How to Choose Window Treatments

Selecting window treatments for your home can be one of the most daunting decorating decisions that homeowners make. With a wide gamut of options and price ranges, choosing between shades, draperies, curtains, blinds, shutters, and other alternatives can be confusing and overwhelming. To help simplify the process, here are some things to consider when deciding how to cover your windows:


Young woman choosing fabric for new curtains in a store. Samples of the curtain hang on hangers on a rail in the store. Samples of textures of fabric, tulle and furniture upholstery.



How much you can afford to spend on each window can help determine what window treatments to choose. In general, shades and blinds are often less expensive options than draperies and shutters. To help keep the price down, consider installing the window treatments yourself. You can find tutorials online and from many manufacturers, and usually, only a few basic tools are needed.


Privacy needs

Not every room of your home requires the same level of privacy. For example, opaque materials that can be fully lowered to completely cover the window are likely needed for bedroom and bathroom windows. You may also want to cover windows in living areas at nighttime completely, while entries and dining rooms may only need partial coverings.


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Window type, shape, and dimensions

There many practical considerations when choosing window treatments, such as the type of windows in each room.  For example, draperies often won’t work for high, horizontal windows, and shutters aren’t sensible if they make opening and closing mechanisms hard to access. Consider how each window in your home will be used and let functionality be your guide for selecting the best treatment.



The overall style of your home and individual room décor, colors, and textures can also influence the type of window treatments that are best. If your home’s rooms lean toward a traditional style, draperies, curtains, and shutters may be good complements. If contemporary and sleek is your preference, you might want to choose streamlined shades and blinds. For rooms with lots of patterns and designs, solid window coverings are often the best design choice.


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Light blockage

Much like privacy needs, the amount of light desired can vary from room to room. You may wish to entirely block light into bedrooms while wanting as much light as possible to stream into living areas.


Ceiling height

Often overlooked when decorating, the height of each room’s ceiling can influence what type of window treatments look best. Tall ceilings can often accommodate long, columnar draperies and shutters, while those same window treatments might make rooms with low ceilings look crowded. One often-used trick for making average ceilings look taller is to hang the window treatments above the window casing to draw the eye upward.