Window Treatment Features & Benefits
When beginning the selection process for your window treatments, it’s always best to start with the basics:
Privacy: What type of privacy is needed?
Light Control: What degree of light control does it offer?
Function: Is it easy to operate? Is it energy efficient?
Style: Will it complement your room and décor? Should it blend in or stand out?
Once you sort through and prioritize these and other needs, your project will have the direction it needs for you to make a selection. Let’s look at the key elements in more detail:
The amount of privacy you desire will likely be determined by the particular room and view. If your kitchen faces a wooded lot at the rear of the home, you may not be concerned about privacy, while a bathroom window facing a neighbor’s home will likely need to be addressed.
- Want to block unwanted views? Choose treatments providing complete coverage.
- Still want access to natural light? Top-down/bottom-up window coverings can provide privacy plus access to natural light.
- Want both privacy and a view? Consider a treatment that provides privacy on demand such as shutters or translucent fabric vanes.
- What’s a popular favorite for soft light and privacy? Fabric vanes allow you to rotate between an unobstructed open position that softly filters light to one that closes for maximum privacy.
- Still not sure? Most window treatments are rated for privacy. Your design consultant will help you pinpoint the right treatment based on the amount of privacy you require.
Every treatment provides a different degree of light control. From room-darkening lined shades to light-diffusing sheers, you can choose from a wide spectrum of light levels and control..
- Roller shades provide minimal control. You can stop it anywhere you choose, but not really control the levels of light.
- Louvers provide a high degree of control, allowing you to rotate or tilt the vane, slat or louver to let in the desired amount of light.
- Shadings, sheers and louvers, made with translucent fabrics, diffuse and soften natural light.
Ease of Operation
In certain instances, a lifting system may be the only way you can raise and lower the blinds and shades:
- When a household member has arthritis or another disability that limits hand dexterity.
- If your window treatments cover cathedral windows, skylights, or other hard-to- reach areas.
- An added benefit is that certain lifting systems provide enhanced child and pet safety by eliminating cord hazards.
Energy efficient treatments can add up to big savings:
- 40% of the heat in your home is lost through windows;
- 50% of the solar heat that enters a room comes in through the windows;
- Honeycomb shades with triple pleat construction double the energy efficiency of a double-glazed window.
Like sunscreen protects our skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, window treatments protect our room’s interiors.
- Wood floors will bleach; paintings and oriental rug colors will fade.
- Most window treatments filter at least 85% of the sun’s harmful UV rays when closed over double-glazed glass windows.
- Additional products providing up to 99% UV protection when closed are also available.
Fabric window treatments can go a long way toward controlling the noise levels in your rooms.
- Absorbs sounds, dramatically improving your room’s acoustics.
- Reduces the intensity of unwanted outside sounds from a noisy street.
Another important consideration before finalizing what treatments are best for your home is the shape of your windows.
- Horizontal window coverings work best on windows that are taller than they are wide and can enhance a room’s informality and coziness.
- Vertical window coverings are better on windows that are wider than they are tall (and those that slide from side to side), and add height and dignity to any room.
Types of Treatments
These can be made from premium hardwoods, a blend of hardwoods and composite materials, or aluminum. Here are the details on all the various products:
- Available in horizontal or Venetian-style.
- Genuine wood slat blinds come in painted, stained, or in premium finishes.
- Slats in 1” and 2” widths
- Valance styles are available to hide the mechanics of your blinds plus enhance their beauty.
Faux Wood Blinds:
- Offer the beauty and texture of real wood blinds but are made from PVC synthetic material with highly durable slats.
- Ideal for high moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, sunrooms and spas.
- One drawback is that all vinyl products will discolor over time – be especially careful when combining with wood products
Natural Woven Blinds:
- Real wood and fibers give woven blinds their trademark look.
- The intricately woven, textured design can look rustic to elegant
- Reflecting natural earth tones, they’re popular in dens, patios and summer rooms
- Extremely practical, offering privacy and light control
- Strong and durable.
- Spring-tempered and heat-treated to increase shape retention and resist crimping and creasing.
- Slats can be closed to block light and provide maximum privacy.
- A practical choice for patio and sliding glass doors
- Can open from the left or right side, or from the middle.
- Wide variety of textures, finishes, and colors.
- Can be made to look like a sheer.
Creating a refined and lasting architectural dimension in your home, shutters instantly provide a finished look – no additional window coverings are needed!
- Available in both premium hardwood and polysatin compounds:
- Wood offers an enduring, custom-crafted, classic style.
- Poly-satin compounds are great for windows exposed to high heat, humidity, and other extremes.
- Allows total light control to create varying moods.
- Reduces noise while increasing energy efficiency.
- Can be custom-ordered; pre-fab shutters are available for standard-size windows.
Shades Shadings, Sheers, and Louvers:
Once thought of simply as a basic white roller shade, shades are now available in a wide variety of selections including highly energy-efficient honeycomb shades, sophisticated Roman shades, and uniquely textured woven wood shades. Here are some details on the most common types of shades available today:
- Made of quality fabric
- Creates soft, diffused light, accented by the hue of colored fabric.
- Clean, classic lines featuring a neatly folded look from the panels that stack when opened .
- Provide added insulation for energy savings and comfort.
- Best known for a minimalistic, stylish look and its energy efficiency.
- Neutral backing provides a clean, uniform look to the outside.
- Top-Down/Bottom-Up style allows you to raise and lower the shades from either the top or the bottom – great fo extra lighting control and privacy
- For true room darkening, choose a lined honeycomb shade.
- Some function more like a shutter; others, more like a shade.
- Offered in a wide range of designs.
- Made with fabric, providing the elegance of a drapery
- Choose from opaque to translucent materials.