Choose your window treatments according to the need, decor and usability.
Any effort to browse the net for information on window treatment throws up numerous titles. Many run something like this “15 Reasons why roller shades are better that blinds “ – all very informative, and helpful. Unfortunately, for every 15 reasons why one window treatment is better than the other the same Google search yields another 15 reasons why the losing treatment is better. Can be confusing, though productive if we exercise our intelligence and understand the pros and cons in relation to our own requirements. It is a fact that what works effectively in someone else’s home does not necessarily have to work in ours.
The broad criterion that needs consideration is location, direction and design of the home. A pattern on a window, when it rains, means that the fixture is directly exposed to rain, hail and snow. An awning will help prevent the effects of rain on the window. Depending on the slope of the awning a decision about the requirement of light can be made according to the desire of the occupant. Awnings can add aesthetic appeal and are functional. This does not mean that every window will necessarily require an awning. Only those doors and windows directly facing the wind and the sun need awnings. PVC and other composite material best suit the purpose. They are water and moisture resistant, lightweight and easily stretchable uniformly. Plastic material can be cut and treated neatly with heat and edge- stitching to prevent fraying. Continuous exposure to the elements takes its toll and causes wear and tear and hence will require periodic repair and replacement. A visit to a supplier’s showroom or website will provide information on the frames and controls of the fixture. One that suits the requirement and the budget can be chosen.
Interior window treatments are not as easy as the exterior. The variety of options with regard to type, material and control that are available makes the choice a bit more difficult. The ultimate success of the effort depends on getting the mix right. Color will not pose as significant a problem because technology aids in providing an immense range of colors and tints to both artificial and natural material. The pros and cons of the material will have to be given greater importance. In this regard,the internet and magazine articles listing out the pluses and minuses of the window treatment types becomes useful.
Rare is the situation where one treatment type can satisfy the requirement of an entire home. A mix will become necessary because it is the fixture that decides the kind of window treatment that needs to adorn it. Where there is a possibility of dampness, aluminum or PVC would suit the requirement best. So too in places that accumulate dust. It is more convenient to clean this material with cleansing agents like soap and they don’t need to be dismantled for cleaning. These are mostly locations like the bathroom, kitchen, air-vents and horizontal blinds suit these locations best because of material suitability, ease of cleaning and control.
The living and entertaining areas throw up two challenging arenas – aesthetics and suitability. Size and position of the fixtures come into play. Critical inputs that influence these areas are the weather pattern, health, comfort and convenience. Since the reliability of product and material underlie and subconsciously influence every decision, the credibility of the source is necessary. There is no doubt that natural material like wood, bamboo, grass and natural fiber are environmentally friendly posing no risk to health. Petro based, factory manufactured material use various chemicals in their production and finishing process. Studies on their effect on health take very long and is expensive. Very little reliable data is available, in the public domain, on the impact of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process of plastics and paints. However, since these material processes have been in place for close to a century and responsible manufacturers adhere to minimum standards set up by vigilante groups and governmental departments ascribed with the task, the dice is loaded in favor of material originating from reputed suppliers dealing with material sourced from responsible manufacturers.
The choice of window treatment material from responsible sources is adequate for almost any requirement. Thus leading us on to the reliability factor. Reliability needs to be viewed in terms of the finishing of the product. This involves the cutting of material, the stitching, looping and testing of the piece that is to be fitted in our home. Information about the machinery used to cut the material could be useful. The benefits have been mentioned above. Having to replace or repair an installation due to manufacturing defects is covered under the terms of the warranty of reliable suppliers. But, who wants to buy a piece in which inherent defects and go through the process of having it righted?
So, is there a ready made package solution that can be uniformly implemented in a home. Certainly not, because it is the uniqueness of each space that needs to be treated that dictates the treatment not vice-versa.