1. IS THE DESIGN AND STYLE THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR?
If the look is more important to you and you want your window treatments to make a strong design statement, you may well be erring more on the side of drapes than blinds or shades. Layering of light, airy, semi transparent sheers with beautiful outer fabrics can add a feeling of luxury to a room. Tiebacks, valances, passementerie and window treatment accessories finish the look. The curve of the fabric softens the window and looks extremely elegant. This type of curtain tends to stay in place most of the time. If you need to constantly open and close the window treatment, you may want to choose something more practical since the beauty of this look is the exact placement of the outer drape.
2. IS FUNCTION THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR?
Blinds and shades are easy to open, close and adjust. They offer excellent flexibility in terms of both privacy and control of the light. If you need privacy in a bedroom, there are blinds that can be lowered to allow light in from the top window, while covering the lower one. If you have little children or pets you may want to consider cordless blinds or a continuous loop where the cord is encased. Cats go crazy for dangling cords!
3. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
Ask yourself the reasons for installing a window treatment. Do you want to prevent neighbors peering in? Do you want to be able to control or block out the light? Do you need better insulation against either cold or heat? Or do you simply want to make a design statement, in which case feel free to choose whatever you love.
4. ARE THERE ANY POTENTIAL PROBLEMS?
Take a good look at the places you want to install window treatments. Are the windows unusually tall or wide? The maximum shade width for example is 120 inches. If your window is wider you will have to install multiple shades or get custom ones made which can be very expensive.
Are there architectural features that might affect different types of window treatment? How do your windows open? Might the crank handle be an issue? Are your windows so beautiful, such as stained glass, that you don’t want to simply cover them up? Do you have low baseboard heaters in which case you won’t want long drapes covering them up? The heat will get trapped and heat up your windows instead of your room.
If you have anything other than straightforward windows, you may want to engage the help of an interior designer to advise on which treatment will work best in your space.
5. WHAT KIND MOUNTING DO YOU PREFER?
If you have decided on drapes, do you envisage curtains hanging under a valance where you don’t see the curtains attach, or do you prefer a curtain pole with rings? For shades do you prefer them to be mounted inside the window frame or outside? Inside mounted shades allow any decorative window trim to remain visible. Outside mounted shades or Roman blinds attach to the top of the window