Angela Todd Portland Interior Designers

How to get the most value from your window treatments

If you have recently moved into a new home, or decided your current window treatments are in need of style updating, you might need a little help with what to consider.  Window coverings have come a long way in the last few years and the choices, styles, brands and “looks” are vast.  You might find all of this a little daunting.

This checklist of questions might help you narrow down your focus.

  • How much privacy do you desire?

Options range from transparent, to opaque, to black out.  Shades with sheer fabrics and textiles diffuse the light providing privacy during the day, but less at night.  Using shades with a lining will provide an opaque effect, offering you privacy at nighttime too.  If you have a media room (especially a projection television), work nights, or have a little one who naps when it is light outside, blackout might be a good option.

Don’t worry if you are now thinking, “Wait. I want privacy at night AND a transparent shade during the day to see the view out my window.”  There are several options for combining this need into one window treatment with the right lines of product.

  • Is light control essential?

Typical light control window treatment options include blinds and shutters.  Nowadays many lines allow you to opt for slat sizes in 2″, 3″ and even as much as 4″.  This offers a better view outside of the window with larger louvers.  However, these horizontal lines in your view may bother you.  On the other hand you may love the ability to tilt and adjust the light control without dropping and/or traversing a drapery.  Simply weigh if this option is important to you.

  • How much window do you want to cover?

In the window design business, we refer to this as inside mount or outside mount.  An inside mount may be a good choice if your home includes detailed or ornate molding.  Window treatment options like roman shades, solar shades, wood blinds and honeycomb shades (also called cellular shades) are common in an inside mount.

If you are looking to incorporate drapery panels into your design, you can also ask this question.  Although the drapery will be an outside mount, it is common for homeowners to mount the hardware just slightly to the left and the right of the window without allowing room for the stack (where the drapery hangs when pulled open).  The problem is in climates like Oregon, homeowners tend to want their windows designed so as much light as possible comes into their homes.  For this reason, in most cases we extend the hardware so the drapery is off the window when completely open.  This has a second benefit too.  It makes the window seem larger.

When mounting cornices, valances, or outside mount window treatments like roman shades, you may also want to extend the top of the window by mounting the treatment just above the window.  This way when installed the bottom of the piece lays just over the top of the window casement.

  • Do you know what options are available?
You might be surprised what options in window treatments are available.  Even if you frequently go to home shows in your area and subscribe to design magazines, you probably still don’t know the half of it.  I regularly attend local and National continuing education, go to Market trade shows, and subscribe to industry window treatment trade magazines… and I am still learning;)  If you are narrowing down your options, but want to talk with someone who knows their product lines, call our studio.  I am happy to talk with you about what you are looking for, and discuss some options you haven’t considered.  And yes, I gladly bring samples to your home.  If you have a brand that really interests you like Hunter Douglas, Graber, etc., let me know and we can focus our attention there.
Other things to think about could become their own blogs so let me just mention a few more features – R value (trapping or deflecting heat), UV protection (longer lasting carpets and furniture), and automation (remotes or wall controls to open, close, and tilt).

Angela Todd Designs is a full service interior design firm located in Portland, Oregon.  Our design expertise includes customized window treatment solutions including draperies, cornices, valances, shutters, woven woods, solar shades, honeycomb shades and more.  We carry many lines of window treatments including Hunter Douglas, Graber, Robert Allen, Eclipse, Solstice and Fashion Tech. 

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