Ask the Expert: The right window treatments

Q: There are so many options when it comes to window treatments and the choices feel overwhelming. How do we decide the right coverings for our windows and what are some hot trends in window treatments?

From ready-made blinds to custom draperies, the spectrum of choices is very extensive. Finding the right window treatments will not only enhance your decor but add value to your home as well.

The best way to start is to determine the function needed for each area, such as light control, privacy, UV protection and energy efficiency. Next, think about your decor and which window treatments will best coordinate with your flooring and wall coverings to help you achieve the look you're trying to create. Budget should be considered so start learning about the costs of different window treatment options. Remember that most quality window treatments will last for many years and elevate the livability of your home as well.

Some hot trends in window treatments today include child- and pet-safe window treatments which feature cordless options to create peace of mind and ease of operation. Motorized and automated window treatments are being used to provide increased energy efficiency and make window treatments more user-friendly. We are also seeing a lot of interest in fabrics and soft window treatments to put a beautiful finish on windows.

It's easy to do a little research online (just don't over do it), and then visit a local retailer and showroom that will help you start to understand the options. Just remember there are experts to help you make choices that best fit your needs and enhance your d├ęcor, all while making it fun and easy.

Tom Miller and his wife Barbara have been in the window fashion and drapery business for over 20 years and own Exciting Windows! by Mini Blind King and a Hunter Douglas Gallery. For information, visit blindsalaska.com.