From Blah to WOW!

Just like the right jewels or accessories can take an outfit from blah to wow, the same can be said for choosing the right rugs and window treatments for your home. While both are functional must-haves, they also serve as decorative accents that can lend that final finishing touch to your home.

With so many option and styles, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, if you do a little research and ask the right questions, it can be easy.

For most of us, when we’re ready to purchase a new rug or window treatments, we think about how they will work with the colors in our room. While they should complement the rest of our home’s decor, they by no means need to be a perfect match says Sally Morse, Director of Creative Services for Hunter-Douglas and lead contributor to the Design Center at “Mother Nature doesn’t match her flowers, so why should we worry about matching everything in our home?”

Instead, Morse suggests following the “color connection” rule when choosing home accessories. “Choose at least two colors in a rug that are repeated in your window coverings and vice-versa,” she says. “That way, your accessories complement each other without being too matchy-matchy.”

Size also plays a huge part in the decision-making process, especially when choosing an area rug. One of Morse’s biggest pet peeves is when homeowners buy rugs that are too small. To prevent that misstep in say, your living room, Morse advises to incorporate the furniture when measuring. “The legs of your sofa and any chairs in the room should anchor the edge of the rug,” she advises. “Never run the rug in front of furniture, someone could slip.”

Another great tip to remember is to buy a rug pad, especially for less-expensive rugs. “It is a great investment,” Morse says, “It will add years to the life of any un-padded rug.”

Moving on to windows, Morse has a few important questions that she suggests a homeowner use to choose the right window-coverings.

First, she says, look at the location of your window. Do you have privacy? Are you on a busy street? Questions like these will help you decide how much coverage you’ll want such as blinds and drapes for more privacy or sheers for a little less.

Next, she says you should decide if you want a single-function or dual-function treatment. A single-function treatment moves from left-to-right or up-and-down only, such as drapes or a roller blind. These will block the sun out and only allow it back in when you choose to do so.

A dual-function choice such as vertical blinds or something with some sort of slat, offers more options by allowing you to adjust the amount of light at a time.

Another important question to ask is which direction your window faces. If it faces east and your windows get lots of direct sunlight in the morning, you’ll want drapery or shades that have black-out lining. If you’re choosing blinds or shades, go for something that is opaque to help keep the light out. “It’s especially important to do so in a bedroom to ensure the light stays out so you can sleep and recharge without being disturbed,” Morse says.

Facing south or west? You may have a lot of heat and glare from the sun’s strong UV rays during the daytime. To protect the fabric on your furniture, it’s important to choose something with a UV filter built-in such as the Silhouette from Hunter-Douglas. “Many people don’t realize how quickly the sun’s rays can fade and break down fabric fibers,” says Morse.

Finally, Morse stressed the importance of thinking about any children and/or special-needs family members at home. “We must make safety a top priority,” she stressed. “Choose treatments with a cordless function or a remote control. Old-fashioned double-cords can be dangerous.”

Following these tips and doing a little research ahead of time will help you feel more confident when you’re finally ready to head to the store and start shopping!

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.