Yes, I do windows. Actually, I do a lot of windows!
They’re an important piece of a room’s real estate, so whether you’re a design or staging client, what your windows look like is a big thing to talk about. But first let’s be clear: the term window treatment(s) just describes anything you put on, or around the windows. It can include drapes/draperies, but the terms are not synonymous.
So now that you’re breathing a little easier :), just know that how you treat a window can change everything about a room.
In preparing this Orienta Point house for sale we removed the dated verticals and had new fabric shades installed in this corner family room. With fireplace, water views, and patio access, this, plus painting and new carpet increased the value of this very important space. (They’re pulled up here for photo, but you can see them lightly lowered in larger center window)
- In-place blinds or shades make a property truly move-in ready by offering new owners privacy that first night
- Stationary panels can elevate a room and even shrink too-big furniture by adding interest and balance.
- Anything adjustable (that can cover the glass, then retract) will preserve your view and the furniture, add acoustic control and cut your energy bills.
The whole back of this Philipse Manor house faced the Palisades. Roll-up solar shades in the same color as the window trim disappeared when rolled up, but let light in while blocking vicious glare and heat.
There are several things to consider when choosing window treatments. Many want to deal with color first, as it comes more naturally and feels the most satisfying. But just like with space planning I recommend starting out with function:
What do you want to achieve, what needs to be remedied?
Privacy, light, and temperature control are good starters. But how much do you need?
- Blackout might be important for light sleepers, or anyone with irregular sleeping times
- Sheer coverings with timer lights will ease travelers’ minds by making house look lived in, not closed up.
- Look at seasonality too. Will your privacy needs change in November when leaves are down?
What treatments and products are doable?
- Any fixed conditions to work around, like heating/cooling units, or access to handles?
- Does the space limit what hardware can be used, or where it’ll be installed?
- What’s the orientation (direction windows face)? Navy blue sailcloth on windows at a coastal property is snazzy but will fade tremendously. Silk, when solo will shred with an unforgiving western exposure.
- Cordless or installs with remote controls might be wise in households with pets or children.
There are mitigating circumstances that could open up, or narrow down options:
- Skylight coverings that need to adjust will require a remote control install.
- Double or triple-glazed windows might let you get by with less because of their thermal R value.
- Retractable awnings or invisible window film can block UV rays, letting you live dangerously with silk on western exposure windows, or going with blues in that coastal property.
Just need the space to look like more?
It’s science, the eyes are drawn to color and light. When staging, the use of color, especially on far walls can be transformative.
- The formal DR of this Scarsdale house was dull and underwhelming. The listing expired, and the 2nd agent called me in.
- After un-cluttering the table, I added depth and balance to the room, by adding 2 pairs of stationary ready-made navy panels with decorative rods to complement the furniture. All told, maybe a $250 investment at the time. Not bad, right??
Design pros know how to dovetail all of this with client expectations of the whole project:
- Interlining gives more moderately-priced sunfast polyester taffeta the body of dupioni silk at a fraction of the price
- Cleanable hard blinds, little fabric, or inexpensive ready-made fabric treatments work best in kitchens, or if there are smokers in the house
- A shallow navy blue cornice or less costly/fragile accents throughout is another way to do navy blue in a coastal space
- A tighter woven poplin, or a more nubby synthetic on full and movable roman shades will resist wrinkles and deliver a neater look much more so than washed linen.
Time to finally do something nice on those windows and finish the room? Just start the conversation!