If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to spend time sprucing up your home, one place you may have overlooked is your windows. Whether you’ve been in your home for years or have recently moved in, you may have just accepted what a previous owner installed or opted for the simplest, least costly blinds or draperies to provide privacy while you developed your decorating style. Either way, it may time to upgrade your window treatments in every room or just a few select spaces.
To get started, you need to take a tour of your home and notice what you already have in place. Think about your need for privacy and your desire for light. Some people sleep best with black-out curtains or shades and others prefer to sleep with their windows bare so they can glance at the stars during the night.
Window treatments come in every possible style and to suit any budget, so whether you love romantic frills or prefer a sleek contemporary look you should be able to find what you want. You can also improve your energy efficiency with the strategic use of cellular shades which add insulation and come in a variety of styles including those with or without cords, top down/bottom up or the reverse and you even buy remote-controlled versions.
For inspiration, visit Pinterest or Houzz.com or simply flip through home magazines to see what other homeowners do to decorate their windows.
According to HGTV, the color trends in 2015 include a print with white and black or navy; and blues in a “variety of ocean hues in teal, aquamarine and soft green”. Other popular colors to consider this year include soft lavender and gray or, if you prefer jewel tones, persimmon, orange and gold.
Other popular looks this year include super-luxurious window treatments of silk, velvet or damask with lots of silk tassels or even crystal embellishments. Some custom window treatments even include leather, suede and fur trim for an even more opulent look.
While some homeowners still prefer a sleek look, some designers say homeowners are returning to a more romantic look with floral and pastel fabric curtains. Unlike some of the heavier florals of the past, though, the newer looks include light, sheer and airy looks with layers of pale colors and even pastel curtain rods.
You may prefer a simple look with sheers that provide some privacy but allow plenty of light into your home. Today’s sheers are not just the old-fashioned type with lace and frills, although those are available if you love the romanticism of that style. The updated look of sheers features printed, textured and embossed styles that give a hint of pattern.
Soft fabric works well in bedrooms where they provide a soothing atmosphere and yet fabric can also enhance your more formal living spaces to add either a splash of color or a neutral background depending on the rest of your furnishings.
Shades, blinds and high tech options
A contemporary look that works well in kitchens, baths and family rooms is the Roman shade, which you can customize in nearly any fabric. Roman shades are flat rather than puffy and provide a sleek look when pulled up and when dropped down for privacy.
Another popular look for modern homes is woven shades in bamboo or matchsticks of wood that filter the light whether they are raised or lowered.
Many new homes come with walls of windows or at least oversized windows, sliding glass doors and French doors, all of which can be challenging to complete with window treatments. If your home is set in a place with natural privacy you may opt to leave the windows untouched to maximize your light exposure. However, some rooms require privacy and even those that don’t can get overheated in the summertime without any window coverings.
If you’ve got these types of windows or are ready to ditch your old vertical blinds, consider a “panel-track system” with panels of fabric or woven wood that slide along like screens to cover your sliding glass door or window wall.
Another high tech option is motorized, remote-controlled blinds that can be programmed to open and close at specific times or to be operated all at once or individually. Blinds are available that filter the sunlight but allow a view to be visible through semi-sheer material. If you love the idea of a high tech system but still want a softer look, you can opt to layer lightly patterned sheers over the blinds.
As you can see, the world of window treatments has moved beyond a choice between heavy curtains or plain vanilla blinds, so it may be time for you to update your windows with a 21st century look.