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A window covering is considered to be anything that is placed in, on, or around a window, either inside or outside. Windows are the primary source of light entering a building, so window coverings are often used to control the amount of light that is let into a room. They can also be used for privacy and keeping warm or cool air inside the building. When used as part of a decorating scheme, a window covering is often referred to as a window treatment.
Shutters are the most common type of exterior window covering. These often consist of a wooden frame filled in with either panels or slats. There are typically two shutters mounted on hinges on each side of the window. When they are closed, they keep out light and help maintain the temperature inside the building, as well as provide excellent privacy. Shutters can also be placed on the inside of a window.
Drapes, or curtains, are a popular type of interior window covering. The thickness of the material used for the curtains often determines the amount of light that can enter a particular room. Heavier material, for example, will often let in a minimum amount of light. It can also prevent drafts, and offers a decent amount of privacy.
Sheer or lace curtains, on the other hand, let more light in, and they also allow the people inside to see out. Privacy is not necessarily an issue with these types of curtains, though, since people outside will still not usually be able to see in. These types of curtains, however, are more likely to let in drafts and cold air.
Blinds are another type of interior window covering. These usually consist of long flat slats made from plastic, metal, or wood. The slats are suspended from a thick string that is threaded through a mechanism at the top. Blinds can usually be raised or lowered, or rotated so that there is a large space between each of the slats. When they are open, they will allow more light to get through into the room.
Although Venetian blinds and mini blinds are often thought to be the same thing, they are different. Venetian blinds have wider slats than mini blinds. Also, the slats for vertical blinds, as the name suggests, are placed vertically, or perpendicular to the floor.
Interior window coverings are often incorporated into a building decorating scheme. Curtains, for example, can match the color or pattern of certain other elements of the room's style, such as furniture or floor covering. Blinds also come in a variety of different colors and styles to match most types of decor.