Whether you’re looking to brighten your bathroom or darken your bedroom, this guide to window treatments will give you all the options you’ll need to suit your style, protect your privacy and make each area a room of its own.
Whatever your decorating style, make sure your window treatments are complementary. Follow these simple guidelines:
Contemporary: Keep window treatments simple. If privacy and darkness are not an issue, leave windows uncovered, simply adding a valence or side panels. Otherwise, try simple, sheer cellular shades in a colour that matches the trim.
Traditional: High-end fabrics (silk, linen, tapestry) that drape and touch the ground, are best. If you prefer a traditional roller shade or silk sheer, add heavy curtains that can be tied to the side or drawn for privacy and darkness.
Casual: Ideal for a family room where comfort trumps couture, try cotton cellular shades, shorter lengths (touching the base of the window, not the ground), and roman shades in neutral colours.
In the bedroom, privacy and darkness should be a priority. Look for cellular fabric shades that contain a room-darkening fabric as well as a design that eliminates or minimizes light from slipping in. For example, if you prefer horizontal blinds, choose three- or four-inch slats (such as Hunter Douglas Silhouette Quartette) over one-inch slats (which will allow light in between each slat). Blinds that have fabric on each side of the slat, allow the blinds in the open position to allow light in, while still providing some privacy. If privacy is not an issue, consider a traditional roller shade that you can lower to darken and raise to let light in.
In a child’s bedroom, make sure that the fabric will withstand dirty hands, crayons and craft supplies. Make sure pull-cords do not descend into a child’s reach and that they’re fastened to the wall so a child cannot get hurt. To add flair to the child’s room, look for a brightly coloured, quirky shade, with a room-darkening second fabric on the back, which will make the shade appear white from the outside view.
In the bathroom, the priorities are privacy and a product that will withstand humidity and won’t warp or crack. Consider café shutters (which cover only the lower half of a window) or a blind that opens at the top of the window, which will allow moisture to escape and let light in while maintaining privacy in the room.
Key considerations in the kitchen are ventilation and durability against heat and stains. High-quality wood shades are easy to clean and, without cords to get in the way, will be easy to maintain. Vinyl shades are easy to clean, and are moisture resistant, which is great around the sink, and kids.
Living room/family room/den
Windows that let in an abundance of sunlight during the day can make a room feel bright, but they can also cause a room to get overly warm, and allow the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays in, causing damage to fabric, furniture and accessories. You’ll need a window treatment that diffuses light, try honeycomb shades, which may come in a variety of light-diffusing categories (such as Hunter Douglas Duettes, which are available in sheer, semi-sheer, semi-opaque and opaque). These coverings trap warm or cool air in their cells, decreasing the intensity of the temperature as it enters the room, while blocking UV rays.
In a home office, you’ll want a shade that allows light in while shielding glare from your computer screen. Look for metal horizontal shades that can be tilted and reflect the sunlight and glare, while keeping the room cool against the sun’s rays; fabric blinds with a double-cell to filter light, or shades specifically designed to reduce glare (such as Levelor Solar Shadings).
To make a small room (such as a bathroom or guest bedroom) feel larger, keep
the colour contrast between the wall colour and the window covering low. Remember, light colours make a room feel larger than dark colours (so choose white walls and blinds over navy blue or charcoal).
Large, open spaces
To make a large open room (such as a living room-dining room or loft space) feel
cozier, create a high contrast between the colour of the wall colour and window covering. To highlight furniture, keep window treatments neutral.
Tip: To keep rooms warm in winter and cool in summer, try wood blinds.