When you settle down to watch a movie—whether you’re in a dedicated home theater or a multifunctional media room—you want a space that’s not only comfortable, but gives you the best viewing experience. And while a big flat-screen and cozy chairs are a must, appropriate window treatments should be at the top of your list, too.
That’s because the right window treatments help darken a room, absorb sound and can even help recreate that movie theater feeling through the convenience of automation.
Here’s what to keep in mind for window treatments that take movie night from good to great.
When it comes to home-viewing, the darker your room, the better. Even if you’re binge-watching in the dead of night, exterior light can still filter through your windows, creating glare or washing out the image on your screen. Room-darkening (opaque) fabrics can make a big difference.
An opaque fabric almost completely blocks light, making it ideal for a media room or home theater. Opaque fabrics are available for many types of window treatments, including roller and Roman shades, so you have flexibility when it comes to style.
To maximize the effectiveness of an opaque shade fabric, mount the shade outside the window frame to help block light gaps at the sides of the window. You might also consider adding drapery or side panels to your shade. (Drapery, which evokes that old-school movie theater vibe, also works well on its own. Just make sure to add a room-darkening liner to light-filtering fabrics.)
If you’re mounting shades inside the window frame, you can prevent exterior light from shining through some types of window treatments with the addition of side channels. Duette® Honeycomb Shades, for example, are available with the LightLock™ system. This system’s innovative U-shaped side channels fit securely into the window frame, trapping and absorbing light. (You’ll also enjoy the added benefit of excellent energy efficiency with Duette shades. A cellular shade, their honeycomb construction traps air at the window for an extra layer of insulation.)
Want the best of both worlds? The Duolite® system combines two separate fabrics of different opacities into a single shade, so you can adjust the amount of light streaming into your room. Duette shades are available with Duolite, as are Vignette® Modern Roman Shades (for a style reminiscent of billowy drapery found in vintage theaters).
And if home theater blinds, as opposed to shades, are more your style, consider Parkland® Wood Blinds. While blinds do allow some light to filter through, the genuine wood slats of Parkland blinds are available with the de-Light™ feature, which eliminates cord holes and reduces light leaks.
While a dark room makes movie watching so much better, a dark room with good acoustics takes the experience to another level. Plush furnishings, carpet and acoustical panels all contribute to better sound quality by absorbing sound and preventing excess reverberation—but window treatments can also help.
The heavier and thicker the window treatment fabric, the better the sound absorption. Layering shades or blinds with side panels or drapery can improve sound absorption, too. (If you layer with a heavier, room-darkening drapery fabric, like velvet, then you can go with something a little lighter and semi-opaque for the shade or blind.)
Cellular shades, with their honeycomb construction, also help improve acoustics in a room. In fact, Duette Honeycomb Shades absorb up to 70% of sound energy.
Add some smarts to your media room shades or blinds and you won’t have to get up off the couch once you’ve settled in with your bowl of popcorn.
Take advantage of PowerView® Automation, and you can conveniently lower your window treatments with a remote, your smart device or your voice (when integrated with a smart-home system). You can even create a “movie time” scene that closes shades with a tap on your smart device or a voice command.
And when the final credits roll, raising your blinds or shades is just as simple!