One of the first essential things that needs to be done when moving into a new home is to put up window coverings. There are lots of great, contemporary alternatives to curtains and drapes. In addition to providing privacy, many custom blinds are created with energy-efficient insulating materials for every conceivable interior design or decor.
It’s surprising how many square feet of window glass even a modest size home will have, and that area can be responsible for up to 25% of the heating and cooling bill. With that in mind, besides fashion, savvy homeowners will utilize blinds to mitigate heat loss or heat transfer, and to control the amount of sunlight that affects the interior temperature in both summer and winter.
Here are 5 of the most popular window treatment options that are leading current building and remodeling trends:
1. Roman Shades
Roman Shades are quite popular, cost-efficient, and are the simplest and the softest window covering, being mostly hanging fabric in various forms. Bamboo or thin aluminum rods are used to keep these shades lightweight. There are basic Roman shades that simply bunch up at the top of the window with a pull-cord, and there are elaborate, beautifully crafted examples with pleats, folds, layers, cascades, tulip-shaped billows, and soft folds. More opaque fabrics are used for sunny windows and light blocking, and heavier fabrics for insulation.
2. Cellular Blinds
Cellular blinds can actually help to insulate the windows. They are also called honeycomb blinds because they’re made of honeycomb/cell shaped pockets that trap air inside. The pockets act as layers of insulation. There are single, double, and triple cell shades, which have the highest insulation R value, the thermal resistance measurement utilized in construction. Quality cellular blinds raise the overall R rating by 3, which with a double-pane of glass, has an R-value of 5. Cellular blinds have an interesting, high-tech style that is 3-dimensional.
3. Vertical Blinds
Vertical Blinds are somewhat miraculous. They allow in natural, soft light, keep a room cool, and provide complete privacy. They are more finished looking with a valance added, and the choices for interior design are endless. Manufacturers make vertical blinds in everything from beautiful wood, to linen, leather, or silk. There are hundreds of faux textures and even darkening models that block out all light for the highest degree of privacy. The standard for opening and closing vertical blinds is a cordless wand, but many brands also offer the option of electric operation using a remote control.
4. Panel Blinds
Panel Blinds are elegant, drapery-like vertical blinds. They’re more appropriate for formal areas such as the dining or living room. The fabrics are sheer enough to allow in natural light yet still provide complete privacy. They are easily manually operated, and they do have motorized systems for dramatic openings.
5. Horizontal Window Blinds
Horizontal Window Blinds come in a range of materials, and nearly any finish or color. The most popular material for horizontal blinds for traditional homes is wood. In houses with wooden furnishings and floors, wood blinds beautifully compliment the interior. They’re excellent for light blocking and maintain a furniture look when closed. They’re also great for humid environments because they don’t warp. They can be stained or painted in almost any tone or shade of wood, from ebony to light pine.
All five of these window covering options have their distinct advantages in terms of design and energy efficiency. They can be mixed and matched to meet the requirements and style of various rooms. They can be as subtle as possible, colorful accents for pure fun, or stately wood furnishings.
About the Author
The writer of this article, Nicole, has been writing about home decor and window treatments for years, including plantation shutters, panel glide blinds, and more.