The Best Options for Covering Your Windows
Covering windows is expensive, even when we seek to remain economically conservative. Covering the numerous windows in homes today can represent a substantial investment. We want our window covering selections to reflect our taste, beautify our homes, and coordinate well with our furnishings, floors, paint or wallpaper. When considering window coverings, there is one very often overlooked factor that can vary from region to region, home to home, and even from room to room.
That factor which we are considering today is climate. You might live in a region where temperatures rarely approach freezing or where temperatures can be just downright hot with intense sun. Others may spend a good portion of the year with lower temperatures, more rain, and at times, just plain cold and windy. Choosing a window covering that is well suited to your climate can go a long way toward making your home more comfortable and even save you some money.
For those of you who enjoy frequent warm days with abundant sunlight, your focus for window coverings might be about managing the sun’s rays and preserving cooler air within your home, all while taking advantage of the natural light when the heat from the sun is less intense. It is helpful to know when the sun’s most intense rays engage your home and from which direction. For example, even in a warm climate, a window facing North in North America may never see direct sunlight, while southern facing windows are at the mercy of the sun all day, and most intensely during the middle of the day.
One very popular window treatment for areas where the sun and heat can be intense are shutters. Shutters are one of the most aesthetically pleasing window coverings and, as you might expect they are very popular in the southern states. Shutters add value to your home and can block out or filter sunlight simply by adjusting the louvers to deflect direct sun yet sustain a view. In many cases, shutters can fold completely off a window, permitting an unobstructed view, flooding a room with light.
Another good option for areas where the sun and heat can be intense is the layering of two or more types of window coverings. For example, one might select a room darkening shade that can be drawn closed during the heat of the day paired with some drapes, a cornice, or a valance to add some style, color, and elegance. The drapes can be sheer to filter light, or you might select a room darkening drape to further darken a room, and finally they can be tied back making way for your favorite view framed by your stylish draperies. If you prefer a cornice or a valance, there are many options ranging from majestic classic wood stains and paints to color coordinated fabrics.
For those of you who have a cooler or even a frosty view, other window covering options can help to deliver equally stylish solutions. One very popular style is cellular shades. Cellular shades have been popular for years and offer significant R-Value insulation on a cold winter day. Of course, on a sunny day, it is always preferable to take advantage of the greenhouse heat generated by an unobstructed window. They can easily be drawn open and out of the way to permit the sun to warm your home and maintain your view as the kids build snowmen in the yard.
Cellular shades also work well when deciding on a layered solution in cooler climates, adding textured horizontal lines with numerous colors and patterns to choose from. Cellular shades can be ordered with a room darkening option, ensuring you remain warm and asleep on those bright, cold mornings; they have the smallest gap on the sides of any shade solution in the industry, typically about one-quarter inch. Still too much light? Adorn your cellular shades with some side panel draperies, further reducing light and adding style to your room.
Of course, as we consider window coverings for our home, and how our climate might impact those choices, there are many related factors to consider about your home. You may have the luxury of shade trees near your home already protecting you from the harsh rays of a hot summer sun, or barriers that help buffer you from the cold winds. At Made in the Shade of Northern Virginia, we look forward to helping you find just the right window covering solution that will help to tame our Mid-Atlantic climate and beautify your home, all while displaying your unique taste and style within your budget! No job is too small or too large. Give us a call – we bring the showroom to you!