Best Window Coverings for Balancing Lighting & Privacy

How do you make the best choice for a window covering based on individual rooms of the house?  It boils down to 5 or 6 factors that are fairly unique to everyone’s situation:

  1. Budget
  2. Tastes
  3. Needs & Decorating Style
  4. Brightness Level you wish to achieve in each room

These will help you maneuver the decision making while considering a plethora of possibilities.   Here are some guidelines…room by room:

  • Living Room – Horizontal blinds or louvered shutters are your best option if privacy is your top consideration…since louvers can be inclined based on your preference for shade or light without the interior being any more visible to passersby.  If privacy is not an issue, anything goes!  If you choose drapes, err on the side of simplicity, keeping them in a shade similar to that of the wall.
  • Bedroom – Have insomnia challenges?  Then an opaque blind might be your best choice. It can be concealed behind a valance or dressed up with attractive curtains. Other options are rigid horizontal blinds or fabric blinds combined with some curtains for greater opacity.
  • Kitchen –  Pleated blinds or curtains may be more soft and decorative…but wood blinds and faux-wood blinds are easier to maintain. The more rigid the blinds, the easier they are to clean.
  • Bathroom – Horizontal blinds are a practical choice for the powder room.  But choose a waterproof material (faux wood, for example), particularly if the space is poorly ventilated or the blind is close to the shower stall.

plantation style hybrid shutters shutters blend the beauty of real wood and advanced modern materials

Two other special situations that aren’t rooms per se…but warrant some unique consideration:

  • French Doors. Solar blinds (or perforated blinds) are perfectly suitable, as they reduce the glare and heat from the sun and protect furniture from UV rays. Also popular are light-filtering sunscreens (with Sheerweave) with their Japanese style and the lovely luminosity they confer on large windows. Fabric blinds are a good choice as well.
  • Windows above electric baseboard heaters – Rather than hemming your curtains so that they hang just above the heater, simply move them away from the heat source with a mounting bracket (available at most hardware stores), which attaches to the baseboard heater. The effect is more elegant. As for blinds, allow a clearance of at least 30 centimeters from the baseboard heater, and if possible, avoid vinyl or plastic-based materials.


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