How to Choose the Right
Window Treatments for Your Windows
Window treatments are incredibly important to the overall design of a home. When you move into a new home or want to make a big change to your current space, window treatments can be one of the first aspects of your home to address.
The right window treatments can change the whole atmosphere of a room, from improving the overall look to helping control sunlight, noise levels and energy efficiency. But which window treatment should you choose? Blinds, shutters, drapes, curtains or shades? There are so many styles to pick from. Let us be your guide to all the different types of window treatments, and you’ll find the perfect fit for your windows.
How to Choose Window Treatments Based on Room
One of the biggest mistakes a new homeowner can make is to pick one type of window covering and then place that same treatment on every window of the house. This choice can get boring, and it doesn’t take into account the character of each individual room. Every room of your house has its own personality and unique needs regarding natural light, privacy, sound dampening effects and aesthetic appeal.
Whether it’s for sleeping, dining, bathing or just hanging out, the function of each room of your home is different. So why would you want the same window treatment in every room?
Consider the needs and style of each room when selecting window treatments. Just remember to keep the overall design flow of the home in mind and avoid incongruous choices from room to room. The overall style and quality should be similar enough to fit in and make sense in the home.
Consider Other Décor in the Room
You’ll want your new window coverings to match the overall design of your room. Consider your furniture pieces, as well as smaller items like fixtures, lamps and artwork. Does most of your furniture and décor fit into a traditional style, or are you more modern? If your furniture already has a traditional or shabby chic design, sleek modern blinds or shades may look like a mismatch. Similarly, if you have mostly modern furnishings, rustic shades or frilly curtains will not be a good fit.
Consider the below when selecting your window treatment style:
- Styles and colors of your furniture
- Types and colors of flooring — wood, tile, carpet
- Wallcoverings and colors — paint, wallpaper
- Other fixtures in the room — lighting, ceiling fans
How to Choose the Right Window Treatment Colors
With so many different window treatment colors and patterns and materials to choose from, you can look to all your existing furniture and décor for initial color inspiration.
You’ll want your window coverings to generally stay in the same color family as the rest of your home décor, but you can choose to have curtains blend in and match décor or offer contrast with a pop of color. Keep in mind, though, that contrast doesn’t mean clashing. If the room is already full of busy patterns, consider solid colors for window coverings. If you want the curtains to blend in, pick the same color as your wall color, but go a couple of shades darker.
Also, consider how much light comes in through your windows. Most window coverings will allow some light through, and the light will take on the color of the curtains, casting that color glow into the room. For this reason, you’ll want to make sure that your window treatments’ colors coordinate well with the rest of the room.
The Privacy Factor
One of the biggest considerations in choosing window treatments is the degree of privacy you want from them. While windows allow us to enjoy the views and natural light, they can also allow neighbors and passersby to look into our homes. Take into consideration the function of the room and how much privacy you want. For certain rooms, sheer curtains may be enough. For others, you may want opaque curtains that fully open and close, or blinds or shades that block light and the view from outside.
Bathrooms and bedrooms probably need more privacy from window treatments than living rooms, dining rooms or kitchens. Combinations of sheer and opaque coverings can also be used for more customization of light filtering and privacy considerations throughout the day.
Different Styles of Window Treatments
Beyond just deciding on a color or overall look, you’ll need to choose a type of treatment — from drapery to shades or blinds and more, here’s how to make sense of the categories of window coverings to help you decide which is right for your room.
1. Curtains and Drapes
Drapery and curtains are fabric window coverings and can vary widely in colors, styles and price points. Custom curtains will give your home a true, professional-designed look. If you work with a vendor that specializes in custom drapes and curtains, you will get professional advice on the style that works in the room. This consultation ensures the finished drapes are a perfect fit in both style and measurement, and that they exceed your expectations.
Floor-length curtains typically stop about an inch above the floor. With custom curtains or drapes, you can abide by this standard regardless of the size of your windows or ceilings, which means you don’t have to retrofit a store-bought curtain to make it work. You also don’t have to settle for a pattern or fabric that’s not quite what you’re looking for. You’re also not confined to the inside of the window frame as you might be when mounting blinds or shades, but blinds and shades in tandem with custom drapes often complement each other design-wise.
Curtains and drapes also can be lined or unlined. Lined curtains can offer “blackout” capabilities, blocking out all sunlight from the windows, which often makes them perfect for bedrooms. Unlined curtains can work well on windows that usually get lots of shade or you if you have another window treatment, such as blinds, behind the drapes. If the windows receive lots of bright sunlight, a lined curtain protects the room-facing fabric from fading.
Sheers typically a type of curtain that is semi-transparent, offering some privacy while at the same time letting in sunlight. Sheers are often paired with opaque curtains for the most versatility and a formal, classic appearance. Sheers on their own also have a very romantic, airy vibe and work best when used in long panels. You can drape them around curtain rods, furniture or even pool them on the floor for a dramatic look you just can’t get with other styles of window treatments.
Another type of sheer, and one that Allure offers, are our vertical Luminette® Privacy Sheers. These sheers offer you the functionality and privacy of vertical blinds, and let you control whether you want filtered or full-on light in your rooms. Sheers like this work well with sliding doors and vast window expanses, so you can determine how much coverage you would like depending on the time of day. These modern, chic blinds work well both in residential and commercial spaces.
3. Horizontal Blinds
Horizontal blinds offer functionality while adding an overall aesthetic appeal to your space.
If you’re looking for a traditional feel, you might prefer a hand-crafted wood blind or wood-like finish style. An aluminum horizontal blind can have a striking appearance that can work in both traditional and more modern homes or spaces.
Horizontal blinds often work well in bedrooms and over-the-sink kitchen windows because you can easily adjust the level of privacy. Your home’s architecture will determine the finish, texture, valances and wand attachments you should choose — all options that truly bring your windows to life in your space.
Use blinds with drapery to complete a look.
If you want a more opaque style and are looking for something other than sheers or horizontal blinds, shades come in varying opacities and offer privacy and shade from light.
There are several different types and styles of shades:
- Honeycomb: This type of shade, also called pleated or cellular shades, pulls down, but the fabric has chambers that trap air, providing greater insulation and possible savings on your home’s energy bill.
- Roman: The fabric of Roman shades have elegant gathers and folds, giving them a more unique appearance. Because they are made of fabric, they can also offer some sound-dampening qualities.
- Roller: These shades are housed in a valance tube at the top of the window and pull down like a roll of wrapping paper or an old-fashioned school map with a chain or by a motor with a remote control. You get privacy while blocking sun glare and UV rays, but can still see out through the shade.
- Silhouette: Resembling horizontal blinds in functionality, silhouette shades are s-shaped and made from sheer fabrics that look like they’re floating in your windows suspended there between light and air. These shades give your windows, and your space, a sophisticated feel.
- Pirouette: A totally unique experience in window treatments, these shades move and curve upward like a pirouette — their shape gives you elegance with all sun and UV-protection traditional coverings offer. You can have both delightful style with protection and practical function, which makes these shades desirable in many Philadelphia homes for all types of windows.
- Woven: Woven shades give you the warm feel and strength of nature all in one window dressing. Woven shades typically are seen as rollers, roman and in drapery, so the choice is yours when you bring the textures of the outside into your home.
One of the most classic window treatment options available, shutters provide a unique look for a home with instant curb appeal, added resale value and a designer woodwork appearance.
With this style, having your windows professionally measured and fitted will guarantee a stunning result. Shutters are long-lasting, have timeless appeal and are window treatments that look good from the outside too.
Motorized Window Treatments
Today’s window treatments can come infused with technology, for the ultimate in privacy and comfort. Almost all types of window coverings, from curtains to blinds to shades, can be found in a motorized option. The motors are small and are hidden out of sight, usually with a battery compartment that fits right in the top rail or rod of the window treatment, or a discreet plugin to use the electricity of your home.
With this trendy advancement in home décor, motorized window treatments allow you to raise or lower your shades and blinds, or open and close their curtains at the touch of a button. They can be operated by a remote or programmed by a smartphone or tablet. Newer models also have self-controlling capabilities and can move automatically according to the positioning of the sun, or a pre-set program that you can set to your liking. Spend your time on other more important tasks, and less time adjusting all your drapes and blinds.
Automatic motorized window treatments offer several distinct benefits:
- Better protection against home break-ins. As the window coverings move on their own regularly, they give the appearance that someone is home, even when you’re not. This serves as an effective deterrent against break-ins and other vandalism.
- Visually cut the cord: No complicated pull-cords to operate means a sleeker look overall, plus can improve safety for some homes with children or pets.
- Passively save energy: Even though motorized window treatments use a small amount of electricity to operate, they can save you even more on your electricity bill, and help your home be more environmentally friendly. By automatically controlling the light streaming into your home, these window treatments contribute to the passive heating and cooling of your home, and effortlessly saving big on energy.
Professional Window Treatment Installation
Once you’ve done your research and decided on the right window treatments for you and your home, it’s time to have them installed them in your home! Hiring a professional can save you time and hassle.
Window frames are not standardized and must be measured exactly, especially if you have unique or oddly-sized windows. Hiring a professional to consult with and install your window treatments means the final result will be installed quickly and correctly, and fit exactly to your windows and specifications. Window treatments with advanced features like motorized opening and closing can be more complicated to install, but an experienced professional can easily handle this type of job.
If you’re still on the fence about what type of window treatment to choose, most professionals like Allure offer design consultations and can help you decide just what type of treatment is best for your room. A consultant is knowledgeable about all the types of window treatments available and can offer advice on everything from style and color to more technical aspects of each treatment.
Allure Is Here to Help
Allure Window Treatments serves both homes and businesses in the Philadelphia area. As a full-service window treatment design studio, we offer free in-house consultations, professional installation and the highest quality custom window treatments. We guide you through every step of the process.
At Allure, our drapery is custom-made by hand, in house and made to fit your windows — and your style — perfectly. We also install motorized systems for drapes, shades, blinds and more. Our experienced technicians can even integrate them into your existing smart home system, or connect to your tablet or smartphone for ease of use.
For full-service window treatment design and installation, schedule your consultation with Allure today. Get ready to transform your space with stunning new window treatments.