Complete Guide to Window Coverings
When it comes to choosing window coverings, there are a few things you need to take into account. The first is the function of the window covering. Are you looking for something to block out light, or just add a bit of privacy?
The second is the style of the room. What kind of vibe are you going for? Is it a formal space or more casual? And finally, you’ll want to think about the budget. How much are you willing to spend on window coverings? Once you’ve considered all of these factors, it’s time to start shopping around.
Finding suitable window treatments can be an overwhelming process. There are a lot of different options out there, so it’s important to have the basic knowledge..
What are the best options for windows in our home, or in our office? This question can be very difficult to answer! Should we attempt to seek professional help for choosing the perfect window treatments? Or can we do it all ourselves? Is the Right Window Treatment Roman blinds? Roller shades? Curtains? Sheers? Venetian blinds? In this article we share some of our knowledge and experience to make it a little bit easier for you!
Walk into most window treatment/drapery stores and you will be overwhelmed with endless fabric sample books and numerous types of blinds and shades and shutters to choose from; enough to make it almost impossible to make up your mind. However it would be easier if we know the basics. In order to be able to make an educated purchase you should know the basics.
There are 2 main categories and 4 subcategories that also have many sub products stemming from them. Those two main categories are 1-soft window treatments(fabric) and 2-Hard window treatments(blinds and shades shutters etc). The sub categories are 1-draperies and curtains; 2-Blinds; 3-Shades; and 4-shutters.
Custom Draperies and Curtains
First let’s get our terminology right. The difference between draperies and curtains, even though they are commonly used interchangeably, is generally the weight of the fabric. Lighter fabric window coverings like sheers are known as curtains whereas heavier fabrics window treatments such as velvet, satin etc. are known as draperies.
I remember watching an old English movie and in one of the rooms there were several windows with their long, red, moody floor-to-ceiling draperies that delivered a dignified sense of drama to that room in that classy old Victorian style house. That’s when I personally fell in love with that view, and decided that fabrics are my number one window treatments preference if the house style allows.
The warmth and classiness of draperies and Curtains over a window, especially large windows, is unrivaled in beauty and uniqueness. And since they are often custom made, there’s a splash of human imperfection which makes them perfect.
Energy efficiency and customizability makes fabric window treatments the number one contender in the world of window treatments. They come in a variety of colors and styles including natural fabrics in neutral colors that are very trendy nowadays.
Fabric window treatments are a timeless option that never go out of style. They are good for light control; to block light when needed in a master bedroom or any other room, and to let the natural light in when preferred. They are probably one of the most durable window coverings available as well.
Floor to ceiling curtains are always in style, and if they are paired with the right thermal or blackout lining fabrics for protecting them from direct sunlight, they become the ultimate window treatment solution which offer maximum privacy and light control for some rooms. They are arguably one of the best living room window treatments among other window treatments, especially for big living room windows, and on top of all of that, they are child safe and pet safe since they are not designed to operate via pull cords!
The drawback would be price which can be a bit steep since good quality drapery fabric can be expensive. On top of that, they probably need more maintenance and are not suitable for every window in every space in a house. Fabric window treatments, for example, wouldn’t be suitable in a kitchen or for a workplace window; or in a household with pets.
The term “Blinds” is an umbrella term for most horizontal, slat-style window treatments.
The versatility, efficiency, and stylish, modern look of blinds is hard to beat. We wouldn’t want fabric window treatments for, let’s say, our kitchen, or office windows.
Some of the main ‘Blinds’ sub categories include: Vertical blinds , Horizontal blinds, Venetian blinds , Wood blinds, Faux wood blinds, aluminum blinds and Zebra blinds etc.
Blinds are arguably the most popular form of window treatments among all.
Affordability, ease of use, suitability for many environments, makes them some of the best available options.
Blinds are suitable for many windows in a house, office or commercial spaces etc.
It’s worth mentioning that in 2022 in Canada, where we are, most corded window treatments, including many styles of blinds, went through a bit of modification since we can no longer sell corded window treatments in accordance with Canada Consumer Products Safety act.
Shades mainly come in one piece; That’s probably the main difference between shades and blinds. Blinds are slat-style window treatments, whereas Shades refer to a one piece window covering that rolls up and down.
Roller shades are one of the most popular, versatile shades. They are a great option for light filtering and to be combined with fabric panels as well. They could be an ideal window treatments option for every window and every room. Solar roller shades are a great option for blocking UV rays while letting some outside light in.
Other shades include but are not limited to: Zebra shades, Roman shades, Cellular shades, Woven wood shades, and so forth.
Roman shades are one of the few options that can be purchased pre-manufactured or ordered to be custom made. They are good looking window coverings and they are suitable for many spaces.
One other very popular shade is the famous top-down bottom-up, (now Duolite), Cellular shade. The addition of top down bottom up function is a good way to add visual interest and increase the versatility of your window treatments.
Most of these above options, even curtains and drapes, can be equipped with motorization and integrated into home automation. Motorization is a convenient option allowing window treatments to be operated via a remote control or a cell phone app and be controlled remotely as well as integration into Google assistant and Amazon Alexa or Siri systems. All cordless; all child-safe and worry-free if you have small children or pets at home.
Brand terminology differences:
Unfortunately window treatments don’t have a standard industry language and each brand uses their own terminology for common products, and have their own patented products. That can add to the confusion when it comes to buying window treatments, but as mentioned above, basic knowledge, and consulting with the right company, will help make the process easy.
It can get overwhelming to choose the right option, and acquire all that information. For more information on Hunter Douglas products please check the Hunter Douglas section on our website.
Window shutters are fixed window treatments. Any fixed window cover that is mounted on a hinge on the window frame, or wall, and can be closed and opened can be considered a shutter. They are used inside and outside of the windows and they offer light control and protection.
The common modern Shutters consist of a frame of vertical stiles and horizontal rails. Shutters are made of wood and plastic slats controlled by a tilt bar to adjust the slats position in a uniform manner. They are functional and durable and can really improve the aesthetics of a house. Shutters are not for everyone. Some really love them and some really dislike them, so make sure you gain enough knowledge before going that route.
Finding the right window treatment can be an overwhelming part of home improvement but narrowing options down can help. The basic two options are either fabric i.e. curtains and draperies, or blinds and shades.
With the basic knowledge and depending on the style of your house you can choose the right fit for your windows. In general, blinds and shades are more suitable for smaller windows; curtains and drapes, however, are more suitable for bigger windows in higher ceiling houses.
A Victorian house, for instance, would require suitable styles of fabric window treatments; whereas modern homes with smaller windows would look nicer with hard window treatments i.e. blinds and shades.
One more option to consider is a bridge between the two main types: Combining fabric with blinds and shades or shutters is also an option. Simply do your own interior design and add a curtain rod and two drapery panels or fabric to your window blinds or other forms of window coverings.
Hopefully our guide helps you make the right decision. Feel free to give us a call if you need further assistance.
__Everclassic Window Coverings
For more information please visit our website.