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Right For Your Room – Choosing Your Window Treatment

Choosing the right window treatment for every room of your house can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task, especially when catalogues and interior design sites are able to showcase an abundance of designs so easily! It's easy to become so flooded with ideas that you end up overcrowding your window space...or giving up and making a choice based solely on practicality.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Whilst the way in which you present the windows of your home is important, dressing them up should be a pleasure, not a chore. Here are some tips on how to tailor your window treatments to each room of your house effortlessly.

How to dress your windows

In the Living Room
Your lounge or living space is the place where people go to relax, unwind and catch up with other house members, making it the undoubted centre point of your home. It's important therefore that your decor helps to create a feeling of comfort, safety, warmth, and perhaps a little indulgence.

This makes curtains an optimal choice when it comes to choosing window treatments for your living room, with satin, silk or velvet materials being key to achieving instant decadence and luxury. Heavier materials are brilliant for retaining privacy and creating that cosy glow in the evenings, but it can be helpful to place a sheerer, lighter pair of curtains underneath for sunnier days, when natural light is preferred.

However, a luxurious effect can also be achieved with a beautiful set of Roman blinds, which gather in soft folds and create a wonderful 'just draped' illusion when lowered. Roman blinds are thick enough to block out light and come in a variety of different colours and materials. They can also be customised with ruches and other embellishments, various trimmings, and differently-shaped edging.

In the Dining Room
A laced, lined or embellished set of curtains can work well here. These can either be heavy and richly-coloured, or more sheer and light-diffusing, but whatever you choose, it's important to dress the rest of your room accordingly. Keep the rest of your dining decor simple if going for bright curtains – choose a lighter shade of tablecloth (if using) on the same colour spectrum, but feel free to bring out utensils and cookware that are bold and playful to match your curtains.

Your walls and carpet should also be neutral to have the full desired effect, or the room will look swamped with loud colour. If possible, have your dining table chairs positioned so that everybody will always be sat either opposite or perpendicular to the curtained window space, making it the focal point of your dining space.

On the other hand, Venetian or vertically slatted blinds will easily create a more clean and crisp alternative, and with much less cost. If this sounds like an option to you, play up the rest of your room with some eye-catching artwork or wall hangings and a bold or deep coloured carpet. It also couldn't hurt to frame your window with drapes to soften any angular edges.

In the Bedroom
A bedroom is the place most associated with restfulness, recuperation and respite; even more so than the living room. Heavier, more ornate curtain materials can be an ideal choice, and you can feel free to choose bolder, more intense or richer colours, which will give you a feeling of comfort, indulgence and security. Be careful not to choose very dark or dull colours – you still want to be able to get up in the mornings!

Heavier curtains will also help to block out light in the evenings, creating a warm glow and keeping rooms cool during summer. However, blackout vertical blinds are wonderful for this and are available in a wide range of colours, patterns and designs, including trimmings. Roman blinds are again a strong option, creating a soft, almost sanctuary-like feeling, and these can be customised to suit your bedroom's accessories.

In the Kitchen
In the kitchen, which is essentially a working area, a lighter, airier window treatment is almost always preferred. Curtains can work, but go for materials like organza, linen, gingham or calico, which will let in plenty of light, and can be washed or spot-cleaned easily. Such materials will also work brilliantly in bathrooms and conservatories, where a clean, minimal look and maximum light diffusion is very often desired.

Overall though, blinds always trump curtains in terms of functionality and maintenance, which is crucial to any working, fuss-free kitchen. Blinds are also great at achieving an all-round 'neat' look, with their crisp edging and smooth, simplistic designs. Slatted Venetian blinds can be a fantastic choice, as they allow greater light control and provide excellent privacy in the evenings. They are available in both aluminium and wooden materials, both of which are easy to clean.

Additional Tips
Curtains can also help to create a 'backdrop' for certain pieces of statement furniture or decorative pieces. Bright colours or bold patterns can help to inject energy and personality into an otherwise plain or neutral decor. This is ideal in rented properties, where the decor itself cannot easily be changed, but the room's accessories can.

It is easy to reap the benefits of both blinds and curtains in rooms which require a more 'cushioned' feel, like your bedroom, living room or dining area. Pairing a set of Venetian or vertical blinds with a pair of lined or ruche curtains (held back with some decorative curtain ties) can do wonders for any window, and feel free to embellish further with some valances or drapes.

Curtain trimmings can frame a large window space snugly; particularly window-seats. Choose no trimmings when you wish to elongate the scale of the room, as this will allow the ceiling to look higher and create space, allowing plenty of light to flow in (good for a conservatory or lounge).

Japanese Panel blinds are a beautiful blind choice, where one or more panels will overlap horizontally, layering when the blind is pulled up, and unravelling when it is lowered. Available in plain or with a subtle printed pattern, these are perfect in living-rooms where light is essential, such as in an apartment block where space is limited.

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