Tips and Tricks
Tips and Tricks

How to Get Started When Shopping for New Window Treatments

“Today, with so many styles of blinds and shades to choose from, finding the right one for your needs isn’t always a quick open-and-shut deal,” says Alice Hurley, Good Housekeeping Magazine.


“Today, with so many styles of blinds and shades to choose from, finding the right one for your needs isn’t always a quick open-and-shut deal,” says Alice Hurley, Good Housekeeping Magazine. “Whether you’re looking for privacy, style, or both, it can be a daunting task to choose window treatments.” Fortunately, we have helped simplify the process. Just follow our handy, five-step window treatment checklist.

Step-by-Step Window Treatment Checklist

☑️ Determine Your Motivation

First thing’s first. Why do you want to replace your window treatments? The why can help you narrow your focus. Are you just replacing old, outdated window treatments or is there a functional reason for the change, such as light control in the bedroom. Are you going to replace all window treatments, or just focus on a few rooms?

“What rooms and what windows are the most important for you to dress?” asks Kathy McCleary, HGTV. Once you answer these questions, move on to step two.

☑️ Set a Budget

Budget can also be a deciding factor when determining what window treatments to choose. If you are looking at blinds, can you afford Premium Wood, Classic Wood, or Faux Wood? “Be realistic about what you can afford,” says McCleary. And do your homework. You can even allot more money for certain rooms.

“You may consider spending more on certain windows and scaling back on others,” says Hurley.

Give top priority to those rooms with higher foot traffic or increased functionality needs, such as the kitchen and bedroom. You can save money by scaling back in certain rooms, like spare bedrooms and less frequented bathrooms.

☑️ Measure Your Windows

“Knowing the sizes of the windows you want to cover will help you choose more wisely,” says Hurley. Knowing your window measurements can also help eliminate certain product options, especially when it comes to shallow windows or wide windows. Click here to review our Installation Depth Requirements for Inside Mounting.

“Our custom window coverings are custom for width and height, but we also give consideration to the depth of the window, the type of millwork, and the projection of the sill,” says Steve Freishtat, CEO and Founder of Next Day Blinds.

When measuring the width of a window, always measure in three places: top, middle and bottom. More often than not, your window will not be a perfect rectangle or square. If your numbers do not match, choose the smallest of the measurements, rounding down to the nearest eighth of an inch. Similarly, when measuring the height of your window, also measure in three places: left, middle and right. This time, however, if the numbers do not match, take the larger of the measurements. Don’t forget to also measure the depth of your window. This is an important step that many homeowners forget.

Remember to record the width measurement first, then the height (account for locks, knobs, and other hardware), and don’t forget to label each window (“Kitchen”, “Bedroom”, etc.) on your sheet. This last part is very important when it comes time to order. And always provide your window treatment supplier with exact measurements. Deductions for fit will be taken at the factory.

For a more detailed list of instructions, check out our DIY Measuring and Installation Guides. We have to specific measuring instructions for each product we offer.

☑️ Consider Room Function

“Windows are a great focal point in a room and blinds and shades should be both decorative and functional,” says Carolyn Forté, Home Appliances & Textiles Director in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute.

The purpose and the function of a room can help determine what window treatments would be best. “Do you have kids? Do you entertain a lot?” asks McCleary. It is important to consider things like durability in high traffic areas, light control needs, and functionality. “Do you want your window treatments to provide privacy? Control the light coming in? Frame a beautiful view? Insulate against cold and noise?”

Take each room into consideration and make a list of functionality needs: humidity, moisture, mess (bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms), brightness, light control (bedrooms, dens, tv rooms), privacy (close neighbors, room location), high activity, durability (kids playroom, pets, mudroom).

☑️ Consider Decor

“There are no hard and fast rules in choosing a style,” says Charles “Pete” Randall, author of The Encyclopedia of Window Fashions. However, all of the hard work you put into steps one through four should really help you better narrow your design focus to a particular type of window treatment. Then, once you have a few options, you can really focus on style. Though this is often easier said than done. It can be hard to visualize what different window treatments will look like in different rooms. 

One way to get a feel for what material or color would look best in your space is to order swatches. Free swatches can be ordered online and delivered right to your home so you can ensure the color, texture, pattern, and/or finish meet your expectations and match your decor. Each sample is hand cut from actual production materials to help you really envision your finished blinds, shades, or shutters. Mix and match from any of our custom window treatments for a closer look.

Seeing the Window Treatment Checklist in Practice

Scenario 1: Master Bedroom Facing a Busy Street

Sleeping Feet

In this scenario, the master bedroom has two tall windows facing a street that has a fair amount of light pollution at night from street lamps and cars. You would like improved light control, and window treatments that fit a modern, clean aesthetic.

Our Recommendation: Room Darkening Honeycomb Shades with motorized lift system “Cellular Shades, also known as Honeycomb Shades, are one of the hottest new trends in window shades and are designed for light filtering or for the total blocking of sunlight,” writes Christie Craig, Houston Lifestyles & Homes magazine. At night, “your body needs to sleep in near total darkness for optimum health,” writes author Jennifer Barrett in her article “Sleep Oasis.” For this, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends blackout or room darkening shades. These window treatments “can be very helpful for blocking evening light during the summer, streetlights, as well as morning rays (especially handy if you have an early riser),” says the NSF. Next Day Blinds Room Darkening Honeycomb Shades can help create the perfect sleep environment, and the motorized lift system eliminates the need for unsightly cords, giving your windows a modern, clean look.

MORE ABOUT MOTORIZED


Scenario 2: Replacing Curtains in the Dining Room

You are re-decorating your dining room and would like to replace the curtains with something more polished and tailored looking. It is an older home, so the window frame depth is fairly shallow. The desired style of the dining room is a mix between traditional and transitional.

Our Recommendation: Shutters offer the more tailored look, while providing additional privacy. By mounting them outside of the shallow window frame, the limited recess would not be a problem. And, depending on your budget, you could go with Hardwood Shutters or Vinyl Shutters for a more cost-conscious option. “As an interior design choice, you can’t go wrong by selecting shutters,” says interior designer Celeste Stewart. “They fit in with just about any décor and offer a clean, cohesive look throughout the home.”

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Scenario 3: Need More Privacy in the Bathroom

bathroom rubber ducky

A shared family bathroom has a average-sized window that looks out to the side of the yard with a neighbor’s house in view. You would like to replace the privacy film they have on the window now with something more attractive. Moisture and humidity are a concern in the bathroom, as well as durability since it is a shared bathroom. The decor of the bathroom is somewhat coastal, featuring blues and light colors. You also have a tight budget and are looking for a cost conscious solution.

Our Recommendation: Faux Wood Blinds are a good solution for humid rooms that see a lot of foot traffic. They are durable, lightweight and easy to clean, with the look of more expensive Wood Blinds without the price tag. “Real wood can warp in these environments,” says Matt Goering, HomeAdvisor. For rooms where heat and moisture can be factor, like in the bathroom, Faux Wood Blinds reign supreme. These window treatments are made from 100% vinyl and have a “couple of advantages over the real thing,” says interior designer Becky Dietrich, “which makes it (faux wood blinds) a great choice for bathrooms, kitchens and clammy climates,” says Dietrich.

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Founded in 1993, Next Day Blinds is a fully integrated, full-service custom window covering company located in Jessup, MD, just 25 miles from Washington, DC, and 15 miles from Baltimore, MD. From sales and design to manufacturing, measuring, installation, and service, we do it all. Our goal is to help you create a better tomorrow by providing a superior result--blinds, shades and shutters that look nicer, last longer, and are there when you want them.