How to choose the right kind of window décor
While trying to pick out the perfect window treatments, sometimes the hardest part is narrowing down your search, given the wide array of options available in the market today. Along with providing privacy, the kind of window treatment that you choose for your home also performs other functions such as controlling the amount of natural lighting in a room, helping to insulate the room, and even something as basic as complementing your home décor. They provide a unique sense of presence to a room, thus helping in setting the mood from casual and easy to bold and dramatic.
Curtains vs. Drapes
One of the most confusing parts about choosing the right kind of window treatments is deciding whether you need curtains or drapes to suit your needs. The terms ‘curtains’ and ‘drapes’ are often used interchangeably, but it is important to understand that they are actually two different types of window treatments. Curtains are sold in pairs or by the panel, and are installed over blinds or shades. They hang from curtain rods, extend all the way to the windowsill or the floor, and are typically made from lighter fabrics, but can be room darkening or even blackout. Drapes are made from thicker fabrics and are lined to block out more light. They are also more formal in terms of aesthetics and can extend to or even extend excessively and puddle on the floor.
So, how do you go about choosing the right kind of curtains/drapes for your home? Selecting curtains to cover the sliding glass door off the kitchen or the balcony is different from choosing curtains for the living room or master bedroom. Different rooms will require different curtains, both in terms of individual needs for style and functionality. Here are a few factors to consider before you start shopping for the kind of window décor that accentuates your personal space.
The colour of your window curtains are definitely one of the most important factors to consider. Colour is also a great place to start trimming down your search because it forces you to consider a variety of other home décor factors such as the colour of your furniture, accessories, etc. When choosing the right accent color to pull from, you'll be safer pulling from a larger or more permanent home décor pieces such as your furniture, large rugs or carpets, or even an accent colour from a newly-painted wall.
Not all brands of curtains or drapes offer the same features. While choosing window décor, it is most important to decide its utility along with its style and design. For example, let us take a look at the common types of window treatments that are available.
Single-Panel: As the name states, single panel curtains are made of one piece of fabric. These are great for sliding glass doors.
Panel Pair: These types of curtains come in matching pairs, allowing you to hang the two pieces of fabric on either side of the window. This design allows you to pull them apart and thus let in as much light as you would want.
Window Scarf: Designed more for decorative purposes, window scarves don’t block out much light, but are draped over the curtain rod. Window scarves can be draped individually or can be paired with panel pair curtains. They can match the length of your windowsill or extend all the way down to the floor.
Liner: Liners are designed to block out the light and are used in addition to a curtain. They can either be hung on a second curtain rod behind your curtains, or they can be hooked to curtain rings and be attached to the same curtain rod as your curtains.
Next, let us explore the specific functional features that one can look at, which help in providing the apt sort of utility for your curtains/drapes.
Sheer: Sheer curtains offer the least amount of privacy and the most amount of light to come through your windows. You can see through the fabric, but it reduces some glare on your television and furniture. This style is a light and breezy addition to any room but does very little in terms of functionality.
Semi-Sheer: These curtains are slightly less see-through than sheer curtains, and can offer more privacy to a home. These are best paired with blinds or shades.
Room Darkening: This style reduces the amount of light coming in from the window, but some light may still seep around the sides unless carefully drawn all the way to the edges of the windows.
Blackout: These kinds of curtains are great for bedrooms. Blackout curtains reduce almost all light and provide absolute privacy. These curtains also provide the additional functionality of reducing noise pollution and helps in insulating a room, which we shall discuss more in detail later.
Max Blackout: These kinds of curtains/drapes help in blocking out almost 100% of the light, and are a great option for bedrooms to such an extent you won’t be able to tell night or day apart. These curtains also help in insulating your windows from cold drafts and reduce noise pollution coming from outside the home. They also provide the maximum amount of privacy.
Thermal Insulation: Thermal insulation curtains are function-specific and feature a layer of acrylic foam which helps in insulating windows. They share qualities quite similar to blackout curtains, as they also reduce noise pollution and block out sunlight.
Noise Reduction: If you are staying closer to or in the vicinity of a heavily-crowded area or where you can easily be disturbed by the sound of ongoing vehicular traffic in a busy city, noise-reducing curtains or drapes will help you drown out those disturbing sounds. While the curtains will not block 100% of the sound, it will reduce a significant amount of noise pollution from the street.
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