Make an asset of the glass that lights up your home with these 9 options in modern window treatments
Window coverings do more than shield prying eyes and shade sunny rooms, they can really make an impact on your home décor. From classic blinds and shutters, to stylish and eco-friendly fabrics, the wide array of options in window coverings offers a suitable look for every home. These nine options are a good place to start if you're looking to dress up your windows and shine the best light on every room.
Horizontal blinds hang from the top of a window in a series of thin slats. When raised, they collapse into a discrete bundle above the window and when lowered, they can be angled to control the amount of light let in to a room, offering light control that ranges from full sun exposure to complete privacy. They come in a variety of materials, like wood and aluminum, some of which have anti-static dust-repelling properties, which makes cleaning easy. Simple and subtle, horizontal blinds blend nicely into your room’s surrounding décor and are the classic way to go for window coverings.
While identical to horizontal blinds in basic form and function, vertical blinds, with their wider slats that run vertically from the ceiling to the floor, are better suited to long windows, like those on many patio doors. When opened, they stack in neat columns on either side of the window and when closed, offer the complete range of light control. Available in a variety of materials, they offer a more streamlined look than curtains or drapes.
Classic fabric curtains are a great way to add volume and colour to a room. Available in any fabric of your choosing, they can be dressed up or dressed down to suit your décor. The opacity of the fabric you choose also offers varying light control. The more sheer a curtain the more light it will let in, the darker and denser the fabric the greater coverage. However, if your design aesthetic has you leaning toward light colours and patterns, lining the curtain with a thicker, complementary colour allows for less light flow.
Shutters are like a window within a window. Rows of horizontal slats contained within a frame let shutters fit directly on top of the window they are meant to cover, offering light control through the angle of their blinds. By sitting snuggly within the window they do not obstruct its use, meaning the window can be opened and closed without having to move the covering. Available in many materials, most commonly wood, they are a chic and convenient choice for any room.
Roman blinds are made out of one sheet of fabric braced by a series of horizontal columns that provide structure when lowered, and fold into a neat stack when raised. The fabric covering offers endless design possibilities, whether matching other fabrics in a room, highlighting complementary colours or simply blending into surrounding walls, and their versatility makes them a popular choice. And because they lay flat when lowered, roman blinds are great for small windows or tight spaces that would otherwise be overwhelmed by larger treatments.
Like other fabric coverings, roller shades offer design versatility in the abundance of colours and patterns available. Light control is determined by the opacity of the fabric. Roller shades are a simpler, more discrete fabric alternative to curtains or roman blinds. When raised they curl into a tight roll at the top of the window and when lowered they descend on a track within the window frame, which keeps them lying flat against the window. Roller shades are an unfussy way to provide privacy, complement design, and control light.
Sheer blinds are the same in structure as horizontal blinds, except they have a light layer of fabric on either side of the slats to provide softer light control. They are a more design-savvy alternative to classic horizontal blinds because the layer of fabric provides greater choice in colour and texture. Rather than adjusting light control with the angle of the slats, fabric blinds rely on their fabric covering to determine the amount of light emitted. This may seem a disadvantage when compared to the flexibility of traditional blinds, but what is lost in control is made up for in design versatility.
Honeycomb shades do more than provide shade; they offer an easy and economical way to insulate your home against heat and cold. Also known as cellular shades, they are made of two of more layers of folded fabric that create a hollow tunnel to trap warm or cool air. This eco-friendly option is available in an array of colours to suit your décor scheme and can be chosen in varying opacities for customized light control. Growing in popularity, these energy saving shades are a practical way to drive down the cost of heating or cooling your home without skimping out on style.
Bring the outside inside with woven shades made from various eco-friendly materials like bamboo, rattan, sisal and jute grasses. Woven shades provide varying degrees of light control depending on the density of their weaves. Open weaves gently light a room, while tighter weaves block out more light and offer greater privacy. They instantly add warmth and texture to any room design, and while they may seem to suit a specific aesthetic, they come in a variety of styles – from elegant to rustic – to complement your unique look.
Former intern turned contributing writer, Natalie Walters covers a range of topics for BC Living, with a special interest in travel, style and all things edible. She loves exploring food and far off places, preferably at the same time, and hopes to continue adventuring her way around the world as an international journalist.