Treatments for problem windows

Window treatments are so much more than a mere decorating decision; they are also a very practical, life affecting one. Curtains, shades, blinds, shutters or nets must also serve a functional end: to admit or block sunlight and to provide privacy. Window treatments need to do far more than provide a cosmetic lift to a room- they must also work well.

Added to this, some windows create further work for window treatments due to their awkward shape, size or architecture. Some windows are inherently more attractive than others. When the window itself detracts from rather than adds to the space- whether it's squat, too thin, devoid of appealing wood trim, or awkwardly positioned, the window dressing can camouflage the these problem areas to make the window a more visually appealing feature.

If a window is too narrow, use curtains rather than blinds and set them wider than you normally might. This gives the illusion of added width. Make the curtain pole or track around 30cm wider each side of your window, rather than the usual 20cm. When you open your curtains don't push them the full way along the track. If you have the opposing problem of windows that are too wide, do not set your curtains to far from the windows and when drawing them back leave a little of the window covered to restore some proportion.

Another option is to install a valance or pelmet. Only rather than the usual 20cm depth make it 30 -35cm deep and fix it higher on the wall. With the curtains not set to wide and a deeper top treatment you will create the illusion of a squarer window. Blinds are also a good treatment for wider windows as they end parallel to the window’s edge and therefore do not give the window any unwanted extra width. Roller blinds are probably the best type of blind to use as they are able to act in the same way as a pelmet and add height if you hang them a few inches higher than the window.

Kitchen and bathroom windows can often cause a few problems due to the high levels of moisture in such rooms. The best way to combat this is opt for blinds over curtains or nets. Wooden blinds are really safe bet as not only do they provide privacy and an effective sun block but they are also waterproof and can be wiped clean. Available in many different stains, finishes and wood types they can be bought to suit any décor and are guaranteed to add elegance and warmth to your windows.

Decorating your home will always throw a few problems at you along the way. The trick is to view these problems as an opportunity to create an interesting and unique feature that will actually add to the look of your home rather than detract from it. Unusual windows may be tricky, but they certainly fall into the category of a unique home décor opportunity- get it right and more often than not, the results can be breath taking.

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