Functions of window treatments

The functions of window treatments are just as important as how they look! Before I start talking styles or sifting through drapery fabrics, I work with my clients to hammer down the functions of their window treatments. From there, we can play with the possibilities of how best to outfit their windows. Let’s uncover the potential functions of window treatments.

Privacy

If you’re outfitting windows in a personal space, such as a bathroom or bedroom, privacy may be the primary function of window treatments. Or, perhaps you reside in a high-traffic area or in close proximity to neighbors and desire a degree of privacy throughout your home. Practical options include opaque materials, ensuring that when back-lit you cannot see through from the outside looking in. Wood blinds, solid fabrics and shutters are options to consider here. Don’t write off sheer or semi-sheer options just yet, as many transparent materials can be customized to include privacy or blackout liners. {We will talk more about layering your window treatments in our next blog post.} 

{Shutters create a private, cozy atmosphere in this sophisticated dining room. From: April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

{Shutters create a private, cozy atmosphere in this sophisticated dining room. From: April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

Heat or light control

Your window treatments can offer energy efficiency and complete light control. To prevent your home’s HVAC from working overtime, one function of your window treatments may be to minimize the amount of radiant heat absorbed or to provide insulation from the cold. Also, products that offer a UV ray benefit help to maintain your furniture and flooring, whose color and finish can fade after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Along the light control lines, room darkening or blackout window treatments are ideal selections for spaces where you wish to reduce glare or eliminate natural light penetration altogether, like bedrooms, basements or family rooms.

{Functioning drapery panels with blackout lining ensure the TV is glare-free for the game day. From: April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

{Functioning drapery panels with blackout lining ensure the TV is glare-free for the game day. From: April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

Light filtering

Gathering areas such as a dining or family room don’t typically require privacy but rather the function of window treatments in these spaces is to filter light. Light filtering shades or drapes help to soften a room by sifting sunlight through sheer or semi-translucent materials, creating a warm ambiance. Think of this feature as a dimmer switch to a space’s natural light. Manufacturers offer a range of fabrics that fall along a transparency spectrum, allowing you to best meet your light filtering needs from sheer to opaque. Another feature, if you want to take the edge of the sun’s glare but don’t wish to obstruct your view, this is the type of product for you.

{Softening a family room with sheer blinds. From: April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

{Softening a family room with sheer blinds. From: April Force Pardoe Interiors.}

Bringing balance

One trick up an interior designer’s sleeve is knowing how to use window treatments to balance uniquely shaped or oddly placed windows. For example, hanging one treatment across a set of tightly spaced windows creates scale and the illusion of width. Or, opting for half-length treatments on tall, towering windows can make for a more intimate atmosphere. Treatments can also emphasize a window’s architectural details such as an arch or decorative frame. Another function of window treatments is they can give the appearance of a window where one doesn’t exist; a trick of the trade to keep in mind for a windowless room or in a space where windows are not evenly constructed.

{Drapes hung behind the headboard give the illusion of a window in this basement bedroom. From: Decoist.}

{Drapes hung behind the headboard give the illusion of a window in this basement bedroom. From: Decoist.}

Before jumping feet first in options, get started by narrowing down the functions of window treatments within your space. These factors help filter out the products, styles or materials that don’t best meet your needs, and you can instead focus your efforts on viable contenders. If your itching to outfit your windows with new drapes or shades and need some help navigating the project, contact us!

April Pardoe