Finding the Right Window Treatments for Your Vacation Home

Posted by All About Blinds

April 4, 2014

window treatments for vacation homesAn essential key to making a vacation home more comfortable and economical is customizing window treatments which can control a room's temperature, lighting, color and aesthetics. The fact that consumers have many options to choose from makes it a flexible project. Some of the important concepts people should keep in mind when selecting window treatments are maintenance, protection and style. Whether the choice is shades, shutters, blinds, screens, etc, homeowners will need to clean them periodically for protection against dust and bugs. The following types of window treatments and related factors will help guide consumers in planning and designing vacation home windows.


Usually any type of covering such as honeycomb shades can help people save money on energy bills, but shades tend to provide multiple other benefits as well. Shades can be moved either horizontally or vertically, depending on personal preference. In recent years, shades that pull from the top down or bottom up have become popular. There are many different types of shades that each have specific advantages such as the following:

  • Roman shades can control upper and lower light access

  • Shades with ultraviolet protection provide insulation while blocking dangerous UV rays

  • Shades with Energy Smart Technology can trap air, which creates energy savings

  • Shades can control temperature and light diffusion

One thing almost all shades have in common is that they are effective insulators, which limit heating and cooling loss through windows. The thickness of the shade affects both the amount of incoming sunlight as well as room temperature. Shades are best cleaned with a vacuum or damp cloth.


The best feature of blinds is the ability to control the amount of incoming sunlight. Blinds use a series of moveable slats, also called louvers, while shades are usually made of one piece that covers the entire window. Since blinds can be positioned behind curtains, they can also provide an extra layer of privacy. The method of cleaning blinds depends on the material the slats are made of, whether it's wood, metal, plastic or fabric as listed below.

  • Wood - clean with a damp cloth and avoid excess moisture

  • Metal and plastic  - soap and water solutions

  • Fabric - soap and water solutions

One of the factors that sets blinds apart from other treatments is that blinds provide maximum light control for a vacation home. Too much sunlight can degrade floors and furniture, which is what makes blinds an effective solution for protecting property.


Shutters provide diversity in the sense that they can accompany drapes for increased privacy and control room color and incoming sunlight. Another similarity is that shutters look classy as stand alone window treatments. Traditional wood shutters are still popular due to their elegant look while poly resin shutters are much more durable and less likely to crack or lose color making them appropriate for any environment. Shutters, like other window treatments, can help block out unwanted outside noise. The cleaning method for shutters is similar to blinds, which can both be cleaned with a manual duster or vacuum cleaner. It's best to avoid solutions with ammonia or bleach on wooden shutters.

Retractable Screens

Doors and windows can be covered with screens that help provide ventilation while blocking bugs from invading the home. The only problem is that sometimes screens can obstruct a view of the outdoors. An alternative is retractable screens, which have the same benefits of regular sliding or swinging screens except that they retract into a hidden compartment when not in use, allowing better visibility. Unlike swinging screens, retractable screens are not attached by hinges. When in use they help provide an extra layer of privacy.  

Commonly made of aluminum, retractable screens are energy efficient and recyclable. In the summer season, retractable screens can cool the home without expensive air conditioning. When insects and other particles get stuck in the screen, they can be cleaned out with a blow dryer.

Motorization Options

A modern form of window treatment involves motorization, which is a system that provides electronic remote control or wall switch operation that can open and close blinds, shutters and shades. Most of these systems are battery operated or hard wired. The remote control has buttons to control the direction of window covering. Some systems allow users to control all their window coverings at once. Motorization is extremely helpful at controlling hard to reach windows and retractable screens. They can also provide better protection because they allow owners to program opening and closing times.

Decorative Purposes

Before deciding on window treatments for a vacation home, consider the purpose of coverings as well as the aesthetics of the existing room. The following design planning checklist will help shape ideas for a customized window treatment solution.

  • Think about the location of the window and the furniture or decor near it.

  • Know the amount of sunlight that comes through that window daily.

  • Does the window exists more so for utility or style?

  • Choose thicker window treatment if the goal is to save energy.

  • Consider what the coverings look like from the street to enhance your home's curb appeal.

Once a clear plan has been decided on either shutters, shades, blinds, screens or other window treatment, the next step is to think about colors that match the room decor, walls and flooring. For residents who want to optimize their vacation home, it's advantageous to work with professionals who are deeply experienced in window treatment design and installation. Jacksonville, Florida homeowners can turn to All About Blinds & Shutters for any assistance needed.

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Topics: Window Treatments