As the cold weather rolls in and the view outside your windows begins to change, it’s time to start thinking about getting the inside of your home ready for winter.
To help you get ready, we are sharing some of the latest trends for winter decorating you can use to freshen up your home décor and window treatments. Plus, learn how to use window treatments to increase energy efficiency to keep your home toasty, learn about highly efficient windows like cellular shades, and reduce your energy bills this winter.
Winter Home Decorating Trends
Preparing your home for winter is all about making it feel warm and cozy. This can be accomplished both by physically keeping the cold air out and also by creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. When you step inside your home coming out of the cold, you probably want to be greeted by a comfortable and relaxing space where you can spend quality time with your family and friends. The latest trends in winter home decorating allow you to bring warmth to your space through colors, patterns, and textures.
Bring the Outdoors In
A popular trend from this year that is continuing into the winter season is bringing the feel of nature and the outdoors inside your home. You can achieve this look by choosing earthy colors and rich wood tones and adding plenty of greenery. Use shades of brown, beige, and green, and incorporate natural fabrics and materials.
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Traditionally, winter colors include cool shades of winter white, silvery gray, and deep blue. This year, bring warmth to your home by adding warm accents to complement neutral rooms. Try adding a few pops of inviting shades like gold or cinnamon for instant coziness.
Another way to bring warmth into your winter décor is through texture. Think warm wood paneling, textural wallpaper, and fabrics in flannel, cashmere, wool, and cotton. Include accents in a chunky cable knit or faux fur, rich leather, or suede. Who wouldn’t love to sink into a comfy couch or bed surrounded by soft throw blankets and pillows on a cold day?
Winter Trends for Window Treatments
If you are looking to update your window treatments for the winter season, there are several ways you can use these trends to create a warm and cozy atmosphere.
Our first piece of winter window treatment advice is…cover up! While you may prefer a light and airy look during the warmer seasons, once winter hits, it’s time to cover up those windows. You can still enjoy the warm winter sunlight during the day, but when it gets cold and dark, you’ll want to have appropriate window coverings in place to block the chill and provide privacy.
Use materials that fit the latest winter trends we described. Bring the outdoors in by choosing natural, earthy colors in your winter window treatments, add warmth with colorful drapes or hardware, or use natural materials and textures such as wood blinds or woven wood shades.
Covering up your windows will not only bring the colors and textures needed to create a warm and cozy feeling, but it will also help to keep your home warmer by improving your energy efficiency.
Energy Efficient Window Treatments
Studies show as much as 20% of your home’s energy loss happens through your windows every year. Energy efficient window treatments can help keep your home warm in the winter and drastically improve your energy efficiency.
During the winter, warm air inside your house will try to sneak out through the least insulated parts of your house—which, for most homes, means the windows. Energy efficient window treatments can create a barrier of insulation between the window and the room, helping to reduce heat loss and keep your energy costs down.
But when it comes to energy efficiency, not all window coverings are created equal. Next, we’ll discuss different types of window covers for winter and how to choose the best ones for your unique needs.
Winter Window Treatments
When choosing winter window coverings for your home, there are several factors you should consider. These include budget and style, as well as the specific needs of the room.
You may be wondering, what types of window treatments provide the best insulation in the winter? Here is a breakdown of some of the types of winter window treatments you may want to use in your home.
One of the most energy-efficient window coverings are cellular shades, also known as honeycomb shades. As the name implies, cellular shades are made up of cell pockets shaped in honeycomb air pockets, between the front and back, unlike regular pleated shades that trap air in front of your windows. Tightly installed cellular shades provide excellent insulation against cold weather. Double-cell shades and triple-cell shades use additional layers of honeycomb fabric, making them even more energy efficient. These cozy and stylish insulating shades also come in many fabric types and styles to fit all your décor needs.
Interior shutters are also an excellent window covering option for keeping the cold out. Often made from wood, vinyl, or a composite material, shutters are installed tightly to the window frame, leaving very few gaps for air to circulate. When the louvers are closed properly, the air is trapped between the shutters and the window glass, creating a layer of insulation against the cold. In harsh winter climates, exterior shutters can be used to provide additional protection against the elements.
Another option for homeowners seeking to increase their energy efficiency is a specialty energy-efficient window film. This film adds a layer of insulation to reduce cold drafts on windows in the winter and help to trap heat inside. In the summer season, this window film will keep the sun from heating your home and prevent the loss of cold air produced by your air conditioning unit. Another benefit of using window films is protection from UV damage inside your home. Using a professional window tint installation service can have a big impact on your energy efficiency and your utility bill.
Draperies are often used in home décor for their elegance and versatility, but they can also have an impact on energy efficiency. When paired with another window treatment, such as insulating blinds or shades, drapes provide extra insulation against the cold. They are a better winter window covering than curtains because they are typically thicker and longer and mounted outside the window frame for additional coverage. Like other types of window coverings, drapes can easily be left open during the day to let in the winter sunlight, then closed during the colder and darker parts of the day.
As a bonus, you can add a thermal lining to the back of drapes to further increase their insulating properties. The U.S. Department of Energy study demonstrate that using thermal drapes with lining reduces heat loss by up to 25% in the winter months. It’s not just a winter thing; drapes with white plastic backings minimize heat gain by up to 33% in the summer in hot climates.
On their own, roller shades and roman shades are one of the less energy efficient types of window treatments because they are typically made from thin, open-weave fabric. This allows light to easily filter through, and also lets warm and cold air pass freely. Shades made from heavier fabrics provide slightly better thermal insulation. They are best when paired with other window treatments like drapes or shutters to improve their energy efficiency during the winter.
Blinds can be an inexpensive option that combines the low profile of a roller shade and the seasonal functionality and similar aesthetics of plantation shutters. Installing low-profile blinds inside the window opening and leaving room for drapes is an effective way to double up your protection from those cold drafts. More on layering below.
Motorized Window Treatments
To take energy-efficient window treatments to the next level, incorporate automation to raise and lower your shades automatically. Automated window treatment lets you control and schedule from your smartphone/tablet, remote control, or voice commands. And even better, set a timer to take advantage of the warm winter sun, then close it before the chill sets in. Motorization can work with nearly any type of window treatment and makes improving your home’s energy efficiency easy.
How to Layer Window Treatments
If you are looking to maximize energy efficiency in your home this winter, you may want to consider layering window treatments to keep the hot air in! This technique not only helps reduce energy loss, but it can also make your window treatments look more polished and complete.
If you love the look of inside mounted shades like a roller shade, add drapes to bring a dramatic look, provide privacy, and increase insulation. Another option is to add shutters over your shades. These combination window coverings help keep the warm air during the cooling seasons, help with thermal blocking, and reduce heat gain in the summer.
Using different combinations of window coverings lets you select the features and styles you prefer from each type of treatment so you can create a custom look that is perfect for your home.
If you want to get a jump start on getting your home ready for winter, we’d love to help! Our window covering designers can work with you to select the right combination of window treatments for your unique needs and install them so you can sit back and relax!