During the 1800s, having a small, singular window in a log home or thatched hut was considered a bit of a luxury. Fast forward several hundred years and windows are now recognized as a necessity. Homebuilders plan entire houses with window layout in mind, and window treatments have become a form of decorating all their own. It’s helpful to know your options as you consider what might work best in a particular space. Whether you are creating a frame for the beautiful scenery outside or inviting the natural light into a room, your windows play a crucial role in creating the atmosphere you desire.
Begin by determining your ultimate goal for window treatments. Are you wishing to add privacy to a bathroom that faces the road, block light in a bedroom for better sleeping conditions, or add softness to a room with hard edges? Whatever you are hoping to achieve will automatically steer you in the right direction when it comes time to shop.
Next, decide if your room calls for hard or soft window treatments. Hard window treatments include blinds, both horizontal and vertical, and shutters. Soft window treatments include draperies, curtains, valances, sheers, and roman or roller shades. Each has its place, and only you can determine which works best. Hard window treatments are typically easier to clean as they can usually be wiped down without removing them. They are ideal for high traffic areas such as playrooms or entry ways. Soft window treatments lighten the look of rooms that include hardwood floors or wood cabinetry. You will find a wider selection of colors and patterns to choose from in this category, and they help to absorb sound in a large room.
There are other factors that come into play as you narrow down your options.
- If anyone in your house suffers from dust or dander allergies, hard window treatments will be a safer bet as they collect less dust and cleanliness is easier to maintain.
- Ponder the ease of installation and whether or not you will be drilling any holes for the hardware to hang the curtains or blinds. Do you have the knowledge and tools for the task?
- Consider how long you hope to keep and use your purchase. If your home is a short-term rental, you will likely spend much less than someone who is hoping to make a long-term investment.
It is also vital to decide if the curtains will be “the main event” in the room or simply a backdrop for other furniture and décor. This will help you determine if you want a bold floral or geometric pattern rather than a simple gray or off-white. Occasionally you might want the best of both worlds, using a shade for privacy or light control, but including a valance or drape for warmth and color. In this case, a neutral blind works best with a patterned curtain.
Whatever the goal, window treatments make as much of a statement as a beautifully painted wall or a stylish tufted sofa. Choosing wisely will make a significant impact on both the function and the aesthetic of your room.