The challenges of window coverings

I’m the kind of person who likes to leave the blinds and curtains open, the natural light is very important to me.


I’m the kind of person who likes to leave the blinds and curtains open, the natural light is very important to me.

Even though it has been bracingly cold the past few weeks, at least we get sunshine which allows us to imagine it’s warmer outside than it is.

The past few days have forced me to draw the curtains to try and stave off the cold coming in off the windows and it has made me miss the sunlight. Have courage readers, warmer days are ahead!

The drawback of being a designer is that I’m always looking at (or in) people’s windows as I’m driving or walking my dog. It is a drawback of my career and I find myself looking at windows most often to see what they are covered with. Lately most of you have had your shades drawn like I have and I suspect your houses are as dark and gloomy as mine.

In my travels I have seen various types of window coverings that make me want to knock on doors and ask if they need my assistance to find them something more suitable. Window coverings are one of the hardest working design elements in your home providing both function and fashion and often I feel they aren’t given enough respect.

Imagine how a beautiful pleated shade feels, it can darken your bedroom and provide ‘R value’ to warm a cool room and yet it is so easily replaced by TIN FOIL!

You know you are guilty, I see your houses. The designer in me sometimes chuckles and sometimes I cringe. It’s time to treat your windows with the respect they deserve, people. Are you guilty of any of the following?

Flags – this is a fashion statement for some, whether it is the patriotic Canadian Maple Leaf or the bold orange of the Dukes of Hazzard battle flag these items are created to hang on flagpoles, not in your windows! It is truly unfair to the humble flag to expect it to act as a window covering, you usually have to pierce holes in it with nails or tacks to make it hang in place and it has no ability to open or close so it just hangs there, sad and overwhelmed.

Tin foil – not just for baked potatoes anymore! Tin foil has become a window covering of choice for darkening a room. Imagine its confusion when you pull it out of the kitchen drawer – it’s expecting to wrap itself around a potato and be placed in a warm oven and you take it upstairs and stick the poor thing on a frosty window. Shock and confusion floods the tinfoil as it stares woefully out into the street, its aluminum shivering in the cold.

Blankets – if you need to hang a blanket on a window, keep it simple. I can’t tell you how many wolves, cougars, Minnie Mouse and Sponge Bob blankets I see hanging on windows. You have to know these novels creatures are being scoffed at by people passing by. Give them the dignity they deserve and a resting place thrown over your couch and stick to a plain blanket if you must.

There are better solutions for window coverings, I would be happy to help you with the decisions.

Kim Meckler is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre.