Window treatments and coverings are one of the best ways to lighten-up and liven-up a room. They can be used to alter the lighting, creating a cheery atmosphere or a more subdued ambiance, depending on individual tastes.
Shopping for new window treatments can be an almost overwhelming undertaking, with so many different options to choose from. Simply browsing the variety of choices can lead to many changes in decorating plans before finding the best treatment or covering that will make the room feel truly complete.
Window dressing options
Curtains and draperies are often used interchangeably, but, while they share some similarities, they are actually quite different. Curtains remain stationary, on a curtain rod; they meet at the centre line of the window and are tied back to either side to expose the window. Curtains frequently feature fancy tie-backs and valences and require either separate rods or are combined into a single complete curtain that can be hung from a single rod. Draperies tend to be made of heavier materials, such as velvet or brocade and have a simple pattern; straight lines and a box valence being extremely popular. They are the most flexible of the window treatments available and can be used to great effect in the living room or bedroom.
Valences can be used in isolation, particularly in smaller rooms, such as the bathroom or in kitchens where having longer coverings on the window is neither practical nor safe. Often, panels are added halfway down the window to accompany the valences, creating the light and airy café-style curtain.
Sheers are a light and airy option for rooms and can be used on their own or in combination with draperies. In terms of colour they are usually white or in pale pastel shades and are frequently lace, voile or a similar fabric.
Shades and blinds are practical and durable window coverings that can be used in combination with curtains, valences or on their own. In fact, many shade and blind designs are so attractive that using them alone is a must. Shades and blinds are available in many different styles and colours and are easy to install.
Householders who enjoy the rustic charm and warmth of the countryside may choose wooden shutters to go inside windows. Whether the shutters are new or recycled, a set can perk up a kitchen or add a classic or romantic feel to a living room or bedroom. Louvered shutters are particularly useful in rooms where both natural lighting and privacy are required.
Up-cycling options for window treatments are virtually inexhaustible and allow the individual to get creative and personalize their décor. Cutting down fabric shower curtains can yield attractive bathroom curtains that will withstand the humidity of the room. Coordinating bed linens can be pieced, sewn or draped to create attractive bedroom curtains and swags. Colourful dish towels are perfect as window coverings in a kitchen, what’s more, they are easy to keep clean and replace as needed.