Everything You Need To Know About Window Treatments

Function

Often the most decorative and unusual windows are the most difficult to cover. Even “normal” windows can be a challenge simply because of the vast array of choices on the market. To simplify the process, we need to discuss “function.”

What’s the Purpose of Covering Your Windows?

Or not? (We’ll get to that later!) The first question is, “Do you have privacy or a sun issue?” This can be a BIG concern here in Arizona with our abundant sunshine! Does a bedroom, TV room, or east/west facing rooms require room darkening?

Rio-Verde-Cornices

Next… How often will you open and close the window coverings? This helps to determine appropriate (and durable) controls. Are there children or pets where we need to consider safety (and low maintenance) issues?  Do we need to motorize your difficult to reach windows?  Or simply add motorization for greater control and convenience?  Now that motorization has become more affordable, many homeowners are choosing to motorize for safety (no strings) and the convenience of programming your shades to raise and lower as you please! Plus, the energy savings – especially in summer.

And the fun part…What is your personal style? Casual? Traditional? Contemporary? Formal? There are styles available to meet everyone’s tastes – from clean and simple, to ultimate glamour and everywhere in between.  

So…draperies, shades, blinds or shutters? All offer a wide range of options to fit virtually any budget – traditional draperies, designer roller shades, cellular shades, fabulous Roman shades, and natural woven and “green” materials, and shutter styles. When we know what we want to accomplish functionally – and our style – the choice becomes very clear!

And what about your beautiful views?  If sun or privacy is not an issue – why cover the windows at all?  Simply put…for the WOW factor!  That doesn’t mean that we actually cover the windows – like a beautiful piece of artwork, we frame around the windows with top treatments, drapery side panels or any other type of decorative treatment and hardware!

Read on to learn about decorative treatments that can really make a statement in your rooms! (Even if you like to be more understated – there are styles out there for you, too!)

The WOW Factor

We’ve already outlined the functional aspects of window treatments – regarding privacy, sunlight and usage.  Now, we’ll discuss the WOW factor of custom window treatments.

There are two ways to purchase custom window treatments – as “ready-mades” (or store bought), or custom made.  Both have advantages.  High quality, ready-made treatments can save some money, and you take responsibility for the measurements, selection of the treatments and hardware, and the installation.  Custom treatments are purchased through a decorator or retailer with a custom department.  Custom treatments will fit exactly and can be made in any fabric, with any trim, in any size and they will professionally install them for you too as a complete turnkey process without any worries on your part.

Where to Start?

There are several things to consider with custom window treatments –

  • The style of window – Not all treatment styles can be “engineered” to work on all window types.  Window treatments should make a statement, but must also suit the proportions and purpose of the room.  Often it is the custom window treatments that pull it all together and completely transform the room!
  • Your personal style – Casual or formal?  Somewhere in between?  How much WOW do you desire?  There are styles to complement any décor and investment level.
  • Your lifestyle – Consider durability, ease of cleaning, and any maintenance required.  Do you clean your home or have a cleaning service?  How long do you plan to stay in this home?  Custom window treatments are traditionally left behind when you move.  However, custom treatments are a big PLUS when marketing your home.
  • Your budget – This will further determine the style and fabric options.  Obviously, costs vary tremendously by the styles and fabrics chosen, and the size and complexity of the windows.

What Styles Are Available?

We are limited only by imagination and budget!  Popular styles include traditional draperies – either stationery side panels or traversing (open/close), top treatments, cornices or valences in a wide variety of designs, or fabric shades – either Roman, balloon or flat roller styles.  Most of these can be mounted either on decorative rods or board mounted – which is virtually invisible and very low maintenance!  We often layer the treatments – for example, adding a top treatment above a blind, or over a traversing drapery, or even side panels next to shutters to soften the look.  Designer roller shades are very popular right now with gorgeous choices and head rails that offer a complete, modern look.

How do I know I will like it?

There are several ways to help determine this.  However, our most successful method is to take photos of your windows and add drawings (to scale) of various designs – so you can envision just how your windows will look with different options