If we were to ask you what your window coverings do for you, you might be a little puzzled. ‘Do for me? What do you mean, do for me? They cover my windows if that’s what you’re asking’.
Well, no that is not quite what we are looking for, although that is an important feature.
We are looking for things like insulation, maintenance and durability to name a few. All of these are necessary for quality window furnishings. And whilst every home has them, only very few meet these criteria.
Allow us to help you understand exactly what to expect in all of these areas with different types of window coverings. Here, we will cover all the greats from curtains and draperies, to roller blinds, plantation shutters and roman blinds. Each of these are vastly different to each other, but do not compromise on their offerings in any way.
You may recognise some names, others not so much. So let us get to know them better, and learn how to put them to use within any space.
Curtains and Draperies
We are starting off with something well-known and simple. Curtains.
If you look up the definition of curtains, this is what you will find. ‘A piece of cloth or other material intended to block or obscure light, air drafts or (in the case of a shower curtain), water.’
It then goes on to describe them as the movable screen or drape in a theatre separating the stage from the auditorium.
All great explanations, and spot on. Curtains are indeed solid blocks of fabric, and moonlight under different roles depending on the occasion. Needless to say, they are widely and popularly used.
Adding to this, curtains are also now available in sheer variety. That is to say, the opposite of blockout. Somewhere along the way, people felt they loved this window furnishing but probably realized they wanted to see outside too. Seeing as how blockouts are opaque though, they did not have much choice; that is, until sheers came into play. Since then, curtains have been elevated as a superior window furnishing option with versatility.
That is because sheers made it possible for you to alternate between different settings. You could use them on their own, or most commonly, combined with blockout curtains. During the day you can simply draw the blockouts back, leaving the sheers on to gently diffuse light. Then at night, they are drawn back.
Once colours, patterns and textures on offer grew, the possibilities were endless. You could mix and match curtains to form their own personalities, in-tune with your design scheme. Suddenly, curtains went from your grandma’s living room to something of luxury and sophistication.
Curtains can also be further personalised and customised. If you want to stand out from the crowd, we recommend looking into heading styles. In the industry, this is the term used for how curtains are gathered, then sewn at the top. You will find that curtains do not drape the same way or look the same either, despite being made out of the same material. That is thanks to their heading. Some options include:
- Double pinch pleat
- Triple pinch pleat
- Knife pleat
- Box pleat
It pays to give this due diligence, because when you have the final product in your hands, you will thank yourself. It really does make a world of difference, and dictates how your curtains cascade.
Aside from heading styles, you can also browse through banding and trimming options. This is when either complementary or contrasting colours are added as bands onto the curtains. They are purely decorative, and inject a dose of character effortlessly. You can run them around the edges, or simply have borders from the bottom about ¼ of the way up. Trust us when we say that they give your curtains a whole new outlook on life!
Also known as Holland blinds, after curtains, roller blinds are the next big thing in the industry. In fact, amongst the rest of their blinds peers, they are celebrities. If you are wondering why you need roller blinds in your home, read on.
They are a highly-favoured window furnishing option by many, and it is easy to see why. What you see is what you get. For this reason, they are popular for both residential and commercial use. Chances are, you have seen them at most office spaces too.
Aside from their clean-cut, straightforward design, they are easy to operate and maintain. They are also available in a range of colours, patterns, fabrics and textures, to suit your individual needs. This allows you to explore your interior design skills and vision, as you can play with many combinations.
Our stylish fabrics are functional too, assisting with light control, privacy and insulation. Blockout roller blinds in particular are excellent for keeping heat and glare away. This contributes to a cool and comfortable interior, as they help regulate temperature.
Your roller blinds fabric choices include:
- Light filtering
If you are having trouble deciding between them, why not consider double-roller blinds? They offer you the best of both worlds, by operating two blinds on one bracket. This combination can include a layer of blockout for the exterior, and either light filtering or sunscreen behind. This set-up allows you to enjoy views in the daytime with the secondary blind down. Then when evening rolls around, just roll down the blockout. Light filtering fabrics ensure there is no visibility into your space as well.
Roller blinds are budget-friendly, and an economical way to tackle those pesky problems lurking inside your space. As for how to clean roller blinds, simply dust and wipe with a cloth when needed. Cleaning solutions may be used for stains, but be sure they are gentle.
We absolutely love plantation shutters. They are quaint, and have the ability to draw attention to distinct architectural features. Their blades are rotatable, and are horizontal panels or slats, divided by vertical stiles set across the frame.
It is thought that plantation shutters originated in Ancient Greece, made out of marble. Supposedly, this material was cheaper than glass, something that may be hard to fathom today. Given the solid structure, movable louvres are a later invention.
Plantation shutters were very much built out of necessity. They are designed to maximize air flow within a space, whilst keeping out heat and maintaining privacy. As such, they were widely used in tropical and Mediterranean regions, though today they are global. Their crisp, chic looks especially suit coastal homes, though they can be used anywhere.
Over time, marble came to be replaced with wood. This meant that the louvres could now for the first time be tilted and adjusted more precisely. From then on, plantation shutters spread like wildfire. They became ideal for use on muggy plantations, hence how they got their name. They were perfect for sweltering weather, cross ventilation, privacy and of course, protecting interior furnishings.
Today you will find these shutters in a range of colours and materials. Though modern in their appearance, they still retain the functional traits that brought them to fame. Best of all, they suit any design scheme, be it classic or contemporary.
While plantation shutters are beautiful in wood, they may not be suited to areas prone to moisture. This can make them warp, peel and fade, and wood in general is a material that needs to be maintained. However, there is a solution for this: Timber-look or PVC plantation shutters. These are specifically designed to withstand the rigors of such environments, like the bathroom and laundry room for instance.
Roman blinds have a very unique style to them, making them instantly recognizable. A solid piece of fabric is sectioned into horizontal panels, which fold and release incrementally. That is to say, as you raise and lower them, they will do so panel by panel; giving you better control as a result. If you want them clean off your window, simply roll them up fully, and they will form a pelmet of sorts as the panels stack up. The drawstring mechanism attached to the slats makes this possible.
Since their inception, Roman blinds have not really changed much. Whilst operation is certainly more advanced today, they remain true to their initial concept. So not only do you have blinds suited to the modern-day home, they are also in a sense, vintage.
Roman blinds can be created from an array of stunning colours. You may be surprised at some of them, not ever imagining they would suit blinds of all things. You can absolutely use them to make a bold statement, so they stand out or blend into the room. Our trained eyes are able to pick out these key distinctions, and offer related suggestions for the best end result.
Not only do Roman blinds give you classic, elegant style, they also cater to privacy and additional insulation. They are also considered to be more cost-effective than curtains, as they need less fabric. So if that was an option, here is an alternative if you are budget-conscious.
As far as maintenance is concerned, Roman blinds cannot be machine-washed. However, upkeep is not hard. Simply use the brush-head of your vacuum cleaner to remove dust, and spot-clean for any stains that crop up.
That about covers some of the main window furnishings we see today. Of course, each of them offer their own pros and cons, and at the end of the day, it depends on your needs. We understand the conundrum of making these decisions all too well, and are here to help. Our expertise spans over five decades and is second-to-none, so you can be assured of doing the right thing.
We also bring our collection of fabrics to your home, so you need not worry about making several trips out. Our consultants will assess your space, and offer their suggestions as well. We will then measure and install, and ensure you enjoy your window furnishings for a long time to come. We offer long-term 10 year warranties on most products, with the option of extendable warranties for your peace of mind.