Improving your home is an ongoing process, and while you may not have the time or resources to execute a full-on refurbishment, tweaking and refining your interiors style is a more budget-friendly way to make a statement. You may be the queen of mood boards and know your plaids from linens, but one area that is often neglected is how you dress your windows.
Next to wall colours, your window dressings make the greatest impact, so how much attention have you been paying to yours? Whether you opt for traditional curtains with swags and tails, modernist blinds or window shutters, your choice of window dressing is an additional way to enhance your interiors scheme.
Primarily, your windows’ dressings need to serve several important functions:
- Keep sunlight out
- Keep heating in
- Help to soundproof
However, practical reasons aside, they are also the focal point of the room, and as such, they need to tie-in and complement the rest of your interiors scheme. It’s a tall order, and you’ve got lots to think about!
TIP: If any of the householders have allergies, you need to avoid heavy dust inducing fabrics or thin slatted blinds that are hard to keep dust and mould free. Instead, opt for shutters that are easier to clean, either with a cloth or vacuum.
How to choose the right type of window dressing
To help guide you to make the right decision for your window dressings, you need to identify which options are best for the individual room – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. For example, your kitchen windows will command a different choice in contrast to your living room. Your kitchen coverings will be exposed to condensation and cooking fumes, and as such, will need easy to clean functional window dressings. For your living room, your priority will be more the aesthetic appeal and the ability of the dressings to keep heat in for a cosy environment.
Choosing the right type of window dressing is more than selecting the right fabric for your curtains. Yes, it needs to add wow to your room, but you need to make sure that your coverings are the right size for the window and hang well. Bad coverings can literally ruin the aesthetic of a room. It’s like an ill-fitting dress: looks great on the hanger but does nothing for your body shape!
How do you choose the right treatment for each room? Below we explore both the kitchen and the living room:
- The Kitchen
As mentioned above, the window treatment you choose for your kitchen will need to be primarily functional and practical, while still retaining the unique sense of style your home has. Your kitchen will be subjected a vast variety of different smells, which makes heavy, thick curtains a no, as strong aromas are likely to cling to the fabric, making your kitchen smell like last week’s dinner long after the meal itself. Therefore, opting for sleek, modern blinds is a viable option for kitchen windows. These can be easy to clean, and without fabric, they will stay scent-free. For a truly contemporary feel within this room, café style shutters offer both privacy and allow natural daylight to flood in, which can boost the enjoyment of the room, especially for a street-facing kitchen.
- The Living Room
The living room is often the one room within the home which sees the most activity; you spend your time relaxing and unwinding in this room, you spend time with your loved ones and you try to find a moment’s peace. It means that your window treatment needs to both offer a high level of privacy, allowing you to recline in style without worrying about strangers looking in, and elegance and luxury which make you truly happy to be at home. However, as the living room is often the front room of the property, it often faces the street, regardless of whether you live in an urban area or countryside village. Opting for window shutters is a stylish choice for the living room, and as they are available in a variety of materials, colours and styles, they will fit any décor scheme. For example, for large windows in a traditional-inspired room, choose tier-on-tier shutters, which are split into two panels, allowing you to open the top tier while keeping your privacy by tilting the slats closed on the bottom tier. Shuttercraft window shutter styles offer a variety of colours and materials to dress this important window effectively, whatever your interior scheme.
Be aware: You need to remember though, that once you have made your decision and the window coverings are in place, and your window is a real feature, you will have to make sure that they are clean – no gain without pain!
What if I don’t have regular windows to dress?
The style and shape of the window will also influence the covering that you choose. Bay windows, as well as circular and conservatory windows all have aesthetic merits but can be tricky to dress, and sometimes you need to be a little more imaginative to get the best look.
- Bay windows
A great way to dress bay windows is to have floor length curtains that hang outside of the recess. You could have curtains made for each section, but the problem with that solution is that you risk overcrowding the bay with an excess of material. By having just two curtains, you can frame the window without detracting from the view. However, shutters can be applied within the bay so that you can still have privacy and control over the amount of daylight that comes into the room. This way, the symmetry and proportion of the window is not compromised. In fact, you can even just have the curtains as dress curtains, rather than curtains that need to be drawn.
- Round windows
Circular windows, while very attractive, can be problematic to provide coverage for. However, all is not lost. Depending on where the window is located, you can use a ceiling to floor drape that hangs on one side of the window. Choose a colour that blends well with the wall colour so that the window remains the focus.
- Conservatory windows
A conservatory is a well-used addition to any home, although they tend to be too hot in the height of summer and too cold in the depths of winter. With walls of glass, you have a vast space that needs to be covered. If your priority is simply to reduce the visibility of your neighbours into your conservatory, then voile panels or roman blinds can do the trick, but the downside of this is that they filter the light. The best solution is to use window shutters so that you can control privacy without losing the quality of the light, and they are also better at regulating the heat within the conservatory in both summer and winter. You can even apply shutters to the French doors of the conservatory, which are fixed directly to the doors themselves, meaning that whether you open or close the doors, you can tilt the slats to allow light and air to filter into the room.
Choosing the right window dressings for your home is not a simple task. There are lots of influencing factors that will shape your decision. While the practicalities of them are important, they are a fabulous way to introduce different textures, colours and visual interest to your home.
You need to find the balance between the practical functions of window dressing (the privacy, insulation, and light control) with the all-important aesthetic and style. You have many options and styles to choose from. You can combine the different types of window dressings to add real charm and style to your home, whether it be modern or traditional, as the right coverings can enhance any space.