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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Window Treatment Sets Reviewed In 2018Last Updated January 1, 2019
№1 – Print Curtains 84 inch Lattice Moroccan Tile Flax Linen Blend Textured Grommet Quatrefoil Window Treatment Set for Living Room Kitchen – (Blue, Set of 2 Panels)
№2 – Paisley Scroll Printed Linen Curtains, Grommet Top – Medallion Design Burlap Vintage Living Room Window Treatment Set (Teal, 84 inch Long, 2 Panels)
№3 – Deconovo Solid Rod Pocket Curtains Blackout Valance Window Treatments Scalloped Valances for Boys Room 42×18 Inch Navy Blue Set of 4
Color and Fabric
Fabric is an essential part of choosing curtains, since the material will dictate how well your curtains function and hold up over time. “If they’re too heavy, they may not fold crisply when drawn; too light and they may not fall well,” says designer Suysel DePedro Cunningham of Tilton Fenwick.
Lana Lawrence, who is vice president of Anthony Lawrence-Belfair curtain fabricators and who works with designers like Alexa Hampton and Katie Ridder, suggests holding fabrics up to a window, even in a fabric showroom. “Pleat it like an accordion at the top and let it drape,” she says. “If it starts to flare like a piece of crinoline, then it’s not going to fall nicely on the window.”
Work with a big sample, at least yards, since a smaller piece may not show the fabric’s true drape.
Also, remember sunlight will fade fabrics over time. If the room in question gets a lot of light, it’s smart to avoid bright colors, since they tend to fade faster.
Off-the-Shelf and Custom Window Treatments
Custom window treatments offer many benefits: You can customize the dimensions to your window size and create a tailored look, like a perfectly-fitted suit. Custom panels come in endless design options, from material to header style. With these options, though, comes a considerable price difference from off-the-shelf curtain panels.
In-Home vs. Online Consultations
Get your curtains right with a home consultation. Some companies, like Macy’s, will send a consultant to your home to help you decide on colors, textures and finishes that blend perfectly with your design — saving you a few trips to the store.
If you prefer working online, snag suggestions from designers with online interior design services such as Laurel and Wolf, which will pair you with professional designers to help you pick out the perfect curtains for your space. After, you’ll be given a shopping list and the items you choose will be delivered straight to your door.
Tip: Many windows require two treatments to deal with the elements. Plain, white blinds moderate the heat and glare, while the sheer curtain adds colour and greater privacy when drawn.
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Start by looking for companies that specialize in window coverings. They will tend to have the widest selection of products, more experience and knowledge about window coverings. The Yellow Pages on the web under the categories of blinds or drapery will give you a good overview. Look carefully at the image and information on the company website as this will tell you something about the company. Remember you want to match your needs so don’t look for a company offering a guaranteed lowest price on blinds if you want quality or drapery treatments.
Ask your friends and neighbours if they have dealt with a company they would recommend. However, be careful about placing too much emphasis on a recommendation. Your friend may have had different needs than you and placed more importance on factors not appropriate to your circumstances. So make sure you ask some probing questions to qualify the recommendation.
Select your first choice and phone them to find out if they have the products and services you are looking for, but more importantly to see how you are received on the phone. Remember the person answering the phone may not be the person you will end up dealing with but they do represent the company and should leave you with a favorable impression. Visit the showroom of the company you selected.
Reputable, established companies will have showrooms to display the products they sell. The appearance of the showroom will tell you a lot about the company. Attractive displays, a clean and well organized showroom and friendly, helpful staff are what you want to find. If this is not the case you need to start questioning whether or not the company is going to do the job right.
If you are happy with your choice of company arrange to have a consultant come to your home to help you select the type of window coverings and determine the price. There is generally no charge for an in home consultation. Don’t be afraid to indicate a budget range you want to stay within as it will help the consultant select window treatments that you can afford. This will save both of you a lot of time and potential disappointment. You may find that you are happy with the product selection, price and service from your first choice company and if so go ahead and place your order.
On the other hand you may have some doubts or simply want a comparison to another company so arrange for your second choice to come to your home. This process can be repeated several times if you want but remember that if you are moving into a new home it will take about two hours for each consultation. So, keep in mind that your time is valuable and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
You should now be in a position to make an informed purchase decision. Now is the time to start comparing prices because you can determine which company is offering the best value for your dollar. The lowest price is usually not the best value so don’t be totally focused on price. Consider all the factors, the reputation of the company, the competence of the staff, product selection, after sales service and your overall impression. Remember to make your decision relative to your needs.
If you are looking for quality custom drapery then price should not be the deciding factor unless the other factors are equal. On the other hand if you have decided to purchase a brand name blind and are not concerned about after sales and warranty service then the lowest price may be the best value.
The warranty from a manufacturer is normally the same for all fabric vanes in their collection regardless of price. A current trend is having sewn in weights at the bottom of the vane instead of weights with chains. The bottom chains do tend to be an aggravation over time because the clips break off particularly with kids and pets around. Sewn in weights have a cleaner look but the vanes will tend to sway more so they need to be pulled closed more gently to avoid criss-crossing.
If you want a vertical mounted inside the window frame you need a depth of three inches and the clearance of the vane to the sill will be 1/2”. You can ask for less clearance where privacy is a concern such as a higher bedroom window but don’t expect the store to guarantee the fit. Also remember that the side gap will be larger on the side where the controls will be located. Verticals mounted on the wall are less of a problem but you need to go at least 4” to 7” past the window frame to maintain privacy as the vanes will be about 1/2” inches out from the wall when closed. Verticals are in the moderate to higher price range.
Wooden Blinds & Shutters
Wooden blinds are available in 1”, 2” & 3” wide slats and the selection of stain finishes is comparable to other wood products. The majority of wood blinds are made from bass wood or ramin wood which provides light weight, a tight grain and good structural stability. The top quality blinds will have fewer imperfections in the wood and the slats will have been cut to size and holes routered before applying stains and finishing coats. This process seals the wood better. Wooden blinds are in the higher price range but you can have the same look with a faux wood which has become the most popular selling blind and is less expensive than a wood blind.
Shutters are available in wood or polyvinyl and the most popular louvre sizes are 1/2” to 1/2”. Wood shutters can be color matched to any finish and shaped into angle or arch windows. However, they are more expensive and have a longer delivery time in the range of six weeks. Polyvinyl shutters have a very durable finish with extended warranties and delivery times in as little as two weeks. Shutters are in the higher price range.
Room-darkening curtains in better fabrics
West Elm’s curtains with a blackout lining let in quite a bit of light, but they block light better than regular curtains. They’re a better choice if you want more-luxurious fabric options, or if you want curtains that will let in daylight.
Who should get these
If you live anywhere where outdoor lights interrupt your sleep, you may rest better using blackout curtains (which also block out all light during the day) or room-darkening curtains (which will block out almost all light for nighttime sleep but not during the day). Room-darkening or blackout curtains (or, alternatively, blackout shades) were recommended by all of our sleep experts. Their professional consensus was that we should be sleeping in a dark room at night, eliminating light from outside street lamps, passing cars, or any other distractions that could affect the quality of our sleep.
As UPenn’s Perlis told us, some people continue to process sound and light as they fall asleep, and sometimes even during sleep. “As a result, they may experience trouble falling or staying asleep,” he said. “So attenuating such things helps. Sadly, as most of us age, the probability of such “sensory processing” increases. So more of us, as we get older, may want to use things that attenuate or mask light and sound,” he said, like blackout curtains or white noise machines. “Blackout drapes are a wonderful idea.” (We also interviewed Perlis for our guide to white noise machines.)
Some people also use blackout curtains to block outdoor light for a home theater. The curtains we cover here will work for that purpose, but our focus in this guide is on curtains for improving sleep.
Most people who primarily sleep at night will be fine using either blackout or room-darkening curtains. There are exceptions, though. You may be better off with true blackout curtains if you are particularly sensitive to light or if you sleep primarily during the day (such as for shift workers). Darkening curtains will likely be better if you want to darken a room during the day for napping children. We cover these exceptions in more depth here.
How we picked and tested
Some curtain brands, like Eclipse, advertise different levels of opacity for curtains, ranging from light filtering (which Eclipse describes as “better than a bare window”) to true blackout curtains claiming to block out 9to 99.percent of the light in a room, if installed correctly. Room-darkening curtains fall in the middle. They darken enough to make many people comfortable at night, but when the sun comes up you’ll probably see the full shape of your window through the curtains (you may also see light from bright streetlamps at night).
Many manufacturers advertise their blackout curtains as helping to insulate drafty windows and to reduce noise from outside. We didn’t focus on these factors and didn’t test for them. If your windows are letting in a lot of cold air or noise, curtains will only marginally help. If you can’t replace your windows, our picks may help a little but you should probably also weatherstrip your windows and/or use some other temporary solutions.
From our research, we figured that most people shopping for this purchase want true blackout curtains. We found that many brands who advertised their curtains as “blackout curtains” had user reviews claiming they were anything but. The only way we could be sure if the claims were true was to bring in several for testing.
Sleep Like the Dead had a blackout curtain review that we used to help narrow our choices. We also used articles from Real Simple and Apartment Therapy, which broadly recommended brands that sell quality curtains, both blackout and non-blackout. Then we looked at the blackout options of stores on those lists—IKEA and Bed Bath & Beyond, specifically. We also checked popular mass retailers to see what blackout options they had, including JCPenney, Target, Kohl’s, Walmart, Pottery Barn, and West Elm.
We compiled a list of 3blackout curtains that came in a variety of solid colors. They could have texture, but no patterns. Then we combed the user reviews available from those 3curtain models to narrow the list further. Some mass retailers had no user reviews for specific curtains at all, like some of the Eclipse models, but we decided to test those anyway because it was a brand sold in so many different places. We ended up with a list of 1curtains that we called in for testing.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s Sebastian Insulated Total Blackout Window Curtains
Several user reviews noted that these curtains were also great in home theaters because of their complete light blocking.
Of the curtains that totally blocked out light, we think the Sebastian panel is the best looking, with a Dupioni-style, 100 percent polyester fabric that comes in six neutral colors and has a sheen to it. It’s more of a matte sheen than a glossy shine. None of the curtains we tested that completely blacked out the light have a matte finish. Some of the other curtains we tried looked nicer—such as those from West Elm and Pottery Barn—but they didn’t block out nearly as much light.
We like that the Sebastian panels have a generous 50-inch width to help you get maximum coverage around your window frames. This is wider than the West Elm curtains, which are 4inches wide per panel, and wider than some of the other similarly priced panels we tested (the Eclipse Canova, for example, are only 4inches wide). That extra width is helpful for getting full coverage around the outside of your window.
The panels come in four fairly standard lengths (63-, 84-, 95-, and 108-inch versions), comparable to the number of length options offered by West Elm, Pottery Barn, Eclipse, and Best Home Fashion. We think the Sebastian curtains would also hem more easily and neatly than the stiffer Emery panels or the flimsier Eclipse Samara and Fresno panels.
Best Home Fashion’s Thermal Insulated curtains were another successful total blackout curtain in our testing. But these unlined, almost iridescent panels felt less at home in a bedroom and more at home in a home theater or even a lab. They absolutely work, but they’re utilitarian, with no weave or texture to them. They almost look like nylon, reminiscent of a superhero cape.
We opted for the better-looking Sebastian and Emery curtains for most bedroom needs.
Josh Peterson, Consider Blackout Curtains to Save Energy and Control Light and Noise, How Stuff Works
Carrie McBride, Sleep Better with Blackout Curtains: Sources for Buying Them & Making Them, Apartment Therapy, May 9, 2014
Michael Perlis, PhD, Director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at University of Pennsylvania, interview
Light-Blocking Window Treatment Ratings, Reviews & Comparisons, Sleep Like the Dead, December 8, 2016
Your Guide to Curtains and Window Treatments, Real Simple
Blinds & Shades
Blinds and shades are some of the most versatile and common window treatments in modern homes. With several styles and features to choose from, including horizontal or vertical orientation, different materials, and customization, it is easy to add variety and function to every room of your home without adding too much fuss. Read more in our full blinds & shades guide.
For a very specific Colonial or beachy look, interior shutters are a popular choice. Significant because they are easy to see from both inside and outside the home whether open or closed, choosing to add shutters is one of the boldest window covering design decisions homeowners can make. Shutters made of real wood compared to vinyl cost more, as do custom-cut and handmade options, all of which add additional luxury and value to these permanent window covering options.
In addition to the coverings themselves, adding accessories to each window can further enhance the look and design of the finished product. These additions are mostly associated with curtain and drape installation, but some of them can enhance blinds and shades as well. Such popular accessory options include:
Each of these additions adds to the cost of your window covering installation project, some more significantly than others. For example, a curtain rod can cost a few dollars if it is a simple aluminum model or several hundred if it is made of a fine metal or is designer quality.
Where to Shop
Finding the right window coverings for your home is relatively easy; many shopping outlets, from home improvement warehouses to designer home decor boutiques to online retailers, carry them. The most popular places to look are discount department stores and home goods shops, such as Pier One and Bed Bath and Beyond, which also carry large selections of curtain rods and accessories.
Wood Blinds from Graber
There are many companies online (like Smith + Noble, Budget Blinds, Home Decorators, and more), which can assist you in ordering custom window treatments. Even Costco has a relationship with Graber that allows you to use your warehouse discount card to buy made-to-order shades, blinds, and other window coverings. The process is fairly simple. Here’s what you can expect:
Choose your treatment type. Do you want blinds, roman shades, roller shades, or something else? Never heard of a roman shade? And what is woven wood, anyway? Picture galleries can help make sense of it all. Browse to your heart’s content.
Choose your fabric. Most online sellers will send you free swatches. Take advantage of that, so you can see how materials will look in your home.
Measure. Once you decide, a measuring guide (like the one below) will instruct you on how to get your window measurements. Double-check! These treatments will be custom ordered, so there will be no option to return them if they don’t fit due to mis-measurement.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Window Treatment Sets wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Window Treatment Sets
- №1 — Print Curtains 84 inch Lattice Moroccan Tile Flax Linen Blend Textured Grommet Quatrefoil Window Treatment Set for Living Room Kitchen – (Blue, Set of 2 Panels)
- №2 — Paisley Scroll Printed Linen Curtains, Grommet Top – Medallion Design Burlap Vintage Living Room Window Treatment Set (Teal, 84 inch Long, 2 Panels)
- №3 — Deconovo Solid Rod Pocket Curtains Blackout Valance Window Treatments Scalloped Valances for Boys Room 42×18 Inch Navy Blue Set of 4