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New window treatments? So many choices

Joan Fieldstone

February 26, 2015

By: Joan Fieldstone, Home Improv Advocate

In: Windows and Window FashionsInterior Design

The recent debacle with my dog vs. drapes has me thinking lately about window treatments. There are a lot of windows in most homes, and custom window treatments are pricey. Even ready-made window treatments can get expense when you've got 10, 20, or more windows and patio doors to cover. The drapes the dog ruined from Bed Bath and Beyond cost me over $200 on sale, even applying their 20 percent off discount coupons.

I have thirteen or fourteen windows across three walls. Before you jump to the conclusion that I live in a lean-to that's open to the elements on one side, my home is a duet and shares a wall with the home next door. I'm "getting off cheap," as they say. So, $1,000 might be the least I'd have to spend if I purchased even the bargain window treatments. When I moved in, it was a choice between central air conditioning and a refrigerator, or window treatments. It was June and already 90 degrees-plus that week. I opted to keep me and the food cool. I bought paper pleated stick up shades that attach like post-it notes. They let light in and keep nosy neighbors from seeing in. Most of them are still hanging while I amass the fortune I'll need for real window fashions.

Meanwhile, it doesn't hurt to dream, or even to dream big. That's why I bought this house…so I could express myself in home décor. If I can't afford something, I improvise. Home improv. The drapes didn't work out because of the dog, so they have to be cut down to curtains. Not ideal, but the best I can do for now. Maybe I'll put some furniture under that window so the cats can stretch out and sun themselves. Kitty loungers. Dog's drool, cats rule.

The latest innovations in window fashions

For those of us content to live with post-it notes for window shades until we can afford better, the world of window fashions has been passing us by. Likewise, if you still have aluminum mini-blinds and are looking at all the new options, it's eye-opening.

Probably some of the most significant innovations involve motorized window treatments operated by remote control. There are some that can be programmed via your Android or iOS device to open and close either together or individually, such as the innovative Hunter Douglas Platinum app.

Shades with sheer fabric between the vanes not only diffuse light but also improve acoustics over harder materials like wood or faux-wood blinds and shutters. Shades come in custom fabrics and nearly all window shades offer varying degrees of light and privacy as well as thermal properties to help save energy. With all of these choices, I can tell already that it's not the cost that will keep me from committing to a window treatment purchase eventually. There are just too many good options.

For those who want to save the headache of all these decisions, ready-made has fewer offerings, and some of them mimic the custom fashions. This Roman shade at BBBY with a honeycomb backing for added insulation was under $50 for a 35 in.-by-58 in. window.

Roman shade window treatment

window treatment options

And there is always DIY. You don't even need a sewing machine anymore to make your own window treatments -- just an iron, some fabric, and a roll of heat bond tape. Even I could do that, but maybe not without burning something.

Photo credit to Joan Fieldstone

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