How To Choose a Window Treatment for Your Home

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When it comes to choosing the right window shade fabric, there is always many trade-offs to be considered. It is desirable from inside your home to be able to enjoy your views during the daytime especially in living areas that don’t require a lot of privacy in the evening. Openness factors such as 0%, 1%, 3%, 5% and 10% are describing the percentage of light that the fabric will allow through—0% being no light and 10% being quite a lot of light.

In terms of openness factors for woven shade materials, 3% or 5% are good choices for living spaces where you have a lot of direct sunlight and privacy is not a big concern. A shade of 5% will allow you a very nice view through the shade when it is sunny and plenty of light control to drastically reduce the potential for sun damage to your floors and furniture. The downside to 5% is that they don’t give you a lot of privacy in the evening when it is dark outside and bright inside. A shade of 3% is similar to 5% in performance, but the view to outside will not be quite as crisp. These shades are recommended for south-facing windows. You can mix 5% and 3% choices in the same room depending on the direction the window is facing.

When it comes to north-facing rooms, 10% is a good choice as there really is not direct sunlight coming in at any point through the day…however, do not use 10% if you are looking for any privacy in the evening or night time because you just won’t get any.

When it comes to bedroom and bathroom spaces, I like 1% for bathrooms and 0% for bedrooms. 1% will give you plenty of privacy and still allow a small amount of light in during the daytime. From outside when it is dark and lights are on in the bathroom, you will be able to see shadows and movement, but you will generally not be able to make out details. For the bedroom, 0% will allow you to sleep in a little longer and have full privacy as it lets no light in. For 0% to be completely effective at blacking out a space, if you are easily woken by light, you will want side channels to hide the light gap between the fabric and the window casing. Depending on your window style, this may not always be possible. Shades of 0% are also a great choice for TV rooms and theatres.

Window treatments…it’s a shady business, but someone has to do it!