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Home DIY

When choosing window treatments, consider these factors.

When choosing window treatments, consider these factors.

When it comes to window treatments, you’ll want to first think about functionality, then about style. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What are my needs for privacy?
  • What direction does my window face?
  • Do I want a single- or dual-function window treatment?

Single-function window fashions are constructed with a single layer of fabric (think of a traditional shade). With the exception of a window fashion with sheer or semi-sheer opacity, you must adjust the window fashion up or down to see outside. Also, single-function window fashions come in light-filtering or room-darkening opacities. They will open and close, but they will not tilt.

On the other hand, dual-function window fashions have slats or louvers that tilt and turn for privacy and light control (think of a traditional blind). With the exception of a shutter, they can also be raised and lowered.

Additional questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you want privacy during the day but natural light to stream in as well?
  • Do you mind someone seeing your shadow only from the outside? Or do you need complete privacy during day and night?
  • Do you want a transparent sheer or a room-darkening opaque fabric?

Another important thing to consider is energy efficiency. A lot of people don’t realize that energy savings is another benefit of having the right window fashions. Up to half of a home’s heating and cooling bills can go right out the window -- literally. Some products are designed to be energy efficient, with features such as highly insulating cell-within-a-cell designs that trap air, keeping you warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays is another benefit of choosing the right window treatments. Silhouette window shadings, which feature soft rotating fabric vanes suspended between sheer facings, protect against rays while still allowing light and a view, which is a plus.

Style-wise, here are some basics to consider:

  • A product that is vertically oriented adds height and grace: Your eye follows it up and down. A horizontal product can make a window seem wider (the same reason you don’t see me wearing stripes around my hips, by the way!).

  • A window treatment that is a different color than the walls will break up a room -- your eye stops to look at it -- while one that blends with the walls makes the room seem bigger. By mounting fashions inside the window frame, you can emphasize a window that has interesting architectural details; by mounting them outside, you can hide any unattractive features.

  • One of the best places to add texture is at the window. When the light hits a textured surface it adds depth: peaks and valleys, highs and lows.

With these basic rules, purchasing window treatments should be easier than ever.

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