Winter is a great excuse to curl up on the couch with your favourite book. It is the season when we spend much more time cocooning or entertaining. This is also a great time of year to look at your window dressings to make sure that they look stylish while keeping your home cozy and warm on those chilly nights.
We spoke to Reisa Pollard, founder and designer at Beyond Beige Interior Design, to find out how to choose the best and coziest window treatments for your home. We also uncovered some of the hottest trends out there, in everything from drapes to shades to shutters.
Whether you find yourself in need of fresh window treatments, or are starting new, we’ve gathered the top window treatments to help you turn any window into your favourite new focal point.
What are You Looking to Achieve?
Determining what window treatments meet your needs for privacy, light control, energy efficiency and, most importantly, your budget are typically the first step in selecting the right window covering.
Pollard says ask yourself the following: Do you entertain a lot? Are you trying to protect your furnishings from the harsh glare of the sun? What is your budget?
Next, think about function. Do you want your window treatments to provide privacy? Control the light coming in? Frame a beautiful view? Insulate against cold and noise?
“Depending on the window dressing, they can keep out the draft and cold and protect from too much light while offering privacy,” says the seasoned designer.
Spoiled for Choice
Then comes the fun part: what to choose?
“Window dressings are fabulous additions to your condo because they can really add a warm, luxurious element,” she says. “The benefit of your window dressings is that they also add acoustic value.”
First off, window treatments come in two categories: hard and soft.
“Hard includes blinds, shutters, Venetians, shades and soft is what we call the dressing, the fabric finishes on your windows,” Pollard says. “Finishes such as side panels, layered treatments and drapes are used to complement your furniture and décor.”
Roller Shades and Roman Blinds
Roller shades and Roman blinds both provide a sleek and clean look to your interior. This is the perfect accessory to a very contemporary window treatment, or is a stand-alone window covering in its own right. Not only do they come in a rainbow of hues, you can also choose light-filtering options including blackout shades.
“Roller shades come in wood, bamboo, reeds and grasses as well as man-made faux wood and vinyl,” adds Pollard.
Wood Shutters and Blinds
Shutters have been around since medieval times and they have long been associated with plantation homes of the South. Today, they are an ultimate statement piece. Shutters have many looks, fit most windows and can stretch from floor to ceiling. In the end, homeowners fall in love with them because they are the very essence of classic, says Pollard.
“Go for wood shutters or wood blinds that don’t have as many slats so it’s not as imposing on a window,” she explains. “They have doors, louvers, shutters and slats that come in various sizes, but I tell clients to go for at least a nice two-inch width or more. Although white is the most favoured colour for both shutters and blinds, what’s really hot right now are those with a grey or light brown undertone that are in line with flooring and furniture trends.”
The louvre size is important because it will affect how much privacy you have in your room and how much light comes through the shutter.
There are an infinite number of options and choices of fabrics, tracks, rods, styles and headings for drapery. So, whether you envision traditional pleated drapes with sheers or contemporary flat panels hung on decorative hardware, Pollard says choose the style, fabric and trims that will suit your room’s décor.
“A drapery can be the most impactful element in any room and adds a lot of warmth,” she says. “There are beautiful, big bold patterns on today’s velvet (which is sheerer) or linen fabrics that provide a real sophisticated look. Meanwhile, a nice soft fabric will take away from any harsh lines in a room.”
Pollard adds that linen blends are best because they are lower maintenance.
When it comes to hardware, mount drapery hardware close to the ceiling or crown to give the appearance and feel of more height. Pollard recommends choosing metal finishes to help achieve a less traditional look while giving your drapery a nice ripple fold.
Colour makes or breaks a room. Window treatments in the right colour can create an ambiance that is both warm and inviting.
“While white, ocean-blues and greens, and primary colours are perennial favourites, window treatments in jewel tones and bright contrasting colours make a strong statement in your home,” adds Pollard.
For those looking for a modern, clean look, darker colours work best.
Keep in mind that if you choose darker tones, your accents in the room need to be a lighter colour so that you don’t over burden your theme, says Pollard. Shades and panels in light earth tones give the room a warm glow during the day and soothe under the incandescent lighting of the evening.
Finally, Pollard says, “Never underestimate the power of window dressings. You’ll be amazed at how much they add to the décor of a room, rather than simply being a functional element.”