To close or not to close drapes: that is the question

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One could say it’s generational, but it’s often more than that. Think back to your parents’ or grandparents’ time. War-generation families and those who lived through the Cold War were all about privacy. Perhaps it was their fear of perceived enemies, large and small, looking in on them — whether it was a governmental “Big Brother” or those less fortunate who might covet what they’ve built.

With each succeeding generation, however, privacy has become less and less important. Just watch a few HGTV shows and you’ll see how everything is about the light — not the privacy. Open floor plans encourage engagement and sight-lines and uncovered windows let the light in, making spaces appear larger.

Realtor.com’s Jennifer Kelly Geddes asks, “Do you pull back the curtains on your life—or shut them tight? Welcome to the great drape debate of 2024.” She cites a study from the U.S. Department of Energy, which found that homeowners who earned more than $150,000 per year were almost twice as likely to raise their blinds as those with smaller incomes. One theory is that wealthy homeowners might enjoy showing off all they own. Unlike previous generations, security systems are undoubtedly firmly in place to deter would-be burglars anyway.

But Geddes asks the question: Is leaving your windows completely naked such a good idea? “From safety concerns to wasting energy, there are some smart reasons to pull those shades shut regularly,” she says. “However, if you crave the sun’s rays, especially now when it’s dark and cold in much of the country, you might not be able to resist the bare window trend.”

She says that the curtain issue isn’t exactly an open-and-shut case. For instance, the benefits of natural light are well known, including vitamin D retention in the body, a brighter mood, greater productivity, and lower stress levels. And if you live in an urban setting, you might try to get sun indoors by any means necessary.

“In city dwellings, natural light is at a premium, and curtains are left open to take advantage of every drop,” says New York-based designer Amanda Wiss. But leaving them open at night is also placing your life on display whether anyone is looking or not.

“When you gain sun streaming across your rooms, you also give up a good bit of privacy—everyone on your street can see into your living room, kitchen, and beyond. This is especially true at night and for apartments on lower floors,” points out Wiss.

Energy waste must be considered as well. Money flies out the window if you skip pulling the drapes. And if you have older windows, closing the shades helps to save energy as well as money. Summertime AC won’t have to work so hard if shades or drapes are closed.

Then there are issues of sleep and TV or computer screen-watching. Cool and dark promotes sleep and limited light is easier on your eyes when big screens mess with your enjoyment of your work or entertainment.

As for the crime side of all this, showing off your sparkling chandelier at night might give some nefarious characters the wrong idea, helping thieves target your home, especially if you have possessions in view and your window is accessible. But as mentioned earlier, this might not be top of mind for a certain subset of homeowners — especially those with security systems installed. With the alarm activated and the doors locked, leaving your life wide open to inspection might not be a concern.

Drapery is also decor, however. Window coverings, whether open or closed, can add pops of color or refine a look. Closed curtains add to the scheme, while pushed-back ones make them an accessory.

And then there are those who consider closed curtains claustrophobic. “Moving treatments to the side lets reflections bounce off of the windows and gives the appearance that your space is bigger than it is,” says Wiss. Others dispense with drapery altogether and clad their homes with wide-blade or plantation shutters, offering them the option of letting light in when it’s most important to them.

In many cases, the generational aspect mentioned earlier is alive and well in the children whose parents valued both privacy and security. Perhaps it’s just a matter of what matters to you.

Realtor, TBWS


All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

Paramount Residential Mortgage Group
Corporate NMLS ID:  75243
Privacy Policy:  https://www.prmg.net/privacy-policy/

Brian Voytko

Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

The Mortgage Whiz

Company NMLS: 338923

Cell: 215-407-3832

Email: BVoytko@PRMG.net

Web: http://www.mtgwhiz.com

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Brian Voytko

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Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

Cell: 215-407-3832


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