After cleaning my kitchen windows this morning (still working on that Spring Cleaning thing), I realized that it was a pretty nice day out. I had been feeling glum looking at the brooding grey skies, but with the dirty winter film of sludge wiped from the pane’s surface I realized that it was actually not a bad day out. It was just my dingy windows that refused to let the blue skies in! Imagine that.

That got me to thinking about windows, and in turn, window coverings. Now that Spring has finally arrived and Summer is around the corner, we will be seeing lots more sunshine in the days to come. While us sun-starved Canadians welcome the sun’s return, soon enough we will be thinking about ways to block some of the sun’s harsh rays. Never content with what we have, we go from basking in the early spring sunshine, to slathering ourselves in sunscreen and sunglasses to keep those pesky UV rays at bay.

What about the sun and your home though? When the sun peeks in your windows, it has an equal effect on your house. It can raise the indoor temperature by several degrees, and while welcome in winter, during hot and hazy summer days, that just equates to your a/c unit working that much harder. The sun can brighten a room (always a selling feature), but might not be desired at 6 am when the sun is peaking in your window after you have just come off a midnight shift and are looking for a little rest. It’s harsh rays can also bleach colour from objects within your home, if left in a window sill for extended periods of time. That goes for artwork, furniture and even the paint on the walls.

So what do you do? You install window coverings. Now I am not suggesting completely blocking off the windows in your home, by any stretch of the imagination. What I do suggest is taking a look at your needs, as far as window treatments go. Is privacy the primary concern, or is it the sun’s glare that you want to control? Is heat and sound insulation important, and is room darkening a must? Do you need to camouflage a window with an unpleasant view? These are all important considerations before selecting the right window treatment for your home.

Once you have figured out what your needs are, the next step is to select window treatments to fill your decor requirements. That might mean blackout curtains in the bedroom, sheers in the bathroom, or Venetian blinds in the living room to add a sophisticated look. Think about using wood, plastic, bamboo and metal materials to provide contrast to carpeted rooms, and selecting fabrics to temper colder wooden and tiled floors. If curtains are the best option for you, choose curtains and sheers made from quality materials. Ensure durability with reinforced hems, weighted bottoms and a sturdy top panel to hold the curtain’s weight.

When you have finished updating the look of your windows with trim, touches and panache, don’t forget one last detail. Take the time to clean the actual panes of glass behind the window treatments.

The look is in the details, right?