Window treatments — from wet cloths in the desert to Asian bamboo — have been around for centuries. Not only do they provide a cooling effect in warm climates, but they offer privacy and in modern homes help reduce the cost of heating and cooling. These options have evolved into what we can now pick up at most home improvement and hardware stores, or have custom made by designers. Today’s designs are adaptable to different décors and come in an array of colors, patterns and shapes to make them work in modern homes.
Before beginning any design process, homeowners should carefully consider what kind of style they are trying to achieve. Country style incorporates shades of red, white and blue, as well as stars, stripes and other patriotic themes, while a contemporary home will be sleek and stylish, containing mostly white or black tones. This design ideal will also determine patterns and textures; mixing patterns is a creative or eclectic style, while solids evoke a more contemporary or traditional style. Functionality will also play a big role in the selection of window treatments. Are the pieces going to be solely decorative or are they needed for light control, privacy or to disguise a design flaw?
Finding an average price can be a tricky prospect. Cost is going to vary greatly depending on size and number of windows, materials and availability. For budget-conscious shoppers, selecting a set of blinds or curtains off the shelf can save a great deal of money. Most chain or home improvement stores will carry vinyl mini blinds in basic colors and a few different sizes that will vary a little in price. Additionally, a set of curtain panels in varying colors and lengths are also an option for a quick, inexpensive window covering.
For homeowners with larger budgets, customization may be preferable. Customizing blinds and drapes brings about a wider selection of colors and styles, and will assure a perfect fit and often more polished overall appearance. Most companies that create custom designed drapes will require a minimum order, and this minimum order varies widely between companies and regions. Customers can expect a minimum to fall between $1,000 and $1,500, while some companies will require an on-site consultation for measurements before quoting an estimate. An average cost per window as of 2006 was about $275, which includes labor and fabric. This price goes up when looking at drapes, blinds and other additions, which will normally run between $800 and $1,100. These costs have remained relatively constant since 2006, with the biggest variable being local labor rates.
Well-done window treatments, even if not custom made, can add value to a home upon selling. Prior to that time, however, window treatments are an effective way of controlling sunlight and helping reduce the cost of heating and cooling the home. Plantation shutters and drapes in heat reflecting colors add additional savings to the heating and cooling bills. These pieces are also effective at creating privacy and completing the look of the room.