Window treatments or shades are definitely a main decorating factor when designing your kitchen. When cooking, cleaning, and washing dishes, you want to be pleased with and feel comfortable with the lighting or shading that comes from the window over your sink or any other window in your kitchen.
We have compiled a nice set of questions to ask yourself, a checklist if you will, to make sure that all of your options are considered and brought into account when choosing your window shades. Happy shopping!
1. Do My Window Treatments Match My Walls?
Do I have curtains?
If you have curtains, your window treatments will probably need to be more neutral (white, cream or brown) to highlight the pretty colors in your curtains. However, if you are just using shades without curtains, you can be as colorful as you want in choosing your window treatments.
Do I have molding?
If you have painted walls with different colored molding around the ceilings, floors, and windows, you will probably want to match your window treatment to the color of the molding. It will look classier and really nice. Don’t match it to the color of the walls. It will look tacky.
To prove this, think of warm, rust-colored walls with black molding. A good color for the window treatment would be black. However, to make the window treatment rust-colored, as well, would have two broken spaces which are rust colored and a thin black line between them. That would look awful. Always match your window treatment to your molding, if there are no other considerations.
2. Do My Window Treatments Match My Flooring?
If you have white molding, but dark blue walls and floors, you may want to match your window shades to the flooring. If you have white molding, dark blue walls and warm golden flooring, your window shades may simply look better if they are a warm golden color like the floor. It ties the room together without being overly complex or super detailed and ostentatious.
If you have a simple cooking area and everything is the same color, your window shades may simply look better being the same color as your floor because it makes the overall room look more put together. Also, tying the color of your window shades to your floor can make the space of the room look bigger because it draws the eye up and around the room as a whole rather than being focused on the single-color theme and distinctive flooring.
3. Do My Window Coverings Complement My Cabinets?
Cabinets are important in your kitchen when they are not just a neutral dark brown, black or white. Colored cabinets certainly make the room more interesting, but they also limit your color options when choosing your window coverings. This is another case where the secondary color of the room (like your molding mentioned above) should be the color of your window coverings. Cabinets with more than one color should have the window coverings match their secondary colors to bring them out more. Do not match your coverings to the main color of your cabinets if they are more than one color. That is simply too much of that color.
For neutral cabinets like golden brown, tan, dark brown, black, and white, your window coverings can be just about any color, particularly if the rest of the room is a neutral color, such as walls, floors, etc.
4. Do My Window Treatments Complement My Countertops?
The countertops around your stove and sink are also a source of matching ability. They are a bit tricky, though. Presumably, they match or work well with your cabinets and the two look great together. If they are the same color, then you may not want to match your window shutters to them. That can be too much of one color.
However, if your countertops and your cabinets complement each other (for example, when your countertops are a gray and black marbled or graveled appearance and your cabinets are black), then you might want to emphasize either color with your window treatment. It all depends on the overall “look and feel” of your room. Even kitchens should not be too “busy” or too complex throughout the room.
5. What Types of Light Do I want Pouring into My Cooking/Eating Areas?
Lighting is also a factor when choosing your window shades. If you like the pure, clean feeling of pure sunlight, then white shades may be the best for you.
If you like complete darkness when you block out the light, then wood blinds or black shades may be the best option for you.
Other types of light produce different results. For example, if you grew up in a warm, homey atmosphere but you feel that your apartment is too cold and dark, then a nice yellow shade may bring back memories of golden sunsets warming your childhood home in the evenings.
Feng Shui may also come into play. If you need fire in your kitchen area (a notoriously water-based zone) then bright red shades may be the perfect “element” to add above your sink to bring back the “hearth and home” atmosphere to your cooking and eating. Your culture may also be part of the decision to choose reds and oranges.
6. Does the Lighting Affect My Ability to Read a Cookbook or Small Print?
During the day, your window treatments may affect how you go about your cooking and food preparation. If you need to block out direct sunlight from heating up an already warm room, then make sure that the tint of the shade still allows enough light (and contrast) through so that you can continue reading your mother’s old recipes or your father’s old notes on barbecuing. Window shades are not effective if they cannot be used in all kinds of light. You need to still be able to keep the lights off in midday while having enough natural light coming in for reading and following instructions.
A good way to test this out is to request samples from your window treatment supplier. This is a wonderful way see the shades in all types of light, at all hours of the day and evening. See if you can still cook during the day while keeping your electrical costs low and browsing through your cookbook for recipe ideas.
7. Do I Need More Transparent Window Treatments for Greater Lighting?
Sometimes, a house or apartment simply has fewer than average windows. If you are in a central location in your building or your home was simply built for colder weather, you may not have a lot of natural light coming in from any room, not to even mention the room where you spend the greater portion of your day when you are at home. A thinner material or a more transparent material can still give you plenty of privacy while allowing light in during the daytime. More transparent material is also a great idea for colder climates when more warmth should be allowed in while also maintaining privacy from the neighbors.
However, if you live in a warm climate and one side of your house consistently gets direct sunlight, then you may need something that blocks out more than the average amount of light. For that, you may need both pull-down shades and shutters to really keep things cool and shady inside your home.
8. Are My Window Shades Privacy-Based or Shade-Based?
Discovering whether your window shades are privacy – based or shade-based is a big consideration before purchasing new shades. Look outside your window. From your window, move around and look in all different directions, is there a direct line of sight from your window to someone else’s window or to a public area such as a sidewalk or park across the street? You will need to familiarize yourself with the actual requirements of your situation.
Sometimes, a window shade has nothing to do with privacy. Instead, it’s due to where the sun hits and the particular time of year. If you have lived in your house for at least a full year, you will have some idea of the types of direct and indirect sunlight you may get through that window. When looking for a new window shade you will want to be careful and be safe, but also be practical.
Any window that receives direct sunlight for more than two months out of the year will need darker or more solid (such as wooden) shades or shutters to make sure that you can block out all light and keep that room reasonably cool during that time of year. This can even be a problem in winter time, which is a factor we will discuss next.
9. Will Thicker Material Keep My Home Warmer in the Winter?
Winter affects homes in various ways. If your home is usually warm, then having extra direct sunlight pouring in through your kitchen windows can actually create much more heat than you want or could ever desire. This can be true, even in the winter.
Another factor to consider is sealing your window during the colder months. Every window in your house should have a good, solid seal on it, with the curtains or blinds hanging down over the top of the sealed plastic. However, if you have something that is just one long shade (rather than shutters), then you may find that it is more difficult to keep pouring the single long shade up and down without disturbing the plastic sheeting underneath.
Be careful and plan on the hardware mixing with the plastic sealed sheet when you are picking out your design. This is really only applicable if you live in a moderate or colder climate where winter is actually something to be planned for. In the meantime, in warmer climates, you can focus on making sure that you have shades which completely cover even the outside edges of your window so that you can retain both privacy and shade when and if you need them.
In the grand scheme of things, window coverings may not seem as important as heating or cooling or good, solid, comfortable furniture. However, you will live with your window shades every day, year after year. All of your options should be considered and all of your choices laid out to look at.
Before choosing a window treatment, think about the light and the direction of the sun in some of your favorite rooms growing up. Maybe even go back and visit your old apartment or your original homestead. These places can give you great ideas for how to dress up your window.
This article was contributed to Blindster by Julia Elliot of House Tipster. She loves home improvement shows and always is thinking of new ways to decorate her apartment.