Are you treating your windows the right way?
I have been building and renovating homes for more than 20 years, and the comment I get a lot is how people are so surprised by how expensive remodeling can be. While this is true, the real spending comes after we builders leave and the decorating starts. The furniture, artwork, lamps and the piece de resistance: window treatments.
I would come back to a home that we had built and see these beautiful window treatments with custom valances, and layered shades that cost thousands of dollars. What always irked me was that we spent all the time building or renovating the home and the guy who put up the window treatments got all the glory. Well, that has changed over the last few years. Nice looking window treatments are now available to the do-it-yourselfer and at truly affordable prices.
Now, of course, the sky is the limit as to what you can do, so I narrowed it down to four of the most popular choices, which you can customize them any way you desire. You should consider three things when selecting window treatments:
- Style: What’s the room’s general decor? Contemporary, traditional or something else?
- Color and design: Will it blend with the room or become a focus?
- Function: What kind of light control are you looking for? Do you have safety concerns or want more energy efficiency?
Here is what’s hot these days in window treatments:
Cellular shades. These are one of the most versatile treatments around. They come in a variety of colors, fabrics and cell sizes. These two-sided shades offer great accents to your rooms, or you can match the fabric to the room color to really get that custom look. These shades are also available in cordless setups, which are easy to operate and are a safe alternative in homes with children and pets.
Mini blinds. They continue to be a great choice but more interesting options have been available for quite some time. Larger slat wood blinds were the rage a few years ago but some issue occurred with the wood being exposed to all the sunlight and sometimes warping would occur. So faux wood blinds came along and look great and stay true under almost any condition. They can also be used in moist application like bathrooms.
Woven wood shades. Look in just about any home magazine and chances are you’ll see these window treatments being featured. A rise in popularity has occurred recently that accents textures both in the material and the light that is shown through. Many of these window treatments are actually made from real bamboo reeds and can come in a variety of patterns and colors.
Plantation shutters. This treatment definitely will be a focal point in your rooms. These custom fit units when sized correctly will be an extension of your trim-work and will change the look of your room. These by far are the most expensive window treatment and also expect a lead time of at least five weeks, but boy does it look sharp!
All of these do-it-yourself window treatments have one thing in common: You are the one doing the measuring. This is important because the size you give to whatever company you choose to do business with will be the size they send you. Here's an overview of some key terms that will come up when measuring a window for new treatments:
Inside mounting: emphasizes the actual size of the window and allows the trim work to be visible; can make the size of the window seem smaller
Outside mounting: lengthens and widens windows and makes narrow windows look wider; might be necessary if buying a stock item that will not fit within the inside measurement or if the window is not deep enough to contain the mounting brackets
Here are some other items you will need to do it yourself and get it right:
- A good tape measure that will stay straight to give you exact measurements
- An electronic stud finder to locate framing behind the drywall or plaster to ensure a strong hold
- A level to make sure what you are installing is level to the rest of the house; laser levels do a great job if you are hanging multiple window treatments in one room, helping to keep them all consistent
- Quality hollow-wall anchors if finding the stud is not available; this is key because there is a lot of junk out there that claims it can do the job
Originally published on the MLuxe blog by Lou Manfredini
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