At Vineyard Blind & Shutter we pride ourselves with keeping up to date with the latest window coverings. Over the years fashions and necessities have changed thus window treatments have evolved through the years. Window coverings come in all kinds of materials and styles. From an elegant swag to elaborate festoon blinds to antiqued barn doors, options for window coverings are vast. Over the years some styles have stayed in fashion while others have fallen away into history.

Vineyard Blind & Shutter appreciates window treatment styles new and old alike. Read on to learn more about different window treatments and how styles have evolved over time!

The Evolution of Window Coverings

Window coverings have been used as long as there have been homes to hang them in. The first curtains were made from animal skins to cover windows and doors ways for privacy and to keep in the heat. With the development of textile production, dyeing, and weaving, options for curtain fabric moved right along with the rest of the textiles of the times.

The first the textiles, spun by ancient Egyptians, were:

  • Linen
  • Flax
  • Wool

Later cotton and silk were added to that first early list.

In the Early and Middle Ages, curtains were used in affluent castles to keep out the cold. Many rooms had roaring fires but wooden shutters would still let in the cold and the damp. Thick tapestries would hang over windows, blocking out the light and, unfortunately keep rooms smoky.

The development of glass making in the 13th century presented new opportunities, evolving curtains from a means to keep out the weather to a means to keep out peering eyes. Our modern idea of curtains was still centuries off at this time as windows were still covered with shutters and fabrics.

With the invention of mass production textile machinery in the 1840s, household textiles became more readily available to the middle class. Soon after the masses looked for help from designers and decorators in adorning their windows. If you can imagine the elaborate clothing fashions of this era those fashions were translated directly to window coverings. Ornate with layers and layers of fabrics tied back with flaxen cords was the norm during these times.

Interior decorating was about to change drastically with two World Wars that would change entire culture of the world. Housing sprung up in subdivisions, mansions were turned into apartments. In general, your neighbors were literally, right out your window. Curtains during the 50s and 60s were essential to most homes for privacy alone. The curtains of this time were usually simple, and tailored, without the previous eras ornate top decorations and swags. The change in curtains was mirrored with the shift in clothing fashions as well.

Window coverings today are used for many of the same purposes as they have been throughout history, for privacy, sun protection and in many cases, fashion for fashion’s sake alone. Today one of the major benefits of window coverings from blinds to curtains is the added energy efficiency they provide. Window treatments can add style to any room as well as savings on energy bills.

Types of Window Coverings

Irvine blind and shutter services - Window Coverings

Just as all fashions rise and fall, so have the fashions for window coverings. Depending on the architectural style of the home, older fashions can be the perfect fit.

For a more regal look, festoon blinds, are a type of shade that gathers the fabric horizontally into semicircular folds as they are drawn up. These window coverings gained popularity in all of Europe when they were used in royal palaces.

Roman blinds, like festoon blinds, are raised fabric blinds. However these blinds are more simplistic and elegant than elaborate. These blinds were invented in Rome a few thousand years ago and have remained a timeless classic.

For a contemporary look, eyelet curtains are a functional and minimalist option. These curtains draw easily across a rod with metal eyelets fixed to the top of the curtains.

Swags and tails are some the most formal window treatments. These elegant window coverings can often be found in historical homes and traditional architecture. Swags can include just a single piece of fabric or more sumptuous layers with fringes and braids.

There are countless styles of window treatments; here are a few more of a nearly endless list of options and their uses:

  • Tab heading. A contemporary and simplistic curtain heading.
  • Valances. Mini curtains used at the top of a window for a more informal look.
  • Smocked headings. A heading with diamond shaped ornament often used in country style interiors.
  • Scalloped heading. Modern heading with scallops between the eyelets or tabs.
  • Pencil pleats. A common heading with small pleats along the top of the curtain.
  • Pelmet. A decorative upholstered board at the top of a window used in traditional interiors.
  • Lambrequin. A type of pemlet with elongated sides, richly decorated, from the Renaissance period.
  • London blinds. A formal blind that can be pulled up and down with cords.
  • Austrian blinds. A cross between Festoon and Roman blinds with the sumptuous look of the Festoon and the simplicity of the Roman blind mechanisms.

Over time as needs, architecture and fashions have changed so have the popularity of different window treatments. If you are considering new window coverings in your home, talk with one of our Vineyard Blind & Shutter associates about the needs you are trying to fill with your window treatments. Our full time interior designer can help you choose from the many stylish options we carry allowing you to complement the existing style of your home and provide the functionality you have been looking for.

Timeless Favorites

Although window treatment styles come and go, there are some favorites that have stood the test of time. The following classic window treatments are beautiful, functional and could be a worthy addition to any window

One such classic, Venetian blinds, were brought from Persia during the 18th century by Venetian traders. These elegant and functional blinds are made of wooden strips, today they are made of plastic composites as well. The strips of wood are usually one to three inches wide and held together by flat cloth or thin cords keeping them perpendicular to one another. These blinds can be raised and lowered easily and tilted to let light in or to keep light out. Today, these blinds are still very popular. They can come in a wide number of colors and materials and their flexibility and ease of use make them a household favorite.

Another timeless classic that has recently had a resurgence of popularity is the plantation shutter. With a history that begins in the days of ancient Greece, shutters are one of the oldest styles of window coverings and are still popular today. In ancient times shutters were used for ventilation, protection from the weather and from the blazing sun. The Colonial era used shutters for protection from winter drafts. These graceful shutters work as a stand-alone feature complimenting windows in many homes today, providing privacy, protections from the sun and added insulation.

Although curtains have changed much throughout the ages, from elaborate tapestries, to layer upon layer of fine fabrics with embellishments, to simplistic fabric panels with tabs, curtains still remain a staple in the modern household. No matter how lovely your home, having strangers looking through your windows is never comfortable. Curtains in all their forms offer privacy from the outside world. In a time where energy conservation is at the forefront of many homeowners minds, curtains, along with many other window treatments, offer added insulation, keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, all while saving you money on your energy bill.

Ask us about our available colors and styles in classic Venetian blinds, elegant plantation shutters and versatile curtains. At Vineyard or selections are expansive and you are sure to find a beautiful option for your home.

The Big Names for Window coverings

Not all window treatments are created equally. At Vineyard Blind & Shutter we work with only the best manufactures in the window treatment industry. Some of the well-known manufactures we work with for shutters and blinds include:

  • Sunland Shutters
  • Norman Shutters
  • Hunter Douglas
  • And Others

Our custom drapery service allows you to create custom curtains to compliment any room. We work with the best quality textiles so your new curtains will perform beautifully for many years to come. With fashionable prints and a huge variety of fabrics, you will find the perfect custom drapery at an affordable price.

Unique Window Coverings for Unique Styles

Irvine Blinds and Shutters - Window CoveringsNow you understand the basics. Blinds, curtains, shutters, they serve many purposes, from style to comfort to privacy. Now, your imagination sets the limit! All kinds of materials can be used to embellish your windows and add your own statement giving your room a personal touch. Here are some unique ideas for do-it-yourself window treatments to add your own touch of style to any room:

  • Add a painted pallet board with your favorite saying above a window instead of a traditional valance, maintaining the country and informal look with your own twist.
  • A popular fad these days is the sliding barn doors. Instead of traditional plantation shutters, try a set of distressed barns doors along the side of your windows with handles and sliders for easy opening and closing.
  • For the gardener at heart, add a sturdy rod across the top your kitchen window and hang some mason jars with fresh garden clippings or colorful flowers.
  • Bring the outdoors indoors! With some corrugated metal create an awning to add a unique rustic touch to your window.
  • Create an elegant and bright look by sewing together lace napkins and doilies, hang from a vintage metal rod for a one of a kind window trimming.
  • Get creative with your curtain rods. All kinds of flea market items can be transformed with the right imagination. Oars, walking sticks, arrows, tree branches, whatever you can imagine!

With a little imagination and ingenuity, possibilities are endless for creating unique and one of the kind window dressings. Accent the classics with something new and create your own style.

Call Us Today!

At Vineyard Blind & Shutter we know window treatments! If you have any questions about curtains, blinds, shades or shutters, we are your experts and we are happy to help! Deciding which of all the window coverings available will best fit your home’s style can be an overwhelming task. Don’t stress! We are here to help and only a phone call away. We provided a great selection of window treatments and we provided free installation and measuring service for your convenience. Our full time interior designer will help you on your journey to transforming your windows. Call Vineyard Blind & Shutter today!

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References used in the research of this post:

  • http://www.blindsshuttersandmore.com/blog/the-history-of-window-coverings/
  • http://www.designsponge.com/2011/03/past-present-history-of-curtains.html
  • http://essenziale-hd.com/2013/09/14/history-of-styles-window-treatments/
  • http://apartmentgeeks.net/3-window-treatments-from-history-that-are-still-popular/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Room
  • https://www.pinterest.com/explore/unique-window-treatments/