Drapes and curtains are the most common window treatment in Singapore homes – they’re easy to install, easy to clean, and when it comes to fabric styles, the sky’s the limit.
According to Fanny, consider drapery if you’re going for a cosy, lived-in look for your home, because it adds texture and movement to a room.
It’s also the more affordable option when it comes to full-height windows that need dressing, which are especially common in condominiums.
Drape lengths can change the mood of a room entirely. It is common practice to have the bottom of drapes hang around 1.2 centimetres above the floor (but never higher than that as it makes the ceilings look lower and the room smaller). Stick to floor-length for a failsafe look, or let your drapes puddle on the floor for more drama and stateliness.
As far as width is concerned – the wider, the better, because narrow drapes can create the illusion of a smaller space. Opt for drapery that’s twice as wide as your window even if they’ll be drawn most of the time, as this balances the fullness of the finished treatment.
Night shift workers and new parents: drapery is definitely your treatment of choice – just select blackout fabrics, which are either foam-backed in a dark or opaque pattern, to get some daytime shut-eye. Heavier fabrics pull double duty to block out both sun and noise, so you can sleep soundly in the day without sunlight streaming in and disrupting your circadian rhythm.
Shades, a soft window treatment, consist of solid lengths of fabric that can be adjusted via a roller or lifting mechanism. Those made from lighter, porous fabric are a good option for filtering sunlight to create a softer, warmer look in the room. Less harsh than blinds, shades tend to be a better choice for dining rooms and living rooms where bright light is welcome – this can make a room look larger and more inviting.
Tip: Fabric shades should be vacuumed regularly and spot-cleaned to keep them looking pristine.
Whether your shades are mounted inside or outside your windows depends on the windows’ depth. You can opt for inside mounts if your window is at least 2.5 centimetres deep – inside mounts will let in too much light on a shallow window. As inside mounts also draw attention to your windows, they’re the better option if you want to highlight decorative elements in your window trimmings.
Tip: If you have a short window that you wish to elongate, using outside mounts for your shades will add extra height.
For outside mounts, measure the width of your window frame and add 15 centimetres to that measurement for your final outside-mounted shades width. The extra 7.5 centimetres on each side is the sweet spot for shades that complement your window size.
For inside mounts, exclude your window frame and round up your window’s measurements to the nearest 0.3 centimetre for the right fit.
While some may refer to shades and blinds interchangeably, both window treatments are not the same. Blinds, known as a hard window treatment, are made of wood or other materials such as aluminium, vinyl, bamboo, or even leather. What is similar, though, is the installation process: the same measurement rules for shades also apply to blinds.
Blinds can be raised and lowered, like shades, but because they also have adjustable slats (or louvers) that tilt, Fanny recommends blinds if you wish to control and vary the amount of light entering the room.
While harder to clean – maintain your slats by cleaning once a weak and vacuuming them every month – blinds also tend to last longer than drapery, which can fade and discolour after multiple cycles in the wash.
Besides windows, you can dress up (or dress down) see-through panels on your doors. Window films and decals retain that decorative edge without compromising on light filtering abilities. Plus, these low-commitment contraptions work great if you’re shuttling between homes and can’t afford to splash out on drapery and blinds.
Spray a small amount of the same soapy water all over your windows and apply your film or decal immediately – the water provides enough surface tension for the film to adhere to the glass panel while giving you some room for minor adjustments. Once it dries, you can use a dry cloth to gently push out air bubbles.
Which window treatment are you hankering after? Share your favourite style with us in the Comments below.