Picture Window Treatment Styles


If your home has a picture window, you have a window to the world outside. A picture window provides an unobstructed view through an expanse of glass, sometimes as large as 6 feet square. Although a picture window is a desired feature for some, it presents its own set of decorating concerns. Depending on the location of the window, it may be necessary to completely cover it for privacy while still allowing access to your beautiful view.


  • Custom-made shutters are a good option for a picture window if you are partial to clean, simple lines. Shutters regulate the amount of light that you allow into the room and provide you with needed privacy.

    The shutter slats come in a variety of widths. Traditional shutters have 1 1/4-inch movable louvers, while plantation shutters have louvers that are 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches wide. Wood shutters come in a wide choice of stains or paint colors, but you will typically want the shutters to match the window trim.

    Shutters often cover the entire window opening. Café shutters, however, will cover only half of the window, leaving the top half open for more light. Another option is to install two tiers of shutters so that you have more lighting and view choices.

Shades and Blinds

  • Traditional roller blinds are cut to fit the opening and completely cover the window. Blinds give total privacy but have a stark appearance when used alone. Adding drapes or curtains of some kind softens the look and adds more depth and color to the décor of the room.

    Roman shades are made of loosely folded horizontal fabric pleats. Fabric choices are available for every décor. The shades give the look of a custom valance when raised. They have the feel of a drapery because of the fabric, which softens the look of the window.

    Pleated shades come in a choice of colors and fabric weights. When raised, they fold into a compact space that is completely hidden by draperies or curtains.

    Venetian or horizontal blinds come in a choice of slat widths and a variety of color choices in plastic or aluminum.

Window Toppers

  • To soften the sleek lines of a picture window, consider a decorative valance. Make or purchase valances in a wide range of fabrics and styles to top the window and add to the décor of the space. Use the valance alone or in conjunction with blinds, shades, or shutters for added privacy. A valance softens the look of a picture window while leaving the view intact.

    Cornices are another type of window topper that provides an unobstructed view. Cornices are more structured than valances and require a constructed box or board for mounting. Paint the cornice or add decorator fabric to coordinate with other furnishings to achieve the style you prefer.

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