When it comes to interior design, few things are as important as the windows in our home. It’s not just about allowing us to see outside and letting the sunlight in. The placement of our windows has a major effect on how we organize the furniture in our rooms. While most people only understand this implicitly, almost all of use place our furniture based on where the windows are located. They serve as the ultimate focal point by which everything is arranged.
Naturally, the right window coverings also have an equally implicit, but massively important, effect on how our rooms look and their overall mood. It isn’t just about lighting and privacy control, although these are still very important factors. It’s also about the design of these appliances, the color, stains, and how they tie the room together and affect the overall look and feel. The right window coverings can even save you money by saving you energy year-round! This something many people do in hot southern areas like San Diego.
Whether you’re living in a home that you own, running a business, or renting an apartment, here are some great window covering ideas and strategies.
Which Window Coverings Work for Your Chosen Style?
- Wood – This is most appropriate for homes that are traditional in their design. If your home involves a lot of lavish wood furniture, rugs, and rustic materials, wooden blinds and shutters are the ideal form of window coverings. Not only do they perfectly accommodate this style, they enhance the warm, cozy feeling that this style invokes. They are available in a wide variety of wood types and stains, so you’re guaranteed to find something that perfectly matches your style. However, be sure not to install wooden blinds in the bathroom, sauna, or other places that see a lot of moisture and humidity, as this will lead to expansion and contraction of the material and result in damage.
- Faux Wood – Many people value faux wood window coverings because they provide all of the same aesthetic benefits of regular wood with an added level of functionality. Namely, they can be installed in bathrooms, saunas, and other areas without fear of water and temperature related damage. As with regular wood blinds, they’re available in many different styles and stains.
- Plastic – Not only are plastic blinds and shutters a less expensive alternative to wood or faux wood, they can also be very stylish and appealing. Plastic window coverings are available in virtually any color imaginable, and are a great idea for a rented home or apartment.
- Metal – That’s right, window coverings are even available in metal. You will likely want to purchase these in if your style is more modern, minimalist, or industrial. Metal blinds are also available in many different colors but generally look best in dark, cool colors like blue, black, and grey.
So far, we’ve discussed the various materials and colors that you can get with blinds and shutters, but there’s an often overlooked form of window covering – shades. This is an excellent choice for homes that are a bit more modern looking, as they create a new, streamlined look to any living space.
Shades are essentially flat screens that can be pulled down in front of windows. They are available in the following forms:
- Pleated shades
- Roller shades
- Roman shades
- Sheer shades
- Cellular shades
Saving Energy With Window Coverings!
Did you know it’s possible to save energy year round with the right window coverings? It’s a commonly overlooked method of maximizing the energy saving potential of your home, but it works.
The reason for this is that the right window coverings can help make your home cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter. That means you aren’t going to be cranking your heating and cooling systems as much during each respective time of the year. It also means less expenses paid in utility costs, and more money in your pocket.
When it comes to saving money through the right window coverings, here’s something you always have to keep in mind:
- Bright colors reflect light and heat
- Dark colors absorb light and heat
With this information in mind, it should be pretty straightforward which colors you should use when trying to cut down on either cooling or heating costs.
In the summer, be sure to install brightly colored window coverings, and keep them closed during most of the day. This will reflect heat and light away from your home. At night, open your window coverings (and your windows if you want) to allow any heat that has accumulated to dissipate out your windows.
In the winter, install dark colored window coverings and keep them open in areas where the sun is directly shining, and closed in areas where it isn’t so that any heat and light there can be absorbed into the house through them. Later at night, keep them closed as tightly as possible so as to trap any heat that has accumulated in the house.
The Perfect Window Coverings for Energy Savings
Shutters were originally made to withstand both cold winds and harsh sunlight at the same time. This is most appropriate for northern climates that see both cold weather and higher reflections of light from snow and ice. They are also better for insulation as there are less gaps in shutters than there are in other window coverings like blinds and draperies.
What makes Roman shades great for energy saving purposes is the fact that they’re made from such thick material. They’re also available in a wide variety of designs, fabrics, and colors. No matter what your personal style, you’re virtually guaranteed to find the ideal Roman shades.
These window coverings should be installed as tightly against the windows as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep them closed most of the day, as this will give you the most benefits as far as insulation goes.
Having been specifically made to reduce energy costs in the 1970’s following the energy crises of the time, these are honeycomb shades that are made to trap air and insulate the home.
These are ideal for insulating your home and giving you a view of the outside world at the same time. Many people are attracted to solar shades because they’re somewhat of an anomaly when it comes to window coverings. While most shades block out light and heat due to their opaque materials, solar shades are transparent. So, if you decide on solar shades, be sure to install them in a room where people don’t need much privacy!