Decorating with Window Treatments

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eHow Home Blog

Once you’ve determined the window style you want to install in your home, you need to select window treatments that will fit your personal style and reflect your home’s era. Window treatments not only add the finishing touches to windows, but they also provide privacy and the ability to adjust the level of lighting and temperature of a room. Here are the six most common window treatments and the various ways they can enhance your home.

Curtains — These window treatments offer unlimited potential because they can easily be customized based on your fabric selection. Use curtains to accent and frame your windows to make them focal points of a room.

Blinds — Blinds are “hard” window treatments that can be hung either horizontally or vertically and come in materials ranging from wood to metal to vinyl. Many homeowners prefer this window treatment because it’s informal and allows for the easy adjustment of the amount of light in a room with just the pull of a string. Some blinds can also be installed in the window frame, eliminating an unsightly protrusion from the window.

Shutters — Shutters are blinds set inside of a frame that open and shut gradually to filter in light and are typically made of wood. They can be installed cafe style (i.e. covering the bottom half of the window) or floor-to-ceiling style, which lends your interior a more dramatic look and feel.

Shades — Shades are “soft” window coverings often mistaken for blinds. Shades do not have movable slats and are typically comprised of one piece of material. Generally, they are considered more energy efficient than blinds. Shades are popular because they can be made of fabric, vinyl, woven woods or grasses, offering you virtually unlimited options. Top down/bottom up shades have recently gained popularity due to their ability to let in light gradually without giving up your privacy.

Cornices  — Cornices are shaped boards mounted above windows to conceal mounting hardware. They can be customized via painting or covered with wallpaper or upholstered with fabric.

Valances — Window treatments that top off drapes, curtains or shades and conceal unsightly mounting hardware. They’re great if you’re looking for formality as they make a room look polished.

As you shop for window treatments, consider the architectural details and decor of your home, your need for preserving a view, privacy, light control and energy efficiency, as well as cleaning and maintenance. These factors will help you select the right window treatment for your home.

Photo credits: Getty Images

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