Style + Living

How to Choose Window Coverings for a New Home

April 03, 2013

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Window coverings add height, drama, breezy ambiance, soften, and even a punch of color to any space. Choosing among the numerous types and styles available can be overwhelming.  Shutters or blinds? Faux wood or cloth? The array of blinds, shades and shutters for windows can leave you baffled about the best choice for your home. Read more on how to choose window coverings for a new home.

How to Choose Window Coverings for a New Home

  1. Consider the room’s purpose
    Ignore the misconception that window coverings should match throughout the home. Different rooms serve different purposes.
    Tip: Not sure what is available? Head over to Austin Window Fashions guide to window coverings for a list of options to fit your every style and budget.
  2. What is the window’s main function?
    Taking a nap in the middle of the day can prove difficult with the sun blaring in – but not with blackout shades. The blackout lining ensures absolute darkness and with Austin Window Fashions black-out shades, little light as possible seeps in through cracks. Consider shutters with solid center panels to block out all light in your guest rooms. “The shutters are perfect for blocking out the afternoon sunlight that comes in and makes it hard to see my computer screen. And reducing the traffic noise from the street is another unexpected benefit of the shutters too.” – Mary from Austin Window Fashions.
  3. Keep in mind privacy
    Certain types of window shades allow for higher levels of privacy and shade in a specific room. Semi opaque shades can offer the perfect balance between privacy and light filtration. They can also help preserve some of your view.
  4. Think décor
    The right window shade in a home can make a big difference in the overall interior décor and type of atmosphere you wish to have. Since they are available in so many different colors, shades can be used to make a room come alive with bright and vivid colors, or made to compliment the existing interior with more muted tones.


What I Chose

Top Down Bottom Up honeycomb shades

It was important to keep the downstairs well lit but also maintain privacy. Austin Window Fashions recommended shades that open from the top down so sunlight comes through without putting my living room on display to neighbors. The lighter treatment would be easier to operate and manipulate during the daytime. The semi opaque shades are perfect for my living room because it gently filters sunlight, creating a calm and relaxing environment. I love the ultra-glide retractable cord system, which means no more long, dangling cords!

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Let it shine

Semi opaque window treatments offers light and subtle privacy even when lowered. Referred to as a top-down/bottom-up, the honeycomb shades allows me to walk around without being seen and still lets a lot of light in. In addition, the honeycomb design helps keep the cold out and heat in.

Tip: Choose the thickness of the fabric based on the amount of light you want in the space – a thick fabric lets less light through than an semi opaque fabric.


Lighten up

I wanted to keep my downstairs as a peaceful retreat so I went with a monochromatic color scheme. Not only does this type of color scheme provide a sense of symmetry and flow, but also it makes the room appear larger. Austin Window Fashions Tip: Choose window coverings that are within two shades of your wall color.


Faux wood blinds

Not too much goes on upstairs so to save on costs I went with faux wood blinds. Real wood is prone to temperature fluctuations and may misshape over time with exposure to weather. Faux wood is perfect for hot and humid regions like Austin, Texas, because it resists yellowing and warping. They are also easier to maintain and clean than their natural alternatives. Tip: Faux wood blinds are excellent for bathrooms and kitchens, or other areas where moisture may be an issue.

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Moisture resistant and highly durable faux wood blinds make controlling the level of light in rooms simple. Faux wood blinds are less expensive than real wood blinds, which made it an attractive choice.

Austin Window Fashions

Why I chose Austin Window Fashions

Staying local

Austin Window Fashions is an Austin based, family own company that has supplied custom window coverings to homeowners since 1981. With two Hunter Douglas Window galleries in Austin (10321 Burnet Rd, Austin, TX 78758) and San Antonio (7243 Blanco Road San Antonio, Texas 78216), it was convenient to visit the showrooms to meet with their consultants  and see the window coverings in person. Being able to touch and see the different options, materials, and colors in the showroom made a significant difference.
Austin Window Fashions

Personable and knowledgable

Leslie from Austin Window Fashions walked me through the Austin showroom  and explained each and every window covering option. We were then able to narrow the selection down to faux wood blinds and honeycomb shades. Leslie then showed me the different materials and colors I could choose from.

Window Blinds Colors
Keeping my needs in mind (lots of light and temperature control), she helped me tailor my final selection.


Austin Window Fashions came out to the house to measure and document each of the window dimensions.  This ensured that all the blinds were custom made for each of the windows.


In a second visit, Leslie brought sample books with the different material options and colors.


Different window blinds materials
Window blinds materials
Faux wood colors
Sheer window coverings
Hanging window shade samples. Nantucket window shades pictured above.
Window covering tips
We also tested different honeycomb shade colors.

The custom blinds took about 7 working days to come in. Austin Window Fashions does offer paper blinds to keep your house private and protected during the waiting process. Once the blinds came in, they promptly contacted me and arranged a time to come to my home for the installation. The installers are not sub contractors but are full-time employees of Austin Window Fashions. The installation was completed in two separate trips, one hour each for the downstairs and upstairs. The technician also showed me how to properly operate the blinds and prevent any damage.

GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality Certified

All Hunter Douglas products are GreenGuard indoor air quality certified. This means all window coverings designed for use in indoor spaces meet strict chemical emissions limits, which contribute to healthier interiors.

Satisfaction guaranteed

Austin Window Fashions and Hunter Douglas are both committed to customer satisfaction. If you decide you don’t like your Hunter Douglas products within the first the three weeks, they will do a one-time replacement of your window coverings with another Hunter Douglas product!


Window Coverings Tips and Tricks

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For more window covering tips, tutorials and photos, visit Austin Window Fashions!


Disclaimer: I have partnered with Austin Window Fashions and have been compensated through a product sponsorship. All opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Photographs are copyrighted by Jane Ko Photography.


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.