This time of year, all across the country, everyone is thinking about ways to lighten up, from food choices to clothing and decorating. It got me thinking about places where it’s always summer-like, and of course, Hawaii came to mind. With its coastal breezes and warm temperatures, lighter ways are always the norm. And that’s especially true for window coverings. Certain types of window treatments like heavy drapes just don’t make sense in an area like Hawaii. Some popular island looks include woven wood blinds and shades that incorporate natural materials like grasses, bamboo and jute. In a roman shade, woven woods are perfect for island living because they offer a casual look that says “relax and stay awhile.”
Panel track blinds are another great look, especially for wide windows and lanai doors. Designers suggest the use of panel tracks because they are unobtrusive and are available in a wide variety of fabrics, including solar screen fabrics, woven woods and other summery choices. With their slim track, there is nothing to detract from your great Hawaiian view.
Of course, solar shades are very popular in Hawaii because of the need to block out the UV rays and heat. Today’s updated solar shades are available in a wide variety of fabrics with varying degrees of openness. Openness refers to the weave of the fabric and how much view-through is available in that fabric. Openness ratings are generally from 3 – 7 % and can also be affected by the color of the fabric. Always get a fabric swatch or sample to be sure of the desired effect.
Shutters, although more of a commitment, are perfect for tropical settings. Often called Plantation Shutters, they offer a look reminiscent of early Hawaiian island life. Both versatile and classic, shutters give the option of being open or closed with slats in varying sizes that are adjustable to any angle. Many people prefer white shutters, but in Hawaiian homes, wood tones are popular to echo nature’s beauty and also cut down on glare.