Sumptuous sheers, automated blinds and eco shutters......The latest coverings offer far more than just window dressing.
Soften the decor, dampen acoustics, boost privacy, reduce energy costs - there's no end to what you can achieve with the right window treatment.
"They can completely elevate the feel of a space, adding warmth, texture and light control. They also provide a measure of insulation, helping to keep rooms cool in summer and warm in winter," says interior stylist Lucinda Dunn.
"Well-chosen window treatments are an investment that can add value to a property and make a house a home" Neal Whitaker
If you favour blinds, you will quickly discover that there's a design to suit just about every room and style set-up. There are sleek and practical roller blinds, the casual coastal aesthetic of roman blinds, organic woven blinds, panel glides for larger windows, versatile venetians, and plantation shutters for a more tailored look.
Keen to take the sting out of power bills? Seek styles in insulating fabric. As much as 30 per cent of heat loss from a home occurs through uncovered windows. Honeycomb and cellular blinds are wonderful insulators and very adaptable.
Automation systems allow you to operate blinds and awnings with out lifting a finger. You could even schedule them to activate at certain times. With Somfy home automation you can control shading, temperature, energy-efficiency and privacy via your phone or tablet. Automation can be incredibly useful, especially if you have a large space or hard-to-reach windows.
Sheers and curtains are a brilliant way to bring softness to a space. The layers of fabric are whimsy and provide some movement, as opposed to more structured blinds. Linen sheers that slightly pool on the floor look wonderful in a relaxed coastal living room. Sheers with minimal heading deliver softness and a lovely textural element. You can also play around with colours and tones to really lift a room says Lucinda Dunn. Roman blinds are terrific too: they're incredibly practical, great for windows that don't have a lot of space around them, and you see all the lovely fabric when they're drawn.
If you want softness and superior light control, say for a bedroom, consider layering window treatments. A combination of sheers and shutters eliminates light, which can help improve sleep and give a room a sophisticated finish. Worried about indoor air quality? Our eco shutters are certified non-toxic, emitting no unwanted VOC's in the home making them safe for the whole family.
For optimum temperature control, shade windows from the outside. An exterior sunscreen zip blind will block 98% of UV rays, heat and glare before they have a chance to enter the home. That's particularly important in Australia, considering the temperatures we have to contend with.
For flexible light control, an exterior straight drop awning is your best bet. Folding arm awnings are perfect for increasing your useable living space. This kind of Weinor awning opens up for shade or shelter and simply folds away when not needed. Pivot-arm awnings which extend and retract in an arc, offer excellent sun protection and allow a breeze to pass between the awning and the window.
Zip-style awnings are ideal for outdoor rooms. Since they don't take up a lot space, you can also use them to shade windows next to fences and pathways. Another appealing option is a retractable roof system which can also accommodate extras such as heating and LED lights.
Opt for motorisation for those outdoor coverings and you'll never have to contend with cranking again. Better yet, connect exterior window treatments to sun, wind or rain sensors so they are open and shut according to the weather. Best dressed windows on the street? Done!