Window Dressings For Your Home

Windows are the eyes of a home. Decorate them as a woman accents her eyes for others to see. Here are a few helpful tips for window dressing ideas.

In a business office, windows may simply admit light and permit a view on the outside world. Seldom covered by more than blinds, they offer little of beauty or aesthetic appeal.

But a home's windows should be different. Not only do family members see window coverings every day as part of their household surroundings, window designs say something about your family's taste and style to outsiders who may view your home's exterior in passing.

With so many types of window coverings to choose from today, here are some ideas to consider. You also may want to consult a department store, fabric store, or drapery shop's expert for advice on the best style for your type of home windows.

1. Blinds or shades. Venetian blinds, or vinyl (and sometimes plastic) slats, come in variable widths, lengths, and colors. Horizontal or vertical, they offer a quasi-professional touch to the sensible home decorator. But they also keep out light and curious viewers as well as fill an open wall space if you do not want to be distracted by outside activity. The main challenge to these are dusting and cleaning, as you must pry each slat from the others to clean both sides of dust or debris.

Pull-down shades, made of canvas and other textiles, are a traditional approach to window coverings. Attached to a tension roller, they can be pulled down at night or raised by day. Their potential problems include tearing or the loss of elasticity in the roller, making it difficult to raise or lower them.

2. Curtains. Made of washable, easy-to-care-for fabrics like cotton, lace, or polyester, curtains typically adorn windows in rooms like the kitchen, bathroom, or work areas. Made to last and to be cared for easily, they can be washed at home in the machine or taken to the laundromat if desired. Some do not require ironing, or pressing, though you may have to insert curtain rods to hang a certain kind with this style. Difficulties posed by this style include fading and tearing along the upper opening that slides onto a suspended rod over the window.

3. Drapes. Custom-made or store-bought, draperies are made from heavier, costlier, and more durable fabrics such as silk, wool, or synthetic mixtures. Often bulkier than curtains, they can be harder to clean and often require dry cleaning. The sheer curtains behind them, used during the day when draperies are open, can usually be hand washed in mild soap or machine washed on a delicate setting. People who hang draperies sometimes worry about smudges, fingerprints, stains, and tears from children or pets, as the fabric is expensive and they can be hard to clean. These are often used in living or family rooms, sometimes bedrooms, and occasionally home offices, dens, or libraries.

4. Special effects. Valances, tie-backs, pleats, and ruffles are some of the accents that can be used to enhance your curtains or draperies. Blending different colors, like a light sheer under a darker drapery, can be fun and add a new dimension to your home decorating. Experiment with various draping and effects to create different looks for each room.

Shop at the stores mentioned above to see what types of styles and materials are available. Or go online to browse the latest offerings that can be ordered through the catalog. Don't pass up the opportunity to adorn your windows in lovely styles that will only make your home that much more attractive.

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