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Sun, June 16

Window-shopping for treatments that pull a room's look together

If I didn't know any better, I'd say we are living in an ice age. We have unquestionably experienced one of the most intense periods of cold weather that I can remember. There has been a rash of frozen pipes, interior home damage, and plants that have succumbed to the cold mass of arctic air. However, this cold will soon leave us, and spring will be in the air.

This week, the questions YCCA received relate to the wonderful world of window coverings.

Q: We just purchased a home, and there are no window coverings. Could you please offer some helpful tips?-Marge and Ed, Prescott Valley

A: Walk into a room without window coverings and you will notice their absence. Window coverings are much more than just functional pieces that aid privacy. Window coverings are evolving and being used to complete the overall look of a room. White, cream and ecru are no longer the only color options. Window treatments are available in a wide variety of colors and materials that can complement any decor.

What you do not want to do is to shy away from color. Many people think color will darken a room. On the contrary: A dark-colored window with the right opacity will let homeowners have their dark colors while allowing the light to shine in. The opposite is also true: If you want a light-colored fabric and also desire room-darkening properties, there are various options to get the desired effect, such as tighter weaves and liners.

Available are woven woods, roller shades, plantation shutters, plain shutters, and blinds in vinyl, aluminum, and fabric, as well as drapes and curtains. A plain window can be turned into a magnificent, inspiring embellishment with so many innovative products on the market.

Window treatments have gone through a metamorphosis. So have fun with your bare windows, be innovative, and remember: Window coverings are the accessories that complete your room and give it the pizzazz you want. Combine function and beauty, and take into consideration your budget, your privacy needs and your family lifestyle.

Q: We are considering purchasing window treatments, and I have noticed some products have a private label. What exactly does that mean?-Martha and Lou, Dewey

A: A private-label name is the name that the retailer has assigned to its product line. In the majority of private-label names, they are considerably lower in price than a brand-name label. It is important to research the guarantee that comes with a private-label product. When you purchase private-label products and experience a warranty issue, you must always deal with the retailer, so it is important to research their longevity, the reputation of the retailer, and their business practices.

Q: We are in the process of purchasing window treatments, and the pricing from the various retailers is so confusing. What should we do to make sure we are comparing apples to apples?-Molly, Prescott

A: It is important to do your homework and investigate all of your options. Are you comparing the identical product? Could it be that you are being quoted a private label versus a name brand? Is installation included? Is there a varying degree of product quality? Are the sizes and measurements the same?

It is important also to take a look at the guarantee and warranty. Are you being charged for something other than standard and included installation and warranty? Are the mounting brackets, hardware, proportion and placement the same? These questions should help you align your pricing.

Q: We are purchasing blinds for our den. My husband wants the blinds to open horizontally and I say they should open vertically. Who is right?-Gary and Sue, Prescott Valley

A: There is a standard rule of thumb to avoid this argument. Vertical coverings are more appropriate for windows that are wider than they are tall and open side to side. Horizontal coverings are more suitable for windows that are taller than they are wide and open and close top to bottom. You must also take into consideration which way the window faces, your decorating style and what type of product will look the best. You may even want to consider a totally different product than blinds.

Yavapai County Contractors Association is a professional association representing licensed, bonded and insured contractors, suppliers, distributors and business entities. Call YCCA for information on hiring a contractor at 778-0040. Submit questions and concerns to ycca@cableone.net or through www.ycca.org and watch for your answer in the Friday real estate section of the Daily Courier.

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