Sheer magic, this!

Sheer magic, this!


Skillful window treatments can easily bring extraordinary magic to a room. They can add chutzpah to any given space and also change the way a room looks. Window drapes and blinds can cover tall slender home windows or short ones; make a high window appear lower, broaden very small rooms, or even reduce vast areas. They can make a room elegant cosy and classy without making a hole in your pocket.

You can use splashes of shade and design and make your draperies appealing on a minimal budget.

The first step to choosing the right window treatment is to decide whether you want hard or soft window treatments or a combination of both. Hard window treatments are made of hard materials like wood or vinyl. Examples are shades, window blinds and shutters. Soft window treatments are anything made of soft materials such as sheers, curtains, drapes, swags, valances and roman shades.

Blinds or curtains?

Blinds are best suited for smaller windows whereas curtains are best for tall French windows. Blinds work best for bedrooms since they are very effective at blocking outside lighting source. Curtains are suited for kitchens as you can have access to natural light most of the time. But finally it is your personal preference that will determine the choice. If you prefer minimal amount of dressing for a window, then blinds are your solution. If you want to add a splash of colour to your living space, then curtains are a good choice.

Curtains usually refer to window coverings that filter the light coming in through the window, while draperies are those that can be drawn closed across the window. They come in different forms, from transparent cloth, lace and silk to thick velvety materials. They can also be arranged in many different styles. The draperies may be the same length as the window, implying a casual, relaxed and informal mood. Slightly longer, skimming or trailing draperies lend a more dignified, dressy and formal look. The curtain rail may be concealed by a valance or cornice, or it may be draped with swags of fabric.

Many curtain options

There are varieties of fabrics available in the market today. Cotton is one of the most common fabrics used for home furnishings due to its versatility, durability and comfort. It has a variety of finishes, patterns and designs. However cotton can shrink, stretch or wrinkle very easily thus not the best of choices for draperies.

Polyester curtains are very popular now as they are very affordable, strong, crease and stretch resistant and very easy to clean. Polyester also does not absorb water and are quick drying. Most people now prefer polyester for their many advantages.

Another popular fabric for draperies is silk as they add warmth, magnificence and luxurious beauty to a room. But silk is damaged easily by the sun so using it on windows that get a lot of sunlight is not recommended unless the drapes are lined. Besides, silk is also very expensive compared to other fabrics.

Blinds also come in many different forms. The two main types of blinds are vertical and horizontal blinds. Blinds can also be manufactured from many different types of materials. They can be made of sheets of cloth, or they may be made of slats of wood, bamboo or plastic. Many blinds are very simple, such as Venetian blinds, but others can be more elaborate, such as Roman blinds, which are formed of folded and pleated fabric.

Blinds are much easier to install and operate. They are durable and easier to clean. They have an appearance that is aesthetically striking and suited to modern décor. Blinds actually require less room and clearance than draperies which is a boon for small apartments.

Roman shades made of rattan, bamboo or other pure fibers are much in demand now. They add visible texture; however they roll up easily just like the Roman shades of old. Bamboo, reed textures, and exposed wood grain in blinds and shades are also in vogue. In search of a luxurious look, fabrics like silk, velvet, suede, and wool are also trendy in blinds. Trims, beads, and shiny hardware add to the appeal of these materials and can be adjusted for every style, choice and room.

Nikhil Ajmera from furnishing store Opulence says, “Window drapes are mainly of three styles. It can be a combination of curtain and sheer, or an arrangement of draperies, sheer and valance or blinds. Best companies for blinds in the market today are Hunter Douglas, AD blinds, Vespa etc. the cost starts from Rs 175 per sq. ft. to as much as Rs 800 per sq. ft. wooden blinds start from Rs 40 onwards.

For draperies lot of imported brands are in demand such as Rasch from Germany, Maishaa from Thailand, F n F , Casadeco from UK etc.  Imported fabrics are more in thread count and are thicker in quality. Polyesters are much common in India for their durability and easy maintenance.

The range for curtain fabrics starts from Rs 75  per sq. ft. to as high as  Rs 15,000 per sq. ft. The highest selling bracket though is from Rs 150 to Rs 500.”

Changing the window decorations can make a huge difference to a room. It can open the room up, making it appear brighter or more spacious, or help it to feel warm and cozy.

Blinds and drapes can ensure that you have your privacy, but they can also be used for aesthetic reasons. It is important to match the drapes or blinds to the style and size of your room in order to achieve the best results. If your ceilings are fairly low, for example, you may want to avoid long, floor length curtains as it could make the room appear smaller. If your room is very modern and minimalist, you may want to install plain blinds, but if you have a very traditional, grand room then some elaborate draperies may be better.