Choosing Kid-Friendly Windows
The windows in your child's room play important roles in making it a space that's both comfortable and attractive. If you're replacing windows or skylights, it's wise to choose energy-efficient models, which will not only cut your energy costs but will help regulate the temperature inside the room. You can identify these products by looking for the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star label as you shop. Standards differ depending on where you live, but these are all products designed to limit heat gain or heat loss.
Do you plan on keeping your existing windows? Then your main focus will likely be dressing them up. First and foremost, consider safety. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has identified window coverings with cords as one of the top five hidden hazards in the home, as children can get entangled in the cords and strangle. Your smartest move is to avoid using any product with a cord in your child’s room.
Think about light control. "You may want a blackout shade, or a blackout lining in your curtain to keep the room dark at night — and in the late morning in a teen’s room," says designer Barbara Tabak, CID, of Decorating Den. "Another option is to choose a heavy fabric, like velvet," says Susana Salk, designer and author of Room for Children. "When velvet drapes are closed, they really block out all of the light."
Window treatments are a great way to inject a bit of risk-free fun into the space. "You can change them fairly easily, so it's a natural spot to get a bit whimsical," says Atlanta designer Terry Ervin. "I did a garden-themed room once: We used painted wooden flowers to hold up the tops of the draperies, and we tied them back with big dragonflies. I’ve also seen a lot of fun curtain rods: baseball bats (the tiebacks were baseballs), hockey sticks, branches."
Use windows as a way to express your child's own artistic ability. "I’ve created a valance from a child’s artwork clipped to a curtain rod," says designer Nancy Barrett of Decorating Den Interiors. Another idea is to have fabric made from your child's own design at sites such as Spoon Flower.
Ready-made curtain panels are probably the most cost-effective window treatment, starting under $20. Without sewing, you can hem them to the perfect length using iron-on fusible web, available at craft stores. Add custom details with trim: Hot-glue a ribbon stripe down the inner edge or along the hem; sew on some pom-pom edging; or use stencils, stamps or fabric dye.
Think creatively about your materials. Decorative sheets, lace tablecloths or plain canvas drop cloths can work as inexpensive window treatments to dress up a space.
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