It’s your home, not a dark, dreary cave. When winter’s last icy blast fades into spring and summer, it’s time to lighten up your life and your kitchen–starting with the window treatments. Lightweight, airy coverings come in all shapes and styles:
1. Roman Shades
Roman shades are constructed of fabric and bring an element of femininity to a space. They work well in kitchens because they’re adjustable to hang at whatever length you choose. Pull the drawstring to raise them up during the day to highlight the view and to allow sunlight to enter, and adjust them lower at night for added privacy. Roman shades should be hung on Roman shade rods specially designed for the purpose. Depending upon which type of shades you buy, they may come already mounted on the rod. You simply attach the brackets to the window and snap the rod into place. If your Roman shades don’t come with a rod, you can pick one up anywhere curtain rods are sold.
It’s hard to go wrong when you start with beautiful windows. If your kitchen sports great architecture like crown molding, wide wooden sills and a nicer-than-average window like what is available from Yarrow Sash & Door Inc., choose a treatment that emphasizes these details instead of hiding them. A simple valance is your best choice for drawing attention to a window that acts as a focal point in your room’s design. There are several simple ways to dress your window using just a valance:
Tension or Spring Rod: This rod fits inside your window’s frame and holds the valance without the use of screws or curtain-hanging hardware. You simply thread the rod through the sleeve in your valance, adjust the tension to fit and wedge the rod firmly inside the window frame. This is the best method for hanging a valance on a window that sports great architectural features such as real wood trim.
Standard Curtain Rod: Your standard curtain rod mounts on or outside the framework of your window using brackets and screws. If you use this type of rod to display your valance, the treatment will cover the upper portion of your window trim. This gives the illusion that your window is wider than it really is, but it also requires you to drill holes in your trim or drywall.
Cafe curtains can be hung with or without an accompanying valance, but many homeowners choose just the bottom panels to better highlight the window and to allow more light to enter the room. Cafes should be hung using a standard cafe rod designed just for this purpose. This rod is typically spring-loaded to fit snugly inside the frame. According to the design experts at Canadian House and Home, cafes should begin at the halfway point inside your window and should fall just above the sill at the bottom.
4. Venetian Blinds
Blinds are another viable option for adding privacy without camouflaging your entire window. They should mount snugly inside the window’s frame on special brackets designed for the job. Once snapped into place, your blinds can be twisted opened and closed using the attached rod, or they can be raised and lowered using the cable. Venetian blinds come in several different materials:
Aluminum: Aluminum blinds are among the most durable. Great for kid’s rooms, they hold up better than vinyl blinds for a comparable price.
Vinyl: Available in a wide range of colors, vinyl blinds are the most economical.
Wood: Customized wood blinds give your space that designer look and feel. They’re also among the most expensive type of window blind.
A task as simple as changing out your window coverings goes a long way toward altering the whole feel of a space. Get your home in gear for summer–starting with its windows.