In any room, the windows are a natural focal point. How they are treated has a great impact on the style and the feel of the room. There are two sides to treating a window, the first is deciding what look you are after and the second involves the functionality of the treatment.

AESTHETICS
Curtains and sheers in particular can really add a softness to a room. Blinds on the other hand lend themselves to rooms that have clean strong lines and venetians can add a Mediterranean feel to any room - a white finish transporting you to the Greek Islands, or a timber finish can take you to Tuscany. Trying to find an in between is often difficult and that's why curtains and blinds are often used together on the one window.

FUNCTIONALITY
How the product is going to function is worth some thought as some products are better suited to certain windows and not others. Think about where the blinds or curtains are to be mounted. Are there any protruding handles on windows or doors that might interfere with the blind or an air conditioning vent that might get in the way of the curtain? Is there space to install the product? Will the blind or curtain work better on the inside of the window reveal or is it better on the architrave or face of the window?

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF COVERING THE WINDOW?
1. LIGHT CONTROL
Take control of the amount of light entering the room. Whether it's a blockout blind or curtain needed to keep the kids asleep longer in the morning, a sunscreen blind to filter the light coming through the windows or a venetian blind which allows the tilting of blades to change the amount of light entering the room throughout the day – there are many options!

2. INSULATION
If insulation is a big concern, then a blockout blind or curtain is always going to be the best option. If a curtain does not suit the room, then blinds can still provide great insulation. Any covering on a window or door is going to provide better insulation than none at all and will reduce your heating and cooling bill, as most of your heat is lost, or enters, through your windows.

3. PRIVACY & VIEW
Letting the natural light into the room during the day while maintaining your privacy can be achieved using one of several blinds. A sunscreen blind will let you take in the view allowing light to enter the room while providing privacy during the day. A light filtering blind will allow you to block out an unappealing view while flooding the room with soft light. A venetian blind allows you to control the angle of the blades to let light enter the room while preventing passers-by looking in.

Remember, combining several products is often the best option. A blockout curtain in front for insulation and light control and a venetian or sunscreen blind behind for privacy during the day. Alternatively, using double blind brackets can allow you to have both a blockout blind and a privacy blind on the same window, giving you the best of both worlds.