How To Thursday - the empty room Stage 2

Welcome back to "How To Thursday." Last week our focus was stage 1 of how to decorate an empty room on a budget. Stage 2 usually happens when you have lived in the house for a bit of time and experience how you will use each room. We will continue with the living room, you can review the first stage here.

Stage 2 - Window treatments

Window treatments are both functional and aesthetic. We need them for privacy but they can also make a room feel complete. Have you ever had bare windows than installed a rod with panels and suddenly felt like the room was bigger and warmer? At this point you should be clear on the color scheme of the room which will help with the selection. There are many options, starting with a few questions will make it easier. How are you using the room?

Can the neighbors see right into the house? In this case I like to use sheers especially patterned tone on tone panels. With this option you can keep the sheers closed all day which helps with the privacy but still lets daylight in. The above picture shows a very bright room!

Are the windows drafty and you need a treatment which will help with the heating/cooling bill? In this scenario, honeycomb blinds from Hunter Douglas are a great option. They are available in a huge range of colors and are extremely energy efficient. I would suggest pairing them with panels which hang on either side of the window. This will make the panels your focus and not the blinds.

If your desire is more on the decorate side but are also interested in the function of the 2 scenarios above, Roman Shades are a fantastic option. Alone they create a clean, crisp look. They can also be "built" on as time passes. Since we are talking about keeping to a budget and stages, start with romans on their own. When you want to create a different feel you can layer on side panels as shown in the picture on the right.

If this all seems overwhelming ask a designer for help or use one of the internet resources like Smith and Noble. Another "How To Thursday" post will focus on picking rods and hanging techniques!!

Next Thursday we will continue with Stage 2, selecting entertainment units and area rugs. If you have questions on either subject please leave a comment and I will answer them next week.

(images from Better Homes & Garden, Smith and Noble, Pottery Barn)

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