Don’t Miss This Window Of Opportunity
If you are considering upgrading window treatments it’s a chance to add appeal through design, but selection needs to be based on function, writes Caleb Pearson, of Pearson + Projects.
25 September 2023
Small details can make valuable and practical touches to a property and its occupants. Being chattels, window treatments can be overlooked in property renovations, but for occupants their function and benefits are noticed.
If you are considering upgrading your window treatments, it is an opportunity to add appeal through design, although selection needs to be based on the function they provide. There are a wide range of options available, at varying price points, functionality and customisation. Before you just replace like with like, here are some key details to factor into your decision:
FUNCTION: Consider the desired function and outcome for different rooms. Will the window treatment be for privacy, shade, blocking out all light, or retaining warmth within the house? Is there a window or door behind the treatment, and how will this be operated? Does it go to the floor or a window sill, and how frequently will it be used?
Ready-made options will be more budget friendly but may not work for all areas. Options for bathroom spaces will need to withstand steam.
DURABILITY: As a landlord you want to make sure your investment lasts. Selecting the right product for the right location will play an important part in this. Keep in mind how easily cleaning can be done, and the frequency of use and environment they will be used in. If in a kitchen or bathroom, they will need to withstand steam and ideally be able to be wiped down.
VALUE FOR MONEY: Window treatments can vary widely in price. The same option will vary due to materials/fabrics used, customisation, and added features. Ready-made options are generally more affordable but won’t work for all spaces.
STYLE: Consider the style of your property and whether certain window treatments are more suitable. A new unit or apartment has a different feel to an older bungalow or villa. And some treatments have smaller profiles, having less of a presence and will not cover as much of a window or wall when open.
Venetian blinds are a kitchen staple.
The Best Options?
While there is a wide range of options available, these are the most common which provide function and durability for a rental property as well as options to fit within a budget.
CURTAINS: A classic and traditional option. They provide many practical benefits: simple to use with no mechanisms, can be washed, and provide the largest options of colour, patterns, fabric types and styles. They can include thermal backing or an internal lining, which will help heating a room (recommended for curtains in bedrooms) and the ability to block out light to a room. Commonly used in bedrooms and lounges.
SHEER CURTAINS: A sheer curtain is a type of curtain with a thinner material with no backing, allowing light through. These can be used in conjunction with a normal curtain, but often considered a nice-to-have addition. Commonly used in living or dining rooms to provide privacy, or protection from direct sunlight, while maintaining light into a room.
ROLLER BLINDS: Available in sunscreen, light filtering and block-out fabric options, with a range of colours and materials on offer. When fitted within a window frame, they are compact and contemporary. You can pair a sunscreen and block-out fabric on a double bracket to offer UV and block-out functionality.
ROMAN BLINDS: Roman blinds are horizontal with the ability to soften a surface using fabric. They do not allow the same privacy when opened, but provide the ability to customise materials, and can offer good insulating qualities. Commonly used on high windows.
VENETIAN BLINDS: A great option for kitchens and living spaces, allowing adjustability with light inside a home while maintaining privacy. They come in a range of finishes and slat width, and with hard surfaces can be wiped down.
Roman blinds soften horizontal lines at the top of windows.
Custom V Ready-Made?
Affordable custom window covering options are growing, with many of these a semi-DIY approach where you provide measurements and also install. Customisation provides a wider option of colours and finishes, but typically comes at additional cost.
With a drill, measuring tape and a level, it’s not a difficult DIY task to install window coverings, so don’t be afraid to give this a try. Make sure you double check window dimensions before ordering and plan for where window treatments will sit when open to avoid them covering large parts of the windows.
Classic curtains are durable and attractive.
Window coverings are a great way to express your style, but in a rental property this is not the top priority. I recommend keeping things neutral to match existing finishes. Neutral colours are safer and will work with a range of finishes, or for a bit of flavour you could introduce a subtle pattern with curtains. For faux wood or PVC blinds, white is a safe option as this usually fits with most colours of window joinery and makes the room feel lighter. A matte finish will help hide fingerprints and smudging.
Window treatments provide a great opportunity to add real value to your rental through function and visual appeal. Pricing can range significantly, but there are many options at the more affordable end that provide function and design.
Keep durability in mind, and a little extra cost to ensure they fit your windows may be a worthwhile investment.