If you live in Greenwich and you’re new to the decorating game, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by window treatments. The options for decorating your home’s windows are seemingly endless, and the lingo is often confusing. What’s the difference between blinds and shades? Are curtains the same as draperies? What in the world is a valance? Relax – with a little know-how you’ll get your windows covered. Here’s a beginners guide to some popular types of window treatments in Greenwich.
Curtains are basic, unlined window coverings that hang on a decorative pole or rod placed over the window. They are usually made of light, sheer fabrics like silk, lace or linen and can be pulled back using tiebacks when you want to let the sun inside.
More heavy-duty than curtains, draperies are usually made of substantial fabrics like velvet and brocade and are lined to improve insulation and sun protection. They can be pulled back in the same way as curtains, but are available in many different hanging styles.
Blinds are the “hardware” of your windows. They are made of vertical or horizontal slats that can be opened and closed using a cord or pulley system. If you’re concerned with your privacy or the energy-efficiency of your home, it makes sense to focus on blinds when you’re selecting your window treatments in Greenwich.
The term “shades” is often synonymous with the term “blinds” in the window-covering world. However, most decorators consider shades to be sheer or semi-sheer gatherings of fabric that can be adjusted to cover or uncover a window.
A valance is a length of fabric that covers the upper part of the window in a decorative fashion. Valances are both practical and decorative; they will cover any unattractive window hardware and also add visual interest to a window. Valances come in many styles that range from simple to elaborate, and they can be used with or without curtains or draperies.
Purely ornamental, swags are simply decorative lengths of fabric that attached to the top of the window to hang loosely down the sides. A swag can be as simple as a strip of muslin draped over your window hardware, although there are some ornate, high-end swag treatments available.
Once you’re familiar with some basic window treatment terminology, you can start to have fun decorating your windows. For some great decorating ideas, visit Dominic’s Decorating in Greenwich.