If you live in Florida, you are in a constant battle with the sun and its effort to enter your home. In the winter, you probably enjoy opening the windows and letting the sun stream in. During the summer, however, and in rooms where you have carpets and furnishings that might get faded by too much sun, you need to control the light that enters your home from outside. There are many different types of window dressings available that can help you keep excess sunlight out of your home. The trick is combining them so you can enjoy not only their function, but also the way they complement your sense of style. Here are some creative combinations that you might love.
Plantation Shutters and Curtains
Plantation shutters are commonly used alone on windows, because they offer a coastal, country or modern charm to a room, depending on the style, color and other decorative features of the wall and the room as a whole. Because the slats open and close, you can use them to control the amount of sunlight that enters a room.
Many people, however, choose not to use plantation shutters because they prefer the softer look of curtains and think that curtains should not be used with shutters; these people often opt for blinds instead, which are also a good choice, but which might not block light as effectively as shutters. It’s definitely possible to combine shutters with curtains! Aside from softening the look of the shutters, curtains can also help a room look taller; this is particularly important if you do not have high ceilings in one or more rooms.
Mount your curtain rods up high, up near the ceiling in a room with a low ceiling or a foot or more above the top of the window frame in a room with high ceilings. Choose long curtains that will nearly graze the floor. If your windows are wide, remember that you don’t have to cover the whole space with the curtains; most of the time you would want them open anyway, so don’t be afraid to choose panels that will just stay in the open position instead of worrying about whether they’re wide enough. In a room with heavy southern sun exposure, of course, you might want to be sure that the curtains can be closed to minimize the afternoon rays coming in and heating up your room in the spring, summer and early fall.
Roman Shades and Shutters
If you have tall windows, you might try dressing the top half of the window differently than the bottom half. This is creative and provides a lot of visual interest. By using shutters on the bottom of the windows only and Roman shades on the top, you can provide light and warmth during the cooler months by opening the shades while still retaining your privacy by keeping the shutters closed. During the summer months, you can draw the shades down and just open the shutters a bit to let some filtered light in throughout the morning, then close the shutters in the steamy afternoon.
Roman shades can also be a bit translucent, to allow for filtered light to come in all year long. If you have less-than-opaque shades and the summer sun is too warm, you can always keep them retracted all the way up and add a heavier curtain to better block the light. Then during the cooler months, remove the curtain or, if you prefer how the curtains look, just keep them off to the side and let the shade do its job in filtering the sunlight.
Curtains and Vertical Blinds
Many people have vertical blinds hanging in their sliding glass doors and in picture windows. These blinds are handy because they can be opened to various angles and simply pushed open and out of the way when you want to let more light in. Still, some homeowners prefer to soften the look with curtains.
Any curtain that you use on a slider should push out of the way of the door that you usually open. You can buy curtains that push along on rods, similar to the way your vertical blinds slide out of the way. Mount the curtains higher than the blinds; the closer to the ceiling you can get them, the taller your ceiling will look.
Motorized Panels and Sheer Curtains
If you have a lanai that is block and glass, rather than just screening, you might prefer to put your motorized vertical panels or horizontal blinds on those outer windows to block sun coming into your lanai. If you do this and the ceiling and walls effectively block most of the summer sun from entering your home, you can choose to leave your sliding door that goes from your house to the lanai undressed, dressed with just a valance, or dressed with a sheer curtain that you can push out of the way at times. These options allow you to see your lanai from inside the home, which is great if you like to keep plants or other decorative and natural elements in the room.
Choosing window dressings can be overwhelming, particularly when you need to work with (or against) the sun during the hottest parts of the year. Florida Shutters and Blinds can send a window treatment expert to your home to evaluate your need for different types of window dressings in the different rooms in your house. We can work with you to be sure that your home is kept comfortable and also that your window treatments reflect your sense of style. Please call us today to schedule an appointment so we can design a solution for you.