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Sep 14, 2023
Window coverings are essential in establishing a warm and welcoming ambiance in your home. They contribute to your home's character and flair while also offering insulation. In this blog the Port & Bay team explores how to utilize window coverings for both insulation and decorative purposes. We'll concentrate on striking the perfect balance between visual appeal and functionality.
You have acknowledged you need window treatments and you’d like them to help with insulating your home from the cold (or heat). With so many options available, how do you start the process of selecting the correct product(s) for your home?
Our Associates get this question all the time on our retail sales floors. First let's start by exploring the different options and thinking about their style, features and advantages / disadvantages.
Curtains and Drapes
Curtains and drapes are very versatile and come in a wide range of fabrics, colors, and patterns. When insulation is the key consideration, we can begin looking at products that are lined or are heavier in weight than a Sheer treatment. Oftentimes the product name will include the words “Insulated” or “Lined” providing an easy assurance but you can also tell by looking at the backside of the curtain / drape to see if it has a “backing” or lining to add insulation to the face fabric.
For instance, the Grasscloth panels from Ricardo Trading are a popular option featuring a front facing textured fabric with a separate solid white lining stitched in. The Grasscloth panels come in a variety of colors / sizes and provide a measurable difference in protecting your home from the cold and heat.
Other popular insulating options include the Ventura Blackout Grommets, and the Weathermate Tab Curtains, both are sold in pairs and feature a thermal suede backing to add body and insulation value, both of these products are from Commonwealth Home Fashions.
If you’re looking for a lighter look, style options like sheer curtains allow for a glowy, natural light to filter through. When insulation is not a concern, the options are endless. Products like the Shannon Solid Linen Blended Tailored Panels can be used as a feature treatment or an undertreatment in just about any room in the home.
If curtains or drapes don’t fit your style but you still want to add a level of insulation to your room, we’d recommend looking at either a Roman shade or Cellular Honeycomb shade. When fit in your window properly, both options will provide a level of insulation with the added benefit of light and privacy control. You will also find room darkening and blackout shade options in these categories.
Roman shades are generally made of a fabric material and will fit snugly inside your window frame. The benefits of having a fabric shade covering are the styles and colors available as well as their insulating properties. We even have roman shades that are backed with an energy-efficient acrylic, similar to the backing found in our insulated curtains and drapes. This added backing will help insulate your home against the heat and cold.
Our most popular Roman Shade for insulating is our Linen Blackout Roman Shade in Linen Color from Green Mountain Vista. This model is available in many colors and sizes to choose from.
Cellular Honeycomb Shades
Cellular Honeycomb shades are popular choices for window coverings, and many people enter our retail locations asking for these as an insulating and energy efficient option. Cellular Honeycomb shades come in styles that allow light to softly filter through your room creating a warm ambiance or in room darkening or blackout options.
Whatever your style, most of our honeycomb shades are energy saving. The unique honeycomb design traps air between its layers and acts as a thermal barrier creating a very energy efficient window covering. Again, just as with Roman Shades, fit is important and you will want to select the right size to properly fit your window opening (see our sizing guide for more info).
Classic roller shades can be used with and without other window coverings providing light blocking as well as, in many cases, insulating properties. When considering roller shades for insulation, look for products that have a thermal backing or are made from a fiberglass reinforced vinyl material.
Thermal backed shades have become very popular for many reasons. The obvious being their energy savings in both hot and cold conditions but they also have the added benefit of featuring natural front facing textures that can give a room a warm look. The Cordless Linen Blackout roller shade, shown above, features a thermal backing that also acts as a blackout material providing complete privacy.
Our collection of roller shades is extensive and we encourage you to view our Blinds and Shades measuring guide before making your selections.
Blinds is last on our list for insulation but by no means last on the list in terms of sales volume. Sometimes you really just need the flexibility and light control that a good blind offers. By drawing the blinds open you can let in lots of sunlight, but you can easily adjust it to be angled for privacy. They’re easy to install, durable, and last for years.
Our Cordless Vinyl Blinds are a popular basic option for customers looking to provide window privacy while also allowing light to filter through. Although they don’t offer as much insulation as our curtains and shade selections, they’re a great option for year-round comfort and light control.
Insulating Your Home
Now that you've chosen your window covering, let's explore how to use them to insulate your living space.
To prevent drafts and energy loss, we recommend layering your curtains. This method creates gaps between curtain layers that trap air and moisture, preventing cold air from entering the room.
Depending on where you’re located, you could also consider switching out your window treatments seasonally. You can use light, airy curtains in the summer and heavy, insulated coverings in the winter to help maintain comfort and insulation.
It’s also important to make sure your window treatments fit your windows. Using wrap-around curtain rods and window hardware that cover the entire surrounding area of the window will prevent drafts from entering your home, reducing the need for additional heating or cooling.
Window treatments can serve as a fun decorative element in your home. You can use them to complement your existing color scheme and decor style. Bold, dark colors are particularly effective in controlling light whereas neutral light tones create a more classic and timeless look. Consider adding a pattern to your interior space to help diffuse the incoming sunlight.
You can also incorporate different textures into your window features by a mix of Valance top treatment and vinyl shades to create unique depth, or you can add some hardware, such as decorative curtain rods. You should choose these elements thoughtfully to complement your window treatments and colors as they can contribute to the overall aesthetic.
Window treatments serve a dual purpose, extending beyond mere decoration to become essential tools for enhancing your home's insulation and fostering a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Whether your goal is to maintain warmth throughout the winter or give your home's interior a revitalizing update, the team at Port and Bay is here to help you with customized options for your home and your budget.
See our fit and measuring guides here.
We hope some of this information is helpful when searching us for options to help.