The windows are one of the most important features of any place in terms of both, the architecture and the functionality. So, before buying the window treatments there are several considerations to be made. This article enlists and explains the most important things to consider before choosing window treatments for the home.
The functionality factors
The type and amount of natural light available and required
Of course, one of the main purposes of the windows is to let in the natural light. So, before buying the window treatments, the first question usually is that how much natural light is available and how much is required. In a sun-facing room in a hot area one may consider shutters or heavy lined draperies, while for a cold area one might be tempted to go for sheer window treatments.
Some renowned window shades producing companies offer window treatments with sheer or tinted UV filter screens. Investing in these screens can prove to be a great decision for people who like to illuminate their home by natural light in the day. However, for the areas, which do not get enough sun, the possibility of illuminating the room with natural light is never a consideration.
The control of temperature of the room
The windows treatments can control the temperature of a room in two ways. First, they can or cannot let in the sunlight. The direct sunlight can raise the temperature of a room by almost 2 to 3 degrees. Second, they can or cannot act as the insulators to keep the warmth of a room intact. So, the climate of any area is a great deciding factor in choice of the window treatments.
The basic function of the room
The purpose for which a room has to be used also dictates the choice for windows. For example, the windows of the sunroom and ocean houses can even be bare. In the rooms facing the sun, the windows can be tinted with a calming hue to cut down the glare from the sun.
The living room, kitchen, and/or the study look good in the natural light, which asks for window treatments that let the light flow in. However, the bedrooms or the dining area might require mood lighting, which means that only the aesthetics of the treatments would dictate the choice.
The maintenance time and effort that the residents can devote
Most of window treatments require regular cleaning; otherwise, they can spoil both, the interior and exterior look of a house. The windows in high traffic area or those opening in the garden or children’ play areas (especially those that are filled with sand) are more likely to get dirty quickly.
Some types of window treatments are harder to clean than other types. The shutters and all types of blinds are the hardest to clean. The curtains and the draperies too require significant amount of time and effort for dry-cleaning, washing, and/or ironing etc. However, they do not require as frequent cleaning as the shutters and the blinds do.
The easiest to clean window treatments are the shades (roman, balloon etc.) and the café curtains (the curtains for small windows, which cover only the lower halves of the windows). These days, many companies also offer soil and dust repellant window shades.
Different fabrics also require different cleaning routines. The linen and cotton are the most practical choices for people who cannot devote much time and effort to cleaning. Velvet, on the other hand, is not a good choice for such people.
Ideally, the window pane and frame should be able to provide the required security. Since we do not live in ideal world, many people have to rely on the window treatments for the security too. In that case, a very practical and suitable choice for window treatments is buying the wood shutters that are a little larger than the frame of the window.
Quietness and privacy
For the fabric curtains, the simple rule is that the heavier the fabric the more opacity and quietness it offers. Wood and bamboo blinds offer more quietness than the metal blinds. However, usually the problem that people experience is that the privacy and the flow of natural light is inversely proportional to each other i.e. to get one, the other one must be compromised.
A simple solution to this problem is to dual-treat a window. Investing in two types of treatments for the same window always pays off. For example, a window can be lined with both, a light semi-transparent fabric and an opaque heavier fabric, which can be drawn independent of each other. The lighter fabric will allow the sunlight to pass through and the curtain in the heavy fabric can be drawn when privacy is required.
Similarly, shades and curtains can be combined. A combination of opaque shade and sheer fabric will work in the same way as the combination of silhouette shade and a heavy fabric.
The aesthetic factors
Once the choice of window treatment is made according to the functionality factor, the aesthetic factors should also be considered.
The view outside the window
The window with a nice view can be treated as a wall with an expensive piece of art. For such a window, the window treatment should just act like a picture frame. It should highlight the view and not itself. Such a window has the potential to be the focal point of the room.
If the window does not have any significant view outside, there can be two approaches to treat it. First, the treatment can be very eye-catching and interesting so that no one is inclined to look beyond. Second, the treatment should be a plain shade in exact (or nearest) color of the wall, so that no eyes are drawn to it and visually it becomes just a part of the wall.
Architectural considerations of the place
It is very easy to make a window a focal point or at least a décor statement in the room by selecting the right type of treatment. However, whether to do it or not, should always be decided according to the architecture of a place. For example, if a living room is architecturally designed in a way that most of the furniture is to be placed around a main window, then the window should be the visual anchor of the whole setting. Such a window can be the visual anchor either by offering a beautiful view or by having an interesting treatment.
If a window is situated in the loneliest corner of a room then it cannot become the visual anchor of the room. So, its treatment should not look like as if the window is screaming for attention when it does not deserves it.
The appearance of windows from outside
Some houses have many windows on the same wall, for example the front wall or the back wall. These windows might be of different rooms and might be differently treated. However, they must be unified in some way from outside to give the house a nice look.
One way to unify the windows from exterior is to cover their pane in the same tint. Another way is to line different curtains in the same fabric, so that they look uniform from the outside. The same outdoor window shades can also be utilized for all the windows on the same wall.
The décor theme of the room
The window treatments should never be in clash with the décor theme of a particular room. For example, the Victorian décor must have floor-length draperies instead of blinds and the eco-friendly contemporary must utilized bamboo blinds instead of velvet draperies.
Personal experience and insight