Window Treatments: How to Choose the Right One

window treatments

Choosing the right window treatments is a big job. Your windows and their treatments create the personality for the room. You want them to match what you have going on in the room, but also to be the statement piece that brings the warmth, coziness or other feelings you want the room to embody. So how do you choose the right window treatments for your home? Check out our tips below.

Choose the Window Treatment Type

First, pick the type of  window treatment. Remember, they should be the embodiment of the environment you’re trying to create. Window treatments aren’t an afterthought but rather the pinnacle of the room. Do you want:

  • Drapes – These are usually floor-length, heavy-duty, and provide a bit of formality for the room
  • Curtains – A version of drapes, curtains are less formal and can be long or short, have a backing or be without
  • Blinds – These don’t hang from a rod and can be slightly opened to filter in light without lifting them and are available in a variety of materials including wood and vinyl
  • Shades – These cover the entire window and are made of fabric. You lower them to let light in and close them for privacy/security

Consider the Room’s Function

What do you do in the room you’re dressing? Is it a formal room like a living room where you don’t visit often and definitely don’t open and close the window treatments much? Formal drapes do well in these rooms. Choose floor-length or even longer so the drapes puddle on the floor, creating a formal look. If it’s a room you continually bring light into, such as a bedroom or playroom, you may want something a bit lighter, such as curtains. You can pull them back easily to let sunlight in and draw them closed at night. If you’re looking for a combination of formal and informal, consider laying windows with sheer curtains and formal drapes. The sheer drapes let natural light into the room, but the heavier drapes give a more formal look or even privacy when you close them on occasion.

Don’t Discount Blinds

Blinds can create a beautiful formal look while allowing you to play with light and shadows in the room. Sometimes blinds are the only option because of the home’s structure, whether a slanted ceiling or a group of windows are close together. Because there are such a variety of blinds today, you can play with its formality and look by choosing different materials. Blinds are great for rooms where you need complete privacy or want effective light blocking. Like sheer curtains, blinds layer great with drapes or curtains, depending on the look you want to achieve in the room.

Creating a Uniform Look

Don’t choose the same  window treatments for the entire home  as each room likely has its own personality and/or needs. But if you prefer that ‘uniform’ look you can choose a playful window treatment, such as wood blinds, and change up the look in each room. For example, in a more formal sitting room, you may add floor-length drapes, while in a bedroom you may add flowy curtains or leave them without any layering. Look at the colors and environment in each room to see what fits. Also, think of the function. How often will you have to move the window treatments to let in light and/or create more privacy?

Custom-made Vs. Off-the-shelf Window Treatments

Deciding between custom and ready-made options depends on your budget, window size, and desired look. Custom treatments allow for more personalized options and precise fitting, especially for windows with non-standard dimensions, but they usually come with a higher price tag. On the other hand, off-the-shelf options are more budget-friendly and quicker to install, but the options for customization are limited, and the fit may not be exact. Evaluate your specific needs and preferences against your available budget to make an informed decision.

Balancing Privacy and Natural Light

Balancing privacy and natural light is essential, especially in rooms that require seclusion but also benefit from daylight. In such cases, consider treatments like sheer curtains that allow light to filter through while obstructing the view from outside or top-down, bottom-up shades that offer versatile coverage. Layering window treatments, such as blinds with drapes, also allows for adjustable privacy and light control, enabling you to modify the setting based on your varying needs throughout the day.


How to choose the right color and pattern for window treatments?

Well, selecting the right color and pattern is vital as it affects the overall ambiance of the room. When choosing, consider the existing colors in your room and decide if you want your window treatments to blend or contrast. For a harmonious look, select shades that are in the same color family as your walls or furnishings. If a vibrant and dynamic look is your preference, go for colors that stand out against your room’s palette. Patterns can bring a sense of style and texture into a space, but it’s crucial to balance them with solid colors to avoid a cluttered appearance.

How can I ensure my window treatments are energy efficient?

For maximum energy efficiency, consider treatments like thermal curtains or cellular shades that are known for their insulating properties. These options help maintain indoor temperatures, reducing the load on heating or cooling systems. Remember to assess the material and layering; dense materials and multiple layers generally offer better insulation compared to lighter fabrics.

Can window treatments be mixed and matched in the same room?

Mixing and matching window treatments can create a dynamic and layered look. Combining blinds with curtains can offer a balance of functionality and aesthetics. Blinds can be adjusted to control light and privacy, while curtains add texture and color to the room. However, when mixing different types of window treatments, it’s important to maintain a coherent color scheme and style to ensure that the different elements complement rather than clash with each other.

How important is the material of the window treatment?

Materials like fabric or wood bring different textures and looks to a space and have different maintenance needs. For example, wooden blinds may offer a timeless and elegant look but may require more careful cleaning compared to fabric curtains. Considering the room’s humidity level, the amount of sunlight, and the desired level of privacy will guide you in selecting the most suitable material for your window treatments.

Final Thoughts

Have fun choosing  window treatments for your home. Besides the wall colors, window treatments set the tone for a room. You want treatments that provide the look you want with the functionality you need.