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Window Treatment Basics

Aug 8, 2008
Windows are one of the main focal points of any condo or house. Not only do they serve to frame the owner's view of the world outside, but they also give a glimpse into the mini world inside a home. Most http://www.bestchicagocondos.com/new-construction-condos/index.html and single family homes will come with some sort of basic window treatments. But those will usually be a neutral color, which is great because it will match any decore, but you may want something more personalized once you move in. Some high-rises and planned communities will have condo associations that limit the color or type of window covering you may have, but there are many who don't. In either case you can find something within the bounds of what is acceptable and what you like personally.

Besides making it more plesant for the home owner, dressing up your windows is a great, mostly low cost way to add some interest to your house or condo if you are planning on selling. Window coverings and treatments serve several functions besides looking nice. They conserve heat in winter and filter hot sun in summer. They can help deaden outside noise and also give you some privacy from the outside world. They are also basically a frame for everything that goes on beyond your walls.

There are some basic things you need to consider before making any window treatment purchases though. First you need to decide if you want more or less light. If you are a sun lover, then you won't want to hang any type of heavy drape or blocking material. Sheer material would be ideal for that, but you also will probably want some privacy at some point so a type of shade or blind where you can control the amount of light might work for you. Next you need to decide what color scheme works best with the rest of the room or furniture. You'll want something that compliments, not draws a huge amount of attention.

What room the windows are in also plays a part. Generally heavier window treatments are used for living areas and bedrooms while materials and blinds that are easier to clean and can stand up to the moisture and heat of kitchens and baths are recomended. You can even pull off a little visual deception with window treatments if the size of your windows bothers you. To make a small window appear larger, simply extend the curtain rod or covering past the width. If you want to scale down a large floor to ceiling window, then try using a small pattern type of covering that will break up the space.

To give you an idea of some basic window treatment and covering terms, here are some of the more often used ones.

Blinds are fairly simple to install and use and can be made from vinyl or wood. They can run from very inexpensive to pricey, depending on the size and material and whether or not you have them installed or do it yourself. Color choice is no problem because they come in many different ones.

Shades are similar to binds in ease of installation and price. They roll up and down and can be made from different materials and come in colors.

Curtains and drapes are the most common type of window coverings and can vary from as little as ten dollars a panel to over a hundred. Material is basically unlimited as well as style and color choice. They typically hang from a rod above the window and can even be retractable. Valances are often used with curtains and drapes and are a hund from the top rod to both cover it and add visual interest and an accent. They can also be draped in an arch to add a more dramatic look to the room.

And finally, don't forget the outside of your windows if you own a single family home. Adding shutters can really enhance the look of a house and give it a very welcoming appearance. Shutters can be functional or just decorative, depending on how much you want to spend or whether you actually have a need to use them in your area.

So whether you're looking out or looking in, windows can frame both your world and your room. Go with your instincts and create something that makes you take a second look.
About the Author
Paula Cherrist writes articles about Chicago real estate, home trends and housing related topics for About Chicago Real Estate.
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