Windows are considered to be the eyes of a home. Through them, we can see a framed view of the outside world, and when we are outside looking in, they offer us a glimpse of the daily goings-on of life. Some windows require no treatment due to a spectacular view, and yet other windows require some sort of treatment, either for privacy reasons or to protect the interiors from the intense rays of the sun. There are many types of window treatments for addressing issues of privacy, sun protection and aesthetics, too.
Most of us are familiar with curtains or drapes. People often use the terms invariably, however, there is a difference. Curtains are generally made with lighter fabrics and are not intended to protect against sunlight. They are mainly for privacy and aesthetics. Drapes, on the other hand, are usually lined and meant to block out light. As for aesthetics, depending on where you live and the type of decor you have, drapes can be made of velvet, silk, cotton, linen and even synthetic fabrics. Curtains and drapes can be simple and demure or as fancy as a ballgown. (Remember in "Gone with the Wind," when Scarlett O'Hara has her dress made from fancy drapes?)
Shutters are another viable option for window treatments. This treatment gives an architectural flair to any room, as it reinforces the openings and becomes part of the millwork. Although generally painted white, wood shutters can be stained to match the millwork and, in certain instances, painted to contrast in color. Sometimes shutters can be divided in two, with closed panels on the bottom for privacy but open ones on top to allow light to come in to your space.
Blinds are quite common and useful. They can provide privacy and also mitigate the sunlight due to their adjustable blades. These come in a variety of materials, from wood to vinyl to aluminum, and a variety of sizes, from 2 inches to a "mini blind," which has 3/4-inch blades. Similar to shutters, blinds are often associated with traditional architecture. Vertical blinds came about during the 1970s in response to the many sliding glass doors of modern architecture.
Then there are those who prefer shades. Shades offer a more contemporary style to any interior because when they are rolled up, they are out of sight. There are shades made of vinyl which are meant to block out or filter light and even some that are considered blackout, which block all light (great for sleeping in on a sunny morning). Light-filtering shades can be made of woven vinyl fabric or a light sheer fabric.
Yet another variation of shades is translucent shades. Made from opaque paper or nylon, these shades stack like horizontal blinds yet allow in a copious amount of light.
Surely, there are many more styles of window treatments. There is no wrong type of treatments, as long as they ultimately do their job in concealing your home and controlling the light.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. His website is www.josephpubillones.com. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.