Window Dressings 101

February 24, 2016

By Tab Byrum

I had a meeting with a client yesterday whom I’ve been helping with a new office, we were working on picking something to cover the large windows at the front of his offices. He needs something that will block out a lot of the UV and heat from the sun, the office faces south and gets a great deal of light for much of the year. While I was getting ready for this meeting and researching different types of window coverings it got me to thinking about all the different types and before I knew it this post was writing itself.


There are so many choices when it comes to ways to dress a window, do you want to simply make it attractive or do you need something that is utilitarian and serves a purpose, or perhaps a combination of both looking attractive and being functional? My client and I are leaning towards sun blocking blinds on the windows and fabric window panels to soften it and dress up the windows. Let’s look at the myriad of choices in how to dress windows, from blinds to shades and drapes, we’ll cover them all and hopefully give you some “enlightening” ideas. Enjoy!!!

Venetian Blinds



I’ve always been a big fan of Venetian Blinds and they are actually what’s hanging throughout our home right now. I like that you can leave them all the way down and the windows are blocked, but with the simple turning of a wand or pulling a string they open to let in the light and reveal the world outside. Venetian Blinds come in all sizes and different stain colors as well as painted colors to coordinate with your interiors, in addition to the two types seen here with fabric tapes, you can also get them just with the strings, I really like the tapes though. 


Roman Shades



Roman Shades are wonderful in that they allow you to control the amount of light coming into a room while also coordinating them with your room. Roman Shades are almost always made of fabric, they are made to hang at the top of a window and raise from the bottom up in a kind of rolling up motion. Roman Shades are one of my favorite kinds of window blinds and they can be as simple or complicated in appearance as you want. 


Matchstick Blinds



Matchstick blinds are a sort of cross between a Roman Shade and wooden blind, they are made of smaller pieces of wood thus the name matchstick and like Roman Shades, they roll up from the bottom. Matchstick Blinds lend a masculine and tropical feel to rooms that they’re used in, I’ve always liked the tortoise shell look they have about them and would love to have a sunroom with all the windows done in Matchstick Blinds. 


Indoor Shutters



Shutters have been around forever, used in all climates and are still a favorite among homeowners when decorating and covering windows. Shutters can come in many sizes and colors, above we can see floor to ceiling black shutters covering large windows and below more of a plantation shutter covering a more regular sized window. Shutters are a lot like Venetian Blinds in that you can open the slats on the shutters to let in more light or close them up or down to restrict the amount of light. I really like shutters but in addition, to being beautiful, they are usually a more expensive option for window coverings. 


Cafe Curtains



Our last window dressing we’re looking at are Cafe Curtains, Cafe Curtains get their name from the short curtains covering the lower portion of windows in European cafes. Cafe Curtains are perfect for an area where you aren’t wanting to block the whole window, especially if your windows are tall, Cafe Curtains allow you block off the area where most people would be able to see into but still allow the natural light to come in the higher parts of the window. You see Cafe Curtains in lots of kitchens, breakfast and dining rooms and I’ve put them in the windows of client’s garages. Like Roman Shades, Cafe Curtains allow you to up the ante on your window dressings since you can use fabrics already being used in your room or a coordinating fabric. 


So there have it, a round-up of several different types of window treatments, whether you’re wanting something to block the heat and light of the sun or something strictly for decorative purposes. There are several more things you can do to windows and we’ll tackle those down the road, in the mean time let the sunshine in and enjoy your day!!!

All the words are my own
Images are courtesy of Pinterest
here, here, here, here and here.

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