Figuring out the right window coverings

Covering and decorating windows can be a challenge.

Even if several homes are the same model with similar windows the needs of the homeowners can be vast.

Take window inventory around your home. Write down each window and list the activities you perform in each room. The following questions may be used as a guideline:

1. Do I need privacy in this space? (If you can see out, they can see in).

2. Do I need light control? (Media room/kids room/shift work).

3. Do I need the window treatment to control heat, cold or sound?

4. How much room do I have surrounding the window and how deep is the casing?

Answering these questions will help focus your search for window coverings. Are the window treatments functional or decorative?

Do you need more pizzazz and colour in the room or should the treatment blend into the existing décor?

A rule of thumb for a blind/drapery combination is to treat the blinds as the functional part for the above considerations and have them neutral and matching to your décor.

Blinds blend into the room when they are co-ordinated with either the wall or trim colour and serve as a practical backdrop for drapery.

Drapery is then added for a splash of colour and design which will frame the windows and give personality to the room. Drapery can also add needed light blocking and an effective sound barrier. I like to think of draperies as jewelry – that perfect pair of earrings for your favourite dress.

Choosing blinds without drapery?

You may want to use them as a decorative feature so choose products with more colour and drama but keep in mind that blinds will serve you for several years and may ‘ugly’ out before they stop serving their purpose.

Natural products such as wood/bamboo and linen looks are good choices as they work well with any wall or furniture colour and fabric choices that are neutral or co-ordinated with trim and paint colour have more longevity when it comes to style.

Starting with identifying the function and needs of your windows will save you time when you are able to start shopping. Being armed with information and a clear definition of what your home needs will make some of the vast choices less overwhelming.

Trust your local blind expert with this decision as the investment is long term and can be very rewarding.

Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer/Ask a Realtor’.

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