Window coverings: What can be customized?

Window coverings enhance the appearance of your home in many ways. They can control sunlight, add color and soften your windows, which serve as the eyes of the house.

You'll find many choices for customization that let you truly make your window coverings your own. You'll find plenty to think about, with options such as light curtains, dramatic drapes, sleek shutters, versatile blinds and soft shades.

Shape and size

While window coverings at your local home-improvement store come in several standard sizes and shapes, you can also choose custom designs that depart from the ordinary. When you order custom window coverings, your window treatments will be specially made to a custom width and length to fit your specific window.

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When you order custom window coverings, you can make specific design requests to tailor them to your home and tastes. For example, you might consider installing the curtain rod as much as eight inches above the window frame to make your windows look longer. Allowing curtains or drapes to puddle an extra four inches onto the floor provides elegant appeal.

At a minimum, curtains should measure twice the width of the window to hang correctly. However, certain pleat styles require more fullness for a fuller, richer look.

Unique windows need custom coverings to provide adequate shade and privacy. Coverings like shutters, blinds and shades made for a specific window will add to the aesthetic of your home decor. These window coverings give your home a designer look.

Material choices

Window treatments come in a wide variety of different materials. When you consider blinds, you'll find materials such as aluminum, vinyl, composite, wood and faux wood options. Among material types, aluminum is the most lightweight and casual. Wood or faux wood blinds add an air of sophistication to the space.

Shutters come in composite and wood options as well. While wood is ideal for stained rustic or old-world decor, composite offers better resistance to moisture and UV rays.

Shades, curtains and drapes come in a variety of fabrics. Medium to lightweight materials like cotton and linen aren't fully opaque, so they can let a little sunshine through even when closed. These materials offer ample versatility for any decor.

If you prefer full opacity for your window coverings so you can entirely block out the light, choose blackout window coverings. When ordering custom window coverings, you can easily select a room-darkening lining or design for your product.

Give a room an opulent feel with rich and heavy velvet drapery panels. These come in many fabrics and textures to suit various types of decor.  You can also opt for a more airy and open feel with light-colored drapes.

Color and pattern

The color and pattern of your window coverings may have the most significant impact of all. Every room needs a central focal point. If your windows serve this purpose, choose window coverings that draw attention to this part of the room.

Consider pairing deeper-colored drapes with an otherwise neutral, contemporary aesthetic. In a French country home, soft colors and classic prints and patterns reign supreme. A bold check looks stunning in a rustic or French Country home. Sleek stripes are neat and modern.

If you're already using a bold color or pattern in another part of the room, such as a dark, patterned wallpaper or a bright, eye-catching couch, you might choose neutral window coverings instead. White, gray and beige can blend beautifully into the background. Neutrals soften the look of the window without overwhelming the room.

Custom window treatments make it easy to get the exact look that you want. You can order from an array of fabric options and have your choice customized to the size and style you need.

Opacity considerations

Opacity is a significant concern when you're choosing window treatments. Your window coverings can be decorative, but they also need to be fully functional.

Consider how you use the room in question. If you're working with a sleeping space, you'll almost certainly want room-darkening curtains with full opaqueness. This choice will allow you to sleep peacefully at any hour of the day. If you're using a space as a home theater, you may prefer total blackout window coverings.

Sheer window coverings can offer views to the outside world while blocking harsh sunlight streaming through the windows. UV rays can cause wallpaper, art, upholstery and other items to fade and age.

Sheer roller shades or curtains can filter out some of these rays without completely taking away your view. Sheer coverings can also minimize glare if you're working in a home office or living room where sunlight reflects off your computer or television screen. Solar shades are a great option if you’re looking to reduce UV rays and excess light while maintaining your view.

When you're ordering custom window treatments, you can often choose exactly how much privacy you would like. Custom-made window coverings can give you everything from a full view and moderate light filtering to complete room darkening and total privacy. Custom products allow you to use your living space exactly as you'd like.

Motorized enhancements

Motorized window coverings may seem like something from the future, but they're readily available for your home right now. You can control motorized shades or blinds with a wall switch or remote. This feature may allow you to open and close the slats from a cozy place in your bed or on the couch.

Motorized window coverings eliminate the need for cumbersome and potentially dangerous pull cords. High or tall windows that you can't easily reach benefit from motorized window coverings.

Windows that sit over kitchen counters or bathtubs are tricky as well. With motorization, you no longer have to stretch, bend or reach in an awkward way to control the position of your window coverings.

Many motorized products allow for automation as well. This enhancement helps you manage energy use and temperatures in your home. You can adjust the settings on your window hangings so that they're open on winter mornings when you want to let the warm sunlight stream in.

Close them at night when you need privacy and to keep heat inside your home. Programmed window coverings can even make it look like you're home when you're out of town.

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You have a lot to consider when you're selecting window coverings for your home. The ideal window coverings are well-made, carefully designed, professionally installed and include custom details.

Budget Blinds offers free professional consultations to walk you through all the selections available for your home. Schedule yours now at BudgetBlinds.com.