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Winter 2023 Upstate Lake Living Article

Our article in the Winter issue of the Upstate Lake Living article:

“Window Treatments”.  Everyone knows that you need window treatments in your house, but not everyone knows what exactly they are and how they can effectively be used.  Although it may seem straightforward, window treatments are a highly detailed and specific facet of interior design that affects not only the overall aesthetics of your space, but also can affect the performance of your house through the seasons.

To determine what type of window treatments you should get to be conscientious of the changing seasons, you first need to understand what window treatments are.  Defined as “a decorative covering, such as a curtain, shade, or valance, for a window or a part of a window”, (Merriam-Webster) the large variety of types of window treatments provides a wide range of choices you can choose from to achieve privacy, light and sun protection, thermal protection, and different aesthetics.  Providing much-needed privacy from the exterior world and giving any space a more completed look, choosing the appropriate type of window treatments for your home is vital.

Window blinds are one of the most common types of treatments.  Blinds are typically made of fabric, wood (real or faux), vinyl, metal, or aluminum, and by connecting horizontal slats to a vertical track that can be tilted to open or close the blinds.

Cellular shades are also known as “honeycomb shades” due to the unique honeycomb shape that can be seen when looking at these shades from the side.  Two panels of insulation in these shades protect your home from hot or cold exterior temperatures.  Since there are no breaks or cracks in the shade material, these have high privacy protection.  These shades are raised up from the bottom, and the fabric stacks together to create a more sleek and easily hidden design when not being used.

Window shutters are solid and permanently fixed to the sides of a window.  These are often used for privacy as well as light control.  Shutters are not used as frequently, because bugs can get in your house if the shutters are open.  However, be careful when placing furniture around shutters so the louvers do not get trapped open or shut behind a piece of furniture.

The terms “curtains” and “drapes” are often used interchangeably, but they do have a few distinct differences.  Drapes are typically more heavily lined than curtains, so their purpose is usually to provide a “blackout” effect in a room.  Both curtains and drapes are usually hung on a rod, which is then mounted either at the top of a window or at the ceiling above the window.

Roller shades are composed of a thin, flat piece of fabric that, when raised, are rolled around a piece of tubing (made of either plastic or metal usually).  They typically are controlled by either a continuous-loop cord or by an electronic control like a switch, remote, or Wi-Fi-controlled device (like a tablet or smartphone).  Roller shades are one of the more budget-friendly window treatments, while still having a wide range of customizable features, which makes them very popular in many houses.  The material that goes over the windows comes in a variety of light filtration opacities, which protects your house from the world looking into your space as well as prevents harmful UV rays from getting in your house.

Most of these treatments can be customized by selecting any type of fabric (cotton, polyester, linen, rayon, etc.) and finish (wood, metal, plastic, etc.).  Aesthetics are not the only reason for needing to carefully choose your window treatments.  As winter is approaching, it is important to consider how window treatments can affect your home through the colder months.  Because cold weather permeates your home, layering window treatments could save your energy bill.  Did you know that “about 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through its windows”? (https://theblindman.com/window-treatments-to-keep-your-home-warm-this-winter/)  For instance, instead of just installing roller shades, consider installing drapes as well.  Or, instead of installing curtains alone, add cellular shades to your windows too.  Additionally, focusing on selecting the right window treatments will help give your home the cozy, warm winter feel that everyone loves.  So, take some time this fall to consider what window treatments are right for your home and start preparing now for upcoming winter months with the right window treatments!