Consumers often desire certain window coverings without thinking about what functions they need the window coverings to perform.

We see beautiful images in magazines and on TV and crave them. This can lead to disaster, as many spend thousands of dollars on products that are essentially useless to them.

Of course, if you engage the services of a professional, then you would rightly expect to be shown the pros and cons of a number of solutions. However, it’s always a good idea to have some background knowledge so that costly mistakes can be avoided.

Here are 10 things to consider when deciding on the right window covering:

  1. What is the architecture/era of the home? Do you have an obligation to decorate according to a certain historical period? For example, do you have Colonial style windows? These look terrible with plantation shutters, as there are too many horizontal and vertical lines. Please also consider what your window coverings will look like from outside (for instance, will they clash with bricks?)
  2. What are the existing colours/décor in the home? Will these be changed in the future? Please try not to do everything in white; as humans we are designed to live with colour and all white décor is very clinical, stark and jarring. Also keep in mind that many white window coverings show dirt easily and can be harder to keep clean.
  3. What is the size of the window? Some window treatments, such as timber venetians, have a maximum width, so this needs to be taken into account. Small windows can be given the illusion of largesse if the right window treatment is selected. If you have space around the window to extend the size of the window coverings, this can make the proportions larger.
  4. What is the shape of the window? Unusual shapes such as arches, angles and circles greatly limit the window covering choices. Plantation shutters are a great option in many cases.
  5. Do you require thermal protection? Do you need extra warmth in winter or coolness in summer without increasing your energy consumption? This is where fully lined curtains and pelmets do their best work.
  6. Do you need privacy? Is your window overlooking an ugly view or do you have nosy neighbours? No one likes living in a goldfish bowl! Please put something appropriate on your windows, as sometimes we don’t want to see into your house!
  7. Do you require total darkness, for example in a baby’s room, shift worker’s bedroom or media room? Don’t be fooled into believing that a blockout roller blind will cut out all light from all angles.
  8. Is noise a problem? Blockout lined drapes can considerably reduce noise from outside and make the room acoustics more muted. An interlining called bumph can also add more acoustic value, which is great for music rooms or recording studios.
  9. Is the sun blaring down and fading your furniture? Is the glare unbearable? Are you squinting at the kitchen sink while preparing dinner? Perhaps consider a sunscreen blind or sheer curtain.
  10. What is your budget? There is absolutely no point dreaming about wonderful window coverings if you don’t have a realistic budget. In this industry, you really get what you pay for, so skimping on price will usually end up as skimping on quality and achieving the outcome you originally desired!