February is almost over and we’re quickly heading into March and the pleasures of Spring. Before you know it, the crisp temperatures and clouds will give way to clear blue skies, blazing sun and relentless heat. Tune-up your air conditioners because now’s the time to prepare your home for the ravages of the sun.
For interiors, one of the best investments is window treatments. Not only are they lovely and visually finish-off a room but they also are real work horses here in Bermuda and in my mind not to be overlooked or skimped on. Good window treatments can provide privacy, room darkening, light filtration, temperature control and also protect your home from the damaging rays of the sun.
I’m a big advocate of the layered look. I love a window that is properly dressed with all of its bits and pieces. Now this doesn’t mean that it’s a terribly traditional look with swags and jabots, but that the windows have all the components to make a room comfortable and cozy even if it’s contemporary space. Many people still think of their grandmother’s flowery curtains when we mention the words “window treatments” but that is not really case nowadays. There are so many options to fit any space or room, be it feminine or masculine, ornate or minimalist.
For the base layer I like a shade of some sort; roman, roller or relaxed, fabric, woven wood or even one made of the fabulous new UV filtering materials (these are truly helpful if you have a lot of direct sunlight). The base layer is the part of the window treatment that you will probably use the most. This gives you the first layer of privacy and sun filtration and I always recommend lowering these during the hot summer days – this can really help your air conditioning bill… And don’t worry, all is not lost with this tactic, some of these base layers can be down but still show off your beautiful view! There are options galore!!!
The top layer is more of a decorative layer with fabric draperies. These must be selected well to coordinate with your furnishings and visually tie the room together. The world of fabrics is a wonderful one and one I spend much time researching – I can get so excited with the colors and textures and patterns, oh my! Also not to be missed are the options for drapery hardware which when done well make the draperies function like a dream and can add a bit of sparkle that I liken to fine jewelry that makes the outfit.
Window treatments and your budget… Not an easy one and I’m always looking at the prefabricated panels and shades. They are fine in a pinch but honestly they don’t do your home justice in the long run. I’m a huge advocate on extending your pennies and mixing high and low pieces but after many attempts at skimping on window treatments, I’ve come to the conclusion that it just doesn’t work. Unfortunately this is the one area of interior decorating that having custom window treatments made up for specific windows and doors far outweighs that of the prefab options and it really shows in the functionality. Hands down, no contest.
So before we start melting from the heat, do be sure to give a thought to your windows and doors and make sure you are prepared for the summer sun. Window treatments can be a fairly significant initial investment budget-wise, but it sure will make you far more comfortable in the long run and you will save more than a few pennies over time too. Also I hear we are due for a price increase on our electric bills this year – so this is some good food for thought.
Sponsored Story by Beth MacDonald Interior Decorating Ltd.