How to Choose Window Treatments

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Change a room's mood, maximize privacy and accent your view--all with the right window treatments. A wide range of styles, fabrics and materials add functionality and flair to any room.

  • Decide which treatment best suits your windows. The most common window treatments are blinds, shades, shutters, cornices and valances, swags and others. Look into the design to see what you'd like. Do you have long, narrow windows? Wide windows with few panes of glass? Bay windows?

  • Explore the different materials. Aluminum, wood, faux-wood or plastic commonly found in blinds and shades can be a fairly easy clean with a duster. They range from simple to elegant, so don't shy away because you worry they'll seem boring. Treatments like swags are made of soft or sheer fabric. In addition to regular dusting, they'll also need to be washed from time to time. Cloth treatments can require more time and effort to put up and take down, as well.

  • Determine whether you want the treatment for utility or aesthetics. Some blinds are nothing much to look at, but offer shade and privacy with the flick of a wrist. Others look great and add to the feel of the room, but do little in the way of covering the window. Still others can offer both options. How much to you care about appearance? How much control do you want over light and privacy? Do you want a trim, modern look or a classic, elegant feel? Are you simply trying to make the window look less boring?

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