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How to Choose the Perfect Shade

A dining room with custom window treatments.

A Guide to Custom Window Treatments and Opacity

Customers investing in custom window treatments are consistently impressed with the transformation of their homes. Combining style with functionality, these perfect shades are one way to improve a space's ambiance, privacy, and energy efficiency. One aspect of custom window treatments worth exploring is how to choose the right shade opacity for each room.

Continue reading to learn how opacity levels can impact room functionality and privacy in your Newburyport, MA, residence.

SEE ALSO: Natural Lighting Design with Automatic Blinds

Understanding Opacity Levels in Custom Window Treatments

The amount of light that can pass through the fabric is known as its opacity. In custom window treatments, this ranges from sheer to blackout. One level will allow light and transparent visibility, while the other completely blocks out light and shields for maximum privacy

Here are definitions for some standard opacity levels:

  • Sheer: Lightly filters sunlight while offering visibility outdoors.
  • Semi-Sheer: Provides moderate light filtration with added privacy.
  • Semi-Opaque: Offers substantial privacy and dims outside light.
  • Opaque/Room Darkening: Greatly reduces incoming light and provides increased privacy.
  • Blackout: Eliminates light and offers ultimate privacy.

Choosing the Right Opacity for Each Room

The opacity of your window treatments isn't necessarily a one-size-fits-all decision. In selecting levels, consider each room's function and privacy needs. For example, a sheer fabric may be ideal for a sunroom or kitchen where natural light is welcomed, and privacy is less of a concern. Semi-sheer is often a good match for living room areas where you want soft light and some ability to see outdoors.

Bedrooms and media rooms, however, often benefit from opaque or blackout materials to support your need for privacy and darkness. This darkness is essential for night shift workers or children who nap during the day. Bathrooms can also benefit from semi-opaque to opaque materials to ensure privacy without sacrificing natural light.

If you’re unsure about which opacity to choose, contact Audio Video Experience. Our knowledgeable team can offer recommendations based on the unique aspects of your home and privacy preferences.

How Opacity Impacts Energy Efficiency

The opacity levels of window treatments will contribute to your home's energy efficiency. For example, during cooler months, coverings with greater thickness and higher opacity can provide an additional layer of insulation to help maintain warmth. In the summer, these coverings can block out the sun's intense heat and support your home cooling efforts, keeping energy bills down.

Custom window treatments can bring a personalized touch to your living space, and understanding opacity is a key part of choosing styles and designs. If you're considering new custom window treatments in your Newburyport, MA, area residence and would like guidance, contact us at Audio Video Experience for more information. 

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