Choosing the Right Window Treatments

by Rachel Laurendeau on June 27, 2012

If you live in an older home, you have likely inherited old, leaky windows along with all of the wonderful character details of your house. Granted, putting in new windows is not nearly as sexy a renovation project as say, putting in a large soaker claw foot tub, but it will definitely give you great returns in the long run. And once your new, energy-efficient windows are installed, you’ll likely want to find the perfect window treatments to go along with them so that the room doesn’t feel bare or unfinished.

Updating your window coverings is a great way to bring a new look into your space. You can use blinds, shades and draperies to introduce new colors, patterns and textures that will liven up any room.

Blinds
Horizontal blinds are available in a wide variety of materials and styles: wood blinds, faux wood blinds, plantation blinds, aluminum or vinyl mini-blinds and more.

Shades
If, for some reason, you have to wait on the window replacement in certain parts of the house, cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades, add a bit of thermal resistance to keep the cold air out.

Shades are now available in all types of configurations. They can open from the bottom upwards or from the top down, or both. Some have cords and others have discreet little handles instead.

Roman shades are a great way to add color and texture to a room while doing the job of blocking light and providing privacy.

Roller shades are typically used in bedrooms or other rooms where you want to be able to completely block the light and control how much light is coming into the room. Plus, roller shades are simple and unfussy so when you’re raising and lowering your window treatments often, these are perfect.

If you happen to have kids like mine who are up at the first light of day, blackout blinds or blackout shades are essential. Make sure that you are using window treatments that do not have long chains, cords or pulls if you have children in the house, as these are a safety concern.

Curtains/Drapery
Curtains provide a softer look and are one of the easiest ways to bring fabric into a room for as an extra layer of texture. Curtains are available in every color and pattern imaginable and can be used as an inspiration for decorating the whole room.
Hanging floor to ceiling curtains over smaller windows (think basement) is a great way to give the illusion of larger windows.

Heavy draperies are perfect in media rooms since they absorb sound, improving the sound quality when watching movies or listening to your favorite music. In a bedroom, using romantic sheer drapery panels over blackout shades gives a romantic look.

Remember, once you’ve replaced those old windows with beautiful, leak-free vinyl windows, the job isn’t quite done. Choosing the right window treatments will complete the project, provide privacy and finish the look of the room.

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