Windows are the eyes into and out of a home. They discreetly sit around a home and can sometimes give the impression that they are not that important. This is far from true. How you treat and dress your windows can either add value and beauty to your home or detract from its appearance. To help guide you through the process of appropriately treating your windows, here is a guide to some of the most popular types of blinds, drapes, and other window treatments:
Metal Blinds: Metal blinds are usually the most economical choice (followed closely by wood blinds). This aluminum window treatment is a long-lasting solution, with a durability that far surpasses other options. You will often find metal blinds that come in a variety of colors and can be mounted inside or outside the window frame–inside the window frame gives it a built-in look; outside the window frame creates a larger and more dramatic appearance.
- Valances and Cornices: First to discuss the difference. A cornice is a hard window top treatment, which is upholstered with fabric taut. A valance is just a short window treatment that goes at the top of the window. The fabric usually hangs loose on a valance. The benefits of these two window treatments are two-fold. First, there is better light blockage. Second, they offer a clean and unique look. These are often constructed with wood and can be covered with any fabric.
- Drapery Hardware: This includes all of the rods, rings, tracks, finials and more. You can get all of these pieces in just about any metal, from stainless steel and gun-metal to satin brass and antique bronze. They come in lots of unique styles and designs to fit with any decor. In addition, all of these window treatment hardware pieces will work with rod pocket drapery, goblet, grommet, inverted pleat, pinch pleat, tailored pleat, cubicle draper, ripple fold and other drapery styles.
- Vertical Blinds: This is a newer, more modern look. The innovative alternative is particularly useful in covering wide areas and it has a very simple and durable functionality, but it is also one of the more expensive window treatment solutions. These are available in many different materials and colors, and varying thicknesses allow for a varying amount of privacy. (Bonus tip: these also serve as excellent room dividers).
- Wood Blinds: These are classic. You can use many different grains, finishes and stains that give the wood blinds the perfect tone to match your home. You can go for a long-lasting and basic wood, a faux or foamwood (innumerable benefits, including price and moisture, mildew and warping resistance), painted wood, bamboo, laminated wood, high gloss wood. or exotic wood.
- Custom Drapes: Drapes are timeless and, because any fabric can be used, can go with anything and everything. Another advantage to drapes is that you can easily change them throughout the year–no screwdrivers or hammers needed. When choosing drapes, besides the fabric you want, you’ll also need to decided how you would like them to hang. Several traditional drape styles include rod pocket, cubicle, goblet, inverted pleat, grommet, pinch pleat, tailored pleat and ripple fold. (Bonus tip: if you really want something special, get an artisan to design a fabric specifically for you and your family)
Whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing one or moving into one, there are lots of design choices to make. Overwhelming and important decisions can get cast aside or lost in the mix. Don’t let your window treatments get thrown into that category. Think of your windows like pieces of art; frame them and your guests will take special notice.