Monthly Archives: September 2010

Ideas for Kitchen Window Treatments

The kitchen is the heart of your home. Windows here can really open up the space and provide you with great light. However, having window coverings is important. For some homeowners, there is a need to have treatments for privacy. For others, energy efficiency is a reason to add treatments. However, considering the area of the home, there are certain things you need to think about such as if the window treatment is a good choice for cleanliness and for the aesthetic beauty, it offers. There are some outstanding options available to you.

Consider what you need first. If the kitchen in your home is adjacent to the dining room or other formal place, or the kitchen has a more formal look to it, the window treatments need to reflect this aspect. Also important is cleanliness. Since many windows are placed right above sinks, it is easy for everything from splashes to grease to get on them. You need a product that is easy to clean and maintain.

The good news is that there are a wide range of options to choose from. For your kitchen window treatments, consider solar shades to keep temperatures in control and to reduce the overall ability of others to see into the window when you do not want them to. You may want to consider silhouette shades or cellular shades too, since these are easy to maintain but do provide that formal, elegant look.

Kitchen window treatments are available in numerous styles and function options. You are sure to find a wide range of colors, styles and fabrics to select from so that you can personalize this space. You can enhance the look and function of your window when you select the proper kitchen window treatments for the space you have selected. This is a great way to change out the look of this space inexpensively, too.

What Is Greenguard?

Greenguard LogoGreenguard, or the Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI) as it is formally known, is an organization dedicated to protecting the health of people and improving quality of life specifically by reducing the amount of chemical exposure people have, especially when it comes to indoor air quality. The organization works to provide a third party certification program. When a company’s products are certified, this signals that the product meets specific emission standards in the home or in surroundings where humans are. Certification means that the products offered by the company are low emitting products. The organization itself establishes the criteria of what levels of control are necessary and they can be rigorous.

How does Greenguard affect window treatments? This is the perfect example of how this company works. When a manufacturer designs window treatments that are to be safer for the home, such as using fewer chemicals in the production process, Greenguard will take that product and perform tests on it. This allows the consumer to get a clear picture of what will happen when that product is placed within the home.

The process of producing most things, including window treatments, allows chemicals to enter into the material. These chemicals are then present in the home where they can be breathed in by humans. If a product passes the Greenguard certification, this means that the product is safe and meets the rigorous safety levels the organization has put into place.

For a healthier and safer home or work environment, look for window treatments that have the Greengaurd seal of approval. There are only a few manufacturers who have actually produced products that meet this need, though. One of the most popular of them is Hunter Douglas. Their products ensure that indoor air quality is maintained and the products are environmentally friendly. Hunter Douglas products, then, get the Greenguard Indoor Air Quality Certified marking on them.

Types of Roman Shades

Flat Roman Shades

Have you seen the numerous types of roman shades on the market? Consider options such as Austrian shades, balloon shades, tear drop shades, sheer roman shades and flat roman shades. There are some excellent choices, which allow you to better customize the look of any room in your home. Take the time to choose the right roman shades for the type of window you have that matches it in style, shape and size ideally. Consider the following tips before you invest in roman shades for your home and your windows.

 

Consider the following types of roman shades and how you can use them within your home:

 

  • Austrian Shade: This is the older style, what you might consider the original style of roman shades. Ideal for the squared window, these shades are personalized in pattern and color to match your needs.
  • Balloon Shades: More lavish and “rich” looking, this option is ideal for a room where high-end style is important. It works well with various shapes of windows and is best when customized.
  • Flat Roman: As their name implies, these roman shades are flatter and offer a more modern look. They work well in most spaces and are tailored to fit the window.
  • Tear Drop Roman Shades: The teardrop shade is a bit more specialized. Use it where you have a unique shape or you want to make a statement.
  • Sheer Roman: As the name implies, this type of shade is constructed out of a sheer fabric, which allows light to penetrate through easily.

With so many options, you can choose the right roman shade for virtually any room of the home. Take the time to consider the most constructed looks for a modern, clean look and the less constructed for an older style.

Why Natural Fabrics are Better Than Man-Made Fabrics

silk dupioni aqua fabric bedroom window curtains
Natural silk fabric for window curtains

Natural fabrics are an ideal choice for window treatments, clothing and throughout your home. Synthetic or man-made fabrics have long been used in households and while some have advantages (less expensive to make), most cannot offer the benefits that natural fabrics can.

Natural fabrics include wool, hemp, silk, linen and cotton. Even better, choose those that are organic. Look at why natural fabrics are the way to go.

  • They feel great and are less irritating to your skin. Natural fibers allow air to circulate better, too.
  • They do not contain chemicals found in many man-made products. This means they are healthier to have around your home and better for the environment.
  • The manufacturing process for manmade fabrics involves dying and bleaching which could affect allergies.
  • Chemical treatments placed onto man-made products make them easy to care for, but chemicals such as formaldehyde and ammonia are not good for people.
  • Insecticides and fungicides are commonly used on manmade fabrics when they are stored in warehouses (ensure your natural fabrics are not stored this way, either.)
  • Natural fabrics consume fewer resources. The environment easily renews many within a few years.
  • They are more able to drape, meaning they are more pliable and work better to give you that natural look.

You may not have thought about what materials you are using in your drapery, but natural fabrics offer better style and they are better for you

Why Do People Need Window Treatments?

Electric privacy shade for bedroom
Electric privacy shade for bedroom

Window treatments provide much more than just a covering for your window.  Some types of window treatments can help to reduce energy costs. Other products add a decorative element to the room or allow you to take full advantage of the space no matter how you want to use the space nor what time of the day or night it is. Privacy is yet another of the key benefits of window treatments.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons to use window treatments. Consider your options carefully.

  • Select window treatments that are able to block out the sun so that you can get some sleep during the day. Blackout shades and drapery works well for this.
  • Add some decorative flare with a few ornate rods and a stylish tassel on your drapery in the living room. This makes it more elegant in the space.
  • Consider the benefit of cellular shades or other types of blinds that block out others from seeing into your space. This is a critical feature in places like the bedroom.
  • For larger windows, you should look into solar shades or drapes. These do not allow sunlight to overheat your home during the summer months. They also help provide a layer of protection so that your home does not lose as much energy in the summer or winter months.
  • Change the look of the space. Choose vertical blinds, for example, to elongate the look of a window and make the room look higher.
  • Choose blackout drapery to help create the right ambiance for your movie theater room.

From a design perspective, having window treatments just makes sense. However, the right treatments can sell a home or transform a boring space into one that is a lot of fun and functions better for your particular needs.

Choosing A Track For Curtains

electrical curtain track, pinch pleat drapery, layered solar screen shade combination
BTX Sophia Curtain Track | The Harrison 205 West 76th Street

A track for your curtains is one of the most important pieces of hardware for them. With a track in place, you can easily open and close the windows properly. However, if you purchased the wrong track, moving the window treatments will be difficult and it may even limit how you can effectively use them. For this reason, consider the factors that play a role in the selection of the right track for your curtains.

How many times will you open and close the curtains? You do not need a specific number here, but if the windows are in a room where you are likely to open and close them a lot, then it makes sense to invest in a quality track that can withstand the constant movement. Quality matters here.

What about the fabric itself, the heavier the weight of the fabric the more durable and stronger the track needs to be. Most tracks can handle the weight of linen, but if you plan to use heavy drapery on these tracks, consider a thicker track or one designed to accommodate more weight.

Next, consider the benefits of motorizing. If you plan to motorize the track, you do want to take into consideration your options in terms of tracks available. It is often recommended that you consider motorized tracks for those hard to reach windows or even when you want an automated feature in your home.

Also, take into consideration the heading. Will you use a pinch pleat or a ripple fold for the heading? This could be just a difference in taste, but you also need to consider the visibility of the track. With the ripple fold, you will see the track whereas with the pinch pleat fold, you will not.

Look at several of the track options available to you on the market. Consider their effectiveness in your space. Take the time to focus in on the options you have based on what you would like to see in the room and the overall function you need.

Selecting New Windows for New Developments

Windows that open outwards

We’re going to start off the new blog with ideas on selecting new windows for new home developments. Everything new!

Windows stream in light. They provide beauty and natural light to any space. However, they can allow others to see into them. They can increase your energy costs, too. As you build your home, think about your windows and the window treatments you are likely to need. When it comes to building a home, you may not think about the actual concerns that have to do with window treatments, but this is one area where focusing a bit of attention can be incredibly helpful to the homeowner. Keep in mind that most people will not think about window treatments until after they have a window to deal with, which can be very limiting. Think about things such as how the window opens, its position and even what types of window treatments you can use on those windows once they are installed. Here is more.

One of the most common problems with new developments is that windows open inward. This causes a significant problem with the window treatments. If you can imagine, if the window opens inward, this causes any window treatment to be misaligned or even damaged. The result is that the window is not fully used.

A solution to this is to have the windows open to the outside. Window treatments can then be installed in the window frame without any concern. Even those who do not want to damage the window frame will find that this open outward option is an ideal solution to their problem. Sliding windows can be another ideal alternative to work well with any window treatment.

If this is not possible, then try to leave space above the window frame itself so that window treatments can be positioned at this point. A fixed pane may also be an option. If a window opens in, then leave at least five inches of space above it so that window treatments can be installed in that space.

Thinking ahead like this allows the window’s benefit to be fully realized.