Window Treatments For Dorm Rooms
Dorm rooms, or dormitory rooms, are large rooms with multiple beds that are used in hospitals, schools, hotels as well as large halls. Needless to say, designing such a room may require a lot of thought and consideration.
Like the walls and floors, windows are one area that needs substantial thought and effort. This can be especially challenging when the room is facing an open area, where outside weather conditions can negatively impact the living conditions inside. The windows must be properly sealed with functional window treatments that can control the level of natural light and privacy in the room. You wouldn’t want the residents to wake up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep because of the room becoming too hot or cold for comfort.
The Need for Curtains In Dorm Rooms
Curtains can be effective go-to solutions that have a variety of textures, fabrics, colors and sizes that make them ideal window treatments for all rooms. However, for setting them right in a dorm room, you need to go through a step-by-step procedure to avoid the costs incurred while hiring a professional. The DIY procedure is what I follow for all my rooms, and my reasonable expertise comes from experience after dealing with a number of window treatment brands that have their own customer service and hire their own professionals. The process is no rocket science and can be followed easily for a wide variety of windows and rooms. I followed it with successful returns for my living room and aided my friend who had a large dorm room to house hostel students. Instead of other blinds, such as rollers or cellular shades that can work well in compact houses and work well as beautiful window treatments, the wide space of your dorm rooms deserves shades that should be either completely open (for maximum natural light) or completely closed, to ensure maximum privacy at night for a sound sleep. So whether you are a landlord housing student or if you are a student looking to dress your room yourself, curtains are a great way to add some personality and functionality at a low cost.
Getting The Right Tools
A sewing machine, scissors and fabric are the basics when it comes to sewing your own fabric. Be mindful of the folds that you create at the right junctures, and additional fabric for hems might also be essential. Besides, if you want to create a blackout curtain, you need an additional liner with insulating properties to keep out the cold and heat. Before you decide the length of the fabric, keep the measurements of the walls into consideration. There should be no extra fabric that sprawls on the floor, and it should not be too short to leave any space open.
The Right Rod
There are about six types of curtain rods that you can buy for your curtains. Going DIY on them can be a tough exercise unless you are a carpenter. These can be purchased separately in either of these types: spring, magnetic, cafe-sash, crystal, sash, and French. Spring rods do not require any hardware and are capable of holding themselves up. Like spring rods, magnetic rods are also capable of sticking by themselves to the walls; however, they are more expensive than other options. Sash rods are the decorative kind, which requires you to buy curtains taller than the windows so that they could be installed above the windows. Cafe sash rods are just like sash rods, except that the former are thicker and stick out from the wall. Crystal rods, meanwhile, are translucent in design, making them the right choice for homeowners who do not want the hardware to be visible from a distance. French-style rods curve back towards the wall and do not require the use of finials.
Understand The Different Patterns And Materials
Cotton and linen are commonly used in the construction of sheer or semi-sheer curtains. The breathable fabrics let in copious sunlight and should be ideally used in curtains for milder weathers that are neither too hot nor too cold. These fabrics are comparatively cheaper than velvet and silk, which are heavier fabrics that require greater care. They are great for insulation purposes, blocking out light and sound and creating an atmosphere of privacy. The patterns, meanwhile, range from solids and stripes to textured and varying degrees of prints. For a formal look in the room, solid curtains or those with micro prints are preferred. You can be creative in your choice when it comes to other prints, as there is a wide range of graphics, polka dot, variegated stripes, color-blocked and ethnic prints in the market.
Setting Up Valances Or Cornices
Sometimes just setting up curtains for your windows might not suffice on the design elements. While your windows stay protected, they also call for additional treatment to give a nice finishing touch to space. A valance might do the job just right for you. They are installed at the top of the window along with the curtain or with a separate drapery board. They represent a flamboyant, a kind of a mini drapery panel that comes in various shapes to suit your taste in design. Besides a decorative touch, they add texture, depth and character to any room. There are the Ascot valances, made from expensive-looking, luxury material such as velvet and silk, and which have frills and tassels to add a more decorative element to them. Balloon valances are constructed from lighter materials like cotton. As the name suggests, they have a puffy look in different colors and prints. If you want to round off your curtains with something uncomplicated and simple yet classy and majestic, you can choose scarf valances, which consist of just one fabric that is hung over a rod with the ends falling vertically to the sides.
Cornices are similar to valances, but the difference lies in their construction. They are built to hide hardware such as rods or headrails (in case of other window treatments). They are usually wooden or metal boards that are covered with a fabric similar to the curtain to give a great decorative look at the top. Like valances, they can also be built in different shapes: straight, arched, or scalloped.
Mixing And Matching Them With Other Window Treatments
The versatility of curtains as window treatments is such that they can not just work as standalone shades but can also be seamlessly paired with other window covers. So if your room already boasts of cellular shades or plantation shutters, and you need to top them off with window coverings that can enhance the indoor appeal to a whole new level, curtains can work rather well. My personal favorite are floral print curtains used in combination with the wood blinds in my kitchen. They both can be adjusted accordingly to allow varying levels of light and privacy in the room. You can leave either or both of them closed and open depending upon the weather outside. Mixing them creates a unique ambiance that is hard to replicate anywhere else.
Final note: Going DIY to set up curtains in a dorm room requires substantial forethought. Apart from the necessary tools, you need to get the right fabrics and curtain rods depending upon your requirement. Once they are ready, you can either mix them up with the existing window treatments or top them off with valances or cornice boards later for an appealing look.
Disclaimer: Please follow these instructions at your own risk. ZebraBlinds takes no liability for any issues or damaged caused through following DIY methods. Since all blinds and shades are different, we always recommend checking with your blind manufacturer or retailer first before making any modifications to your blinds. As well, if you are uncomfortable on your own, look for the help of a professional.