Stoneside Custom Roller Shades

The Best Window Treatments for The Pacific Northwest

By: Natalie Elmhurst

Updated: 6/13/2022

Is your weather a bit damp with cloudier skies? Do you want to preserve as much natural light as possible — while still providing privacy when you need it? We’ve got the best window treatments for your area.

Here are our recommendations for the best window treatments for Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington

You love the Pacific Northwest vibe with its stunning landscapes and lush greenery. It’s a gorgeous place, and you wouldn’t be living there if you didn’t enjoy the outdoor lifestyle of the area.

The same goes for many areas where cloudy skies dominate and sunshine is a precious resource. It’s easy to appreciate the views of such locations when you’re outdoors… but what about when you’re inside?

With cold winter temps and little direct sun to heat things up, homes need to be kept warm to combat that coolness just outside. At the same time, that evasive sunlight is pretty priceless when you’re used to overcast skies for what feels like 90% of the time.

Today, we’re giving you the helpful tips you need to pick window treatments that are the perfect fit for where you live.

Best window treatments for PNW climate

The climate in the PNW is a bit broader than most people realize (especially in the eastern areas) but for the sake of this article, we’ll discuss the western side.

For much of the Pacific Northwest, homeowners are interested in window treatments that prioritize:

  • Light control (in this case, having as much light as possible!)
  • Privacy
  • Temperature control

In Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR, it’s common knowledge that the rain in the winter months hangs on like an overly affectionate pet unwilling to leave your side. But rain isn’t the biggest challenge when it comes to your home’s interior — it’s light.

When you live in the Pacific Northwest, your biggest priority is preserving natural light — because even though there’s a gray cast over the area, there’s actually more natural light shining through even though you can’t see the sun directly.

So while you might be inclined to think that you can easily use blackout shades because you don’t need to see clouds in the sky — it’s actually the opposite. Often you’re more likely to want to keep your window treatments open to make sure as much light as possible can get in.

But light isn’t the ONLY priority.

Let’s not forget that for much of the area, neighbors are so close you could do a ‘cheers’ through your individual windows across the space between your houses. While you love giving your neighbors a wave on the way out the door, you don’t always want them having a free (and unwanted) view of your messy dining room table or you making your morning coffee before you’re dressed for the day.

In the PNW, privacy is a must.

On top of natural light preservation and keeping privacy in mind, opting for insulation is a no-brainer. Cool winter months and the chill from spring and autumn keep homeowners wishing for a little heat preservation to keep homes cozy and bills budget-friendly.

So how do you get all this in one place?

We’ve compiled a list of the top window treatments for The Pacific Northwest climate so you can be sure to pick a window treatment that you not only love but one that works with your environment.

Design by Katie LeClercq

Image Credit: Luxe Magazine

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades are homeowners’ top choices in The Pacific Northwest because of their unique features. Not only do they come in a variety of light filtration levels, but they also have the coveted top-down bottom-up option that makes them the perfect choice for areas where privacy is the main concern.

Imagine being able to keep natural light coming through lightly lined cellular shades, but only covering the lower half of your window. No one can see inside your home apart from the small area left open — just enough to let in even more natural light.

Did we mention that cellular shades are THE top window treatment to keep your home insulated? Cellular shades have the highest R-value, meaning they are the most effective window treatment when it comes to temperature control. Those cooler seasons don’t need to be so chilly when you’ve got these up your sleeve, and your energy bill will thank you!

Roller Shades

With the upswing of the tech industry and a new appreciation for modern and sleek styles, roller shades are on the rise in Portland and Seattle. Chosen often for their style over their functionality, these window treatments are actually full of benefits you’ll be thankful you have.

Light control is the main benefit of these shades, along with a stellar style. Because of their adaptable design, you can have any level of light filtration you desire, including lighter levels of light filtration to keep that PNW light coming in.

But that’s not all these bad boys are capable of. They’re also strong as a privacy protector. And with solar shades — a subset of roller shades designed to maximize sunlight and minimize glare — you can give your home the best of both worlds. Just be sure to ask your design consultant to help you choose the best openness factor of your solar shades to avoid unwanted eyes seeing inside at night.

With damp air a constant reminder of the rain outside, it’s nice to have window treatments like roller shades that are easy to maintain.

Layered Treatments

If you want as much control as possible — for light, temperature, and privacy — layered window treatments are your best bet. That’s because when you have more window treatments, you simply have more options.

For example, if you did sheer drapery with custom drapery, you’d be able to use your sheer drapery to add a touch of privacy to your space during the daytime while capturing that natural light. In the evening, you’d have the power to make your home fully private with the use of your heavy drapery over the top of your sheer.

The same goes for other combinations as well. Those roller shades sure look nice but sometimes you wish they were more insulating. Enter: heavy-duty custom drapes that bring on elegance and functionality.

Honorable mentions: roman shades & vertical blinds

These two we just had to include. Although they may not be our TOP recommendations, these are still exceptional choices for Pacific Northwest homeowners.

Roman shades are elegant, classic, and sophisticated. They’re not as intimidating as full drapes can be, but still embody a lot of the benefits and style that adding drapes to your home brings. They also blend well the styles of traditional and mid-century modern homes that can be found in areas around Seattle and Portland.

Vertical blinds are sometimes overlooked — but they shouldn’t be. Their ability to balance privacy with light control makes them a great choice for PNW dwellers, even if they’re not quite as effective at temperature control as cellular shades are.

Design by Meghan Eisenberg

Image Credit: Meghan Eisenberg

A Pacific Northwest window treatment ‘must-have’

By now you’ve gotten a few good ideas about which window treatments will perform the best in your Pacific Northwest home. But there is one thing you may not have thought about yet:

Motorized window treatments

Motorized window treatments are a growing trend, and with Seattle and Portland at the forefront of many industry trends, this one fits right in.

Even though it may seem like a luxury, motorization is the future of window treatments. As one of our consultants recently reminded us: tv remotes used to seem like a frivolous luxury. But can you imagine walking to your television every time you wanted to pause Netflix? Yeah, us either.

When you motorize your window treatments, you ensure that the investment you made into your home gets put to good use. Plus, with motorization, there’s no need to lean over the side table and worry about knocking over your lamp just to close your shades in the evening or interrupt your workflow just to adjust for that blissful summer sun in the afternoons.

Motorized window treatments give you the power to conveniently open and close your window treatments as often as your environment inspires you to.

Meet Stoneside’s Seattle and Portland Teams

The days are gone when you want to go into your big box store and stand in line for window treatments that come out of a mass-produced box.

Instead, you want to ask questions from someone you know — someone you trust.

Our question is this: How is anyone supposed to recommend a window treatment without knowing you and your home?

Our answer was to create a totally unique approach to Stoneside. With Stoneside, our consultants are your personal industry experts. They know interior design, they know Stoneside’s products inside and out, and it’s their job to get to know you so they can support your journey of selecting the right window treatments.

You’re not a number — you’re a person. At Stoneside, we believe that every individual, whether they’re a paying client or not, deserves personal service. That starts with a complimentary, no-pressure personal consultation from our design experts. Our design consultants aren’t virtual bots or salespeople coming in from across the country.

They’re local. They know exactly what it’s like to work and live in your area. Recently, we’ve spotlighted both our Seattle and Portland teams, so you can get to know your consultants a little more personally.

Are you ready to get new window treatments for your PNW home? Reach out and schedule your free consultation to get started.