Are you neglecting your windows?
Well, there was a time when the luxury of letting light into our homes would cost us money. During the 18th and 19th centuries in England, Wales, Scotland and France, there was what was known as a window tax which was banded like our council tax is today. The more windows in the property, the more you paid. This tax caused people to brick up some of their windows and new properties were deliberately built with fewer windows to avoid a higher tax rate.
There were many against this tax, not only because of the costs, which of cause hit the less fortunate the hardest, but also there seemed to be many health issues associated with the lack of light to some dwellings. The window tax was eventually repealed in 1851 and there are still some buildings today that are evident of that period.
Now no longer a restriction, we can celebrate the humble window and luxuriate in the amount of light we let into our properties.
That said, there are many challenges in how we make the most of them, not just in our living environment but also in our work spaces too.
Luckily there are a variety of window dressings available to accommodate not only windows of the more traditional buildings we’ve come to know and love throughout the years, e.g 1930s semi detached houses, Georgian grand buildings such as those in Bath and elegant Victorian terrace houses but also the inventive new flats/apartments and houses that we are now seeing built all over the UK.
Some of these ‘new builds’ have amazing vistas, so the windows are constructed to take in the fantastic views, though they are often challenging to dress due to their unusual shapes. Some, for example, are triangular in design offering limited space above for traditional window ironmongery, provide limited or no wall space for curtain stack back or they flood the space with blinding natural light that needs controlling in some way. However, to obscure them would ruin the overall look and wow factor.
The options are varied but enough to satisfy all tastes and budgets, whether you are after curtains, discreet blinds, sun screening and privacy, blackout, insulation, shutters or simply something decorative. The choices are endless, often leaving us overwhelmed.
But, it is well worth giving some thought to what you are trying to achieve before you make that final decision as this can save you from unnecessary mistakes and money further down the line.
There are fundamentally 5 main reasons why we make our choice:
- Sun screening
What is the most important reason for choosing your window dressing?
Think of your windows like works of art. With the right choices in your treatment, they can frame a room, become the focal point, add that much needed splash of colour or create warmth in what might appear to be a cold space.
For whatever reason you have chosen how to dress your windows it is worth investing in the best that you can afford, as for most of us, we need them to last for many years to come.