Window Covering Basics
When determining the type of window coverings to use there are several things to consider. We will focus on the most common considerations which are privacy and light control, color, function, and style.
Privacy and Light Control The primary reasons we use window coverings is for privacy and light control. If you desire maximum privacy and light blockage then our blackout cellular shades and room darkening roller shades are a good choice. Their fabrics are completely opaque and provide total privacy and 100% light blockage. Next is wood, faux wood, and aluminum blinds as well as plantation shutters. The materials used in blinds and shutters provide a nearly private environment and a allow for varying degrees of light control. However there is a possibility of light gaps at certain angles. For added privacy you might consider adding the routeless (no route holes) option to your blinds. This option eliminates the route holes in the slats for maximum privacy. The final group includes double and single cell light filtering cellular shades, light filtering pleated shades, and woven wood shades. The fabrics used in these products are sheer and gently filter natural light. They provide privacy and insulation but because the fabrics are sheer they do not provide the degree of privacy as opaque materials. Note an opaque fabric liner can be added to woven wood shades to maximize privacy.
Color With most people color is probably the second most important factor when selecting a window covering. Should the treatment match the trim, the walls, the cabinets, the furniture? There is no right answer. As with trim and wall paint white and off-white are by far the most popular color choices in window coverings. Typically you want to select a color that matches or complements the colors throughout the room. For example lets say you want wood blinds and you have a room with an alabaster wall paint, antique white trim, and oak furniture. You have several options, you could choose an alabaster, antique white, or even an oak color blind. All would nicely fit within the color scheme of the room.
Function There is a window covering solution for almost every window. Functionality is a very important element to consider when selecting a window covering. Consider the window location, room type, window size, and window depth. Also consider needs for visibility, variable light control, insulation, control options, safety, weight, durability, care and maintenance.
Styles Here we detail a few of the most popular decorating styles along with window covering suggestions for each style.
Arts and Crafts Arts and Crafts was popular at the beginning of the 20th century. It is based around hand made items that give the feeling of simplicity and getting back to the basics. Open areas and horizontal lines dominate the layout of rooms in this style. Rooms are functional and favored oak floors, trim, and cabinets enhanced with lead glass doors. For this style the window treatment would be a wood or faux wood blind, perhaps accented with a cloth tapes.
Colonial Colonial was predominately the style during the 18th century during the foundation of our country. Room layouts often include wood paneling with upholstered and handmade furniture. Suggested window treatments for the colonial style include wood and faux wood blinds, plantation shutters, cellular shades and roller shades. Drapes are a very common window coverings for this style as well. Contemporary Contemporary room settings are simple and uncluttered with clean lines and open spaces. Walls are usually white and window treatments for this style should be simple such as vertical blinds or aluminum mini blinds.
Country The Country style is very similar to the Colonial style but with an Americana feel. Floors are usually unfinished or painted wood with area rugs scattered about. Wainscoting and chair rails are very common with molding having simple profiles. Window treatments include wood and faux wood blinds and roller shades. Hang-tab curtains are also a common window dressing for this style. Oriental Oriental style comes from Japanese or Chinese culture. This style is simplistic by returning to Oriental roots. The Oriental style can be incorporated with other styles such as Contemporary. Window treatments are usually simple and delicate such as woven wood shades, cellular shades, and pleated shades. Southwestern This style’s roots are based in the Southwestern United States and are influenced by Native American culture. Southwestern style has bold colors, earth tones, and pastels. Adobe walls can be common with rounded interiors. Accessories in the Southwestern style include Navaho woven tapestries, native artwork, Pueblo pottery, and heavily carved furniture. Wood and faux wood blinds as well as vertical blinds are the main window treatments of this style. Traditional This style comes from the 18th and 19th centuries. Traditional is a blending of popular trends, such as Chippendale, Federal, Empire, and Rococo, but has been adjusted and softened. Traditional rooms are airy and open with large windows.
Upholstered furniture and drapery adorned with rich looking velvet, silk, brocades, and Damask fabrics are common. Walls are wallpapered with large floral patterns in classic motifs. Cellular shades and pleated shades work well with this style since they can be hidden behind drapes during the day and let down for extra privacy in the evenings. Curtains are typically ornamented with tassels, fringes, and rosettes. Victorian Excess defines the Victorian era in which this style is patterned after. This style is named after Queen Victoria who reigned in England during the mid 19th the to early 20th centuries. The Victorian style came of age in America in the early 1920’s. Big rooms, coffered ceilings, ornate molding with busy wall paper patterns are all present in this style. Victorian accessories include stained glass windows, romantic paintings, photographs, and mirrors, with heavily embellished frames. Typically the main floors are natural woods with heavy inlays while second floors are painted wood floors, walls, and trim. Window treatments for this style include wood and faux wood blinds, cellular shades, and pleated shades.