Does your space seem too bright or dim? Too hot or cold? Too loud, plain, or any other too? If it feels like something’s missing that could remedy your “too” situation and tie everything together, you may need a stronger statement from your windows.

Window treatments provide privacy—vital to everyone except the occasional naturalist—plus a whole lot more. But with so many options available, choosing the right treatment can be tricky. The secret is to follow the age-old design advice: form follows function. To help you apply this “triple F” wisdom, I’ve provided you with a checklist below. Complete it before you shop and you’ll be happy with your results, I promise!

Answer these 7 questions to determine which window treatment is the best fit for you!

  1. What happens in this space?
    Does someone sleep here? Watch movies? Work in solitude? Shower with music blaring? Your answer is the key to choosing the best treatment. Some treatments offer terrific room darkening properties, textures, or unobstructed views. No matter how you use your room, you’ll find a window treatment to match. And if the room serves multiple functions, select a treatment that offers flexibility—like curtains with sheers to let you adjust the amount of natural light.

    TIP: In spaces where water and moisture are involved, hard window treatments work best. Fabric tends to get musty and moldy over time, and hard treatments are easier to clean in a kitchen, bath or spa area.

     
  2. Who uses the space?
    With small kiddos and babies, you’ll have safety concerns with some treatments. For instance, little ones could get tangled, or worse, in cords that hang from blinds. You never want to hang blinds near a crib because of the cord danger or in case your inquisitive youngster tries to use the blinds to help stand—remember, everything to them is a potential brace or toy. For kids and teens, a main concern may be keeping a treatment clean. Is it really worth hanging white sheers in the path where these lovable creatures run, eat, play, eat, hide, eat, drink, eat and eat some more?

     
  3. Is temperature control challenging?
    If your room tends to be too hot or too cold, improve your situation by choosing an appropriate window treatment. Two factors you want to keep in mind here: light control and draft control. The latest room darkening products can be more expensive but they deliver amazing results! And by making smart choices, you’ll create a more comfortable space and save a bundle on energy bills. Don’t forget to consider the entire year; select something that will adjust with your seasons.

     
  4. What about noise?
    While window treatments can’t completely block noise, they can reduce it. When answering this question, think about inside acoustics as well. Got a child musician in the family? I’ll bet you enjoy hearing your darling more than your neighbors do. Choose heavy fabric drapes over thin blinds, for instance, to help deaden sound—and keep peace in the neighborhood—more effectively.

     
  5. What look are you after?
    If you like modern or contemporary styles, you probably don’t want a formal treatment. Cell shades or blinds may fit better with the clean lines and uncluttered look you prefer. Window treatments provide a great way to get color on your walls without painting—especially helpful for renters or people with large walls or extra high ceilings, where the idea of painting makes you go “ugh.” If you seek classy over color, simple sheers may work best. Search online, in stores and while visiting friends to get ideas of what you want before spending your hard-earned money.

     
  6. What type of window do you have?
    Make sure you’re choosing a compatible treatment. If you open the windows often, you’ll want treatments that allow you to do so easily. You might love the look initially, but if it’s a big pain just to get fresh air, you may not love the look for long.

     
  7. What’s your budget?
    You’ll find a wide price range when it comes to window treatments—from budget-friendly, in-stock options to custom orders costing thousands. Know your budget well before you shop, and keep in mind that you can purchase in stages. When we moved last year, we needed treatments for an entire house. Privacy, light and temperature control came first, so we purchased blinds. This spring, almost a year later, we bought fabric treatments to add texture and softness to the space. If you can’t afford it, you won’t enjoy it, so plan wisely.

Stay tuned. In the next two blogs, I’ll cover the pros and cons of various types of window treatments.

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?

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