Haley Weidenbaum knows that choosing window treatments for your home is frustrating. Even as an interior designer, it was always the most difficult part of her job. “I had an aha moment in 2018 that if I were to package drapery and shades into an online store, people would be interested,” she says. “If it was hard for me, it must be hard for others.”
Weidenbaum, alongside her graphic designer husband, launched Everhem in August 2019, aiming to solve a common problem in the interior design industry for homeowners and designers alike. “We provide interior design expertise for window treatments, and I’ve been doing free virtual consultations too,” she says.
And while she thought she knew plenty about window treatments before beginning Everhem, she now calls herself a window treatment expert. Curious about where to begin? We have you covered.
Meet the Expert
How to Choose Window Treatments
First, it’s important to consider where you want window treatments and the function of the room. Is it a family room, bedroom, nursery, office? “Take into consideration how you use the room, and this will determine which product, style, fabric, or lining is right for your windows,” Weidenbaum says.
Do you want to provide privacy or darken a room, and do you need an inside mount or outside mount? Think big picture first about your overall goals before diving into style, color, and fabric.
“It definitely begins as a more technical process before getting into the fun things,” she says.
Next, determine if you want drapery or shades. “The biggest difference is that drapery is more expensive off the bat because more fabric is needed,” she says. “It also includes hardware.”
Drapery can give a more dramatic, sophisticated look to a space, while shades have a seamless simple effect. For smaller windows, shades are best.
Layering is also an option. “I think layering is your best friend when it comes to window treatments,” Weidenbaum says. “If you’re choosing treatments for a bedroom, a good idea would be to go with an inside mount woven shade so light gets in throughout the day and add room-darkening drapery on top for at night." You could also choose to go with two drapes, one that is sheer and another that is room darkening, like hotels often do for maximum privacy.
When choosing hardware, Weidenbaum recommends looking at the existing hardware in the space and match it. “For example, if you notice that your lighting or door handles are a black metal finish, we recommend going with a black matte drapery hardware finish as well,” she says.
Measuring is typically one of the most difficult parts of ordering window treatments, but Everhem makes it foolproof. “We knew this was going to be an issue, so we wanted to tackle it differently,” she says. On Everhem’s site, customers are told to measure at three different points “We take the smallest dimension to make sure the shade fits,” she says. They even have a worksheet for people to use on their phones.
When it comes to the most popular options, Weidenbaum finds people gravitate toward clean neutrals. “Our two biggest sellers are woven wood shades and white Roman shades,” she says. Woven shades add a lot of texture to a space, are very durable, and can be wiped clean, while Everhem offers beautifully made fabrics that are 100 percent linen or linen blends to match any space.
Common Window Treatment Lingo
- Drapery puddle: How much fabric you want to collect on the floor at the bottom of your drapery panel.
- Stack: Additional width added to the area to cover so that your hardware extends past the window and your drapery panels do not cover the window when they are in their open position. Weidenbaum recommends having at least 8 inches of stack on each side of the window. However, if you don’t have 8 inches of space, go with the maximum possible stack width that you have. When in their open position, you want your drapery to neatly frame your window without blocking it.
- Pleating: A portion of fabric at the top of the drapery panel heading that is sewn into place and creates beautiful, pleated folds and fullness. There are many different pleat styles, but Weidenbaum recommends choosing a style that best suits your space. For example, the tailored pleat is a more traditional and transitional pleat style, and the box pleat is a clean, more streamlined look for modern or contemporary spaces.
What to Keep in Mind When Investing in Window Treatments
- Longevity and Timelessness: Pick something timeless in design so you aren’t switching them every few years.
- Function meets Design: Window treatments should be as beautiful as your furniture design, but it should (most of the time) also have a functional use.