How to “Trim Down” Your Window Shade Choices
Custom window shades allow you to create the window design of your dreams and offer the most versatility in terms of:
This diversity means that regardless what your vision is from your home, you’re sure to find a window shade that fits. However, with so many choices it helps to have some way of narrowing down your options. This 3 step guide will help you figure out what window treatment is right for you.
Step 1: Decide How You Want to Feel in Your Home
The word “home” evokes all kinds of feelings: a sense of safety, comfort, and belonging. However, the cues that trigger that feeling differ from person to person. Here are a few pairings that can kick start what will work for you:
Light & Bright
When you come home, do you want to feel the weight and gloom of the outside world suddenly evaporate? You would benefit from a peaceful, calming home using minimalist designs.
The “Minimalist” look is all about clearing out the clutter and getting down to your life’s essentials. Translated into your home’s design, minimalism is dictated by clean lines, simple color schemes (usually built around white, but not always), and lots of natural light.
That last point means that your window shades are an essential part to keeping your home more Zen. Consider:
- Simple patterns or smooth textures: Simple and smooth window shade textures and patterns look clean and tidy.
- Neutral hues or whites: Even the word “neutral” inspires peacefulness. In addition, lighter colors make your home feel more airy and open than bright or dark colors. Most shades come in neutral or white hues, so this tip narrows your choices of color, not style.
- Roller shades: Roller shades are a great way to keep your look minimal because when rolled up, they completely disappear into the lift system.
- Sheer shades: Gauzy and translucent, sheer shades let in light while still adding a little more privacy than no window treatments at all. You can also add a room darkening liner for opaque options. Pairing two shades adds a level of privacy when both are pulled down and diffuses the light for a softer ambience when only the sheer shade is pulled down.
Cozy & Natural
Does the image of curling up on a sofa with a cup of cocoa in front of a roaring fire sound like heaven? You may prefer the nostalgic, comforting, and dramatic vibe of a rustic interior design.
The “Rustic” look is defined by a tactile experience: warm and cold, soft and hard, smooth and rough. It isn’t just for the Jeremiah Johnsons of the world, either. Rustic styles can work for everything from a cozy cottage to a sprawling lodge and everything in between. You can accomplish a rustic look with your window shades by using these guidelines:
- Rich textures: A window shade with a visible texture will make your home feel abundant and welcoming.
- Room darkening shades: Lamp and fire light can make your home feel cozy, but it’s a hard mood to accomplish if the midday sun is blaring through your windows. Room darkening shades make it easier for you to control the light—and the mood—at any time of day.
- Natural colors: “Natural” does not necessarily mean “neutral.” One of the reasons why rustic looks are so comforting is because they connect us back with nature. Therefore colors you find in nature like green, blue, and brown are all contenders.
- Roman shades: Between the soft folds and range of textures and colors, roman shades can accomplish all of the above criteria in one fell swoop.
Inspired & Worldly
Do you want to feel a flood of creativity when you wake up in the morning? Then you may thrive most in the vibrant, modern atmosphere of an artistic home design.
The “Artistic” look is a delicate balance of synchronicity and surprise. While it’s often associated with lofts and apartments—particularly on television—you can make it work for your home regardless of its architecture by picking these types of shades:
- Colorful shades: Be vibrant. Look at window shades whose colors make you say, “Wow.” Note: it does help if the color exists elsewhere in your home, otherwise it may clash too much.
- “Top Down Bottom Up” lift systems: These lift systems let you lower shades from the top or raise them from the bottom. The overall effect of multiple lines adds a stylistic touch to any room. Another perk for these lift systems is you can add a level of privacy by lowering them from the top without sacrificing lighting.
- Bold patterns: Many shades offer wild patterns, particularly roller shades. You can also play with patterns inspired by different cultures to give your home an eclectic, but unifying look.
Strong & Dependable
Are you most comfortable when you’re in a safe, secure setting? Do you value quality over quantity and value things that last? Then you, my friend, may want a fortress. That sounds dramatic, but houses that are built and designed for privacy allow you to let loose while you’re at home. It can be a great way to de-stress from a long day’s work.
The great thing is: you can still have these safety-first criteria and have fun with colors and textures. You can get “The Fortress” effect with:
- Thick or opaque shades: Shades that shield you from prying eyes will provide more privacy day-to-day.
- Motorized shades: A lit-up home at night can feel like putting on a play for the neighborhood. Rather than walk around your house after sunset to pull all your shades closed, you can close them with a push of a button or your mobile device. Motorized shade technology is easy to use—even your kids can use it.
- Honeycomb shades: Dependable design extends beyond privacy. It means high performance. With that in mind, honeycomb shades are the most energy-efficient window treatments available, making more use of your home’s energy and decreasing your carbon footprint.
Step 2: Look at What You Already Have
Taking stock of your home’s current windows, furniture, paint, and overall architectural style can all influence your final window shade decision.
The Room’s Function
Where in your home will you be putting your new window shades?
- Living & Dining Rooms: These rooms are typically a little more decorative. Look for a shade that adds elegance to your room to dress it up.
- Bathrooms: For obvious reasons, bathrooms benefit most from privacy-driven window shades.
- Bedrooms: You can make it easier to take naps or ward off early morning summer sunrises with room darkening shades. Also, if you’re installing window shades in a child’s bedroom, be sure to get a child-safe lift system.
- Kitchens: Many people prefer lots of light in the kitchen since they perform sight-based tasks there daily. These rooms can benefit from screen or woven shades, which provide visual privacy while still letting in plenty of light. Either of these window treatments are also easy to wipe down with a damp sponge in case your cooking gets a little messy.
Mix & Match with Your Belongings
There’s a good chance that adding new window treatments will mean changing a few things in the room, but there are ways to avoid starting from scratch. Take these points into account before making your final decision:
- Color palettes: Color palettes keep things from getting out of hand. If your room already has a defined color palette, work with it by choosing a window treatment that works as a highlight or a lowlight to your dominant color. Remember, the bigger your windows, the more dominant your window treatments—and their colors—will be.
- Patterns: Patterns can be found everywhere: in floor tessellations, rug designs, furniture upholstery. When mixing and matching patterns, keep colors close to consistent if possible or you’ll end up with a headache.
- Textures: If you stay within your color palette, textures are the easiest thing to mix and match because they are the most subtle. Mixing textures is also a great way to add depth to your home’s design.
- Different rooms: If you’re choosing window shades for multiple rooms, feel free to change them from room to room. All window shades appear white from the street.
Your Home’s Architecture
The bones of your home will make some looks easier to achieve than others. Keep these things in mind to help narrow down your window shade options:
- Time period: Everything from ceiling height to floor layout can affect how your window treatments will look in your home. Is your house a 1960s ranch? Consider a minimalist design. Victorian mansion? Fortify it.
- Country of Origin: Architectural styles often look best with color palettes and textures from their original countries. Do you own an English cottage? Think light blues, greys, and beiges. Spanish villa? Try warmer colors.
- Location: Where your home is located influences people’s assumptions as they come into your home. Urban loft? Give your home an artistic edge. Farm house? Experiment with rustic charm. Of course, inverting people’s assumptions can also be fun.
Step 3: Consult a Professional
Whether this is your first or fifth time choosing a new window treatment, it always helps to have a second opinion. Especially if that opinion comes from a professional. Some companies offer free in home consultations to ensure you get the perfect window shades for your home. If you’re still browsing, you can also look through an official showroom to have a professional demonstrate your options in-store. Regardless, you’ll immediately feel the benefit of having someone guide you through the process of making your vision a reality.