What’s the best choice for YOUR windows?

by Edith Barrera González
Windows are the first thing we see when we walk into a room.  This makes them an important design element in any space, which is something we, as designers, don’t take lightly when it comes to window coverings.  Windows are a fabulous opportunity to add color and drama to a room!  But good design isn’t just beautiful.  Window coverings should be aesthetically pleasing AND serve a functional purpose.  Today, I’d like to focus on the pros and cons of hard window coverings, which include blinds, shades and shutters.  We’ll discuss soft window coverings (draperies, valances, etc.) in another blog soon, I promise.  🙂

 

Purpose is Key

The first thing to consider when deciding which hard window covering option is best for your windows should be purpose.  Make a list of what you want to achieve with your window coverings.  Among other things, you should consider:

  1. Privacy – How much privacy do you need in the space?  (Obviously important in bathrooms, bedrooms and front rooms facing the street)
  2. Light Control – How much light do you want coming into the room?
  3. Energy Efficiency – Are you looking for window coverings that will insulate your windows from the heat or cold?
  4. Cost – How much have you budgeted for window coverings?
  5. Durability – Are the window coverings going to be exposed to moisture and humidity (i.e. bathroom, kitchen and laundry room)?
  6. Child Safety – Are you looking for window coverings that offer additional options like a cordless feature for added child safety?
  7. Style – Will your choice of window coverings work with the design of your interiors?

 

Wood Blinds
WoodBlinds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advantages:

  • Privacy Control
  • Light Control
  • Add Architectural Interest
  • Provide Natural Look & Feel
  • Lighter Weight Than Faux Wood Blinds
  • Great for Areas Without Moisture and Humidity
  • Tilt Wand Option for Added Child Safety

Disadvantages:

  •  Not Recommended for Bathrooms, Kitchens or Laundry Rooms
  •  More Expensive Than Faux Wood Blinds

 

Faux Wood Blinds

Advantages:

  • Privacy Control
  • Light Control
  • Great for Areas That Get Moisture & Humidity
  • Less Expensive Than Wood Blinds
  • Painted Faux Wood Choices Look Similar To Real Painted Wood
  • Tilt Wand Option for Added Child Safety

 

Disadvantages:

  • Not Recommended if You’re Looking for Real Stain Wood Look
  • Larger Blinds Are More Prone To Warping Than Real Wood
  • Heavier Than Wood Blinds
  • Limited Color Choices

 

Cellular Shades (Honeycomb Shades)
CellularShades

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advantages:

  • Energy Efficient
  • Stack High for Larger View
  • Privacy Control
  • Light Control
  • Top Down Bottom Up Feature for Added Privacy & Light Control
  • Cordless Option for Added Child Safety
  • Great for Bathrooms, Bedrooms & Windows Facing Front
  • Style Versatility – Fit Traditional to Contemporary Settings
  • Most Popular Cellular Shades: 3/8” Double Cell
  • Many Fabric & Color Choices Available

Disadvantages:

  • Not The Most Fashionable Window Covering Option
  • Opaque Shades Provide No Partial View-Through When Closed

 

Woven Wood Shades
WovenBlinds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advantages:

  • Provide A Casual, Natural Look & Feel
  • Varying Degrees of Privacy Depending on Materials Selected
  • Fabric Liner Option Offers Additional Light & Privacy Control
  • Top Down Bottom Up Option for More Privacy & Light Control
  • Can Be Used with Fabric Window Treatments (i.e. Draperies)
  • Great Way to Bring In the Outdoors
  • Can Be Used in Bathrooms & Kitchens
  • Popular for Glass Doors
  • Fabric Edge Band Option Provides Additional Styling
  • Made from Natural Materials: Bamboo, Grass, Jute, Reed, Rattan
  • Great Variety of Finishes & Colors

Disadvantages:

  • Color Variations Are Common Due To Natural Materials
  • Long-term Fading & Edge Fraying Can Occur Sometimes

 

Roller Shades
RollerShades

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advantages:

  • Typically Inexpensive
  • Easy To Clean
  • Various Degrees of Privacy Control
  • Various Degrees of Light Control (Even Room Darkening)
  • Great for Small Windows
  • Corded or Cordless Option for Additional Child Safety
  • Various Decorative Hem Choices (i.e. Scallops, Straight, Trim)
  • Many Choices of Patterns, Fabrics & Colors
  • Custom Fabric Lamination Option Available (Some Fabrics)
  • Can Be Used Alongside Other Fabric Window Treatments

Disadvantages:

  • Vulnerable Lifting Mechanism in Low-Cost Shades

 

Shutters
Shutters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advantages:

  • Privacy Control – Louvers Can Be Tilted To Adjust Privacy
  • Light Control – Adjustable Louvers Provide Light Control
  • Increase Home Value
  • Add Architectural Interest
  • Insulate Against Heat or Cold
  • Available in Wood, Faux Wood or Composite
  • Tilt Bar or Clearview Option (No Tilt Bar)
  • Divider Rail for Separate Privacy/Light Control of Top/Bottom
  • Different Louver Sizes Available: 2-1/2”, 3-1/2”, 4-1/2”
  • Custom-Made To Fit Each Window, Even Arched Windows!
  • Great Option for Sunburst Windows
  • Provide Great Curb Appeal
  • Can Be Used With Fabric Window Coverings (i.e. Draperies)

Disadvantages:

  • Limited Visibility – Not The Best Option for Unobstructed View
  • Shutter Panels Open Into Room – Furniture Cannot Be Too Close
  • Not The Least Expensive Window Covering Option

 

Ready for the next step?

Now that you’ve decided which hard window covering best suits your needs, budget and style, you’re ready to get started.  Contact your window covering professional, and schedule an appointment to get your windows measured and to select from the numerous available options to personalize your custom window coverings.  Our family-owned and operated studio has been providing beautiful, quality custom window coverings since 1979.  Please give us a call at 713-480-7641 or 713-522-3362, and ask for Edith.  Or email us today!