Choosing the Right Window Treatment, Easier Than You Think

Updated: Sep 9, 2018

With so many options, modern day window fashions are a lot more than the aluminum and vinyl blinds we grew up with. Today's window fashion trends offer as much diversity as paint color options, well not really, but there's a lot of choices when it comes to choosing the right window covering for a room.

Room Lifestyle:

Matching form and function in your window treatments

How will the room be used? The lifestyle of a room can be a major factor in determining which window fashion is the best choice. As an example, if the window is an office or media room where screens are present, window glare is often a concern, you will want to choose a window fashion that will either block the light altogether or filter the light during certain times of the day. Cellular shades and shutters are great for controlling the light.

TV's, Screens, or Other Media Glare Concerns

Lifestyle considerations are an important part of design. If you have children or pets in your home, you may consider window fashions with built in safety features (such as motorized lift and cordless lift), and materials that are easy to clean and maintain.

When we meet with homeowners or commercial applications, finding out how the space will be used is very important. Is the room used for working, relaxation, or entertaining? Does the room require light filtering or room darkening? Do people sleep in the room, conventional or non-conventional hours? Is it used for formal or informal activities? This will help us to make recommendations to help you find the perfect design style for your window fashions.

With a wide range of colors, style, and textures, our window treatments will perfectly complete your individual room requirements; offering you a legacy of craftsmanship and dedicated expertise ensuring a customized solution that is both functional and beautiful, while matching your specific lifestyle requirements, while trying to honoring your budget.

Energy-efficiency Concerns: Are you looking for products to help with energy efficiency? If your windows have a southern or western exposure, the room could fluctuate greatly in temperature certain times of the day and over the year. Direct sunlight can also bleach textiles unevenly, finding a fade resistant, energy-efficient product designed to address these concerns can play an important roll in the design choices made.

Whatever your specific goals, we are here to help you find functional, affordable, and design options perfect for your space.

Understanding Window Treatment Components:

As you research details about window treatments, you may come across industry specific language. Below is a list of commonly used terms in the window covering industry.

Head Rail: The head rail is the bar that holds the controls, commonly found on blinds and shades. The head rail encases the internal operational hardware and cord controls.

Lift/Controls: The lift is referred to as the type of functionality that allows the window treatment to go up or down. A lift could be operated by a remote control with a Smart Home Z-Wave motor, a looped cord, or even a cordless control option with a manual lift. Not all window fashions offer the same lifting mechanisms. Window covering controls are the internal parts that make the window treatment go up or down. The controls may be cordless, motorized, or even looped. As an example, a wood blind product has one control to tilt the slats and another to lift them.

BUTD and SUSD Lift/Controls: The photo below demonstrates a Bottom Up | Top Down control technology. This is a great option for windows that require more than one type of light control. With a BUTD cellular shade, you're able to open and close the shade completely, but you're also able to lower the top or raise the bottom to allow light to filter through in a controlled fashion, allowing the shade to "float" in the center of the window.

Cellular Shade Showing A BUTD Functionality

Tilt: Certain window coverings, such as shutters or wood blinds have a tilting functionality. This allows the blind to not only be lifted to a fully opened or fully closed position but also the slats be opened or closed. A wood blind will often be outfitted with a cord on both the left and the right side, while a shutter tilt bar may be visible on the front of the shutter, or optionally it may be hidden on the back with a hidden tilt option.

Shutter with visible tilt bar

Hem Bar: The hem bar is at the bottom of the window treatment. You may read that some window coverings have an option to choose the type of hem bar desired. This may be a piece of metal or a matching fabric wrapped hem bar.

Valance: A valance is an optional decorative panel that hides the head rail on a variety of window fashions. Some products allow you to choose a coordinating or matching valance, while other products recommend a single option. A valance may also be a separately purchased item, custom made to your exact window specifications. Years ago, it was popular to have a fabric wrapped valance that was placed over the top of draperies. While current design trends are moving away from this particular type of valance, an attractive option for adding an external valance would be the use of a wooden cornice.

Valance Shown For A Roller Shade : Contour Valance

Valance Returns Shown Here

Valance Return: If your window covering is an inside mount, most likely you will not require a valance return. If you have chosen and outside mounted product, valance returns are a common option. A valance return will cover the head rail in the front and sides of the outside mount unit.

Louver: A louver is a common term used in wood and faux wood blinds as well as all shutter products. The louver is the horizontal slatted material that stacks to allow you to control the amount of light that enters the room.

Wooden Slats or Louvers

Window Treatment Options Explained:

Blinds: One window treatment term people seem to use universally for all window fashions is the word BLIND. By definition, " A window blind is a type of window covering. There are many different kinds of window blinds, using different systems and materials. A typical window blind is made with slats of fabric, wood, plastic or metal that adjust by rotating from an open position to a closed position by allowing slats to overlap." When we take a deeper look at the BLIND category, we learn there are slatted blinds, also known as wood and faux wood blinds; both are offered in a variety of wood and faux wood materials, and come in a variety of painted and stained color options. The quality of faux and wood blinds can vary greatly based on the materials of composition, the internal hardware used, and the quality of the controls. Have you ever been in a room where the string is broken and the blind will no longer lift the blinds or tilt properly? Materials of construction are a very important component when purchasing blinds.

Shades: Like blinds, shades come in a variety of window treatment options. A classic shade is a roller shade. The new roller shades fabrics and designs offer a host of color, texture and control options. They are an affordable and beautiful addition to any room. Shades have ventured out from the classic roller shades to gorgeous jaw dropping designs to include Mezzanine Layered Shades and Overture Sheer Shades.

Mezzanine Layered Shade In The Open Position

Shades are a welcomed addition for particular customers that are looking to solve a variety of common window covering concerns. Roller shades allow you to raise and lower the shades to whatever position you'd like; in an opened or closed capacity. The shades pictured above are the Mezzanine Shade. They, too, are on a roller but their functionality spans beyond open or closed or up or down. These little gems allow you to fully raise and lower the shade into the headrail, but also allows you to open or closed the shade, offering privacy. The photo below demonstrates the Mezzanine Shade in the "closed" position. Mezzanine shades make a conversation starter worthy topic. They are stunning.

Mezzanine Layered Shades In The Closed Position

Shutters: Many people refer to shutters and Plantation shutters. Whatever you call them, they are tried and true. This classic window treatment has been around for decades and will be around for decades to come. Shutters are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and a classic design option for both tradition to modern interior designs.

The hidden-tilt feature allows people with modern design taste to have shutters. The updated look of the hidden-tilt options is perfect for those desiring contemporary design. The tilt bar has been moved to the back of the shutter, eliminating the visible tilt commonly found on the front of shutters. Both are gorgeous and the tilt bar location is a personal choice.

Hidden tilt feature shown.

Shutter Shop, LLC is here to help you choose the right window covering solution for the space. Stop by the showroom or give us a call to schedule an in-home design consultation.

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Shutter Shop LLC

5333 TX-121, Suite 137

The Colony, TX 75056


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