How to: Choose the Right Window Treatments

DIY + How To

No we won’t be going over how to measure your windows for window treatments. This how-to is more of a set of ways in which you can determine what type of window treatment will best fit your personality and the style you’re looking to create in your space. We won’t cover every single type of window treatment ever, but you’ll get a good idea. And if you already have window treatments…look at them and decide if we’re spot on or way off with these descriptions!

Drapes Drapes come in all sorts of colors, materials and patterns. They usually have some sort of element that gives them depth–tucks, folds, the way the drapes hang on the curtain rod–all of these give drapes personality. Sometimes wrongly called feminine, they exude luxury, especially when they’re used too long and pool on the floor.

Fabric panels Like drapes, panels comes in a range of materials and color and patterns, but are usually a more casual option than drapes. You can often buy them from many home stores, and they give a bit of a cleaner look than custom-made drapery. Still nice for softening a room.

Just blinds Pretty unacceptable. Come on…do something with your windows!

Natural/wood shades/blinds A great way to add a warm, natural look to your home. Works with a number of different home color palettes and plenty of different styles. Can sometimes be a little too textural for really modern spaces. Choose a wood tone that complements your home’s architecture and materials the best.

Honeycomb blinds Kind of like if drapes and blinds had a baby. Honeycomb blinds have a soft appearance, function nicely, and kind of blend well with the rest of your interior. A great choice for those looking for an affordable option.

Roman/Roller shades Love, love these. A neutral-gender option for windows. You can use really neutral, simple rolling panels, or get a little more traditional with roman options. Can come in fabric colors and patterns, but not as messy or free as fabric panels or drapes. Great for traditional spaces, modern spaces and everything in between.

Nothing Sometimes the best window treatment is nothing, especially if you live in a sweet modern home with floor to ceiling glass windows that just beg to be shown off. Only for the brave…or those with good fences…or those who don’t mind the whole neighborhood seeing what you’re up to at night.

Images: Lisa Maycock via Design*Sponge via Apartment Therapy and Heather Balliet via Design*Sponge via Apartment Therapy and Hugh Jefferson Randolph Architects
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  1. Stephanie S

    Mar 15, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I’ve learned that whatever curtains you chose, it’s a great idea to hang them high and wide! Hang them as high as the ceiling and 1-2 feet wider than your window and suddenly the window will look HUGE! Great for small, lonely windows in a big wall. I just did this in my bedroom and not only do the windows look enormous, the whole ceiling seems higher.

    Even in Color Splash on HGTV, David hung curtains from the 2-story high walls all the way to the floor to frame windows that were at the first-floor level. It looked amazing and dramatic!

  2. D P Wood

    Mar 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    What about plantation shutters??? They are my absolute favorite! Please don’t tell me you’re lumping them in with “shades/blinds”. Shutters are in a category all their own! They are such a great alternative for areas where fabrics seem inappropriate (some kitchen windows, etc.).

    • Adrienne Breaux

      Mar 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      Good point! There should definitely be a post just dedicated to shutters!

  3. Natasha @ Heart of Decor

    Mar 23, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Great post!

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