Buyer’s guide to window dressing by Hillarys’ experts
February 27, 2019
Hillarys share their top window treatment tips, whether you’re considering curtains, shutters or blinds.
Whether you’re looking for full-length curtains or sleek and chic shutters, there’s plenty to think about before dressing your windows.
From practical elements such as heat retention and the amount of light you’d like to filter, to decorative details including choosing the right colour, texture and material, we sat down with our Ideal Home Show roomsets sponsor Hillarys to get their experts’ top tips on buying window dressings for your home.
Dress to impress
Most window treatments should satisfy three key elements: privacy, practicality and personal style. Although trends add a fresh and contemporary feel, it’s often best to buy once and buy well, which is why longer lasting products such as shutters, curtains, pleated and roman blinds are currently popular choices. Think about your practical needs first – in kitchens and bathrooms where sills are best kept clear, roller blinds are a good option.
If humidity is a problem, consider faux-wood and metal venetians, which suit moist atmospheres and are available in masses of on-trend colours.
Window size and type
Bear in mind the style of window that you are dressing. Period windows demand different treatments to frameless picture windows. Are you looking to complement the view or obscure it? Do you want your window treatments to make a statement or be barely there?
Often traditional windows can cope better with decorative options such as heavily patterned Roman blinds and full-length, pooling curtains, while contemporary windows are enhanced by streamlined fittings such as roller blinds.
Shape and size will also have a bearing on which treatment works best. Pleated blinds can be made to almost any shape and come with special insulating properties which make them perfect for north facing windows as well as a popular choice for conservatories and glass extensions.
Shutters are a great solution in a bay window as they fit snugly into the recess and give a fabulous clean and uncluttered look that really draws attention to the window.
Consider how you would like the light to be filtered in your home. If you are a light sleeper, you may benefit from black out lining on blinds and curtains in the bedroom, available in different colours and finishes.
Windows account for 20% of heat loss in homes too, so thermal lining or interlining will help keep your home warm.
If privacy is an issue then venetians or vertical blinds can control the light thanks to tilted slats whilst leaving the blind covering the window. Café style shutters, where a portion of the window is covered, give privacy where you need it but allow in plenty of light, perfect in kitchens.
Roller blinds in a sheer fabric offer good levels of privacy during the day, voiles provide a fresh summery feel, while fitting a ‘bottom up’ pleated blind allows light in from the top of the window.
The right materials
Pay attention to fixtures and fittings too – opting for bespoke cords and pulls and a made-to-measure service will result in a better finish.
Faux-wood and metal venetians are practical in moist and humid atmospheres and are available in stylish and on trend colours.
If your kitchen basks in lots of bright natural light, then consider a roller blind with blackout lining.
This is also a great choice for an open-plan kitchen where you need to darken the room for TV viewing. Use curtains to zone open plan spaces – ideal where the kitchen is part of a larger open-plan space with patio doors opening onto the back garden.
The finishing looks
Image: Abigail Ahern for Hillarys
For a neat and tidy finish, opt for a pleated, roller or venetian blind in a PerfectFit frame which clips into the window pane with no need for drilling. There’s little to no gap at the edge of the blinds, which provides extra privacy and maintains the room’s temperature.
To maximise the insulating qualities (and keep heating bills down), choose an energy-efficient fabric. Blackout options are also available.
Shutters are an inspired and effortlessly stylish choice of window dressing that look amazing in all rooms in the home. There are many different styles on offer, including tier on tier (where the top operates differently to the bottom), full height, café style and full solid shutters to completely block out light – ideal for bedrooms.
For kitchens and bathrooms, opt for waterproof vinyl shutters to ensure water and humidity don’t damage your purchase over time. And to help transform homes with hue, Hillarys has introduced a wide spectrum of new painted shades, as well as a custom colour service which means you can give every room its own personality.
Make sure you check out Hillarys’ gorgeous range of blinds in our Royal family-themed roomsets so grab tickets to Ideal Home Show spring 2019 before they run out.