Window coverings are an essential design element to be considered as a part of an overall interior design scheme, but unfortunately, they are often overlooked until the end of a job. The problem with this is that it can limit your options (especially in a new build), and you can miss out on achieving the ideal solution.
For example, curtain tracks and roller blinds can be hidden in bulkheads, or curtains can seem to disappear into a cavity, or they can be motorised and wired in before walls go up. These little tweaks at the construction stage can have a huge impact on the finished product both visually and for you, the end user.
Consider the overall aesthetic and how they will feature in the space. Will they be a highlight and stand out or blend in? What are you trying to achieve with them – softening of the room, day privacy, night privacy, insulation, sun protection, complete light block out, or a combination? To find the best solutions, the functionality of not only the products but also the window or door opening must be taken into account.
If you have wall to wall glass windows or doors and are wanting curtains, consider where the stack will be when the curtains are open. If a track is the width of the opening, the stack of a curtain will be covering a portion of the glass, reducing your view and the light that can get in, effectively making the space within feel smaller. Here at Tailored HQ, we take curtain tracks past window or door openings where possible to get the stack off the glass and utilise the light to its fullest potential.
Have a corner or angle to work with? Not a problem! The bending or curving of curtain tracks is an easy solution, allowing a free flow of the curtain in the space as opposed to butting tracks into a corner which can limit movement options as well as create a light gap. We also utilise the bent tracks in situations where the glass is wall to wall. The tracks are bent around the corner back into the room, allowing the stack to be over walls instead of the glass, clearing the view. Most people are none the wiser of the use of this visual trick.
Roller blinds can also be utilised for corners or angled windows with angled brackets used to allow the blinds to move up and down on one chain, so you do not have to reach over things to get to chains. Up to three blinds can be ‘linked’ to the one control with these brackets. One thing to remember with blinds is that there is always a gap between each blind to allow for the brackets above. This gap can be an important factor to consider especially in bedrooms where darkness is key.
Fabric selection (the fun bit!) should be both an aesthetic and practical decision. Consider where you live though. Newcastle, being near the ocean, means there is salt in the air which can deteriorate natural fibre fabrics faster. Polyester has, in the past, had a bad reputation, however, an element of polyester in the mix will help stabilise natural fibres (such as linen). This generally allows the product to be washed and stand up to direct sunlight better than a product which has 100% natural fibre content.
Also consider the space the fabric will be in – a blind in a bathroom will get exposed to a lot of moisture, so the fabric choice must be able to withstand this and survive. Fabric selection, whether for blinds or curtains, is where you can help keep the finished product within your budget. With such a wide range of products available at a multitude of price points, there is an option for everyone.
Remember that window coverings purchased now are long-term investments. They can be utilised as textural artworks that just happen to have a practical use as well.