window treatments for every budget & decor
How to Choose a Style
Window treatments have a major impact on your
home’s décor. Criteria for selecting a specific
style, fabric, and color include trends, period,
personal taste, and practicalities. Consider
The room in which the window is located. A
window in a laundry room, for example, will
not receive the same treatment as a window
in a master bedroom.
The ambiance you want to create and the
overall decorating style of the room. Do you
want a casual or formal treatment, drama or
simplicity? Formal treatments are usually
layered and provide full vertical coverage
(ceiling to floor). These treatments
require a substantial budget. Never think
of the window treatment in isolation but as
part of the decorating scheme. For example,
you would not want to use swags, jabots, or
chintz in a contemporary décor.
The architectural details of the room and
trends. Does your home have historical or
period architectural details such as high
ceilings, rich molding, wainscoting, etc?
Traditional window treatments are best
suited for period homes. Window treatments
for non-period homes should be simpler.
According to Sheffield School of Interior
Design, Victoria Posey of the Atlanta-based
design group notes a simplification of style
in window treatments, flooring and
lighting. She says: “We are noticing a
move away from ultra lavish layered window
treatments to more simple but elegant
panels.” The in-styles are minimalists.
Vertical plastic blinds date a home. If you
still have them, think about replacing them
with more contemporary treatments.
The shape of the window, its position in
relation to the surrounding walls
(symmetry), and its overall dimensions. Bay
and bow windows, dormers, skylights, for
example, will require special
The view. Obscuring a beautiful view is not
advisable. A picture window that opens up to
a beautiful vista may not need any window
treatment at all.
Exposure to the sun, heat, smells, moisture,
or draft. Natural fabrics are best used for
rooms with lots of sun exposure throughout
the day; while thick, lined floor-length
curtains help retain heat and keep out
drafts. Avoid fabrics that rot or fade such
as silks, bright colors, and colored lining
at sunny windows. Cooler colors such as
blues and grays are ideal for west- or
south-facing rooms. Bathrooms require
treatments that are not affected by steam.
Kitchens need treatments that are easy to
clean and will not retain cooking smells or
moisture from steam.
Cleaning and maintenance. Cleaning is
expensive. Avoid elaborate treatments, pale
fabrics, and fabrics that cannot withstand
dry cleaning, e.g., antique satin.
Privacy. The window treatment for a bedroom
will need to secure privacy. Lace curtains,
shades, and sheer fabrics, can be part of
the window treatment to block the public’s
gaze when the top layers are drawn.
Your budget. Be realistic about what you can
afford. Well-constructed, custom window
treatments cost more than ready-made ones
and are not changed frequently.
Floor-length window treatments that require
lots of fullness are more costly, for
example, than roman shades. So choose a
style that fits your budget without
sacrificing esthetics and personal taste.