Bare windows aren’t exciting, which is part of the reason we choose window coverings in a style or color we like without any consideration for the functionality or style of our homes. Making a quick decision on window coverings can even lower your home’s curb appeal. Gorgeous windows are important to your home’s appearance—and choosing the right window treatments for them is just as essential to maintaining your home’s aesthetic. Choosing window coverings doesn’t have to be a difficult or intimidating process; our experts are here to explain how to choose window coverings and help you avoid common pitfalls.
Here’s how to avoid common mistakes when selecting window coverings for your home
Mistake 1: Leaving windows bare
Doing nothing at all is a huge mistake. Whether you’re overwhelmed with choices or just don’t know where to start, bare windows are no good. Not only do you lose privacy within your home and a lot of benefits of temperature control (and money-saving elements), but rooms with bare windows also feel empty. They’re a large focal point of rooms and an undressed window is like putting up an empty picture frame. Along with a fresh coat of paint, new window treatments are the easiest way to change the entire look and feel of any room.
The right window coverings can even function as their own bit of art. A light yellow roller shade with a delicate floral pattern becomes a softening design aspect of what otherwise would be a rather stark room.
Mistake 2: Choosing hardware that’s plain, doesn’t match, or isn’t appropriate
There are a million choices in styles for curtain rods, finials, hooks and more, but not all of them are going to be the right choice for your home. If you have brushed chrome lighting in a room, a bronze curtain rod will look out of place. If your home’s style is traditional and you put up very modern and sleek rods, they could end up looking boring and oddly plain instead. Last but not least, the wrong hardware may simply be inappropriate for the window covering you’re putting up and if not able to bear the weight – or installed poorly – could actually end up damaging your walls.
When choosing hardware, make sure first that it can support the weight of the window coverings you put on it, and be mounted correctly. Then ensure that you keep the entire room (and even the entire home’s) style as part of the design decision. At our showroom in Chatsworth, you can come see, feel, touch, and even test combinations of rods, finials and draperies to get a good idea of what would work best in your own space.
Different rod and finial styles, finishes and designs could make or break your finished look.
Mistake 3: Not considering the functionality and need of each window
You may find a fabric you love for a throw pillow and think it makes the perfect drapery as well. It may, but window and room needs a little more thought than just that.
Do these curtains need to be sheer to allow more light, or should they be backed with heavy fabric to provide light-blocking abilities to improve sleep?
Is this room one where you want a lot of privacy, or one where you want to make sure the beautiful view isn’t blocked?
These considerations play across each room. You can most likely still use that fabric, but changing its use for every window’s unique needs will ensure you keep loving it for years to come. Our design team is incredibly experienced at making sure each room’s design and functionality blend together seamlessly. And yes, we can use your beloved fabric to make custom treatments (and pillows) for you!
Mistake 4: Measuring Your Windows Incorrectly
It’s easy to measure your windows improperly and end up with draperies or shades that don’t fit. Poorly fitting window treatments compromise energy efficiency, impact light-blocking features, and can reduce your home’s curb appeal. If you’re planning on measuring the windows yourself, make sure to take the time to measure accurately—even do it twice to guarantee you have it right!
Alternatively, you can partner with a professional for custom window treatments. You’ll be able to select the style and aesthetic you want and have custom measurements taken. This is generally a better option because it ensures you get the correct dimensions, and your new window coverings will fit like a glove. This will save you time, money, and the headache of having to return store-bought shades or blinds.
Mistake 5: Not Going Big Enough (Or Going Way Too Big)
Improperly fitted window coverings are probably one of the most common mistakes. When you open your draperies all the way, you want them to be able to fold up nicely on the sides of your window. You don’t want the window itself to still be covered when these are open, but you also don’t want bare wall showing, and you also don’t want them to be pulled super tight and flat when they’re closed either.
When it comes to length, nearly touching the floor looks amazing, and is usually a good goal to aim for. Gathering draperies in pools on the floor really should only be reserved for bedrooms where pets never go, and to create a dramatic, romantic look. Most people are afraid to put the supporting hardware high above the window as well, but that’s what you want to do. Go as high as you can, with maybe an inch between the top of your hardware and your ceiling or crown molding. This makes the windows look larger and more beautiful.
Choosing the Right Drapery Length for a Professional Look
With blinds or shades, too long looks sloppy as they’ll wad up or hang down awkwardly, and too narrow means you end up with gaps on either side. There are both inside and outside-frame-mounted options, so knowing the difference and measuring accordingly will help you get the best fit. You’ll want at least 1-½” extra on the outsides if you’re not fitting tightly within the frame.
Mistake 6: Not considering materials at all
We talked a lot about material choices in our blog about choosing the right window treatments for pets, but this applies to children and even your own lifestyle as well. Some window coverings are potentially deadly to your pets or children. Aside from safety, hard-to-clean treatments don’t belong in a mudroom or kitchen, for example.
If your window coverings will be in a very humid area, such as a bathroom or laundry room, the wrong selection of wood in a shutter could end up warping or bowing over time.
These roller shades can handle constant humidity or water exposure, making them a perfect fit in this beautiful master bathroom. Wooden shades here, if not treated properly, could be ruined quickly.
Mistake 7: Not thinking about the whole picture from the street
Some Home Owner’s Associations require that everything facing the street is white. In a previous blog we showed off a beautiful mansion project by our designer Debbie, where all white shades and shutters were utilized for a beautiful end result that did match on the front of the home.
While we don’t want you to feel limited to white-only, we support the idea that you should take the exterior view into consideration. Sometimes matching blinds, shades, draperies or curtains throughout the entire home fits your style perfectly. If so, great! Then it’s a matter of choosing the right color, texture and style that fits your home’s cohesive design.
If you have different members of your family wanting different styles in their spaces, or you just want some variety, cohesiveness from the outside is still possible. If you’re going the drapery route, this could mean all-white backings or white linings with varying designs only visible from the inside of the home. You could even have all-white shades or shutters and allow the interior draperies to serve mainly as design features.
Want more guidance about how to choose window treatments?
These are just seven of the most common mistakes we see, and often what we’re called in to remedy!
Browse our blog for even more design tips, or give us a call and visit our showroom for more expert help. Hiring our designers will allow you to create the custom look you want together with someone who knows all these rules and will help you avoid common mistakes.
Start Exploring Your Window Shutter Options Today
Give your windows a refresh and contact Galaxy Draperies for top-notch window shutters and more information on how to pick window shades. Our professionals can guide you and help you achieve the interior design vision you have for your home—we can coordinate your window treatments with your current furniture, flooring, and paint for a cohesive aesthetic that matches your desires.
Reach out to Galaxy Draperies to schedule your consultation. We can tell you more about our products and installation process. We look forward to working with you at your Century City, CA, home.