Knowing what kind of window coverings are right for your home is more than a matter of visual preference. Some types have better insinuative properties than others. Some block out just a little bit of light while others can put a room into complete darkness. There are many different styles, and thousands and thousands of different designs to choose from. Options for window coverings Most of the different type of window coverings that you see will fit into one of a few categories:
Blinds can be raised or lowered to cover as much or as little of the window as you want, and have slats that can be opened or closed depending on your preferred levels of brightness and privacy.
Shades can also be fully raised and lowered and as they are a uniform piece of material they are easier than blinds to clean, but they have no slats that can be adjusted to let in light while still giving your privacy. Honeycomb shades are made with the fabric stitched into hollow cells, providing an insulating cushion of air that keeps your home temperate while using less energy.
Curtains are more prominent as they hang over the window frame and are not hidden when drawn, as blinds and shades usually are. Curtains, like shades, can only be opened or closed to change the level of light, but are more visually impactful. Because they hang in front of the window, curtains are also usually the best option for achieving full blackout. Blinds and shades often can't help but let in a small amount of light along the sides or between the slats, depending on the type of blinds and how they're installed.
Shutters are effective at both insulating and blocking light and are very nice to look at. They can be designed to open and close on a hinge, to roll up or down, or as sliding panels. Shutters can be installed on the outside of the window as well as the inside, and with a little planter on the sill you can have a picturesque flowery scene in the summer that looks like something out of a painting.
Choosing the right type of blinds Windows often act as a focal point to a room, providing both a view and a source of light. Large windows can beautifully accent the look of a home from the inside as well as the outside, but occasionally you may want the option for both privacy and darkness. When trying to decide how you want to cover your windows, ask yourself a few questions:
What sort of room will the blinds be installed in?
How much light do you want to block out when the blinds are closed?
How much cleaning do you want to do?
Do your windows need any extra insulation? Once you've got these variables figured out, picking the right type and style of blinds for your home should be pretty cut and dry as you'll have excluded many options right off the bat.
Figuring out your window covering needs: Lighting the room The biggest factor in determining what type of blinds you want is the type of room they'll be installed in. For common areas such as a living room or kitchen, you'll most often see blinds that allow in some ambient light when closed. For a bedroom or home theater room though, you might prefer to have the option to block out as much light as possible for those days when the sun might otherwise intrude on your beauty sleep or induce some harsh glare on the TV.
More than the style of window covering that you choose, the material that they're made of will affect the brightness of the room. Shades and curtains can be of varying opacities depending on your preferred light levels, from fairly translucent to full blackout, while blinds and shutters with slats can let some light in while still preserving your privacy. Cleaning your blinds Some types of window coverings are more difficult, or at least more tedious, to clean than others. Blinds and shutters with slats need to be wiped and dusted fairly regularly, while curtains and shades can be cleaned easily with a vacuum. If you're having trouble deciding what style of window covering to get, let the amount of cleaning that you want to do be a factor in your final decision.
Using window coverings to insulate a room
Windows can be a major source of energy loss in your home, and proper coverings can help lower your energy bills. They can help keep in heat if your windows have a tendency to transfer it from inside to outside during cold weather. They can also block out the sun, keeping it from heating the air in the room on days when you'd rather stay cool. These problems can be mitigated by installing energy efficient windows, but this can turn out to be a major investment that window coverings can solve, or at least help. Automated window coverings Like nearly everything else in modern homes, window coverings can be set up to be controlled remotely with either a remote control or smartphone/tablet. Motorized window coverings can not only be made to open and close at the touch of a button but, for blinds, the slats can be adjusted remotely as well. The first time you press a button and your shutters roll down automatically, letting the morning sun steal away the dark, you'll feel like you're in the future. Consult a home design specialist to see how else you can futurize your home, and take a trip to a window covering supply store or installation specialist to help figure out the best options for all your blind-related needs.