The types of draperies and curtains you choose can make a bold fashion statement in your home. The amount of color you choose, the different shades of each hue, how they combine with each other and the other elements of each room, as well as the size and shape all play a big role. Custom shades can add another element of coordination and really make everything come together. But there is so much more to the process of choosing draperies and curtains than the type of style they add to your home. Draperies and curtains can be used to leverage the principles of science and the natural environment around your home to enhance the overall performance of your home as a vehicle for comfort. Here are some things you can use to help shape your next choice of draperies and curtains.
Make Decisions Based on the Location of the Sun
When choosing the best draperies and curtains for your home, the first thing you may want to do is break out the old compass. Take a look at how your home sits in relation to the four poles of the compass, north, south, east and west. This will give you a good idea as to how the sun will move throughout the day. Keep in mind that the actual location of the sunrise and sunset is going to vary slightly based on the time of year. For this reason, even after you have figured out the path of the sun, you may want to set aside a day to map out how its motion affects the interior of your home. Once you know where it hits and when you can start using this knowledge to your advantage.
The sun is a power source. The first kind of “solar power” was not a product of Einstein’s photovoltaic research for which he earned a Nobel Prize. Nope, it was the heat the sun emanates as it was used to heat homes and areas in which people needed to work and operate. The long tradition of using the sun as a heating source can be continued in your home as well. During the winter months, the air cools, but the sun stays hot, so its heat can be let into your home strategically if the right draperies and curtains are used. Those that let in some sunlight at the right times of day while providing appropriate privacy at other times are going to be the best choice for you and your family. On the other hand, if the sun’s path doesn’t’ bring it into direct contact with your home’s interior, you can forego this step and focus on other ways to leverage science to your advantage.
The Science of Heat
Whether you use vertical blinds, solar shades, roman shades or even layered shades, they all have something in common: they can conduct and retain heat. Granted, the whites and the lighter colors are going to hold less heat, but the darker ones may be able to make a significant difference in the condition of your home. As the heat generated during the day is absorbed into the the shades, they become sources of radiant heat. Radiant heat is heat that comes off an object that has been warmed up. Your draperies and curtains, even if they aren’t exposed to direct sunlight, can become significant sources of radiant heat as they get warm during the day. They can also gather in heat as they are warmed by interior sources of heat such as furnaces and radiators. If you don’t want them to radiate heat, you will want to select materials that conduct and hold less heat.
Size and Proportion
The height of your shades can have a significant effect on the experience of people in your home. For instance, draperies that extend from high on the wall all the way down to the floor create an illusion of grandiose height. This will give your home a more regal feeling for those that visit and live there. The size of the curtains in relation to other objects can make them look bigger or smaller as well.
By considering size and science, you can make sure your draperies and curtains add more to your home than just style.