Thinking of changing your window treatment, but don’t know how to begin?

Window treatments compliment your decor and are an important part of why your home looks the way it does. Today’s treatments or coverings can range from a simple fabric draped over a rod to ornate draperies reminiscent of notable mansions.

According to Larry Morin, owner of Decorators Network, Inc., before you look at style, think of what you need your window treatment to provide in the form of function.

“Window treatments offer more than just decorating or complimenting your decor,” he explained. “So, the first question you need to ask yourself is: What do you want the treatment to do? Do you need privacy, light or sun control, view preservation or energy efficiency?”

Amy Bilodeau of Gamache and Lessard Co, Inc. agrees.

“For instance, for more privacy, wood blinds are great,” she said. “For energy efficiency, look into cellular shades or insulated draperies.”

Sunscreen shades, sheers and window film offer filtered sun control and daytime privacy.

Along with the cellular shades and draperies, which offer energy efficiency, shutters, roman shades, horizontal and vertical blinds offer adjustable light control.

Swags, scarves, valances and cornices all compliment treatments or can be used alone as decoration.

Both experts agree there are a few techniques in capitalizing light and view plus giving the appearance of higher ceilings.

“In designing window coverings, maximize natural light and view by stacking draperies as much outside the glass area as possible,” Morin said. “Using vertical patterns, as well as raising the top-treatments above the header will give the illusion of higher ceilings.”

Once you have picked the treatment that fits your needs, style is next. And that should match the overall design of the room and your personality.

“If you have a cottage theme in mind, think shutters,” added Morin. “If you are conservative, think mini or wood blinds. If you have a Tuscan-style kitchen, think roman shades.”

“With new technology, window treatment options are endless,” said Bilodeau. “With motorization and custom graphics on roller and cellular shades, a person can really reflect their own personality with what they add to their windows.”

Once your windows are treated, you may find the effort was well worth the outlay.

“Between that, security and privacy,” added Bilodeau, “you will definitely add value to the overall investment of your home.”

“You can also save money on heating and cooling,” said Morin.

Both window specialists concur that it is also very important to remember child safety.

According to the Window Covering Safety Council, the only safe, window treatment is a cordless product.

“Parents who replace their window coverings with the cordless products available can feel more confident about their child’s safety,” explained Executive Director Peter Rush. 

Rush offered the following guidelines:

Replace window blinds, corded shades and draperies manufactured before 2001 with today’s safer products.

Move all cribs, beds, furniture and toys away from windows and window cords, preferably to another wall.

Keep all window pull cords and inner lift cords out of the reach of children. Make sure that tasseled pull cords are short and continuous-loop cords are permanently anchored to the floor or wall. Make sure cord stops are properly installed and adjusted to limit movement of inner lift cords.

Lock cords into position whenever horizontal blinds or shades are lowered, including when they come to rest on a windowsill.

If you’re still overwhelmed, contact a window treatment specialist for the best selection of features, in addition to completing your interior décor.

“Experts can help the client make the best decisions for their needs,” explained Bilodeau. “Whether it is light control, heat savings or just simply dressing up the windows.”

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