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Function and style go hand in hand from hardwood floors to windows

July 07, 2014

hardwood flooringDurability may not be the first thought that comes to mind when you enter a room with gleaming hardwood floors like those from Anderson's Hermosa Plank collection. While they make a beautiful impression, floors must also withstand wear and tear and make our houses more comfortable. That's also true for other home items like window coverings.

Windows are an important functional element in a room. They help keep our homes hot or cool, allow natural light to stream in and bring fresh air indoors. But as with wood floors, their contribution to a room is both decorative and practical.

For instance, how much street noise comes into a home can influence the homeowners' quality of life. By outfitting windows in proximity to streets with noise reduction window shades or heavier fabric for window coverings, homeowners can minimize the intrusions on their peace and quiet.

The amount of daylight that comes into a room is another point to consider when decorating windows. Southern exposures, for example, bring in the most light while north-facing windows draw far less sunshine. Selecting light-filtering shades or those that darken rooms is part of determining the right window treatments for rooms that are especially sunny.

Design dilemmas
According to Ideas for Home Decorating, when privacy is a concern, homeowners have to pay special attention to the materials they choose for window coverings. Light fabrics like voile or lace should be accompanied by a shade or blinds for full privacy. Another option is to install a cafe curtain, which is hung from a rod or pole halfway up the window. This curtain style allows light into the room but protects the sight lines into the home from the outside.

Sometimes homeowners are faced with unique room design issues that will affect 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.

Often, homeowners find arched windows among the most interesting architectural details in home design. But when it comes time to add a window treatment, home decorators may be stumped. TLC recommended two choices: following the natural line of the window by adding an arched valance or leaving the arch bare or placing a curtain across the lower half of the window.