Over the years, the desire for window coverings in bathrooms has changed dramatically.
In the 80s and 90s, frilly lace curtains were all the rage, as were very sad simple roller blinds in unsuitable fabrics that looked tired long before the warranty expired.
Then we went through a period where many decided it was all too hard and chose not to cover their bathroom windows at all. This was fine if the glass was frosted, but a little bit voyeuristic if the glass was clear - minimalism in all its embarrassing glory!
Fast forward to recent times and almost anything goes for bathroom window treatments; it just depends on the decor, the client, and the budget. Bathrooms can range from the humble powder room right up to luxe spa-like chambers, brimming with luxury features.
Of course, erring on the side of practicality first would be the plantation shutter. Utilising either PVC or aluminium panels, these treatments are impervious to steam and moisture, and therefore tough in the unforgiving humidity of a bathroom. They look great on all shaped windows and give maximum privacy. One doesn't need to be concerned about being 100 per cent blockout as you don’t require this in a bathroom. If you have a window actually located inside a shower cubicle, then shutters are perfect. They are also wonderful for little children that love to splash in the bath. Of course, don’t purchase MDF or timber shutters, as these can swell in moist conditions.
Good old roller blinds are also fine in bathrooms, but be careful to use fabrics that are moisture resistant. Sheer rollers or sunscreens are not recommended as they can trap moisture and become saturated; you need fabric that water can easily run off and is mould resistant. Blinds will give you the necessary privacy, but keep in mind they look very banal. They also need to be kept clean as they can appear drab very very quickly. However, they are the most cost effective option.
A recent trend in more luxurious bathrooms is floor to ceiling sheer curtains. These look sumptuous and are reminiscent of five star spas. Usually a plain washable sheer is recommended, as you want something that will not attract mould or hold moisture for too long.
In terms of materials, 100 per cent polyesters are best in bathroom conditions, which is good news as they are often cheaper than their natural counterparts. Keep in mind that the hardware is susceptible to tarnishing, so use high quality aluminium fittings with few movable parts. Ensure the curtains are easy to remove for laundering; just pop them in a pillowcase to wash gently and hang up whilst damp. Never wring a sheer curtain and remember to remove any hooks before washing.
It’s important to consider covering your bathroom windows. Frosted glass is ugly for one thing. Clear glass protects no one - you may not be concerned about seeing out, but you should certainly be concerned with who can see in!
If redesigning or building a new bathroom, consider which window covering you would like in the planning stages, as this can greatly affect the final look and feel of the room.