Checkout Lane: Tips for decorating, protecting your windows
As winter winds down and the sun grows stronger, you may need new window treatments to shade your home. In order to choose the right one, consider function first, then aesthetics.
“Function is the most important thing in determining the type of window treatment, then proportion and balance for the type of window that they have,” said LuAnn Hofmaier, owner of the Finished Window in Duxbury, Mass. “And then color and fabric and style come last.”
Leanne Bailey, manager of the Blind Store in Carver, Mass., said she asks clients whether they are looking for insulation, privacy or light filtering. A bedroom may require a room-darkening shade, while a living room may need only a light-filtering one.
Curtains add color and texture. But for function, customers usually turn to blinds, shades or shutters.
While blinds have horizontal slats made out of real or faux wood or aluminum that can tilt to let in or block out light, shades roll up and down and are generally made of woven wood or fabric. Shutters are a more permanent option that have a custom frame built into the molding of the window.
“These days, I would say a honeycomb shade is the best product on the market as far as price,” Bailey said.
She said honeycomb shades, named after the honeycomb shape apparent from the side, are also the most insulating and energy-efficient product.
Wood blinds are another moderately-priced product. They come in natural, synthetic or composite woods. Hofmaier suggests faux wood blinds for rooms that get a lot of moisture, such as bathrooms, because they won’t warp or change color.
For a little more money, Hofmaier said shutters provide light, privacy and architectural beauty. She said shutters can cost from $150 to $350 for a 24-by 36-inch window. A wood blind for the same size would cost around $60 to $150.
When it comes to style, Hofmaier said she tells her clients to look for high-end ideas in magazines or showrooms, then try to recreate the look for less. “The look right now is just simple,” she said. “A serene, neutral look with pops of color.”
Julie Onufrak may be reached email@example.com.
- Consider how – and if – you’ll need to operate blinds installed on very high windows.
- Long draperies can be a tempting plaything for pets and a hazard in a young child’s room as they learn to walk and grab anything in sight. It might be better to go with blinds or soft shades that stay up off the floor.
- Ask for the newer breakaway and safety window cord options when installing blinds in a home with children.
- Top-down/ bottom-up shades increase the possibilities for privacy and function, letting you control the height of your blinds from either direction.
- Transparent shades offer no privacy but will cut down on ultraviolet rays and glare. These are made from polyester and work like a regular roller shade.