We have just built a new home and don’t know what to do about window furnishings?

I only know too well! You are exhausted from the mammoth decisions made getting your home the way you want it and the purse strings most probably stretched slightly more than you originally promised yourself. Tip number one – don’t forget the windows! Even if you start with the bedrooms first then plan to do the rest of the house later, it is worth every cent to do it right and do it well!

FUNCTION FIRST: The ultimate reason why we use window furnishings is to monitor light, regulate heating and cooling, provide privacy, frame a view or hide the neighbours! Without compromising on aesthetics, trends are now taking a simplified “less is more” approach, in neutral shades and textures. This makes it easier to maintain a unified flow between rooms and freely update your interiors when you see fit.

WHAT’S YOUR STYLE: The skies the limit when selecting blinds and curtains, so determining your style is the first step to choosing the best window treatment for your home. Don’t forget the “street side appeal”. From the outside looking in, the windows at the front of the house need to look uniform. Use the same furnishings for these windows, then layer from the inside if you want to characterise the rooms differently.

NOT JUST A BLIND: To avoid writing a book, lets just focus on blinds! Gone are the days where the trusty roller came in two shades of plastic that never behaved. Now they come in thousands of styles, colours, textures and thicknesses that fit nearly every interior style.

Here’s a crash course!

ROLLER BLINDS: Unobtrusive in design, but not in function. They come in full blockout, ideal for rooms that require darkness, such as the bedroom and media room. Translucent blinds come in varied levels of light filtering and sunscreen protection. These are perfect for living areas and kitchens where you want filtered natural light. The sunscreen option helps protect furniture from fading.

PANEL GLIDES: With large windows and stacking slider doors becoming popular so has the panel glide! Their flat fabric panel effortlessly glides across the door or window when needed, then neatly stacks itself to the side. A section of clear wall next to the door or window is perfect, so the panel glide can be stored clear from the glass. You will find these in most of the fabrics available for other blinds.

ROMAN BLINDS: A flexible design, suiting contemporary or classic interiors. If you are after soft texture, but not drapes, then roman blinds are perfect. Most blinds, including the romans, are now operated with a chain drive making it easy to operate rather than messy tangling cords and skewiff blinds!. A secret tip is to mount the blind about 300mm above the window or door architrave. This will give you an uninterrupted view of the window. This method works brilliantly above French doors, which are otherwise really tricky to furnish!

VENETIANS: Range from subtle slim-line venetians, often found in aluminium to wider slats in either timber or the more practical and affordable polymer materials that can be used in any room including bathrooms. Although they are excellent at diffusing light and privacy, It’s hard to achieve both at the same time without making the room too dark.

CELLULAR SHADES OR HONEYCOMB BLINDS: Save up as these tick all boxes – excellent thermal qualities, sleek in design with flexible controls! Their neat little pockets that mimic the handiwork of a honey bee trap air to insulate against the summer heat and the winter brrrr! If you don’t want the neighbours seeing in, but you want to see the view in the distance, then this design has the option to open from the top as well as the bottom! They also come in blockout and translucent fabrics, so great for any room of the house!

Although we have only covered the tip of the ice-burg, I hope this answers some of your questions. My last tip, is to always get a professional to measure your windows. It can be a very expensive mistake if they don’t fit!

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*This article was originally written for DOWNTOWN MAGAZINE

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