When decorating a new house or apartment, often the last thing we think about, after purchasing or leasing a couch, Coffee Table, dining set, bedroom, and all the rest of our furniture and appliances, is the window treatments. “Window treatment” refers to the blinds, curtains, draperies, valances, and other light and view blocking materials we add to the windows in our homes. Window treatments can be very elaborate and very costly, or they can be simple and utilitarian.
The most basic window treatments and the type most commonly found in many rental properties are mini blinds and vertical blinds. Mini blinds are made out of vinyl and consist of many narrow slats bound together at the ends, with a built in mechanism for raising and lowering, as well as opening and closing them to block light or allow light to enter. Vertical blinds are usually used on large sliding doors and windows and feature wider vinyl slats, bound on the top only, with a similar mechanism for opening and closing.
These are both perfectly functional and many times, for reasons of budget or simplicity, are often enough. However, this look can be enhanced and built upon. One option is to install a curtain rod and hardware over the window, and add cloth curtains or draperies. Adding a touch of color that ties in to your decorating can add a nice visual boost to a room. And, most curtains will add yet another layer of light blocking and privacy to a room.
Curtains and draperies have a huge price range, from simple curtains with a sewn in pocket along the top that fits through a rod, to more complex draperies with pleating, lining, and other enhancements. A decorative valance as well as tie backs are additional enhancements that can be added to window treatments.
One reason to want to block the light partially or completely from a room when possible is to preserve the furniture and floors from the sun. Sunlight is wonderful, but, especially in the warmer southern states, sun can and will bleach out upholstered fabrics used on couches, chairs, and recliners as well as carpeting, and even wood!
Another reason to block the light from a room is for the purpose of darkening a room for sleeping, such as Bedrooms, or even for enjoying television and dvd’s in a darker environment, which makes the image on a flat screen even sharper and brighter.
If you are considering the addition of window treatments, shop around first for ideas and techniques to dress your windows attractively. The overall effect can be a nice upgrade to any room.