As winter weather settles in around your home, the areas beside your windows may feel like a freezer. But with a little imagination, you can create beautiful window treatments that will insulate these cold sheets of glass and cut down your heating bills. Here are four popular solutions for every home decorating style.
Even if you have a curtain over your window, doubling it with a thicker fabric can increase the chic of your window treatment while adding insulation. Double window brackets allow you to mount two curtain poles simultaneously, one closer to the wall and one farther out.
Hang a sheer, colorful fabric underneath to let sunshine through, but choose a thick, insulating fabric for the top layer. Make sure the fabric is aesthetically pleasing and compliments the rest of your room. At night or during storms, simply draw both curtains to insulate the window, while adding beauty to your room.
Though window shutters are often mounted outside windows for aesthetic reasons, they were originally meant to insulate as well as add beauty. You can order hinged shutters that will fit the measurements of your windows or build shutters yourself from light wood, such as fence wood rather than 2-by-4 lumber, which will make your shutters too heavy for the hinges.
Mounting your shutters inside your home rather than outside will give your windows a unique, exotic feel. Be sure to paint the shutters in a color that will compliment your room. Or use craft store stencils to add a decorative pattern to your shutters, such as flowers or vines. At night, when temperatures drop, close the shutters to insulate your windows while decorating your room.
There are different shades on the market built from insulating materials that look beautiful. Cellular shades create pockets of air between the shade and window, which insulate your home from heat and cold. Blackout or double-cell blinds are also formulated to insulate completely when the shades are down or closed.
To save money on insulating your windows with shades, consider buying your shades online, where you can compare prices easily. Be prepared to measure your windows and install the shades yourself to further cut your costs. Online blind stores typically provide easy-to-follow measuring and installation instructions.
If you don't mind muting the view from your window, consider covering the glass with decorative window film. Easy to install and remove, window fills adhere to the glass when you apply them with a little water. Once you push out any air pockets, the film becomes a visual part of the glass, like a stained-glass window.
Window films insulate the glass pane, keeping cold and heat from penetrating your home. To achieve aesthetic harmony, be sure to match the window film pattern and color to your room's existing decor.
Anni Sofferet spent five years remodeling her ramshackle 1968 home herself, in addition to remodeling and decorating countless homes of friends and family.
- Home & Garden