You wouldn’t wear your winter parka to a Fourth of July picnic or a bikini to Thanksgiving dinner, so why should your house be stuck in the same “outfit” all year long? Most of us don’t have the funds to fully redecorate each season, but you can make small changes to bring your home up to speed as temperatures rise and fall. The best place to start? Your window treatments.
A Primer on Seasonal Window Treatments
Changing your window treatments with the seasons isn’t just indulging a decorating whim. It’s also a great way to make your home more energy efficient by keeping out drafts and taking advantage of natural light. If your windows are more than a few years old you’re likely to feel the winter wind, so it makes sense to hang heavier drapes to block the chill. Likewise, you can make the most of summertime’s natural light by going with lightweight curtains instead of relying on electric bulbs for illumination.
Super Summertime Windows
Lightweight fabrics are perfect for creating a summery look in your home. As soon as the weather warms up, consider adding cotton panels or gossamer sheers in shades of white or cream. These let in plenty of sunlight, which will brighten your room — and your mood — after a long, dark winter. For a slightly more formal look, canvas or duck cloth has more weight but provides casual good looks straight from the beach cottage.
If you’re concerned about blocking the heat that can come from too much summer sun, consider layering blinds beneath your curtains for greater flexibility. Light-blocking roller shades can be used to keep south-facing rooms cooler in the afternoon. When you want to let the sunshine in, roll them all the way up — choosing shades that match your window trim will let them virtually disappear when not in use.
Wonderful Winter Windows
Keep your windows — and your decor — warm for the winter with heavier, more formal drapes. Velvet is the classic winter choice, as its rich color and texture will transform your space into a cozy jewel box. If you prefer a more neutral look, choose tweedy textures in heavy fabric or rich, embroidered patterns that emulate tapestry. Buy an extra panel for each window so you can close the curtains while maintaining luxurious folds and draping while blocking drafts.
If you want to let in additional sunlight during the day while still blocking cold air, consider honeycomb blinds. Semi-sheer versions in a pale hue will let in plenty of light while insulating your window to keep cold air at bay. At night, close your heavy curtains over the blinds for extra coverage.
When you switch your curtains for the season, vacuum them thoroughly, then fold neatly and store in a Rubbermaid box with a secure lid. Add a dryer sheet between curtains to discourage moths and mice from nibbling fabric during storage.