They set the mood and complement your style. They can open up a vista, create a serene room for rest, protect furnishings and artwork from harmful UV rays. They can even play a large role in conserving energy in your home.

From aesthetics, comfort, and convenience to durability and efficiency, there are dozens of important factors to consider when choosing new blinds, shades, shutters, and drapes. When working with a design consultant, here are some of the key questions that will inform the final look of your home décor project.

Cellular shades are particularly energy efficient. A honeycomb design creates an air pocket between the window glass and the interior of your room. This extra layer of insulation keeps heat and cold from penetrating windows, conserving energy year-round.

Dual shades can be used for even greater efficiency. For maximum effect, place a highly reflective (white) shade on one side and a heat absorbing (dark) shade on the other side.

Solar shade fabrics vary in the weave or openness which allows different levels of light and UV rays to pass through. With a high openness factor and dark fabric, your view is clear and much of the outside light is blocked. Use lighter fabric solar shades for better interior temperature control.

Roman shades also feature several layers of fabric and sealed edges, acting as a great insulator.

Shutters, like window blinds, work best for summer shading. Movable or fixed louvers allow ventilation and natural daylight to enter a room while blocking some direct radiation. For greater insulation combine shutters with other window treatments such as draperies.

Draperies can greatly reduce the intensity of the sun coming through your windows. They also allow you to easily regulate the temperature of your home, maintaining a comfortable environment for your family.

During the summer, you can prevent heat gain by closing the draperies on windows receiving direct sunlight. Studies demonstrate that medium-colored draperies can reduce heat gain by 33%. When drawn during cold weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room by up to 10%.

When drawn during cold weather, most conventional draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10%.

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