Gone are the days where close enough is good enough! Choosing window treatments can be a time consuming and emotionally draining exercise. To prevent a huge waste of time, money, emotion and effort, refer to the questions below.
- In what position is the window orientated? This will determine how much sun the room and furnishings are exposed to as well as the type of materials that are chosen for the window treatment.
- What room is the window treatment going in to? Is it a bedroom, bathroom, formal living area or a theatre room?
- Is the window in question facing the street or overlooked by another home? This brings up the issue of privacy and how you can maintain it without losing your outlook.
- Is the window overlooking a special feature such as a garden courtyard or view such as the city, river or ocean? If there are no privacy issues, you may not wish to have any window treatment at all. Just be aware however, that a window treatment helps to prevent loss of heat through the winter and heat gain through the summer.
- Is the home an environmentally friendly home? This requires looking at the best ways to keep heat in the home through winter and keeping it as cool as possible through summer.
- Is the window treatment in keeping with the colour, theme and style of the home? Nowadays period homes can be mixed with more modern styles.
- What type of window is being considered? Is it a sliding door, an arched window or something more difficult?
- What have you allowed in the budget for the window treatments? Quite often when building a new home the money has run out because money has not been put aside right at the start of the project. There are cheaper options and more expensive options. If the home is an investment property then the cheaper options may suffice however, if this is your dream home that is going to be lived in for a long time then consider options that are both practical and add to the style of the home.
- How easy are the treatments you are considering to care for and clean? If children have allergies then this also needs to be considered.
- What type of fabric is best for the window and what fixing position should be considered?
The 10 things you must get right to make your windows look spectacular.
To stop the most common (and expensive) mistakes in dressing your windows you need to consider and understand the 10 points below. Ignore them at your peril!
1. Window orientation.
a. Remember this is dependent on whether you live in the Southern or Northern hemisphere. Where there is high sun exposure such as in Perth Western Australia where the sun is orientated to the west then several window treatments should be considered to save flooring and furnishings from fading.
Window tinting with a good ultraviolet protection should be considered as well as a blockout material on blinds or curtains to repel the heat. Shade sails exteriorly would also be a good idea. Shutters are a great alternative particularly if you want to adjust the amount of light entering the room but can be an expensive alternative.
2. Type of room
a. Curtains provide a more luxurious look in a formal area. Blockout blinds or curtains in a bedroom provide darkness in light conditions. Luxurious materials provide darkness and sound absorption as well as authenticity in a theatre room. Consider water and steam in a bathroom when choosing for this area.
a. If your property faces the street and you want to see out but not have others see in through the day and then not have people see in at night time when the light is on then, a double window treatment is recommended. That is, have a sheer blind or curtain for the day and a blockout blind or curtain at night. A blockout treatment may not be necessary if the room is not a bedroom.
a. A sheer blind or curtain is the perfect solution for this application even no window treatment at all however in these environmentally friendly times remember our windows loose a lot of heat from the home during winter and collect a lot of heat through the window in summer so make sure you take this and any privacy issues into consideration.
5. Environmentally Friendly
a. Pelmets are the best way to prevent heat from escaping at the top of the window if the window treatment is face fixed. If the window treatment is recessed such as a blind or curtain then the recessing prevents the heat escaping from the top of the treatment but not from the sides in the event of using blinds. This can be prevented in the case of roller blinds by using a tracking system for the sides.
6. Style of home
a. Window treatments are simpler now than they used to be and in a lot of cases homes from a particular period can take more modern styles. Roman blinds look equally as good in a Californian Bungalow as well as in a more modern streamlined home.
7. Type of window
a. In the case of sliding doors consider the entry and exit points. Panel glides work well in this application. You may want to consider shutters for arched windows or if choosing curtains take the curtain rod above the arch. Remember good curtains emphasize the vertical.
a. For the budget conscious, roller blinds, vertical blinds and horizontal blinds can provide a less expensive option. Roman blinds, double blinds such as a sheer roller with a blockout roller and curtains can tend to be more expensive but this is also dependent on the fabric chosen.
9. Ease of care
a. Roller blinds can be easily vacuumed. Vertical blinds need every slat dusted and sometimes the cheaper verticals warp over time. Curtains can be washed or dry cleaned but this is again dependent on the fabric chosen. In many cases Roman blinds can be removed easily for washing however this cannot be done if they have wooden slatting.
10. Type of fabric
a. Many blinds are made from man made materials that have a built in ultra violet protection that is good for areas needing protection from the sun. Blockout on blinds or curtains is generally white or cream in colour and while providing sun protection and decreasing heat and light in the home the white or cream can be seen from the outside. Make sure that the weight of the fabric in curtains is not too heavy for its fittings or for pleating if that is the finish that you want.
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