Window Treatments: Tips, Warnings and Advice

Published on: Author: Anne Langton

Hopefully you are lucky enough to have windows in your work space whether it is located in a home or business office.  The next question is always…and what do I do with these windows?  Styles and products in the window treatment industry have changed due to new materials and technology but today, as in decades past, we still require window treatments or window decoration primarily for 3 reasons…

  1. Decoration
  2. Privacy
  3. Light Control

There are many creative and unusual ways to treat windows and even within the most popular categories there are many options but generally speaking window treatments can be distilled down into the following…

  • Draperies (or curtains)
  • Blinds (vertical or horizontal)
  • Shades (Top down or Bottom up)
  • Shutters

Determining which type of window treatment to use goes beyond what aesthetic “look” or appearance you prefer.  Other considerations are:

  • What is the available space for mounting hardware? (either inside or outside of the casing)
  • How does the window operate? A vertically operating window such as a casement window (hinged like a door) could get cumbersome when combined with a horizontally operated treatment such as a shade.
  • What is your budget?  There is no doubt that window treatments are costly…even if you use store bought products.  The cost of hardware is usually the killer but keep in mind the more customized your treatment is due to fit or fashion…the more money you will pay. 

So now you have narrowed down your options.  Let me just throw out a few other considerations before you plunge into the final phase of procurement and installation!

TIP #1

To determine the amount of fabric needed to adequately cover a window opening, double the width for a minimum requirement and triple it for a more luxurious feel.  That means a 3 foot wide window would require a least 6 feet width of fabric when in the closed position.  Keep in mind that most home decor fabric is only 54″ wide so you might have to use more panels than you originally thought.

TIP #2

When installing draperies or curtains, aim to cover a minimum of the glass when they are in the open position.  Natural light is a gift…don’t say “no” to a gift!  Rather extend the rod well beyond the window on both sides so that the opened panels cover wall not window.

TIP #3

It is easy to under estimate how much space fabric takes up when in the open position of draperies.  This is especially true if the fabric is lined which makes it twice as bulky.  The same thing pertains to roller shades…beware of how large the rolled up shade will be.  The shade provider should be able to provide this information.

TIP #4

Not all draperies need to be lined.  Sometimes the bulk is more a detriment than benefit.  Window treatment fabricators tend to endorse linings.  They say it helps them hang better…I don’t always agree with this.  So simply think about your needs…is it privacy?…is it covering a patterned fabric  as viewed from the exterior…and speaking of exterior viewing… don’t forget the color lining plays a role as well.  After all this is what is what the public sees when draperies are closed!

Langton Designs creates offices that work well and feel right