Choosing the Right Window Coverings

Expert Author Alexa L Campbell
Okay, so you want to put something around your windows, but you aren't entirely sure what. There are a lot of options for you to choose from, and today, I'm going to help you get through it.
Finding The Light
Windows have two major purposes in any given home: providing light and providing air. It's very important to keep these things in mind when you're selecting your window coverings, because what you choose will have a big impact on your ability to enjoy the room. You also need to consider the layout of your furniture, the function of the room, and the direction the windows are facing.
Some windows provide little or no light to a room, regardless of the time of day. These are often good places to install sturdy blinds or shutters that can block out most of the little light that is coming in - in essence, they're serving as decoration. The reduction in ambient lighting can help improve the colors of electronics displays, making rooms with these window coverings ideal for your entertainment center. To get the very best results for electronics, consider using a blackout shade and placing some sort of art on it.
For the main rooms of your house, especially if they have a lot of natural lighting, you'll need to be a little more careful. If privacy is a concern for your family, choose something you can open and close at will - blinds and curtain drapes are both very popular options. Keep in mind that the function is more important than the form - you need to choose what you want your coverings to do for you before you start deciding on how you want it to look.

Decorating Your Windows
A bare window frame is rarely attractive, and that's where decorations come in. The most classic look involves long drapes going around the edges to hide corners and provide a more natural look, and this is an excellent choice for the main rooms of your house. It is not, however, the only one.
If the space in your room permits, consider surrounding your window with some kind of furniture - bookcases are good options in bedrooms, as are desks and other locations where people are likely to visit on a regular basis. This can offer natural light for reading and help avoid straining the eyes, instant access to fresh air, and a variety of other benefits. If you decorate the room this way, be sure to add a small drape on the very top to add a little color and flair.
Avoiding It All
In a few cases, it is better to avoid adding decorations to your windows. This is especially true if your home was built using a particular style; deep, high windows are often meant to be left as they are, and simply making sure that they're painted all the way to the edges is all that's necessary for a nice look. Regardless of what type of decorations you're using, less is usually more when it comes to windows - decorative rods and finials for the drapes are as complicated as it needs to get.
The Three-Step Solution
If you're still having trouble deciding on how to decorate, just follow this simple process.
First, decide on the function and determine how much light and air you want the window to provide.
Second, choose a color that complements the rest of your decor - window coverings are affordable and can be changed easier than most of your other decorations.
Third, find or make something that meets the first two requirements. With that, you're done!
Alexa Campbell is on her way to completing her certification in interior design from UC Berkeley and loves expressing her ideas about home design through her blogs and online writing. Her inspirations include Kristina Wolf of Kristina Wolf Design, Inc., an interior designer in the San Francisco Bay Area.