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A Comprehensive Guide to Upgrading Window Treatments

Don’t know when to kick your window treatments to the curb? Here is your manual for when, why, and to what.



Photos courtesy of Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions

Knowing when to replace window treatments in your home can be tricky; every window treatment and home is unique. And buying window treatments is an investment, in more ways than one. With the time and effort you devote to making your home look its best, one mistake is all it takes for your interior design to disappoint. So how do you know it’s time to upgrade—and what do you upgrade to? Have no fear; this complete guide is your manual for the “when, why, and to what?” questions on every homeowner’s mind.

It’s time to upgrade when…

Polywood shutters are designed to be the best insulating window treatment you can buy

… your window treatments are worn or broken. We’ll name the obvious first: If it no longer functions or has visible damage, it’s time to upgrade. Low-priced blinds and curtains aren’t made to last. In fact, they start to show wear and tear within a few years, including broken slats, fading colors, or stains that are hard to get out.

Then a few years later you just have to replace them again. Your tattered treatments not only reflect poorly on your design, but they also make it difficult to return privacy and control sunlight at any given time. If your blinds can’t properly open and close, it’s time to give your windows a little TLC—perhaps this go-around you’ll invest in treatments that are a little more durable and energy-efficient.

… your window treatments are out of style. If your home has window treatments from the 70s or 80s, then it’s time to say goodbye. Gone are the days of dark and heavy curtains. With the rise of minimalism and Scandinavian style, clean lines and timeless designs are all the rage—think simple white shutters.

… you redesign the space. Have you overhauled your interior design but left the window treatments in the “before” stage? Big mistake. Chances are, if you’ve recently done a remodel or redesign—or you plan to do one soon—your previous window treatments were not deliberately chosen for a cohesive style; they might even clash completely. Choose your next windows treatments with the “after” image in mind. The choice of window covering becomes even more important if you plan to blend a newly renovated room with the rest of your house.

But wait! Make sure to avoid…

… having your mind set on one product. You might have your heart set on bamboo shades in your kitchen, but if you live in a humid region and there’s abundant moisture in your kitchen, it is not such a great idea; you might end up with some mildewy shades in just a few short months. Yikes! Instead, stay open to other options that can mimic a look similar to the one you have in mind. Also, think about what you really want from your window treatment: Do you want bamboo shades because of their look, natural material, or breezy style? There’s likely another product that can offer you similar looks, in addition to lasting longer and fitting easier in a budget.

… not taking products for a test run before you commit. Seeing window treatment samples in your own space is a must. You take home paint samples in order to color match, so why would you try to “eyeball it” with other parts of your home? In addition to color matching, there are a few other reasons to see samples of window treatments in your home. To name a few, you will learn how much light the window treatment really blocks, how easy it is to open and close, and whether it can be installed in or around your window frame without any issues.

What to upgrade to?

Polywood shutters can withstand water and humidity, making them perfect for kitchens and bathrooms.

Plantation shutters are a timeless window treatment that coordinates with all styles—from rustic to modern. This classic design with thick louvers and a centered tilt-rod helps accentuate your chosen decor by directing the natural light exactly where it should go. And even when you repaint or swap out your furniture a few years down the line, your plantation shutters will still fit right in.

In addition to a style that will stand the test of time, the right plantation shutters are durable enough to last for decades—so win, win. Polywood shutters are made of a solid material that doesn’t fade, chip, warp, or crack. They are also water- and pest-resistant, which makes them perfect for the bathroom or basement.

Circular, arched, triangular, and other uniquely shaped windows add interest to your home, but they cannot be covered with standard shades or blinds. You will need a custom window treatment that can match the shape of your window, and plantation shutters can fit any window perfectly, no matter the size or shape, so you’re no longer trying to fit a square window treatment over a round window.

Gary Harding is the store manager of Sunburst Shutters Denver, a company that provides custom window coverings to homes throughout Colorado. Contact Gary at 303-683-3682.

Content for this article provided by Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions.

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