Today’s homeowners expect more from their window coverings, including ease of use, access to views, privacy when needed and durable varieties like quality shutters and blinds. Recent trends lean toward more streamlined selections, while energy-efficient styles remain in demand.
“Clean and simple is the trend; shades with side panel curtains for gathering areas, just shades for bedrooms and maybe small, straight valances with no frills,” said Amy Sytsma, owner of Creative Window Treatments (creativewin.com), serving the west side of the state with locations in Kalamazoo, Byron Center and Ludington.
Waterfront homes often feature Silhouette Window Shadings from Hunter Douglas and draperies that help conserve heat in the winter, she said. Though some clients request room-darkening fabrics for their bedrooms, they are still very simple and clean.
Other elements have become less ornate. “The hardware used now is pretty much metal, very seldom do we use fluffy-looking finials,” Sytsma said.
Draperies and shades often are installed even when privacy is not a concern. “They warm the space to the eye and soften the industrial look or cool colors. People also are using window coverings for energy efficiency, she said.
Technology plays a major role in today’s selections. There are shades that can be controlled by apps on a smartphone, and they have become popular with the young professionals. “Most treatments we sell can be controlled remotely,” Sytsma said.
Patricia Warner, owner of Patricia Interiors LLC in Shelby Township (patriciainteriordesigns.com) has watched the evolution to the current trend of minimal fabric around a window layered with some type of shade for privacy or light control.
Warner has her own drapery workroom for custom window treatments. She said a mix of hardware is being used these days. “The rooms are so minimal; they’re very light and fresh, and there’s not a lot of color because people often add a pop of color with pillows and artwork,” she said.
Still, some people like to see a nice finial and rings, she added. “With the fabric toned down, the rod can stay pretty thick and chunky, so the look is more transitional.”
Others might prefer a narrow cornice above the window to conceal the drapery rod. Another simple look is faux wood blinds that match the molding, so the treatment looks like part of the window.
Easy maintenance includes a protective finish on fabrics that lets you dust your draperies instead of washing them, said Warner, who also likes the idea of remote controls for taller windows and two-story windows with shades that are harder to reach.
Lastly, for those who don’t want to block their waterfront views, Warner said solar window film can help to control the light and save energy.