The balcony is used as an additional residential area or a cozy personal corner in many successful projects of USA designers. Undoubtedly, it requires corresponding decorations – primarily, the curtains. The modern range of shades and blinds offers numerous admirable and convenient ideas of beautifying the windows of your balcony.
The functionality of balcony window curtains is aimed at helping the homeowner accomplish a number of tasks:
- the ornamental pot plants situated on the balcony require protection from the scalding sun;
- in summer, the outdoor heat should be prevented from getting into the inner rooms;
- if the balcony is used as a residential space, it requires a shield against curious glances.
The main difficulties you face when trying to select appropriate curtains for your balcony are:
- The amazingly large windows (especially if you’ve had side walls of your balcony glassed);
- The variable combinations of open-able and stationary window sections;
- The area of a balcony is usually tiny, which prevents the designer from decorating the windows in a grand way.
Important characteristics of balcony window curtains.
- Density. In a roomy recessed balcony, you may employ multi-layer draperies, involving valances or lambrequins. A small balcony will benefit from light single-layer fabric curtains of an unpretentious cut, which will not overburden the interior design.
- Color. Choose curtains of warm shades – such as terracotta, honey, golden or peach – for decorating the windows of a balcony that faces north. For a south-facing sun-room, pick up green, blue, turquoise or gray drapes. Do not use dark and dense curtains, as they will “eat up” space and light. The emphasis belongs to light tones – they match any finishing and create a homely ambiance in the interior, filtering out the excess sunlight.
- Geometry. A curtain boasting horizontal lines or stripes will broaden the balcony’s perimeter visually. Vertical stripes are beneficial for balconies with a low ceiling.
- Pattern. When the curtain is adorned with a small pattern, the window aperture seems bigger. Large patterns and ornaments make the decorative canvas appear smaller.
- Design. If the balcony space is clearly visible from the living room or the kitchen, decorate the windows in all these rooms with curtains of a single style. Make sure the patterns, colors and cuts create a harmonious composition.
- Easy care. Opt for a material that is easy to wash, crease-resistant, susceptible to wet cleaning, resistant to temperature fluctuations and fading.
Curtain types suitable for balcony windows.
- Roman blinds. They typically look as canvas, their shape and size matching that of the window. When raised, the curtain folds as a concertina due to the presence of sewn-in equally spaced thin horizontal bars. A folded Roman blind is almost unnoticeable, opening up a great panorama. When lowered, such a curtain protects you against baking sun and dust.
- Roller shades. Their appearance is similar to the Roman type, but they roll up into a tight reel when opened. Each segment of the window has its own shade, which allows you to adjust the amount of sunlight to your liking. It’s not recommended to wash roller shades, as the process may damage the control mechanism. A wet sponge is the perfect way to clean up such a curtain.
- Japanese blinds consist of several fabric panels with a bottom ledge, which weights down the canvas, making it perfectly smooth. The panels are movable horizontally; you may swap them or move all the pieces to the same position. Japanese blinds require a multi-profile track, as each panel moves independently.
- Plisse curtains. The material used for the accordion pleats is treated with special agents to prevent fading and make the finished curtain dust-proof. Plisse shades offer several options of sunlight flux adjustment: you can blind off the top, middle or bottom of the window.
- Vietnamese curtains. It’s a smooth canvas consisting of two layers of fabric; however, original pieces are made of bamboo. Peculiarly, the curtain is rolled up and tied up with laces made of the same material.
- French blinds. With horizontal planks, they are great at adjusting the amount of light, which is especially useful for protecting those pot plants you’re used to keep on the balcony. Worth noting, French blinds suit only the stationary window sections, as they may sag and rustle when the window they’re mounted to is open.
The variety of materials the blinds can be made of deserves a special consideration:
- Plastic is the best idea for an unheated south-facing balcony. The material requires little care and is not afraid of high temperatures or moisture.
- Metal. Aluminum French blinds suit any balcony. They’re easy to wash, resistant to low temperatures and moisture. On the other hand, you should be very careful not to bend a plank.
- Fabric French blinds are usually made of fiberglass or jacquard fabric. Special treatments make the material water- and dust-proof. The denser the fabric, the more expensive the blinds – and more durable, too.
- Wooden structures are rather heavy, so the control mechanism may broke in just a couple year, especially if the blinds are installed over a wide window aperture. The material is sensible to humidity, so this type is best suitable for balconies used as a residential space.
- Multi-texture French blinds involve several materials. They work as a beautiful window decoration and help create an exquisite interior on a lived-in balcony.