Trends in Window Coverings – A Primer

Window coverings present a unique opportunity for a specialist because they’re “the one finishing-off area of the home that most people did not know how to do, clients and designers alike,” says interior designer Christy DeVicente in the San Luis Obispo area.  Following are her insights on the the latest trends,  pros and cons of custom versus premade, and the biggest gotcha’s to beware of.

Current Window Covering Trends

  • Natural Woven Shades – continue as the top trend — but from a new angle.  DeVicente points out that there are “so many new weaves and more refined textures.”  More contemporary and less tropical in feel, the newer weaves fit nicely into today’s clean, contemporary interiors. Woven shades are warm and textural…usually fashioned of natural materials like bamboo, raffia, grass, sticks or jute . They also offer various degrees of opacity for a range of lightblocking and privacy preferances.  Surprisingly versatile…even when opened, they continue to be a unique design element that creates a sort of “folded valance” along the top the window.
  • Classic Roller Shade – Often preferred because of their simplicity and streamlined design… “I have had more calls for roller shades in the past year than in all my 14 years in business,” said DeVicente.  Because they roll up tight, leaving a thin cylinder of around 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, they can mount inside a window frame without detracting from views. Pair a roller shade with a narrow four to six inch valance, and you have a sleek yet functional and stylish window treatment. The basic design of roller shades is not much different from those your grandmother may have used, but the materials and mechanisms have come a long way.  The introduction of woven materials “No longer do you have to settle on the old plastic-like roller shade materials, or the vinyl laminated shades,” said DeVicente.
  • Solar Shades – A specialized roller shade filter out sunlight while maintaining views.  Manufactured from a heavy decorative screen material, they come in varying degrees of filtration, blocking out 86 percent to 97 percent of the sun’s rays. This isn’t just easy on the eyes — it protects furniture and décor from ultraviolet rays, and can help cool the home.  For windows with heavy sun exposure, and privacy is not a big concern…solar shades may be your optimal solution.
  • Motorization – not a new feature…but currently much more affordable.  Hiding all mechanisms within the frame is the latest innovation in motorized shutters. Solar powered motorized shutters with batteries that constantly recharge using a small solar panel located on the bottom rail. “This is great for windows that are up high or for a whole house full of shutters where it would be challenging and expensive to replace batteries every two years,” she said. Motorized shutters use a radio frequency remote, allowing you to open, close or change the angle of the louvers. You can operate one or multiple shutters from up to 120 feet away.

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