Let’s talk window treatments—most rooms just don’t look finished without them. Unless you are going for an over-the-top modern look and you have amazing windows and/or views, you need them. Of course there are function and style considerations to be made, but first you should focus on function.
Ask yourself what you want them to do. Do you need privacy? Are you a light sleeper? What do you do in the room or rooms you need window treatments for?
These questions will help you to decide on the fabric type—light or heavy, see-through or dark, full coverage or partial coverage. Seeing the shadow of a figure is different than seeing a naked figure.
Next consider those that live with you—mainly children, dogs and cats. Significant others can usually be trusted, but babies like to grab, dogs like to rub and cats like to claw and swing. This might make a more formal floor length treatment a bad option. You can never pull them up out of the way and they are more likely to get dirty on the floor.
How important is ease of care to you? Natural fibers can fade or be eaten by the sun and cannot be cleaned. They also wrinkle easily. Man-made fibers are generally not affected by the sun, can be cleaned and if they become wrinkled, will usually hang out quickly. Some window treatments will need to be “formed” when you open and close them and this can be a routine easily tired by those performing it.
While window treatments are a design statement and are usually a large part of design, you need to think about function first. Mistakes can be costly. Once you have done your homework on the function issue, you can have fun with the design and play with color, texture and pattern.
Now it’s time to focus on style—the fun part! This is an opportunity to add a finishing touch to a design project. Window treatments are an important step in any project and are usually necessary for a room to feel complete.
Let’s talk fabric. Consider the room and whether it is formal or casual. When going formal, select a shinier fabric like a silk/faux silk or sateen. You can also use a heavy weight fabric like velvet, flocked print or wool.
When going casual, lightweight matte fabrics are best, like cotton or linens. Sheers are also great. Pattern does not matter—any pattern can be dressed up or down depending on its fabric type.
Over the years I have found that nearly all clients want one of these four types of treatments: drapes, romans, honeycombs and blinds. If you want something decorative, a fabric treatment is best, like drapes or romans.
These types of treatments also tend to be more expensive, so you need to think long-term when making your selection. Romans are also very popular in a “woven wood” which can be less of a financial commitment and are easy to integrate into most living spaces.
While honeycombs and blinds have less of a design component, they are easier for the inexperienced to work with because there are fewer options. Since they don’t tend to cost as much, they can be replaced if and when you might want to update without feeling wasteful.
About this Angie’s List Expert: Stacey Riley is the principle of Stacy Riley Interiors. Since 2003, Stacey Riley Interiors has provided interior design services in Seattle and specialized in color consultations, custom window drapery panels, romans and blinds, custom bedding and bath, upholstery and fabrics, and more. Follow this #ALExperts contributor on Google Plus.
As of December 4, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.