If you have a home on the ocean, window treatments can pose a conundrum. If you're struggling to figure out how to choose window dressings that fit all your unique seaside needs, read on. Here are five rules that will help you select the perfect window treatments for your house.
1. Never obstruct your view.
The most important rule to follow when installing window treatments on the oceanfront is to never interfere with the thing that most makes your home special: your view of the sea. Not only does this mean not using draperies or other coverings that obstruct your view, it means not using bright colors or distracting patterns that compete with nature's palette.
Try to use window treatments in hues that mimic muted beach tones, like sand, pale aqua, light green, ivory, or white. While you may think it's easier to just do away with blinds or curtains altogether, this isn't really practical. You still need protection from the sun, warmth in winter (if you use your beachside house all year), and privacy, especially if you live close to other neighbors. Window treatments also afford some degree of security if your home goes unoccupied during off seasons.
2. Consider ventilation and insulation.
Another great benefit of living on the ocean is that wonderful sea breeze. Choose window treatments that allow for good ventilation in warmer weather. Roman shades that roll up or curtains that can be tied out of the way may be your best choice here.
If you use your beach house year round, unless you live in the hottest of climates, you need to be concerned about winter insulation too. Think about layering your window treatments for better protection from wind and cold or swapping out your summer linen draperies for heavier fabrics in the fall. Using energy-efficient window treatments will keep you comfortable and help reduce your utility bills.
3. Minimize your cleaning labor.
Sand, salt, and moisture can wreak havoc on window treatment fabrics. Select materials that can be easily washed or wiped. If laundry isn't your thing, shutters, which can be wiped clean, may be your best friend. You can also find blinds now that operate inside your windows, between two layers of window or door glass--a handy solution if you are building or remodeling.
Also, keep any fabric curtains or drapes off the floor. If you want to accentuate the height of your windows, hang your window treatments from the ceiling to just a few inches from the floor, to make sweeping and vacuuming beach grit easier.
4. Keep in mind the effect of salt air on metal.
You probably know by now that salt air can be very corrosive on metal objects in your home and cause rusting, and this is true even with the elements in your window treatments. If you've had a problem with rust in the past, think about having your window dressings custom made, so you can ensure that all the metal therein is galvanized. If you use marine parts, like galvanized cleats and rope to tie back your curtains, you will have a window treatment that's both nautical in theme and resistant to corrosion.
5. Choose treatments that reflect the style and intention of your home.
Finally, don't feel obligated to install fancy window treatments in a casual beach bungalow or cottage-y curtains in a stately year-round home. Select window elements that echo the feeling and style you want for your home, such as
- mid-century modern
- French country
- classic nautical
- contemporary Gustavian
If you follow the tips above and find window treatments that work perfectly in your house, you can spend less time fussing with your windows and more time savoring your beautiful beachside location. For more information, contact F & R Interiors or a similar company.