Contrary to popular belief, window coverings should be considered early on during a building or renovating project. They add the visual finishing touches to any room, so ensuring you get this part of your planning right is vital.
Renovators who leave this selection to the end often feel that they have to compromise on their window covering selections as they have run out of budget, but this will only see them ending up with buyer’s remorse. There is nothing more disheartening than walking into a home that has been beautifully renovated, only to see no window coverings, or ones that are poorly chosen and do not reflect the value of the home. No matter what stage of your build/renovation you are in, if you are planning your selections of window treatments, consider our guiding tips before you go shopping!
There is no end to the number of times we get asked if window treatments should be the same for every room in the house. The short answer is “no”, and for good reasons.
Every room represents a different space in your home, a different vibe, where different activities and daily use of those spaces demand a different look, feel and functionality. Whilst the idea of uniformity throughout may seem appealing, don’t be tempted to fall back on the usual “matchy-matchy” tactics suggested by friends or family who have renovated.
For example, your home office will require different window treatments than your bedroom. Your living room will no doubt require a more aesthetic choice than your laundry, and the list goes on. Remember that your spaces are diverse, and from this starting point is where you can commence your planning, by understanding that not one style of window treatment will suit all your windows, and that you may need to invest some time planning, in order to get it right. Luckily, with the right professionals by your side, this will be a fun and rather effortless process.
LIGHT AND PRIVACY
Next up, you need to consider where you require light, and where you require privacy, and in most rooms where you require both!
Whilst sheer curtains in the bedroom can achieve that floaty and ethereal feeling, you also need to think about the level of privacy and light you need in order to rest, play, and be yourself, without anyone else getting a glimpse of that action.
With the large range of blinds available in the market today – you don’t have to choose between style and functionality. There are many solutions that provide light and privacy control without having to compromise on aesthetics. A good example of this is Silhouette Shadings, which feature soft fabric vanes suspended between two sheer facings that diffuse light and filter the UV to provide a warm glow. These blinds can can be opened for a full view, adjusted for a soft focus view or closed for privacy.
“Whilst sheer curtains in the bedroom can achieve that floaty and ethereal feeling, you also need to think about the level of privacy and light you require in order to rest, play, and be yourself, without anyone else getting a glimpse of that action.”
~ALISA & LYSANDRA
Blocking out the light can assist in more ways than just helping you get a shuteye. The suns’ ultraviolet light in can cause serious damage over time to items exposed to it, from carpets, upholstery and timber furniture, which can fade or have a light bleached look after years of consistent exposure to sunlight. Window coverings help protect against this damage, by filtering or completely eliminating the harsh Australian sunlight.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY, MATTERS
When you’re shopping around, consider that quality manufactured window coverings offer more than just good aesthetics; they can make a positive impact to your pocket too. Well-insulated windows can reduce energy consumption by a staggering 49% in summer on your cooling costs, which is why we chose the Luxaflex Duette Shades in two of the bedrooms at our Albert Park renovation. How do you go about deciding what product is right and where? Aspect and positioning are key elements to consider. For example, north-facing windows receive the lowest amount of sunlight, even during hot summers. South-facing windows receive low light during winter so a good idea is to use window coverings that are sheer, but will still filter the unwanted UV light whilst promoting a much needed soft and warm glow. East and West-facing windows are the ones that literally get scorched all year round and this is where you need to choose both insulating and sun blocking window coverings. These areas can also benefit from some external applications, such as awnings, which work wonders in keeping the direct sunlight away from your windows, allowing you to still enjoy a transparent view during the daytime.
CHOOSE YOUR COLOUR SCHEME
Now that you’ve made some decisions on the functional aspects of your window coverings, the fun part begins; choosing your colours…and the options are endless!
As a good rule of thumb, remember that when you’re making decisions on colours, you have two options, which are vasty different to each other. You can either “blend” or “contrast”. Choosing roller blinds for example, which closely match the hue of your wall paint means that you can create a seamless look that will offer an illusion of space.
This type of colour uniformity does well in bedrooms, and other areas of the house where visual harmony is required. On the other hand, you can spice things up a little and choose window treatments that feature textures or colours that are more contrasting and pick up a key accent colour from your interiors colour palette. This is particularly beneficial for large open plan spaces that crave a little more definition.
Not sure if you should blend or contrast? You can do both!
CONSIDER FUNCTIONALITY EARLY ON
Good looks aside you need to consider how you will operate your window coverings, especially if your windows are in tricky-to-reach places like the ceiling. In this instance, motorised use via a remote control or a smartphone app is necessary and it’s another good reason why your window coverings shouldn’t be an afterthought, but a priority, especially when you are working on your electrical plan. Whilst motorisation can be factored in later, you will save time and money by allocating the power requirements in advance.
KNOW YOUR BUDGET AND ITS LIMITS
We’ve left “the dollars” until the end of the process, and even though we always recommend you set a budget for your build/renovation, when it comes to window coverings you should review your options first, and check your budget before you make your final purchasing decision, not at the start.
Window coverings are one of the most important finishing touches of a home and have the capacity to affect the tone and ambience of your home to a great extent, so going into the showroom with a budget as your guide can lead you to make decisions you may regret later down the track.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SUPPLIER
Working with a reputable supplier that offers a large variety of window treatments, which reflect current interiors trends, as well as innovative materials and quality craftsmanship, can
make a world of difference especially if you’re feeling rather vague at the start of the selection process, or lost in relation to which window treatments will best suit your interiors.
We chose to partner with Luxaflex because they are leaders in the market, they offer a vast variety of window treatments and they worked with us to create the perfect window treatments for our biggest renovation to date.
Need some inspiration? Check out our episode, and visit your nearest Luxaflex showroom today or call for an in-home appointment.