By Candis Meredith
Doing old home renovations is always interesting work, especially when it comes to décor decisions like window treatments. After all, we’re not going to completely decorate the whole house for our buyers. We’re just in charge of returning the house to its former glory, with a few modern updates that’ll make it a comfortable—and beautiful—place to live.
So, whenever we take on a new project, Andy and I always have to make some pretty hard decisions about what we’ll include, what we’ll have the stagers do for our open houses, and what we’ll leave off entirely. Window treatments can go either way, but whether we’re adding them ourselves or having a stager take care of them, we always need to make sure that they work with the house.
Go Old School with Interior Shutters
If you have room in your budget, I’m a big fan of adding interior shutters, especially if you’re working on a house in an area with hot summers and mild springs and falls. Louvered shutters have slats that can be raised and lowered to allow more light and/or ventilation into the room, and when you open them, interior shutters have a particularly beautiful and classic look to them. Plus, they’re great for privacy and won’t fade the way that curtains do over time.
Be Selective with Your Blinds
If you’re looking for a somewhat more cost-effective window treatment, you might want to go with blinds. They won’t be historically accurate, but neither will your refrigerator or dishwasher. The point is, they don’t have to be completely in keeping with the history of the house, but they do have to look right. So, instead of going with cheap plastic blinds that will easily bend and break, you’ll want to invest in higher-quality blinds.
I usually recommend going with wood or faux-wood blinds that complement or match any wood trim in the room. If there isn’t any wood trim, go with painted blinds that complement the color of the room or of the exterior of the house. This can be a little bit tricky, since you won’t always be painting the interior of the house to match the exterior and because you never know when a buyer will decide to repaint. To avoid making your buyers replace their blinds when they paint, and to avoid clashing with the interior or exterior of the house, I usually go with something fairly neutral that matches or complements the window frames and trim.
Talk to Your Stagers about the Right Curtains
With some houses, you won’t have the space or budget to install shutters, and blinds won’t look right, either. In these cases, I always talk to my stagers about choosing the best curtains to complement the look and feel of the house. Sometimes I’ll give them samples of the types of curtains that were used when the house was first built, and sometimes I’ll just talk with them about whether it would be better to go with something lighter or heavier to create the right look and feel for the home.
Remember, when you renovate an old home, you’re not creating a museum piece. It’s okay to stray from some of the details that were used when the house was originally built, especially when you’re choosing options that’ll be more energy efficient or that will last longer (e.g., choosing shutters or blinds over curtains that will fade in sunlight). Take some time to decide if one of these options is the best choice for your renovation project and go with the one that looks and functions the best without breaking your budget.