Whether you are a homeowner, a landlord, or a business owner, window coverings help set the tone for a room. In some cases, window coverings may be purely functional, such as blocking out unwanted light. In other cases, their use may be related more to a specific decorative design. Regardless of your needs, landing on the perfect window covering for your space requires some critical thinking.
This article will walk you through this critical thinking process to make sure you come away with the perfect window covering. Not only will we cover some of the most common window treatment options to consider, but we will help you recognize other significant factors that are often overlooked when making a decision about window coverings.
Types of Window Coverings
A window covering is any type of material that is used to cover a window. The purpose of a window covering can vary greatly; examples of this include privacy, sunlight management, weatherproofing and decorative purposes. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular window coverings and their uses.
- Blinds – This is one of the most common window coverings available. This is a very versatile option that comes in several different designs, including horizontal blinds, wood blinds, aluminum blinds and vertical blinds.
- Shades – Shades come in all different kinds of fabrics and textures to help control the amounts of light and privacy that you want to achieve. The four main types of shades today are honeycomb shades, Roman shades, woven wood shades and the traditional window shades.
- Shadings and Sheers – This is an increasingly popular option, especially for those looking to increase their light control. In addition to their functionality, these elegant window coverings are a perfect match for almost any type of room.
- Shutters – This is a more traditional option, but it’s one that is still both attractive and useful. Most notably, shutters are great for controlling heat, noise and privacy.
- Curtains – This is another option that combines beauty with practicality. Depending on the fabric type, you can block out light and heat to varying degrees, all without giving up on its attractiveness.
- Drapes – Drapes are usually made of a heavy fabric with the intention of blocking out light. These are most commonly designed as floor-length, again with the purpose of blocking out as much light as possible.
Why Do We Need Window Coverings?
Window coverings can serve several different purposes depending on your specific needs. Understanding exactly why we need window coverings is important to your decision-making process. Here are some of the most common benefits associated with window coverings:
- Privacy – This is probably the most popular benefit of window coverings. Whether it’s for a home or an office, we all need a little privacy sometimes. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from to achieve different levels of privacy.
- Light control – There are various types of window coverings that offer light control benefits to varying degrees. Blinds, shades and shutters can all provide some type of light control. It all comes down to how much light you want to let in.
- Temperature control – This is an often-overlooked benefit of window coverings. Specifically, there are several options to help control heat; shutters are amongst the most popular choices to achieve this benefit.
- Decorative looks – Take a second to imagine your home or office without any kind of window coverings. It would look pretty bland without anything there! Window coverings provide your rooms with a spark of style.
- Customization – This benefit ties in a little bit with the above-mentioned bullet point about decorative looks. However, it’s important to note how easy it is to customize your window coverings to match the look and style of your rooms. For example, you can match the wood of your shutters or blinds with the wood patterns within your home or office.
Ask These Questions When Choosing the Perfect Window Covering
It’s time to choose the perfect window covering for your situation. Let’s take a look at some important questions that will help guide you towards the ideal window covering.
Is this for home or business?
This is an important question to answer, because it will drastically impact the kind of decision you make. There are various window covering options that are suited to best fit either the home or business. Take a look at these examples:
Popular Options for a Home:
- Roman shades: If you are looking for a modern, sophisticated look to your shades, this option is the way to go. These shades draw up into a nice, even fold, giving it a custom-made look that will add to the beauty of your home.
- Wood shutters: This is a great option for those homes that feature a wood-look. You can match the wood shutters with the other wood finishes in your home for continuity that will certainly enhance the elegance of your home.
Popular Options for a Business:
- Vinyl shutters: These are excellent within an office space, providing an easy option to open and close them for quick privacy on exterior windows or even interior office/conference room windows.
- Horizontal aluminum blinds: This is a very sturdy option that provides tremendous durability. This covering can also fit into nearly any kind of design scheme, making it an easy option to fit in with your office decor.
What is the purpose of the room?
It’s essential to understand the purpose of a room before you install your window coverings. In a home, you have a kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom as a few examples of rooms that serve different purposes. In an office, you may have a conference room, private offices and common areas that are all used for different reasons. Taking the time to understand the purpose of a room will help you better understand what kind of functionality is needed with your coverings.
Should the window covering be functional or pleasing to the eye?
Answering this question will greatly narrow down your options. Once you know which way to go, you will be able to focus on specific types of coverings that fit your specific needs. Take a look at these brief examples below.
Functional window coverings:
- Motorized lifting systems that use a remote control make life a little easier. These can be battery or hard-wired.
- Room darkening materials can help block out sunlight for those who have this as a top priority.
Decorative window coverings:
- Use color schemes and designs that will improve the beauty of the room. All window coverings come in various materials with a wide range of colors to best match the decor.
- Certain materials, such as wood, often add an extra decorative spark to blinds and shutters. It’s important to consider the material type when looking at aesthetics.
Are the windows often opened or closed?
It helps to know how often the windows in your space are open or closed. If the windows mostly remain closed, it may be best to go with blinds or shutters that are in the down position at most times; it’s easy to adjust blinds and shutters without pulling them up all the way. If the windows are open a lot, shades often work best. Shades are easy to pull up and down with ease.
Do the windows need easy visibility?
Understanding the level of visibility that you may need will make a big impact on your decision. For example, if you need to watch your kids in the backyard, it would work best to have shades that easily pull up to give you the greatest visibility. Blinds work for this as well since you can keep them in the open position or you can pull them up similarly to shades. Shutters would offer a lower level of visibility.
Do the windows cause a glare on a TV, computer monitor, or other device?
If you are trying to avoid glares on your TV or other electronic devices, it’s important to find something that efficiently blocks out light. Aluminum blinds, room darkening shades, and wood shutters are great for keeping out sunlight.
What are the privacy needs for this room?
Figuring out what level of privacy you require in this room will certainly affect your decision. Let’s break this down by looking at some of the best options for those with low privacy needs and for those who require high privacy.
- Low Privacy: Blinds and shutters are great for those with low privacy needs. These coverings allow you to keep visibility open most of the time, only to be closed when needed.
- High Privacy: Shades are the best option here. Honeycomb shades are particularly great with a vast array of fabrics and materials that you can choose from to dictate how much privacy you need.
Do you want to let in natural light?
How much natural light you let in will mostly depend on the materials that you choose. For example, horizontal aluminum blinds are a great option for keeping out natural light; the light can also be controlled by tilting the horizontal slat. When it comes to shades, you can choose lighter materials that will let in natural light if you choose to do so. At the end of the day, it all depends on how much natural light you want to let in.
Is there a need for temperature control?
If you are looking for window coverings that offer temperature control, shutters are a great option, especially when it comes to controlling heat. Wood shutters and polysatin shutters are both great options. Horizontal blinds are another great option, which can be hard wood, alternative-wood, or aluminum.
Are there children, pets, or elderly people who use the space?
For those with children or pets, polysatin shutters are an excellent option for those high traffic areas that require frequent cleaning. Polysatin shutters are extremely durable, made of specially formulated ultraviolet resistant poly-stain compounds. If you are looking for something with simple functionality that an elderly person can operate with ease, blinds are usually the best option for them.
Find the Perfect Window Covering at Elite Flooring Plus
As you can see, there are many different components to consider when going through the process of picking out the perfect window covering. Now that you have a better idea of what best fits your needs, take a closer look at our specialized window covering products and services to help move forward with this process. With decades of experience, our team is ready to help you find the perfect window covering for your home or office!