When it comes to covering your windows, choosing a treatment can be confusing. From elegant draperies to contemporary shades to classic shutters, a world of options is available. How do you decide which style is right for your room?
“I always start with the question, ‘What is your reason for covering this window?’” says Sharon Zmick, executive director of the window fashions division at Art Van Flooring. “It could be for privacy in a bedroom or light control in a living room or family room. It could be that you need more insulation in a room. Or it might simply be that you’re looking to add a decorative element or bring color to the space. The reason will guide me in finding the treatment or product will give you exactly what you want. And within the solution are several design options.”
Zmick says there are two basic types of treatments: hard and soft. Hard treatments include things like blinds, shutter and shades. Soft treatments are coverings made of fabric, such as draperies, sheers or a cornice board. Either type can be used alone for a look that’s simple and sleek. Or you can combine hard and soft and create a rich, layered effect.
“Sometimes a room feels like it’s missing something,” says Zmick. “If you had just a blind up, for example, the minute you add a drapery it will often be just what the room needed.”
To choose a treatment that fits your style, Zmick suggests looking through home design magazines, collecting photos of what you like: “Once you lay the pictures side by side, you’ll often find they share a similar look,” she says. “Having this as a starting point helps narrow down the choices. Somebody with a trained eye can quickly recognize the look you’re going for.”
Zmick says it’s also a good idea to know your budget before you start shopping: “We offer all kinds of price points, with great choices in each one,” she says. “How much you want to spend often can be determined by how long you’re going to be in house. You might be a renter and not want to spend too much. Or maybe you’re in your dream home and want to make more of an investment.”
You’ll also want to understand your space. Take down the measurements of your window as well as the area around it. You can download this handy Window Measuring Template and fill in the blanks before you visit the showroom. With those simple dimensions in hand, Zmick says she can design and quote any window.
Finally, give thought to a palette. When it comes to choosing colors, Zmick suggests looking in your closet. “The colors you wear are the colors you are comfortable with and it’s a good place to start,” she says. “The room can also determine the color. If a customer enjoys a monochromatic look, the existing colors in the room will point us in the right direction.”
Then get ready to imagine the possibilities. “Window treatments are like furnishings in a room,” says Zmick. “Not only do they offer functional aspects such as privacy and energy efficiency, they can change the look of your room and give it more personality. It’s fun to play with colors, textures and styles and really make the look your own.”