Windows come in all shapes, sizes and styles, so it stands to reason that the treatments you choose to dress them are equally varied. There is the traditional choice, of course, such as curtains or blinds. However, you can alternatively choose from more modern ideas, with screens, shades and wooden shutters being just a few examples. Further still, another option that is proving to be popular is to use glass with a particular finish. By adding a window film or using stained or frosted glass, you can still enjoy your privacy while letting the desired light in and reducing your heating bills.
Choosing the right type of window treatment can be a daunting decision, especially if you are redecorating rooms. This article is going to highlight the importance and benefits each treatment brings, and will introduce you to the different types available.
The Benefits of Using Window Treatments
We have been dressing our windows for hundreds of years. For almost as long as we’ve been using windows in our homes, we’ve been adding various treatments to enhance and adorn them. As an integral part of your interior décor, we utilise them because they are functional, while also adding style and personality, paired together with colour and design. However, the privacy these treatments give us is possibly the most important aspect. Wandering around your home in your birthday suit can be very liberating, but not if passers-by can look in.
Dressing your windows also allows you to regulate the light you let into your home. If you choose to use curtains, it will be all or nothing. However, blinds will allow an amount of control, and controlling the light means you also provide UV protection for your family, furnishings, floor coverings and possessions.
Conserving energy is another important role your window dressings perform. In the winter they keep a room warm, while in summer they keep your home cool. However, you can improve the level of conservation by opting for energy-efficient treatments, such as choosing wooden plantation shutters.
With the right choice of window treatments, you can bring a certain feel to a room. Do you want a more formal atmosphere, or do you want something a little cosier, somewhere you and your family can relax after a long day? Is the idea to make a room much brighter, lighter and airier, or are you looking to tone things down? It’s possible to set the tone of a room or redefine certain areas with the careful selection of the window treatment, suited ideally to whatever room you’re decorating.
Different Types of Window Treatments
If you’re looking for window treatment ideas, luckily, you’ve got plenty to choose from! Curtains, blinds, shades and shutters are all available in a variety of colours, styles and designs. Furthermore, a vast array of different materials are also used. To narrow down your options and make the decision a little easier, here are the five most popular:
When you imagine a home that uses shutters, you probably picture an older, more traditional house, perhaps a country manor surrounded by acres of lush fields. While this image is not necessarily incorrect, shutters also have a certain Mediterranean feel about them. The beauty of this versatile treatment is that they can be used on the outside or the inside of the windows to great effect.
As well as being very stylish, they are a great way of blocking out the light, should you want to, as well as increasing your home’s privacy. Too much sunshine is not the biggest of problems in the UK. However, there are times when the shade is appreciated, and shutters can provide excellent protection for your furnishings, fixtures and fittings, by effectively blocking out the sun’s harmful UV rays. Available in a variety of options, including fixed or louvered slats or hinges, which allows the shutters to be open or shut. The materials are also very varied, with wood or plastic being just a couple of examples. However, wooden shutters undoubtedly have a touch of elegance and style that plastic versions simply can’t compete with. For further shutter window treatment ideas, read more about window treatments and discover how plantation shutters, in particular, can change the feel, privacy and décor in any room.
Curtains can be a very fussy accessory for your windows, yet they can also be very formal. Many consider them to be a little old hat, reserved for older décor and homes. However, they are the most common type of window dressing. If you want privacy, energy efficiency, choice and flexibility, this window dressing ticks all the boxes and more. The options are vast, and they can be used in any room of your home, from protecting your modesty in the bedroom to stylish accents in a formal dining room. Available in a wide array of colours and patterns, they can be a stationary dressing or move across the window on a rod. Tie them to one side of the window frame or both sides of the window, depending on the look you want to achieve.
Choosing the right curtains for your home can be very confusing. It can be difficult to know where to start. Should you look for curtains which are easy to clean? Or should fire resistance and lifespan be at the top of your list of considerations? As well as choosing the type of curtain, you must also decide on the way you move them. Do you want to pull them to by hand, or would you like to take advantage of technology and move them using a remote control? Your choice of curtains is almost endless!
Blinds are very similar in style to shutters, and perhaps more common than their counterpart. However, they differ because they can be raised or lowered, depending on the effect you want. As well as this flexibility, blinds are made up of movable slats that can be tilted open or shut. They are available in an almost endless variety of styles, shapes, sizes and materials, such as wood, metal, fabric or plastic. Wooden blinds, in particular, are ideal when updating the bathroom. Both horizontal and vertical blinds are available, but vertical blinds require much less cleaning, as they are less likely to collect dust. Other benefits are that they are quicker to operate and are ideal when space is an issue. For example, when you want to cover a wider window or patio doors for privacy.
This type of blind is made using one piece of fabric, with pleats that allow it to be lowered and raised. It creates a stylish slat effect when closed, while also allowing a certain amount of light to filter into the room. The blind is stored away tidily at the top of the window when not in use, which you can then lower to varying levels. Available in a variety of colours and shades they can complement a window in virtually any room.
Roman blinds are a type of pleated blind. However, when raised, they create a fold rather than a more formal pleat. A flat piece of fabric with a lining is used to form a sealed pocket, and inside the pocket are pull cords, which are the method used for raising and lowering the blind. Sometimes, rods made of metal, wood or plastic are used to help make the folds. Alternatively, tape can be stitched across the back of the fabric.
Tips for Choosing the Best Window Treatments
With so many options available, choosing the right dressing for your windows can be a lengthy, time-consuming process. It’s not a simple case of picking your favourite colour and taking measurements. In fact, the perfect window treatment can have a far-reaching effect on any room, as well as the external appearance of your home, which makes it all the more important to make the right choice. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed here are a few simple tips to remember:
- What are your needs? – Is privacy your primary concern or is the design more important? Will the window treatment need to serve a different purpose during the day than at night? Remember that multiple types of window dressing are an option.
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match – This is one way of adding depth and character to a window. Roman shades or blinds, together with curtains are a stylish combination. However, should you choose to use different types of treatments, make sure they are made from the same fabric to make them look
- Consider your budget – With so many different choices available, most budgets can be catered for.
- Match your interior – The type of window treatment you choose should complement the interior of your home. However, as well as matching your interior design, consider the other occupants of your home. Safety may be an issue if you’ve got pets or young children.
- What is the room used for? – Different functions will call for different treatments. A child’s bedroom may need to be noise-free and dark, for example. A home office space, on the other hand, needs to be light and cheery to promote productivity.
- How will the window be used? – For example, think whether you will want to open the window to allow for good air circulation.
- Explore all the options – Just a few of the options have been mentioned in this article. There are plenty more to explore. Look at them all and understand the advantages and disadvantages of using them before you commit.
Window treatments are an obvious choice if you want to have a level of privacy in your home. They will also help reduce your energy bills. Aside from these practical benefits, the right window treatment can create a cosy atmosphere as well as allow the light to flood in. Their advantages are many, and the disadvantages are few. It will be a sizeable investment when you’ve made your decision, and it’s important to get it right. As well as improving the value of your home, they will also last a lifetime. Whether you choose curtains, blinds, shades, shutters or stained glass, give this important design element the attention it deserves. It is such a versatile addition to any room. Such a design statement can also complement your choice of décor.