By Vickie Williamson
Custom Framer and Interior Designer
Window treatments are more than fabric that enhances a room’s décor. Blinds, cellular and Roman shades, shutters, curtains and draperies are all multi-purpose. Window treatments help insulate. Making the insulation attractive is my specialty.
Window treatments are often multi-layered. The first layer is blinds, shutters or shades. The second layer consists of draperies, cornices or decorative valances.
As with anything, you do get what you pay for. Vinyl mini-blinds, while inexpensive and provide privacy, don’t offer much protection from heat or cold. Custom-made insulated Roman shades are an excellent solution for insulating your home’s windows. On hot, sunny days, I close the woven- wood Roman shades on my west-facing windows. If your home is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter, consider custom-made Roman shades.
Nothing surpasses the style factor of the plantation shutter, but all this style does come at a price. Shop around for the best quality woods and composite materials that are less likely to warp or fade in the sun. Shutter measuring and installing is best left to the professionals.
Also be sure to fully consider safety when choosing window treatments. I always recommend cordless options for homes with young children or pets. Cords can be secured to lessen the threat of injury, but it never hurts to play it safe.
And if you or others in your home suffer from allergies, then probably wood blinds or shutters would be a better choice than fabric window treatments, which can collect allergens. Just remember to vacuum or dust your blinds or shutters regularly.
Lastly, shopping for window treatments in the store is recommended, but you can also order them online. Sites include theshadestore.com, www.windowdecor.us, www.decorview.com (HunterDouglas), www.hgtv.com, www.overstock.com and www.houzz.com.
Prince William resident Vickie Williamson owns Fine Design Custom Framing & Interiors in Woodbridge. She has worked in the fine art, framing and decorating industry for more than 25 years and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.