Everything you need to know about the elusive window coverings…

Renovating and construction can be very stressful. Many people do not consider their windows in the initial stages of planning which can cause additional stress later on.  From a designer point of view all aspects of the design should be addressed as early as possible.  Choosing your window coverings as an after thought can really impair the overall design.  Designers carefully integrate your window finishings into  the entire project to achieve a cohesive design. Not only that, but window coverings can be used to mask imperfections in the architecture, such as off-centre windows, and also help to balance and soften the overall design. It’s considered as important as the materials and color palette used in the selections of flooring, cabinets and any other finishes.  We encourage our clients to research all aspects of windows treatments, from style to budget, as early as possible so that  the designer is able to customize window treatments that work best for you.

Consult with the specialist: Donna Souliere, window covering specialist at Alford’s

What type of coverings are available for my windows?

Window coverings are broken into 2 general categories:

1) HARD Coverings – these are considered to be the blinds or the base coverings, used primarily for function,  light control, heat control, privacy etc.  They can be mostly functional but there is a such a variety, they can also be used for function and decor all in one.

2) SOFT coverings would be any fabric panels , stationary or functional, and valances.  Soft coverings are most often used as the decorative finishing touches for the decor of any room.

At what point should I be looking at or selecting my window coverings?

It is always best to start as early as possible.  Just like the flooring, cabinets and wall colors, the window coverings, especially the hard coverings are an integral part of the home. When you are making your initial selections, looking into window coverings with your team of specialists at Alford’s will be a rewarding experience.  You will be sure to have the right look and function to meet all your needs.

How do I choose? What questions should I ask?

When choosing window coverings, it is important to understand what your needs are.  Is it privacy, heat control, light control, safety, view, ease of operation. Your window covering specialist will ask you a series of questions to determine what type of blind might best suit your needs. It is always a good idea to spend a bit of time going over the fabulous variety of samples at Alford’s, where you will be able to see the styles and options for function that are available.  There are always many options that will work for you, being informed will make the commitment to the window coverings much easier.

Our house has several uniquely shaped windows. What options are available to cover them?

Not all windows were meant to be covered.  Transoms, skylights,  arched windows to name a few are most often considered architectural features and will not always require a covering.  If it is an issue of privacy or light control or heat control, there a wide range of treatments available for the most challenging windows.  Most specialty shaped coverings will have limited function  or may even be in a fixed position .  Consulting with your window specialist will again help you determine the best approach to these windows.

Is it necessary to treat all the windows the same?

That is a question that is often asked. Today’s homes are more open concept and will often dictate the same treatment being used in the main areas.  There are products that will have counterparts from different collections, so that you could do the windows in the living room and the patio door at the dining room with the same fabric, just a different style of shade.

What can I do to make my windows more exciting?

When we are purchasing blinds or hard window coverings, it is usually best to stay more neutral.  This will allow you to add the  final touches to any room to further define the space and  add any pops of color or drama to different rooms that may have different  attitudes.  Fantastic end panels or valances can add that special effect to any window and room decor.

I hear a lot about motorization today, is this widely available?

Yes, motorization is being more widely used today.  Most shades are using battery operated systems, both infrared or radio frequency.  Almost any shade can be motorized, and almost any motorization can be interfaced with existing home automation systems, and even operated with your home computer or iPad.  Some windows are impossible to reach or set up as large wall of glass,  or if there are many shades in a room, motorization is often needed.

At Alford’s, we have all your bases covered. Come by the store and speak with Donna today about window coverings.

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