Are your windows starved of TLC? New window dressings could give a room, or your entire home, the wow factor. Choosing the right treatments for your decor and window shape can be a challenge but with our handy tips, you can be sure of choosing the best type of window dressing for your home.
What’s the function of the room?
A window dressing needs to be able to fulfil the function of the room as well as providing the style you want.
Firstly, decide on the main purpose of the room - for example, is it a room for sleeping, relaxing, cooking, entertaining or playing? Secondly, decide what function you need the window treatment to fulfil - for example, if it’s for sleeping, then you’ll want it to block sunlight and create privacy.
What style suits?
The style of home also needs to be taken into account as well as the existing decor. Always keep in mind what window treatments would look best in your setting. If it’s a contemporary home with minimalist furniture then curtains will look out of place, but a modern blind or shade will suit the modern decor.
Size matters too. A large character home will have the room to accommodate bulkier window dressings such as curtains or shutters and these can be a standout feature of a room. While with small apartments it’s best to use minimal window dressings, such as blinds, and match with the wall colour to make the room appear bigger.
Different types of window dressings
There are dozens of variations of window dressings on the market, but in general these can be simplified into four basic types:
1. Curtains or drapes - made from heavy or light fabric, open and close vertically.
2. Blinds - wooden, faux wooden or metal slats, open horizontally or vertically.
3. Shades - some kind of solid but flexible material, roll up and down with a pulley.
4. Shutters - made from timber or rigid material, opened like doors and may have louvres.
1. Curtains and drapes
Curtains and drapes come in a wide range of styles, fabrics, colours and patterns, and are usually the most expensive type of window dressings. Blackout curtains are a practical choice if you want to retain heat in winter and block sunlight in summer. They can also be coordinated with other window treatments, for example, you may decide to install plain roller shades for convenience and privacy, and layer with curtains for decorative impact.
Blinds can either have slats, like timber or aluminium venetian blinds, or one continuous piece of fabric, like roman blinds. Venetian blinds are a classic look and won’t date, they’re also ideal for controlling privacy and light levels in a room. If you have wooden furniture or flooring, wooden venetian blinds look great in living rooms or bedrooms, and faux wood is an affordable option for wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Roman blinds combine the decorative effect of fabric curtains and the functionality of a shade, they look great on tall narrow windows in living rooms and bathrooms, and dormer windows in bedrooms.
Roller shades are an affordable and convenient option if you have a lot of windows you need dressed. They’re minimal and discreet when raised and come in a wide range of colours and styles to complement your decor. There are lots of options for blackout and light-filtering so they’re a great choice for bedrooms. If you have an awkward window then you can also get custom made roller shades for a perfect fit.
If you want to create aesthetic impact, then shutters are a classic choice. Elegant shutters add value and look smart for both modern and older style homes. Customised shutters can be shaped to fit windows of different shapes, even circular, triangular or arched. Shutters can have louvres that are opened and closed for light and heat control or solid for blocking out noise. Shutters come in an array of colours and can make a great alternative to a feature wall in small rooms.
The most important thing to remember when choosing window dressings is to take your time and assess your needs carefully. Never buy under pressure or because something is cheap. Cheap window dressings can turn out to be expensive in the long run.