Swing arm curtains are one of the more unique window treatment ideas, and they haven’t seen much use in the United States in recent years. They require a special hinged curtain rod that allows you to move the curtain to stand out at a 90-degree angle from the window. Swing arm curtains are a brilliant and surprisingly inexpensive solution for bedrooms where you want to be able to block light easily without having to worry about ruining a carefully pleated or artfully scrunched curtain fabric with daily adjustments.
In many homes the problem isn’t the sources of light through adjacent windows, rather the ability to let light in effectively. Take a look at your current window treatments. Heavy blinds, thick drapery and layered fabric curtains often keep out much-needed natural light. Consider using lighter-weight fabrics such as cotton or linen fabrics, especially in climates that allow moderate temperatures to filter in. For more extreme climates, opt for materials that are versatile and can be tied back to let in light or close when the sun is glaring or too bright.
Wood cornices are one of the most classic window treatment ideas, but they are often overlooked as an option in contemporary homes because of their traditional nature. Used alone, however, cornices can create a sleek, modern look. Though they can be paired with curtains, stained or painted, wood boxes are perfect for the kitchen and bath, where fabric can succumb to water damage. These are best built by a skilled carpenter for a custom fit, so they can be expensive if you aren’t handy. Cornices hide curtain hardware and blend well with luxurious detailing, like crown molding, to give your home a gracious, regal look.
Having great windows is a major plus in any home–they add character and provide much coveted natural light. Without window treatments, however, the space will look unfinished. Whether you choose blinds, cornices or curtains, windows are a good place to anchor the room’s overall design and inject your own personal style. Before deciding on a treatment, determine what function the window covering needs to serve and the aesthetic you want it to reflect. Is it for a home office? Blinds that block out glare from the sun are a good choice. Looking for an elegant touch to a dining room window? A cornice is a stylish option. Do you need privacy? Opt for an opaque material.
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