There are certain things that almost everyone invests in: quality foods, a good pair of shoes, or a decent salon haircut, to name a few. However, we don't often view these as "investments." When designing or decorating your home, you are investing in your lifestyle -- each item you choose brings a part of your style and personality to life, functional or otherwise. However, one investment that many neglect to take advantage of is one that can change the entire feel and function of a room: custom window treatments.
Hear me out.
Curtains (or "drapes") and window shades are designed as a way to control light, to frame windows, to offer privacy, and even to help to control room temperature in some situations. While curtains come in a wide variety of sizes, lengths, textures, patterns, and colors, there are a number of factors to consider before buying.
1. Know the different types of custom window treatments.
There are three main types of window treatments you will consider when you are designing custom treatments: panels, roman shades, and valances.
Panels are your traditional curtains or drapes. The length of the panels will depend upon the size of your windows -- some panels are half-panels, designed to frame higher, shorter windows, while others are full panels, which frame larger windows and often run just short of reaching your floor.
Roman shades consist of a flat sheet of fabric that neatly folds "accordion style" when opened and lays flat when closed. These window treatments are a more elegant solution to traditional slat blinds and shades.
Valances are fabric runs that cover the uppermost portion of the window. This option can be paired with panels and/or roman shades, and are often ideal for hiding any unsightly window treatment hardware.
2. Know what you want your window treatments to do for your home.
When you are considering custom window treatments for your home, it is important to identify which window treatments are best for your home. Generally, this will depend upon a combination of the type of room, the number of windows, and your own personal style.
If you are interested in controlling light and/or increasing privacy, you will be looking to invest in custom panels. Custom panels can be made from an endless number of patterns and textures in silk or cotton textiles, and can even be double-lined to create a "black out" effect in light control (often ideal for Eastern-facing bedrooms).
If you are interested in controlling light, increasing privacy, and/or controlling room temperature, investing in roman shades are an all-in-one option to meet each of your needs without compromising a clean design style.
If you are interested in decoration or hiding unsightly hardware, valances are your solution. While valances are commonly found in kitchens and dining room settings, they can be fitted to any window in your home and made with fabric to match your panels and/or roman shades.
3. Know exactly what your room needs before you shop.
Before endeavoring to design custom window treatments you will need to assess your personal home needs. The best way to determine which window treatments would be best for your home is to meet with an experienced designer who can make an in-home assessment.
Allowing an experienced designer to get a first-hand look at the rooms and windows you are focusing on will allow them to get a sense of the light, size, and color palette of your project in order to do the best possible work to meet your needs. While the use of a professional interior designer may seem costly, it is the most effective long-term solution to home window treatments that are unsurpassed in quality and fit.
In addition to assessing your rooms and windows, an experienced designer can suggest colors, patterns, or designs that you may not have considered for your home. Often, these designers will work with you on textiles and designs in order to complete your desired project while meeting the parameters of your budget.
While investing in custom window treatments may seem intimidating, it is a long-term solution to life-long, in-home lighting, temperature, privacy issues, and design issues. Investing in custom designs provides you with quality, properly-fitting treatments that will withstand time and use without compromising the integrity of your home design.
So, take a look around your home and decide if your current window treatments are the right ones for you. If not, review your needs and options with an experienced interior designer and have the hands-on ability to bring your visions to life.