Rowley-based interior designer Holly Gagne, owner and principal of Holly Gagne Interior Design, is no stranger to nasty New England winters. But Gagne says that when it comes to the frigid temps that set in around the region for the season, people aren’t the only ones for whom an appropriate winter wardrobe matters—adding extra elements to your home’s interiors is a necessity, too. To make your home a warm and welcoming retreat this winter, outfit it with window treatments that will keep precious heat from making an escape.
“The U.S. Department of Energy actually states that up to 50 percent of the heat in your house can escape through your windows,” Gagne says. “Any time you perforate through the structure of your home, whether it’s a door or a window, you increase the risk for cold air to come in.”
Gagne says that the transitional weeks of fall are the perfect time to put this home-improvement project in motion, explaining that “Going into the colder months without window treatments in your house is like going outside without a coat or a hat on. You lose the most heat from your body through your head, so in this respect, you’re losing the most heat from your house through your windows.”
When it comes to choosing window treatments, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. Gagne’s advice: to consider both form and function, and to consult an expert.
“There are so many different window treatments, so many different fabrics,” she says. “There are a lot of considerations that can be overwhelming, so it’s important to go to somebody and talk to them about what your priorities are.”
To determine what those priorities are, Gagne advises anyone who’s considering implementing window treatments to think about what they hope to gain in their space, be it maximizing daylight, creating a sense of privacy, reducing glares for TV and computer viewing, or reducing UV damage to objects in the home.
Whether you end up going with classic drapery, shutters (“They provide a more tailored look,” Gagne says), a set of Roman shades—the designer’s personal favorite—or a more layered look, Gagne says it’s important to resist the temptation to turn window treatments into a DIY project. Sure, you can buy off the shelf, but windows vary widely in shape, size, and even condition, which means that off-the-rack options won’t always be the best fit—literally.
“The biggest piece to making an efficient space is making sure that these treatments fit your window exactly the way that they need to. Every window is different. Some windows aren’t squared, so one side might bow a little bit, which would create a gap between the treatment and your frame,” Gagne says.
This winter, with an eye toward fit, form, and function, your home will be hot on the warming trend. hollygagne.com.