Window treatments are a tricky one, and can definitely seem intimidating. The window is often the first place we look when we enter a room, so it’s essential to get this aspect of your design spot on!
This month’s blog will be half of a two-part series on how to pick the right window treatment for your window shape.
Today I’ll be discussing the two first considerations of choosing window treatments: function and style.
1. CONSIDER THE DESIRED FUNCTION OF THE WINDOW TREATMENT
Think about the following things:
Do you want to maximise it, for example, in a north facing room, or reduce it? For a lighter room pick lighter window treatments, and for a cosier, more luxurious feel opt for heavier designs. In addition, assess how much morning, afternoon or evening light the room gets. Does this need to be controlled if its in a bedroom of a particularly light sleeper? If so, use blackout fabrics
Is this a window treatment for a private space, like a bathroom or bedroom? If so, choose a treatment that will provide this, rather than a singular pair of sheers (unless you want as much natural light as possible, and perhaps have frosted glass on the bottom half of the window.)
Is it ugly or glorious? To you want to distract from it using decorative, more elaborate treatments, or draw attention to it using paired back styles?
Do you live in an older building, perhaps with little or no double glazing? Do your windows have radiators below that exclude the possibility of certain window treatments? If so, make use of dress curtains here in addition to blinds. On the other hand, if this window tends to let in too much heat, use sheers or lighter treatments.
Do you live in a large property that tends to feel echoey? If so, consider sound softening fabrics to make your space feel more homely. On the flip side, these heavy fabrics can feel claustrophobic in smaller spaces, so lighter treatments can be used – just do so according to what feels best for you.
Are you assessing window treatments for a kitchen or bathroom? If so you need to consider things like splashback and potential for staining and/or mould growth with any fabrics you do use. If you need something super low maintenance, use synthetic fabrics – if you want a fancier look, go for an alternative.
2. UNDERSTAND WINDOW TREATMENTS, PLUS THEIR PROS AND CONS
Curtains are classic in design and come in a multitude of textures, colours, and styles. They create atmosphere and are great at controlling the amount of light within a room, through layering and lining with things like blackout and thermal materials.
I’d recommend curtains in spaces with too much natural light, and in areas where you want a bit more privacy, such as bedrooms. You have the most creative potential with this type of window treatment, as you’ll need to consider things like length, fullness, and pleating.
Sheers are essentially just opaque curtains, typically made of voile. These allow the maximum amount of natural light to come into a room, and create a breezy feel throughout the space. These can be used alone in rooms where privacy isn’t needed, or layered with curtains, shades, or other coloured sheers to create a soft, inviting feel, and give you even more control over natural light.
Be wary that these can feel cold on their own, so I wouldn’t recommend this style unless you’re going for a more minimalistic or contemporary look.
Shades and blinds allow for light to enter a room in a more controlled way. You can also have these made in many different fabrics and finishes. They’re less ‘fussy’ than curtains, and are easier to clean, coming in various different styles such as Roman and roller. These can be a lovely way to add modernity, texture and colour to bathrooms and kitchens that might be a bit on the plain side. Just make sure these are fire retardant (in the kitchen) and mould proof/water resistant in bathrooms.
Shutters are the easiest treatments to use in bathrooms and kitchens, since they won’t go mouldy or stain. They’re also very traditional in Victorian London Terrace houses, so if this is the look you’re going for, they’ll work perfectly. However, they do come in less patterns and colours than curtains and shades, so they can feel a little less interesting. In addition they do act as a dust trap, so just be wary of this.
Thank you so much for reading this month’s blog on what I know can be a slightly intimidating topic. We really hope we gave you some solid advice on how to choose the best window treatments for your home. If you need additional help, why not get in touch with us here to discuss even more options? We’d love to assist you.
Until then, stay tuned for next month’s blog, where I’ll take the above points and apply them to specific window shapes and styles, giving you affordability and design types too!