WINDOW COVERINGS aren’t one-size-fits-all. Whether you’re balancing personal preferences — think sheer curtains versus moody velvet drapes — or your home’s unique requirements, from privacy and heat control to hurricane protection, the right window coverings infuse a space with functionality and style. “In what seems to be a fairly mundane industry, we actually have new products and technology advances every year,” says Katherine Weeks, owner of Budget Blinds of Savannah. Moreover, the aesthetics of the market closely follow apparel trends. The result? “The in-demand looks are constantly evolving,” Weeks says. “That’s why it’s so important to work with a trusted professional who can guide you to the right product for your needs.”
IN THE BEDROOM Sheer curtains offer a pretty, romantic feel in a primary bedroom, but many homeowners prefer the privacy, cooling factor and practicality of a blackout treatment (who doesn’t want to sleep in on a Saturday morning?). Andrew Albert, owner of Palmetto Shutter Company, suggests the Hunter Douglass Luminette line. “It gives you the look of beautiful, sheer drapery panels but with blackout features,” Albert explains. “They can easily open to illuminate a room or close for privacy, which makes them great for wide windows, sliding doors and French doors.” Luminette comes in a variety of sheer and drapery-like fabrics to provide flexibility and aesthetic options. Nikki Pettit, CEO of Savannah Blinds Shutters and Shades, offers another solution altogether. “Double up! It’s a great style option and gives the best light control,” she says. “Select something like a roller shade then add sheer curtains over the top. Or, do a dual rod and have room-darkening drapes and sheers.” The result is a well-tailored bedroom that helps maintain healthy sleep patterns.
IN THE BATHROOM “Both the kitchen and the bathroom generally need light for functionality — for prepping a meal or for applying makeup, for example,” explains Weeks. However, bathrooms require a higher emphasis on privacy. Bathrooms also need a product that can tolerate high humidity levels and temperature changes, all while allowing natural light, Weeks says. Pettit suggests keeping it simple with blinds, shutters or rolling shades made from composite materials. “It’s really important to keep moisture in mind,” she says.
IN THE KITCHEN Kitchen window treatments depend largely on the placement of the windows, explains Pettit. “For kitchen windows over a sink, you may want something you can leave down and still look gorgeous; we often see Roman shades behind sinks for this reason.” Other popular choices include cellular shades, sheer shades and woven woods, says Albert. And don’t forget — spaghetti splatter happens. Weeks suggests looking for a product that can be wiped clean.
OUTSIDE One of Pettit’s favorite trends in window coverings is also one of the most prudent. “We are seeing a lot of exterior work happening, including decorative exterior shutters and storm protection.” Hurricane shutters are a worthwhile investment, Albert says, to protect a home from strong winds and rain. Design-wise, options abound: “Louvered, paneled, roll-down and Bahama-style hurricane shutters allow you to select what best fits the design of your home,” Albert says. A wide range of colors, plus safety options like battery-operated systems that work when the power is out, mean a home can stay safe (and look great) even after a major weather event.
IN GENERAL With advances in smart home technology, automated window coverings are becoming increasingly popular and are no longer considered just a luxury item. “Automation lets you schedule your sheers and shades to open and close on their own, at any time of day, with the tap of a phone or remote, or even the sound of your voice,” Albert says. It’s convenient, sure, but also offers an energy savings benefit as well. “During the summer, you can schedule your motorized shades to close at midday to keep your home from overheating,” he explains (same goes for opening them to warm a home in wintertime). Pettit suggests choosing honeycomb shades for the same reason: “The cell design creates pockets to trap air, meaning your house will feel cooler in spring and summer, and warmer in the fall and winter,” she says. As for any homeowners who want to invite the springtime season with new window treatments that are also timeless enough for any time of year, Weeks suggests linen drapery layered over a woven wood shade. “It’s a classic, breezy look that doesn’t blow the budget.”