Buying Custom Living Room Window Treatments for your Home

Window Covering Ideas: Choosing the Best Window Coverings for your Home

Adding new living room window treatments is a quick, easy and inexpensive way to add a fresh new look to your home. In many homes the living room is one of the most important rooms in the house, so choosing the right living room window treatments is very important to overall home decor.

Whether you have a formal living room or a family room, you want a window covering that is stylish, yet meets the functional requirements for the way the space is used. To accomplish this, you should be aware of the different types of available window covering options and how they will work with your room.

Keep in mind that you can have beautifully painted or wallpapered walls, great carpet, and tastefully selected furniture, but if the living room window treatments don't go with the rest of the decor, the overall "feel" of the room will not be what you had in mind. Or, you can select window treatments that match beautifully, but are not of the right material to hold up to direct sunlight or other environmental conditions, and that great look you started with fades (literally), years before its time.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Living Room Window Treatments

2" Super Value Faux Wood Blinds

07/19/2012 - What a wonderful experience.
I ordered faux wood 2" mahogany blinds and was notified that they were on backorder. I was offered real wood ones without an extra cost and I couldn't be happier. I will surely recommend you guys to any of my friends who need some blinds!

-- Gina, Florence, AL

There are many factors to consider when selecting the right living room window treatments. The main functional reasons to install window treatments are privacy and light control. Additional factors in making any choice include budget, safety and window orientation. You can have a beautiful window covering, but if it doesn't fit the function of the window, you won't be happy in the long run.

Living Room Window Orientation

If your living room experiences direct sunlight, roman shades or insulated cellular shades may be of interest due to darkening or sun-blocking and insulating factors. Taking into consideration the room's orientation can result in significant savings in your cooling bill. Filtering, blocking, and otherwise reducing the effect of strong direct sunlight should also extend the life of your furniture, carpet, and other fabrics.

Light Control & Privacy Considerations

Top down/bottom up control is a great option for living room window treatments because it lets in light from the top while maintaining privacy (especially for second story spaces) by keeping the bottom of the window covering closed.

Favorite top down bottom up window coverings include honeycomb cellular shades, bamboo woven wood shades, and roman shades. If you use any of these options, you will want to inquire about the material and whether the amount of light and heat coming through the window should be a concern.

Controling Light Exposure

The most difficult functional factor to control is light, and most living room window treatments fall into one of five categories:

  • Transparent - Clear, without obstruction
  • Translucent - Diffused light, preventing perception of distinct images
  • Filtered - Muted light in bright conditions
  • Semi-Opaque - Surfaces impenetrable by light, yet allows some light through gaps
  • Opaque (or Black-Out) - Blocks all light

Measure Your Coverage Area

You can't know what living room window covering options you have without knowing what sizes you need to order. The size of the area covered, whether inside or outside mount, will limit the availability of shades and blinds types made to those size ranges. Once you have this information, you are ready to start making choices.

Inside Mount
  • Mounted within the window frame
  • Provides a clean, built-in look
  • Great way to leave attractive woodwork exposed
Outside Mount
  • Great option when there is not enough depth for an inside mount
  • Mounted to the wall, ceiling or molding surface surrounding the window
  • Often used to make the window appear larger or to hide a less attractive window or door

Blindster offers illustrated instructions for measuring each type of kitchen window treatment.

Window Covering Budget: Match "Want" with "Pocketbook"

Window covering prices vary considerably, so it's important that you have a plan and a budget to make sure you can achieve your window decorating goals. Keep in mind that you are buying household items that should last for years. Consider how long you think you will be living in your present home and other factors that would influence how much you wish to "invest" in the new look of your living room window treatments. Refer to the information below that compares both Advantages and Disadvantages of the most popular window treatments to better understand your choices.

Window Covering Safety: Think about your kids & pets

All Blindster window treatments conform with CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) standards. Many of our living room window treatments feature lift cords to raise or lower them, all conforming with these standards. It is very important to consider child safe living room window treatments when children or pets are present in a home, so be sure that any shades or blinds meet these CPSC standards. If you wish to eliminate cords altogether (even on treatments meeting the CSPC standards) many popular Blindster window treatments offer cordless options. For much more information about window covering safety, see Child Safe Blinds & Shades.

Comparing Window Treatments Features

There's a lot to know about window treatments, but you don't have to know everything about each type in order to eliminate some styles from consideration. Compare the Advantages and Disadvantages (presented below) of popular window blinds and shades to assist in this initial evaluation. This will let you spend more time focused on the types better suited to your specific needs.

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Premium Light Filtering Single Cellular ShadesFaux Wood Blinds (click to zoom)

Faux Wood Blinds

  • Cost: Made from synthetic materials so they are less expensive than real wood blinds.
  • More durable. Faux wood blinds are perfect for homes with active children and/or pets.
  • Easy to clean. Because faux wood blinds can get wet they are easy to wipe down with a wet cloth.
Disadvantages
  • Most people still prefer the warmth of real wood.
  • There are limited color choices.
  • There are size constraints and size limitations.
  • They are flimsier yet heavier than wood.
View Window Treatments: Faux Wood Blinds
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2Wood Blinds (click to zoom)

Real Wood blinds

Advantages
  • Look and feel of real wood. Stains showcase the wood grain texture in the blinds.
  • Larger selection of colors and stains
  • Lighter than faux wood blinds. This is important for larger window blinds. Lighter blinds are easier to raise and last longer.
Disadvantages
  • Cost
View Window Treatments: Wood Blinds
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1" Privacy Aluminum BlindsAluminum Mini blinds (click to zoom)

Aluminum Mini Blinds

Advantages
  • Very inexpensive.
  • Lightweight.
  • Large color selection.
Disadvantages
  • Poor insulators.
  • Aluminum slats can bend.
View Window Treatments: Aluminum Mini Blinds
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Smooth PVC Vertical BlindsVertical Blinds (click to zoom)

Vertical Blinds

Advantages
  • Perfect for large hard to cover windows and sliding doors.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Economical.
Disadvantages
  • Contemporary look may not suit all room styles.
View Window Treatments: Vertical Blinds
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Deluxe Vinyl Roller ShadesRoller Shades (click to zoom)

Roller Shades

Advantages
  • Take very little window space. Small stack height when raised to allow unobstructed view.
  • Wide color selection.
  • Best suited for modern or contemporary style rooms or for homeowners looking for simple, low profile window coverings.
  • Ideal for windows that cannot accommodate traditional drapes or shades (smaller spaces).
Disadvantages
  • Must be fully raised for complete view.
View Window Treatments: Roller Shades
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Super Value Cordless Single Cellular ShadesCellular Shades (click to zoom)

Honeycomb Cellular Shades

Advantages
  • Individual cells trap air for excellent insulation. Considered best choice for energy saving window treatments.
  • Small stack height when raised to allow unobstructed view.
  • Large color selection.
Disadvantages
  • Contemporary look that may not suit all room styles.
View Window Treatments: Honeycomb Cellular Shades
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Pleated ShadesPleated Shades (click to zoom)

Pleated Shades

Advantages
  • Combine the elegance and appeal of cellular shades at lower cost.
  • Pleated shades are perfect when looking for a single-layer shade with more definition and texture than a roller shade but without the slats of horizontal blinds.
  • Unique structure and versatility of allows multiple control options.
  • While pleated shades do not have the same energy efficient properties as cellular shades, they still offer multiple options in light and privacy control.
  • Lighter colors and textures of sheer and semi-private pleated shades allow some features to be visible from the outdoors.
  • Pleated shades come in a variety of weaves and colors that help block light and provide dark accents to rooms.
Disadvantages
  • Less energy efficient than cellular shades.
  • Contemporary look that may not suit all room styles.
View Window Treatments: Pleated Shades
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Premium Bamboo Woven Wood Shades Group ABamboo & Woven Wood Shades (click to zoom)

Bamboo / Woven Wood Shades

Advantages
  • Easily mix and layer with drapes for a more dramatic effect.
  • Relatively good at controlling the amount of sunlight that a room receives.
  • Ideal for a vintage, country, rustic or rugged look.
  • They're available in a range of shades from dark to light browns.
Disadvantages
  • Requires liner for nighttime privacy.
  • Cost.
View Window Treatments: Bamboo Shades
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Premium Solar Shades 3% OpenSolar Shades (click to zoom)

Solar Shades

Advantages
  • Blocks up to 90 percent of the sun's heat.
  • Tremendous energy savings because energy costs will be greatly reduced.
  • Keep your eyes and body protected from the sun's strong and dangerous UV rays.
  • Protects furniture and flooring, reducing the risk of fading, discoloration and burning.
  • Enjoy outdoor views while keeping excessive heat and sunlight out.
Disadvantages
  • Requires liner for nighttime privacy.
View Window Treatments: Solar Shades
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Premium Roman Shades Group BRoman Shades (click to zoom)

Roman Shades

Advantages
  • Roman shades combine the covering and decorating effect of drapery fabric with the operating ease of window blinds.
  • Fabric shade material retains an elegance similar to the effect of the curtains, but offers a cleaner, more polished and controlled look to the room's decor.
  • Lined, cloth Roman shades are best for light-blocking and privacy, while unlined shades usually only filter light.
  • Roman shades offer design versatility because of the variety of fabric colors and patterns.
  • Roman shades are ideal for small spaces that you wish to decorate with drapery-type fabric because they take less space. These window shades cover what is needed to be covered.
Disadvantages
  • Must be fully raised for maximum view.
View Window Treatments: Roman Shades
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More Window Treatment Information . . .

While a particular window covering may meet all of your functional needs, it may be a poor match for the overall decor of the room. For example, fabric roman shades may be a better choice than aluminum mini blinds for a formal living room. With all the window fashion options now available, you should have many living room window treatments to choose from for any decor.

The information you need to make the best living room window treatment selection is at your fingertips at Blindster.com. We are constantly adding to the online resource information about window treatments and decorating, but if you don't find everything you need there to make your decision, or you just want to talk with someone directly, we're just an email or phone call away.

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Testimonials

Just wanted to take a minute & tell you that we are extremely impressed the blinds we recently purchased from your company!! Thank you so much!

—Jerry, Athena, OR
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