One of these will leave money in your pocket on bill-paying day, while another will ‘calm’ your living space.
It doesn’t matter whether you choose drapes, blinds or another type of window covering for your home, you will benefit usually in more ways than one.
For your convenience, I’ve also provided some buying tips, as well as other things you should know about window coverings in general.
1. Privacy & Safety:
This is the most important reason to add a window covering, so you can feel safe in your home. Though sheer fabric curtains can look awesome to add decor flair, these will not really afford you the privacy you need.
You might not be able to see through sheers well from the inside looking out, but once you have lights on in the room, you will be clearly visible to outsiders – something you want to avoid. Choose instead a heavier fabric and sometimes just a tighter (fiber) weave will do.
When it gets dark, you should routinely close the drapes or blinds in your home and train your children also to do this, as another measure to keep your family safe and prying eyes away. Children tend to easily forget that someone could be watching them. Add a door and window lock safety check to this daily routine too.
2. Add Decor or Focus to a Room:
Colorful drapes, curtains, toppers or blinds set the stage so to speak and can add a tremendous amount of decor flair to an otherwise drab room. A complimentary color that matches the accessories in the room (such as cushions, soft furniture) can draw the eye and look like you’ve had a designer remake your living space.
It doesn’t have to be expensive to add a splash of color. When it comes to bold patterns, it’s an easy way to make a focal wall, rather than more intrusive and time-consuming wall coverings. If you feel your room needs a make-over, consider updating the window coverings – that may be all you need for the space.
For those who prefer practical over trendy, a solid color rather than patterned draperies can serve you well for several years. A neutral color will be more versatile to fit in with decor changes downstream.
3. To Reduce Your Energy Bills:
A closed curtain, drape or blind – even a thin non-sheer fabric can noticeably help to keep the room more comfortable and reduce energy costs. During cold weather, they will keep cold from radiating through the glass panel and during hot summer weather, it will keep your living space cool and comfortable by keeping out the sun’s rays. So curtains will benefit you year round.
It can make a ten degree difference in the room’s comfort level. And that means your air conditioning will run less during summer and the same applies to your heating system during the cold winter season. You’ll also benefit from keeping the windows/patio doors closed when it’s terribly hot outside, but open them when the sun shifts to the other side of the home.
4. To Add Insulation to that Window and Wall:
Room darkening draperies can also help because they have multiple fabric layers. This will add another insulating and energy-saving factor to the room.
You will pay more for this type of drapery, but the energy savings will be worth it. In fact, you can pay off the window covering expense the first few months from the energy savings alone.
5. Reduce Noise; Improve Comfort Level:
With today’s bare floor trend, there’s a tendency for a room to be noisy and echo. The remedy is to add soft fabric or textiles to the room because they absorb sound. Adding an area rug and some throw cushions do help to cozy up the space, but draperies tend to help at a higher level due to the expanse and height of the windows. You’ll quickly notice the improvement in noise level.
Those who work during the night and must sleep during the day, need room darkening shades or drapes. Besides keeping the room dark which creates a more relaxing atmosphere for sleeping, they’ll also help muffle sounds. They also look much nicer on the outside of the home compared to a foil cover-up.
Tips to Make Drapery Buying a Breeze:
- Always measure your window or patio door carefully to ensure they will fit properly. Include allowances for up to where they would sit on the rod down to the desired length. Blinds usually can either sit on the inside of the window frame or outside; exact measurements are essential.
- If you’re a tenant, you’ll want to check with your landlord to confirm you can hang draper hardware. And be prepared to leave them if you have to move. In some areas, curtain hardware is considered a permanent fixture and should stay when you leave.
- You can choose to make your own, buy off the shelf or have your draperies custom made.
- Factor in the cost of hanging hardware when deciding on a type of drapery.
- Adding tie backs for patio door drapes can keep them conveniently to the side especially if this entryway is used frequently.
- When choosing a blind, the traditional pull-down shades are more durable if they have a reinforced handling (pull) area in the bottom section. Also use care when pulling it down – avoid over-pulling right to the end. On the way up, keep guiding it from the center of the hem; do not let go and allow it roll up on its own. That’s a sure fire way to shorten its lifespan.
- Avoid hanging ropes or blind draw strings. These can easily become a hazard with small children. Use hardware to wrap tie the strings at a safe height.
- Choose curtain hardware that is adequate for the type of drapery you’re hanging. For instance, grommet-topped panels need a thick rod; they would look awkward on thin cafe-style hanging rods. Also consider the weight supported by the rod; add rod supports as required. And get advice about adequate hanging hardware where you shop for draperies.
- Lengths do vary. You can choose drapery panels that hang just below the window, or to the floor, but it depends on window measurements and your preferences.
- Floor-length drapes are usually either 84″ or 95″ long. It can be trendy to hang longer curtains and allow pooling of the fabric on the floor, but this can become annoying or create a tripping hazard. It also does not work well with heavier drapes.
- Rod-pocket style curtains usually require 2-1/2 times the window width to get a nice gathering across.
- Adding sheers as well as drapes will probably require a double hanging rod system or two separate rods.
- A valance over drapes requires another rod that protrudes further from the wall.
- Some draperies require dry cleaning, while others can be machine washed successfully at home. Read the laundry labels to be sure. If washing, use a gently cycle with a lower spin to reduce risk of wrinkles. Sheers can usually be machine washed and returned to the rod while still wet. They’ll quickly dry with less wrinkles.
- If you must add another store-bought panel, take the product label with you so you can match the new to the one you previously bought.
- Patterned, floral and so on can be very trendy, but can also become outdated in a few years.
- Even in a non-smoking home, draperies can absorb odors and smell stale after just a few months. Cleaning them can freshen the room.
- Always keep store receipts till you have washed/cleaned draperies as per instructions, to ensure you’re satisfied with your purchase and will not be returning them.
- Stubborn factory fold lines and wrinkles? Use either a clothing iron and dry pressing with a cloth or a garment/fabric steamer while they are hung. But check fabric labels first; silks can show water marks.
- Don’t be afraid to repurpose draperies from one room to another and change things up to create a new look.
- Staging your home for quick sale? Updating draperies can help give the room a trendy decor or a touch of glamor.
- Planning on selling your home? Consider including all window coverings. You can always add the cost to the asking price. Who wouldn’t want a no hassle, move-in-ready home.
- Most of all, watch prices and shop around to get the best home decor deals. And enjoy the new look.