Choosing the right window treatment

by in At home

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Installing or changing window treatments in your home is a choice with both practical and personal considerations. Practical, because your windows need to be covered to block out light and create some privacy. Personal, because your choice of window dressing reflects who you are and will have an impact on the ambience of your house. Buying window treatments can be costly, so you want to get it right the first time. Here are some questions to ask yourself before choosing curtains, blinds or accessories for your windows.

What kind of window treatment do I need?

Let’s look at the practical considerations involved in choosing a window treatment. How sunny is the room? Do you have young children who could get tangled up in them? How close are your windows to your neighbours or passersby on the street?

These factors will guide you to the right choice. For example, you could put up a double window dressing with a sheer curtain to let the sunlight in and an opaque blind to block out light in a room that’s a little too bright. You can opt for cordless Venetian blinds with a wand to stop little ones with grabby hands or apply a self-adhesive translucent film in your bathroom window if it’s only two metres from the neighbour’s.

What style should I choose?

Many factors can impact the style of your decor. For curtains, the type of fabric and the pattern will be the most important, but the length of the curtain or blinds relative to the size of the window also has an impact. Too-short curtains will be out of proportion to the room, while ones that are too long will make the windows look too heavy (and collect dust bunnies).

Choose the colour and transparency of your blinds carefully. You can also look into materials like wood, metal or plastic. Decorative details like cords, rods and valances also need to be considered.

How will my window treatments be installed?

Decide whether you’ll be putting up your curtains or blinds yourself before you choose your rods and hanging systems. Often, it only takes a few minutes with a stepladder and a good screwdriver. But if you’re short on time or experience, more complicated installations can benefit from a professional’s talent.

If you choose that route, don’t forget to account for the installation fees that a specialized company or your favourite contractor will charge.

How much maintenance do I want to do?

 Finally, research what your choice of curtain or blinds means in terms of cleaning. While a major cleaning is normally needed only once or twice a year, you may have to do this more often depending on how much the room is used. For example, window treatments in the kitchen should be washed more often, as they get dirty more quickly due to cooking.

Some fabrics must be dry-cleaned, so make sure that fits in to your budget and lifestyle. Cleaning blinds such as mini-Venetians can also add more time to your household maintenance schedule. Just make sure that whatever you choose reflects your level of motivation!

Can my choice of curtains help me reduce my heating and air conditioning bill?

Yes! Along with other factors, such as the quality of your windows and home insulation, curtains are very useful in preventing air drafts and heat loss during the winter. If your windows are old or damaged but you aren’t planning to change them anytime soon, it’s a good idea to install thick or double curtains that cover the window frames. This is an inexpensive way to improve energy efficiency in your house or apartment.

In the summer, you can save on air conditioning costs by drawing opaque curtains during the day and blocking out the hot rays of the sun. If you get a lot of daylight through your windows, get into the habit of closing the curtains before you leave home. The curtains will reflect the heat and prevent your rooms from overheating and triggering the air conditioning system unnecessarily. To reduce the sun’s impact without cutting out the daylight, choose sheer curtains.

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