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Window treatments enhance your windows’ beauty and unify the look of your home. Adding new design elements to a room can also improve privacy and natural light. By pairing energy-efficient window treatments with high-quality windows, you’ll increase your long-term energy savings.
Whether you’re investing in new windows or looking for modern decorating ideas for your existing ones, we’ve got the perfect guide. Keep reading to discover the best window treatment ideas for your next interior decorating project.
What Are Window Treatments?
Window treatments are any type of material that partially or completely covers an existing window. They complement a window’s appearance and even upgrade its functionality. Some window treatments are merely decoration, while others increase privacy.
Not every type of window needs a treatment. Bay, bow, or picture windows have visually appealing designs that a window treatment could diminish. It’s up to each homeowner’s personal preference to install window coverings or treatments.
Window treatments fall into two main categories: hard and soft. Hard window treatments are typically made from solid materials such as wood or vinyl. Soft treatments use cloth. While most window treatment designs stick to one type, some layered treatments incorporate both hard and soft materials. Both options offer various benefits, protections, and styles.
Window Treatment Ideas for Every Room
Whether you have new replacement windows or want to update existing ones, window treatments help create the perfect mood in any room. We’ve curated the below list to help you find the perfect window treatments for your home.
Create Stylish Kitchen Windows With Small Curtain Panels
Adding cafe curtains or valances is a kitchen idea that will bring more warmth and color into the room. Cafe curtains offer privacy and natural light since they hang from the window’s middle to the bottom. A smaller cover that sits at the top of windows, a valance covers any hardware and adds a splash of color.
Complement Room Decor With Wood Blinds
Wood blinds provide rich colors and tones to complement any room. They work well in offices, bedrooms, dens, and living rooms. However, wood blinds aren’t suited to bathrooms due to the humid environment. Real wood blinds are lightweight and come in various stains and sizes. They’re pricier than other blinds but very durable.
Incorporate Vinyl Horizontal Blinds for Multi-Window Projects
These common horizontal blinds are an affordable solution when you want to cover many windows on a smaller budget. Vinyl blinds are more durable than aluminum but aren’t repairable. They also offer excellent privacy. These blinds are customizable and available in various colors and even wood grain designs. Vinyl blinds aren’t as energy-efficient since they tend to absorb the sun’s heat.
Install Aluminum Blinds in Sunny Rooms
Aluminum blinds offer better energy efficiency than vinyl, but they’re less durable and break easily. Aluminum blinds work well in rooms that receive lots of sun. These blinds are repairable. Aluminum blinds aren’t as customizable as vinyl and typically come in limited colors. They’re offered in various slat thicknesses and widths, making it easier to find the right fit for your home.
Mix Window Treatments for More Visual Interest
Add more dimension to your windows by mixing different hanging curtains and drapes. Use double curtain rods to pair the delicate look of sheer curtains with heavier pleat panels. Mix hard and soft treatments to balance privacy and light. Install drapery panels with roller shades to provide light-filtering during the day and complete privacy overnight. For a cohesive look, consider pairing one solid treatment with a coordinated option.
Open Up Space With Floor-To-Ceiling Curtains
This simple curtain idea works because the eyes naturally follow the full line of fabric from top to bottom, giving the illusion of a taller space. To achieve this look, hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. Use decorative curtain rods for added details or low-profile tracks for invisible installations. Floor-to-ceiling curtains coordinate with any window type including patio and French doors. They also add elegant details to large spaces, such as a family or dining room.
Pair Vertical Blinds With Large and Irregular Windows
Vertical blinds block out sunlight better than horizontal ones and offer more privacy adjustments. They work better in windows facing east or west. Vertical blinds often reach from floor to ceiling and complement large windows or sliding and patio doors. These blinds are also good for irregular windows, such as bow or bay windows, since their track can run along most shapes (including curved edges).
Protect Sunroom Furniture With Solar Shades
Solar blinds are an excellent addition to sunny rooms—add them to your den, sunroom, or outdoor porch. Their UV ray protection and sunlight-blocking fabric allow you to enjoy the sunlight safely. The blinds vary in transparency, offering light sun blocking to full blackout capabilities.
Try Faux Wood Blinds in Humid Areas
Faux wood blinds offer wood designs at a lower price tag. They’re heavier than real wood blinds but have more flexible slats. Faux wood blinds are low-maintenance, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean. They’re also water-resistant, making them suited for kitchen, laundry room, or bathroom installations.
Use Roman Shades to Create a Balanced Home Office
Roman shades have sleek, luxe designs, making them perfect for any office space. They come in manual or motorized options, so they’re easy to close when you have an important video call. You can also allow plenty of natural light into the room, which studies have shown helps improve your mood and focus.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Window Treatments
Here are some elements to consider before buying new window treatments.
Window coverings help reduce or eliminate the natural light entering a room. You should decide how much light you want before making a purchase. If you want more control over the light, consider shades or blinds. You can place curtains around the outside of your windows or add a sheer curtain for limited light control. Blackout curtains are a better choice if you’d prefer to completely eliminate the light.
For privacy in bedroom and bathroom windows, blinds, curtains, and drapes offer maximum coverage, whereas sheers offer little. Other window treatment alternatives include frosted or stained glass, which both are aesthetically interesting and protective. Window film helps maintain privacy but reduces the incoming natural light.
Window treatments can add focal points to a monotone room or complement your upholstery. Different rooms have distinct purposes and personalities. Incorporate window treatments that accentuate the atmosphere. For example, implement cleaner lines in the home office for a professional feel, and blackout windows are an excellent choice to accommodate video calls. The kitchen is the heart of many homes, so window treatments that evoke a cozy atmosphere are appropriate. Consider adding blinds to regulate lighting throughout the day and textural curtains for softer details.
For windows with decorative window frames, consider installing blinds and shades that fit the window opening. This preserves the architectural details while offering light control and privacy.
Window treatments can help regulate your home’s temperature. Curtains and drapes protect your home from external temperatures during the colder and warmer months. These window treatments reduce drafts, which lessens the burden on your HVAC unit. Additional options include cellular shades and shutters, which help control sunlight during the day. For maximum comfort, consider a combination of shades and curtains.
Window treatments can be adjusted as needed throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky to increase efficiency. According to a U.S. Department of Energy study, 75% of residential window coverings stay in the same position all day. It makes more sense to be strategic with window coverings to benefit from the sun’s natural heat and light.
To find energy-efficient window treatments, check for certified Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC) products. The AERC is a non-profit organization that tests and rates window treatments based on comfort level and efficiency. You can browse its database to find window treatments scored by hot and cool climate ratings. The higher the rating, the higher the energy savings.
Window treatments are the perfect way to tie your windows into your home decor. Whether you need more privacy, sun protection, or a fresh new look, there are plenty of options and combinations to help you achieve the right aesthetic. Consider the treatment’s practical functions, such as transparency, mechanics, and energy efficiency.
Before meeting with a window installer, plan your design ideas and decide on any coordinating window treatments.
Window Treatment FAQ
What are considered window treatments?
Window treatments are considered any covering you place around or over your windows. They typically fall into two categories: hard treatments and soft treatments. Hard treatments include blinds and shutters, while curtains and drapes are considered soft.
Which are better: vertical or horizontal blinds?
Horizontal blinds offer better privacy and work better on windows facing north or south. Vertical blinds provide better sunlight control and are ideal for east- and west-facing windows. Horizontal blinds work best on smaller windows, while vertical blinds suit larger windows.
What are the best curtains for a bedroom?
The best curtains for bedrooms are heavier options that will black out the rising sun. You could also pair bedroom curtains with blinds to minimize sunlight. Homeowners typically select calming colors for a bedroom, so consider blues, grays, or beige drapery to create a soothing vibe.