CHOOSE THE RIGHT WINDOW DRESSING FOR EACH ROOM IN YOUR HOME TO CREATE INSTANT WOW
WINDOW COVERINGS such as curtains, shutters and blinds serve both a practical purpose – sealing in heat and offering privacy – and an aesthetic one in completing your interior scheme. Here is everything you need to know about choosing the right dressings for your home.
Look at the way your window is facing and consider what sort of light it will receive – and how much you want to let in. West– and to a lesser extent, east–facing windows are a nightmare for letting in roasting hot sunlight and really need some sort of window-covering solution. Also, keep in mind how sunlight affects your covers. “Have an awareness of the materiality of your curtains or blinds, and whether it may fade due to the orientation of the room,” says interior designer Simone Haag.
Outside awnings are useful. “External shading reduces heat transfer through windows by up to 90 per cent and a whopping 88 per cent of a home’s heat gain in summer occurs through windows,” says national marketing manager Jenny Brown of Luxaflex. Internally, insulating blinds can be used to control heat transfer. On the flipside, south-facing windows are gloomy in winter – not the sort of effect you’d want to add to with heavy drapes! Instead, opt for floaty sheers or light-hued shutters or blinds, which bounce light off the blades to brighten a room. To create a lighter look, Simone Haag suggests going easy on the amount of fabric you use. “I would say the days of curtains pooling on the floor are over,” she says. “Just a kiss of fabric on the floor is best.”
Carefully consider the location you’re dressing. “Avoid heavy fabric curtains in rooms that have high humidity, such as kitchens and bathrooms,” advises Jenny Brown. “Over time, they may become damp and start moulding.” Instead, think practicality. “The ‘wet zones’ of the home require moisture-resistant blinds such as those made with PVC or polyester – perfect for any areas exposed to water and steam,” says national buyer Alice Burney of Bunnings Warehouse. Similarly, wooden shutters can warp or peel in damp environments – polyresin shutters are a good solution in such problematic spaces.
“Windows are a major source of heat loss, so the right blinds could even save you on your energy bill” ~ Alice Burney, National Buyer, Bunnings Warehouse
“Consistency among rooms is key,” says interior designer Simone Haag. “This is not to say all coverings have to be the same, they just have to be cohesive.” So, you could have plain blinds in one room in a single colour, which could be the base hue for a curtain pattern in another room. For a sophisticated, restrained look try tailoring the colour of your curtains or blinds to the shade of your walls, and if you have more than one window treatment, look to coordinate them so the effect isn’t a hot mess; blinds softened by sheers in a similar tone is a popular style that looks wonderful in living rooms and bedrooms.
Planning a future-proof smart home? Then the latest trends in window coverings will be right up your alley. Motorised blinds allow you to open and close them at the touch of a button, which is a great party trick, but more importantly, they allow you to schedule the blinds to open and close while you’re out and about, increasing the home’s energy efficiency. “Scheduling the window coverings in an east or west-facing room first thing in the morning will prevent the heat of the day from entering, and help retain the coolest temperatures from overnight,” explains national marketing manager Jenny Brown of Luxaflex. If budget is an issue, prioritise motorised blinds in the rooms where solar gain is an issue. Or you could go old-school in south and north-facing rooms and enjoy the ritual of drawing the blinds by hand. “There is something very homely about drawing them closed,” says interior designer Simone Haag.
Draped curtains create a sense of romance and elegance as well as privacy.
Window placement is an important factor when choosing coverings.
External awnings reduce the heat, both inside and out.
Shutters are a great solution in the kitchen. They look great and are easy to clean.
For an eclectic effect, don’t be afraid to mix and match window coverings in a room or opt for simplicity, below.
Create an open indoor-outdoor zone by adding awnings, shutters and blinds, so you can extend and close off the area depending on the weather.