One of my favourite services that I offer is helping clients select and order their window coverings. As well as the practical benefits such as providing privacy and blocking out unwanted light, a curtain, blind or plantation shutters can make such a difference to the overall look of a space. Unfortunately deciding on where and when to use them and which fabric to choose isn’t always a straightforward decision. If you are unsure where to start, here are some of my Tips For Choosing Window Coverings.
Purpose and Function
The first question I ask my client is, ‘What is the purpose of the window covering’?
Is it to:
- Provide complete blockout at night
- Filter the sunlight or glare in the afternoon on a west facing window
- Provide privacy from overlooking neighbours
- Hide an ugly outlook
- Increase the energy efficiency and keep heat in
For example, in my Sitting Room which faces west and looks onto the street I needed the curtains to do several things; provide some protection from the afternoon sun, privacy from the street, give a luxe feel and not compete with the details of the windows (shutters I felt would look too busy from the outside). No easy feat! To achieve this I chose a sheer fabric for the soft gathered Roman blind and then a fully lined curtain in a linen fabric hung from a timber silver gilt rod.
I used the same layering for my client’s Master Bedroom and love the result.
Plantation shutters definitely have a role to play. In bathrooms where privacy is needed they are a great option. The louvres allow you to control the amount of light in and provide complete privacy when shut.
Or if the outlook isn’t great in the case of where frosted glass is required, they provide a clean and streamlined look.
Choice of Fabric and Hardware
Depending on whether you are considering a curtain or Roman blind, the fabric composition needs to be suitable. For example a beautiful natural linen looks gorgeous in a flowing curtain but is not suited to a Roman blind where it is more likely to sag and lose its shape. The overall aesthetic of the room is important to consider as well. Do you want the curtains to blend into the background or make a statement? A decorative rod can also enhance the look of a curtain and come in all sizes and colours.
In my living room I selected a white linen fabric for the curtains with a whitewashed timber rod. I wanted to create a softness around the windows in a neutral colour that wouldn’t compete with the other furnishings in the space.
The choice of fabric can really enhance a space. There are so many gorgeous options available! In this Living Room, the main purpose for the curtains was really to soften the space so we chose a light sheer fabric.
In my daughter’s bedroom where I wanted to inject some fun, I opted for a printed geometric fabric for her Roman blind.
For a simple and classic look, I like to add a decorative trim to a plain Roman blind.
Window Details and the Surrounds
There are a few details to take into account regarding the window design and other factors in the space. For curtains, the amount of ‘stack back’ required needs to be considered so that when they are open, the window isn’t covered too much. Walls or large furniture pieces on either side may prevent the amount of stack back possible.
The position of where to mount the track or rod, or height for a Roman blind needs to be decided. This will depend on the distance between the ceiling or cornice and window architrave. Other factors such as ducted heating vents or hydronic wall heaters should be considered. During our build, I had the ducted heating vents moved slightly forward from the wall to allow for the curtains.
Window coverings are an investment and need to be carefully considered. Hopefully these tips are helpful but if you feel you need a bit more guidance, please feel free to get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org).