(ARA) - Windows do a lot more than just let the light in and keep the weather out. They're both key elements in your home's overall design and in the unique look of each individual room. If you're redecorating for warm weather, updating your window treatments is a great, cost-effective way to completely change the look of a space.
"People often switch their window treatments when the seasons change, but may only think of replacing heavy winter drapes with some frothy sheers," says Lauren Foster, a home design consultant with Blinds.com. "Today's versatile window shades offer ample opportunities to create a truly unique, seasonally appropriate look quickly and easily."
When warm weather arrives, it's time to open windows and let the sun shine in. Leaving windows curtain-free, and decorating with window shades instead, allows you to welcome the season into the room and show off the window's intrinsic beauty. Foster points to the window shade treatment trends that will be hot this spring and summer:
* Prints and patterns - Long gone are the days when window shades were drab solid white or cream. Today, you can find a plethora of colors, patterns and even textures. Websites like Blinds.com stock a huge inventory of options, from Roman shades in passionate purple and energy-efficient cellular shades in celery green, to roller shades in sprightly floral patterns. Brands like Laura Ashley, Bali and Graber literally offer dozens of color, pattern and style combinations, making it possible to find a window shade to complement virtually any design theme.
* Bringing the outdoors in - Wood blinds have been a design staple for decades, and with good reason: they're durable, beautiful and practical. This year, wood blinds play to the trend of bringing the outdoors in. Woven roller shades that feature bamboo, sisal, grass, jute and straw are versatile enough to create both rustic and sophisticated effects in any room.
* Exterior shades - Sometimes, the inside of windows isn't the only spot where you could use some shade. Exterior shades will be "in" this season, as homeowners seek to maximize the appeal and design impact of their outdoor living spaces. Exterior shades not only provide much-needed protection from the sun for patios and porches, they can help underscore an outdoor space's status as an important element of your home's overall design.
* Cordless - Cordless shades have been available for a while, but their popularity is growing among homeowners and interior designers for a number of reasons. Cord-free blinds and shades create a clean, uncluttered look, allowing the beauty of the shade to shine without visual distraction. The cord-free adjustment mechanism holds blinds and shades securely in position, eliminating the need to constantly adjust them, and making it easier to raise them evenly. Finally, eliminating cords improves safety for children and pets, making cordless shades and blinds a must for children's bedrooms and play areas.
"The arrival of warm weather is a great time to redecorate, and few updates make it easier to freshen a room than changing shades and blinds," Foster says.