Affordable Window Treatments
Window Treatments on the Cheap
Quick Kitchen Transformations
I have a window that lets in a lot of sun and heat during the summer. Also, I don't like the way people can look into the kitchen if they are outside. If you sit at the table, the sun gets in your eyes. Should I get a blind, get a shade, get a curtain, or do something else?
This window used to have metal blinds that I adjusted with a lever/handle. The kitchen is white and I have pink accents (pink countertop, appliances, and canisters). I would like to keep the heat in the house in the winter and keep it cool in the summer (there is a tiny draft because of the window). I am open to suggestions. I just don't want the window treatment to have to be dry cleaned.
You may want to think from the outside in. Can you put an awning above the outside of the window? Or plant a tree that will eventually not only protect, but also beautify your view? You can also have professional window tinting done to the inside window. And if you haven't already, caulk the outside sealing. It may be getting old.
For an inside curtain treatment, you can get a roller shade that wipes clean. Mounting it outside the interior windowsill will be the most effective for preventing drafts in the winter. And be aware that a dark colored window cover will provide more shade than a lighter colored one. I learned this by experience.
Rhonda in Denver, CO
We had Solar Screens installed several years ago on all our windows. Our kitchen had three large windows, and at certain times of the year, we had so much sun shining in that we had to close the blinds. Now that never happens. Also no one can see in from the outside except at night if the light is on. Then we close the blinds. The screens block the sun, keep the heat from the hot sun out, and whatever window curtains you use will not fade. Having them on all our windows has reduced our electric bill from air conditioning during the hot summers here in the Houston area. They are the best!
Patty from Katy, TX
I have a kitchen window that is similar to what you describe. It has a cold draft in winter, and we wanted something for privacy. My solution was a Redi Shade® that attaches at the top of the window. I cut it to the exact size that I needed, and with the push of a button on the blind, it goes up to open and down to close. For the winter months, I went a step farther since I do like the window open during the day but didn't want the cold draft. I bought a 1" by 2" framing board at Home Depot and built a frame that fits perfectly inside of the window frame (on the back side of where the pull down shade fits). I also bought the 3M clear plastic that you can cover your windows with at Home Depot. I covered the frame with the window plastic and attached it. Used a hair dryer to make the plastic fit tightly on the frame and placed it inside the window (so I can pull the shade down when I want to close it). It took care of the cold draft, but I can still look out if I want. It can be removed for the warmer months so I can open the window. This solution worked perfect for me.
Here's an easy, relatively cheap way to gain privacy and control the UV and heat coming in that window. Buy a window film by Gila® that you put on the window. The "Platinum" (and I think it's now Titanium) series is the best and the most expensive in their line of products. It goes on easy (using a spray and a squeegee) and not only blocks out the heat, but also gives a mirrored appearance on the outside. You can see out, but you can't see in.
When I was renting in St. Louis, I discovered this film and I could actually feel the room becoming cooler as I applied the film to the wall of west-facing windows. Intolerable heat was finally tamed, and it saved heating costs in the winter as well. It paid for itself in one month. Cost is around $45 for a roll that's 15' long, but you'll recoup the cost and gain control over the heat, UV and privacy.
If you can sew, I would suggest you get something like a pink and white stripe or pink seersucker and make a simple curtain that you hem and turn over the top, then stitch a tunnel to slide along a rod. I like the tension rods that fit between the window casings. I think a solid pink curtain might be a little much, but a stripe or check will give you some pink and still look fresh and crisp. You need a width length and a half for each window to make the curtains look full.
If you don't sew, look for some kitchen towels that will go with the rest of the kitchen decor. You can put them up with rings that clip onto the towel if you are not too handy with a needle and thread.
Teresa in Burlington, North Carolina
I don't know about blinds, curtains or shades for the window, but I can tell you that the draft can be eliminated with newspaper. As soon as the weather starts to get cold and I feel a little breeze from the window, I take two full size pages from the newspaper, fold them to the size of the sill between the window and the storm, and then slide the two pages (one to one side and the other to the other side) from side to side to the edge of the window. It makes all the difference and no one sees the paper.
Monica in IL
As you know, there are a lot of ways to do a window treatment. I combine a couple of treatments for this task. Most windows in our home have light color, white or cream, cellular blinds. Cellular blinds provide insulation to reduce heat/cold transfer between indoors and outdoors. In summer, the closed, light color cellulars reflect the warming sun's rays, helping to keep the house cool. (I also use dark curtains over those same windows and cellular blinds for additional insulation behind the cellulars.) Now in summer, the light colored cellular blinds are normally closed to reflect the sun's radiant heat. The curtains between indoors and the cellular blinds are closed too to further reduce the heat transfer from outdoors to our home.
In winter, the cellular blinds are opened only when the sun is shining in the window(s), but the darker curtains are kept closed to absorb the sun's radiant heat thus helping the day time heating. Then when the sun goes down, the cellular blinds are put back in place along with the curtains to help keep the heat in the house.
The combination preserves our privacy. They also help to reduce the heat in the summer and assist with winter's home heating.
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