Selecting the right window treatments for your home, your style and your budget can be tricky. For functionality, you need treatments that provide privacy and light control when and where they are needed. But at the same time, you want treatments that look good and add to the overall design of your room. And even if you are buying your treatments from affordable stores like Lowe's, Target or IKEA, once you multiply the cost times the number of windows in your house it comes out to be a significant expense! I'm currently researching options for our home and for anyone else out there in the same boat, I'm sharing my tips on choosing hard treatments.
First of all, what does "hard" treatment mean? This term refers to window coverings that are made of hard materials like wood or vinyl opposed to "soft" treatments like curtains and drapery that are made of fabric. There are 3 general types of hard window treatments to choose from:
Blinds are hard treatments that have operable slats that tilt to allow you to control the amount of light and privacy you want in your room. They are usually made of thin plastic (i.e. mini-blinds), vinyl or wood. Mini-blinds are one of the least expensive options but they also look a little basic. For an upgraded look that's still affordable, I would recommend either vinyl or wood blinds. By choosing a larger 3-4" louver, you can mimic the look of shutters at a much lower price point.
Shades can be made of paper, fabric, vinyl, or strips of wood/bamboo/reeds. The difference between a shade and a blind is that a shade does not have operable slats. Shades are made of a more flexible material that folds or creases into itself to open and close. So really, you can think of shades as a "softer" type of hard window treatment. Types of shades include cellular, honeycomb, pleated, roller, roman and woven wood. Depending on your home's needs, any of these options can work. If maximizing energy efficiency and a clean, simple look are your top priorities then cellular or honeycomb shades are a great choice. I like using roller shades in spaces where I want the curtains to be the "star". When not in use, a roller shade virtually disappears into the trim of your window but still provides the option for total privacy and light blocking. Fabric roman shades and woven wood shades are the more fashion-forward option and can be lined to achieve your desired level of light control.
Window shutters are a solid and stable window covering, usually made of wood or vinyl. They consist of a frame that is custom made to fit over or inside of your existing window. Inside this frame are horizontal louvers that operate in a similar fashion as a blind. You can tilt the louvers to control the amount of light and privacy you prefer as needed. Shutters give a classic, high-end look that suits a variety of styles.
For our home, I'm planning to use woven wood shades for privacy and light control. In some rooms, we'll just have the woven wood shades and in others we'll layer decorative curtains on top. While you can use a combination of curtains and sheers for privacy and light control, I'm wanting a cleaner look for our home. Plus, I don't like always having to adjust my curtains! I like the warm, casual feel that woven wood shades give and I think they will be a great fit for the style of our home. Our house was built in 1903 and the architecture is somewhere between farmhouse and colonial. My style is an eclectic but subdued mix of English country and modern details. Here are some inspiration photos that helped cement my choice of woven wood shades:
Becca Galbraith via Houzz
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have caught yesterday's story where I chatted about the samples I ordered from Blinds.com. I ordered 9 options and narrowed it down to 2 top contenders. I'm still not decided on which way to go.