Comb Shades
Honeycomb or cellular shades have honeycomb cells that not only block light, but insulate your windows reducing energy costs.
These classic shades are made with a single fabric that is pleated throughout. Lighter colors let more light in, while darker colors reduce that.
Curtains or drapes are great ways to keep out that noisy neighbor or add a strong mood and appeal to a room. Curtains can be formal or casual and can lower energy costs, reduce light, and dress up a room. Curtains can come in all different colors and patterns the only limit is your fabric.
When a child draws a window, they probably will add those curtains on the sides. Those classic curtains are panels. They are great in a lot of rooms. Hanging them higher and having them fall lower will enhance any room. Panels open, let in lots of light, but closed and gets significantly darker.
Sick of your child waking up way too early on the weekends? Are they no longer napping because it’s too bright? Then you need blackout curtains. Blackout curtains make a room almost lightless. They’re perfect for a napper or even just to lower energy costs. They keep the sunlight and UV rays out while keeping your energy in.
Sheers are the opposite of a blackout curtain. They let in lots of light. They are airy and are perfect paired up with another window treatment. Pairing blackout curtains and sheers is a great way of having light when you want and dark when you need.
Those cute half curtains you see in dinners, kitchens, bathrooms and farmhouses are called tiers. They cover ¾ to ½ the window. They let light in from the top without blinding you in the face.
Blinds are probably the most common window treatment. They come in all varieties of materials: wood, vinyl, leather, metal, or composite. Blinds offer the most versatility in light blocking. Blinds can be fully open, partially or closed.
Wooden or faux, these are great in living spaces. Faux are easier to clean and maintain and work better in bedrooms. They are less expensive and will do the trick.
The dreaded vertical blinds. These are generally used over sliding glass doors but can also be used for windows. They add dimension to a space. They come in a variety of materials and colors.
These are usually metal or aluminum. They come in all colors and varieties. They are a great option for privacy.
Shutters are blinds sturdier cousin. They can last up to 20 years. If you have commitment issues, this may not be the window treatment for you. If you hate redoing things in your home every few years, then these are for you. The initial cost is more, but they will last longer and are easier to care for than blinds.
Plantation shutters are perfect for kitchens and areas you want more light. The slats are wider apart and are not great at reducing light, but rather controlling it.
Café shutters are like tiered curtains, they only cover half the window. They are great in a kitchen or living space where you want lots of light, but don’t want to be blinded.
Shaker shutters are a solid panel that covers the window. These are perfect for blocking out all the light. Beware, these can make a room feel smaller. A great way to compromise is having split shakers, top and bottom to reduce light.
If you’re thinking of new windows and treatments, we can help you pick the ones that are right for you.