August 28, 2013
Beyond home design, choosing how to furnish a room depends a lot on functionality. The red oak floors in Anderson's Monroe collection, for instance, are beautiful to look at but they're also engineered to provide long-lasting wear. The same can be said of any feature that has style, but also has a job to do.
Window treatments are a good example. They provide privacy and manage the amount of light allowed into a room, but they're also an integral part of room design. When homeowners are choosing window coverings, the direction in which the windows face and their proximity to the street and other outside features are important to their function.
How much light?
Using a window covering in a translucent fabric such as muslin, net, voile or lace allows some light to show through. But for privacy, they must be accompanied by a shade or blinds. Or, the homeowners may choose to use a cafe curtain, which is hung from a rod halfway up the window and allows light from the top half.
Full sunlight on certain fabrics and woven wood shades may fade them, cautioned IdeasforHomeDecorating.com. Windows with a northern or eastern exposure generate less light, but south- and west-facing windows will allow in the most natural light. In the southern hemisphere, the opposite is true.
If too much light enters a bedroom, blackout window shades will solve the problem. When windows face out on a busy street, homeowners may consider using a heavy fabric for drapes or noise reduction shades. They are particularly useful for bedroom windows that look out to an area that may get noisy when someone is trying to sleep.
Homeowners often find arched windows among the most interesting architectural details in home design. But when it comes time to adding a window treatment, home decorators may be stumped. The Learning Channel recommends two choices: following the natural line of the window by adding an arched valance or leaving the arch bare and placing a curtain across the lower half of the window.
Sometimes homeowners are faced with other design dilemmas that will determine how they outfit their windows. A deeply recessed window should be styled with draperies hung outside the recessed area to allow as much light as possible to enter. If the window is particularly large, the drapes can be hung inside the recessed section. For narrow windows, use a covering that's wider than the window to give the illusion of a normal-sized opening.
Engineered Hardwood Flooring