Window Treatments

The way you use window treatments can make or break your efforts to redecorate your home.  There are so many different designs and styles on the market that they are often hard to choose from, making it difficult to decide.  Here, we discuss window treatments – what is available, what you can do, and how to decide what works best for your home.

Start With The Basics

First things first.  You must decide on the practical aspects of the widows in the room you wish to change.  Do you need sunlight and lots of fresh air, do you need privacy or style?  What will be the function of the window going to be?  Experts agree that privacy is probably the most important aspect of window treatments.  If you have windows in your bathroom facing your neighbor’s yard, then privacy is a priority.  In a dining room, if you live on a busy street, you would want privacy when at table.  Not many people live so far out in the country that they haven’t a need for privacy, and even if they did, the issue of privacy is still high priority.  When considering privacy, experts say to first put mini-blinds on windows of concern.  Many people use sheers and drapes, but lighting from outside at night makes this combination almost transparent with indoor lighting.  Experts also warn that even with mini blinds, if not adjusted correctly, that there is a small possibility of seeing into the room at certain angles.

Fabric and roller shades offer complete window coverage.  Roller shades are often made of vinyl fabric and generally opaque.  For a custom fit, go with fabric shades, which are lined to offer privacy. For a different look that also adds privacy, consider the newer cellular shades.  These can be custom fit to your windows.  They also have excellent insulating benefits.

Light Considerations

Although during the day you may wish for the room to be sunny and bright, this can often lead to fading of carpet and upholstery.  Mini blinds would help here; however, your view will then be covered.  Consider tinting the windows instead.  This will allow the light to enter, but will block harmful UV rays that damage upholstery and carpeting.  The cost would be minimal if only done in the windows that face direct sunlight during the biggest part of the day.  Different strengths of tint are available, depending on your locale in relation to the sun levels during the daytime. In rooms that receive a lot of sunlight, yet must be kept dark for reasons such as a day sleeper, a baby’s room, or when watching television, other options are readily available.  Use bamboo or matchstick blinds to cut down on glare and filter the sunlight.  In a room that must be dark in the daytime, use roller shades with light blocking liners. 

First consideration needs to be privacy, lighting considerations, and then function and style.  Style is perhaps the easiest part of the project.  In Part II, we discuss fabrics and style.

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.