Window treatments are one of the most important investments you can make in your home—both for your personal comfort and increasing the value for resale.
Today there are many options to consider when selecting blinds, such as vertical or horizontal, type of fabric or finish and type of rods/headrails. To make sure you get what you need and want, consider the following questions before you start shopping for blinds and/or consulting an interior decorator:
- How large are your windows? The size of window may dictate the type of blind you select. With very large windows (over 60-84 inches wide) you should consider the weight of the blinds. For example, horizontal blinds, particularly wood or faux woods, can become very heavy. Also, when the blinds are heavy, the strings that pull the blinds down have more chance of breaking and the slats may sag more easily. Some options to dress a large window include installing vertical blinds with panel tracks; e.g. slats that are wider. If you have mullions, (vertical or horizontal space between window units or sliding glass doors) you could put a separate blind in each window unit. You could also consider installing two or three blinds on one headrail.
- How does your window open? Is there a crank or lever to open the window that sticks out and gets in the way of blinds? One way to solve this problem is to go to a building supply store and ask about a crank that folds in. Alternatively, you may need to look at different hardware mounts.
- Do you have custom windows? Are your windows round, oval, or triangular? The window treatment I work with can use a template to produce specialized-shaped window treatments or cut-outs to cover other home features such as air conditioners or radiators.
What purpose do you want the blinds or window treatments to serve? Do you want the bedroom darkened to aid your sleep? Do you want to keep the direct sunlight off your furnishings, hardwood flooring and carpet? What kind of view do you have outside your window—obstructed, panoramic or garden? What do you need to ensure your privacy? The window treatment companies I work with have a wide selection of products and options to address such challenges, including top down/bottom-up cord systems and light and UV- filtering shades.
- Do you want inside or outside mounted blinds? Do you want to cover up your window trim or show it? Is there room to install hardware on an inside mount? Note: If you want complete darkness in a room, an outside mount is optimal.
- Do you want to combine drapery with your blind treatments?You will need to decide if you would prefer a functional drapery that would cover the entire window, a panel located on the sides, or a valance at the top of the window.
- Do you have young/small children? Pets? When you have small children or pets you need to consider durability, maintenance and safety (cords). This can affect your choice of material and preference for cordless or remote systems.
- Are your windows accessible to you, or are they too high to reach easily?Many of the window treatment companies I work with can provide remote control systems, including programming when the blinds open and close.
- How do you plan to install your blinds? Having professional installers can save time and energy, ensures quality, and also resolves unforeseen problems—often at a very reasonable price.
- Other Questions to Consider:
What is the style and decor of the room? Is it casual, formal, country, modern–the list goes on!
Do you want the window coverings to blend or contrast with your walls and furniture?
Does your building / community have regulations that require white backing on the window treatments?
Do you want your blinds to provide additional insulation? Some blinds have an insulating value, although if you have new windows it is not as much of a problem.
I would be pleased to discuss the above questions, help you review the many options for window treatments and assist you in selecting the treatments that best meet your needs.