CHOOSING CURTAINS & BLINDS FOR YOUR HOME: THE DO’S & DON’TS
Choosing the right window dressing for your home is an important decision. As well as ensuring privacy, your choices are key to the look & feel of your space. Poorly made choices, however, can be costly in terms of functionality, thermal control, sunscreen protection and the flow of design within your home.
Additionally, making wise decisions with window treatments will offer longer term benefits in improving the market value of your property.
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help you with choosing window treatments.
Do: Hang your curtains high and wide.
Hanging your curtains high above the window frame gives a luxurious appearance, accentuating the height of the ceiling and allowing space for the window frames. Curtains that extend adequately beyond the window frame provide better thermal and draft protection and light control. Choosing a curtain rod that extends either side of the window frame ensures plenty of natural light can spill into your room when the curtains are open.
Do: Layer your window treatments
Blinds under curtains? Where the budget allows, we say YES! Layering your blinds and curtains not only widens the scope for design and visual appeal in a space, but also varies your light options. For example, when layering a sheer curtain over a block out blind, the sheer provides a softer look and feel of filtered light, whist the block out blind offers thermal control during extreme weather and blocks out the light during the day, when desired.
Additionally, layering blinds and curtains in different patterns, colours and textures offers a thoughtful depth to the interior design of a space.
Don’t: Overdo it
Remember, the purpose of your windows is to provide natural light along with a view outside. If your curtains are too wide or if you choose to hang several curtains in different fabrics, the flow of natural light and view is reduced, even when the curtains are open. Oversized and bunched curtains can also make a room look overcrowded and small.
Do: Favour blinds over curtains where there is furniture in front of the window
The beauty of blinds is that they can be sized to fit the frame of the window. This is particularly handy where there is furniture positioned beneath the window, for example a lounge, sideboard or bed. This not only gives a clean and tidy appearance, but it also allows you to open and close your blind easily, without bunches of fabric behind the piece of furniture.
Do: Favour blinds over curtains if you have pets or small children.
In functional, high traffic spaces, particularly with small children or pets, blinds offer an easy care and safe solution for your windows. Curtains that fall to the floor may collect dirt or pet hair in high traffic areas, wearing and tearing sooner. Instead, opt for blinds which fit to the size of the window, remembering to hang pull cords high, out of reach for safety. Where your window reaches all the way to floor, easy clean roller blinds are a great solution.
Do: Consider curb appeal
The look and functionality of your curtains or blinds from the outside is just as important as the inside, particularly for front facing windows that face the street or rear entertaining areas. Opt for window dressings that match the exterior colour and style of your home whilst simultaneously giving enough privacy.
Do: Remember to block out
Sheer curtains look beautiful in a space, but do you also need to consider blocking out the light? Privacy, thermal and light control should be primary consideration for bedrooms in particular when selecting window dressings.
Don’t: Use block out blinds in living spaces.
Translucent, light filtering blinds will ensure you can still benefit from natural light whilst simultaneously giving you the privacy and thermal control you need in spaces that you frequent during the day, including the kitchen and lounge or living rooms.
Do: Consider getting a professional measure
The best way to avoid making costly mistakes with window furnishings is to call in the professionals.
Curtains and blinds that do not offer thermal control may end up costing you in energy consumption, particularly in areas where drafts are a problem. Correctly sized curtains and blinds may help reduce your energy bills when sized correctly with mindfully chosen fabrics.
Additionally, different textiles may flex in size according to the weather. Curtains made from natural linen for example, can rise or fall considerably with changes in humidity.
A professional installer will be able to support you with their knowledge and experience in choosing fabrics and ensuring flexibility in fabric is considered during the measurement stage, ensuring you can still enjoy the benefits of your window with curtains and blinds appropriately fitted for optimum functionality.
Don’t: Assume custom made blinds and curtains are beyond your budget.
A well experienced professional interior designer will be able to offer educated advice for your space, climate, and light control as well as suitable functionality for those who live there. When correctly chosen the money you spend on window dressings for your home becomes a long-term benefit, ensuring you are making the most out of your investment for the visual appeal, functionality and wear and tear of the space.
Do: Know your budget when you invest in window dressings.
Setting a budget up front of what you can afford is a good idea. When calling in a professional it will help them ensure you are getting the best value out of your investment. Of course, when you aren’t buying curtains or blinds every day, it is hard to know how much they cost, this is where a budget range is handy, of what you ideally would like to spend, up to the most you could afford. It may be that you choose a room every couple of months (or each year) to redress, rather than outlay out the cost of an entire home all at once.