Home decor is one of those things that seems far less complicated until you try to do it yourself. It's easy to walk into a room and say, “Yeah, this looks good.” It's a whole different ballgame to walk into a home improvement store and say, “This is the one that will look best in my home.”
If you've reached that overwhelmed point so many homeowners and renters do, take a breath. The key to finding the perfect window treatment ideas is to narrow your options. Start with these tips about the basic window treatment choices.
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Your Options for Window Treatment Ideas
The term “window treatments” is broader than you might think. Your first step toward making a decision is breaking down the categories of window treatments. Here's what you need to know.
Blinds and Shades
When it comes to window treatments, blinds and shades are all about utility. The primary reason people choose them is for their ability to block light and maintain privacy.
Still, that doesn't mean they can't contribute to your room's design. You have a wide range of options from wood to fabric. You can also opt for convenience in the form of motorized shades.
When it comes to looks, blinds and shades tend to have an understated look. They're helpful if you want the benefit of light blockage without changing much about your room's appearance. That's just a start, though. Check out more information about finding the perfect blinds for you.
Curtains or Drapes
Depending on where you live, you might use the term “curtains” or “drapes” more often. Either way, these terms apply to loose-hanging fabric panels in front of your windows.
Some curtains are primarily design accents. For instance, a homeowner may hang light, sheer drapes to add more color to the room.
In other cases, curtains can be useful for privacy and light blockage. These blackout curtains are thicker and may have a plastic-like coating on one side. While they can look decorative, they also give you the option of added privacy.
As you're picking out drapes, keep in mind that length is crucial. If you play your cards right, your curtains can even make your room look taller.
The rule of thumb is to have the bottom of your curtains end halfway between the floor and the bottom of your window. This applies to any window that is more than twelve inches above the floor.
For example, let's say you're buying drapes for a window that's three feet above the floor. The bottom of your drapes should fall 18 inches from the floor.
Now that we've covered the most common choices for window treatments, it's time to look at more unique options. That's where window valances come in.
A valance is best described as a fabric cap on your window. It covers the top foot or two of your window. Sometimes valances look like shorter versions of drapes. In other cases, a valance can be an upholstered board so there's no draping fabric at all.
Valances are primarily meant for decoration. However, they can also make blinds or shades look cleaner by hiding the top of them.
If you've been searching for inspiration in pictures of rustic country homes, chances are that you've seen curtain tiers. Tiers are small curtains that cover just the bottom half or bottom third of a window.
Tiers have a specific niche when it comes to home designs. You'll find them in traditional and country-style homes, but only in bathrooms and kitchens. If that's the look you're aiming for, tiers can be a perfect choice.
Most people think of shutters as the tiny door-like attachments next to windows on a home's exterior. In today's design world, though, shutters also include wooden blind-like window treatments that stay in place on the window rather than folding up as blinds do.
Shutters are a simplistic look, but they can be the perfect addition to a traditional-looking home. While they can be helpful for light blockage and privacy, they've also become a decorative choice.
The only issue to consider is that shutters stay on your window. You don't have the option of seeing a clear, fully unblocked window if you want to.
This may not be a separate option, but it's worth stating. If you're struggling to pick from the categories above, why choose just one?
Different window treatments serve different purposes, so it's common to combine them. For instance, you might want blinds to block light but you also like the look of breezy curtains. These two choices can pair on the same window with ease/
Factors to Consider in Your Home
As you go through the options above, how do you start narrowing down your choices? How do you know if your room is better suited to drapes or valances? Here's a checklist that can help.
1. What Overall Look Do You Want?
While your decorating style is uniquely you, chances are that it fits into one of a few categories. Do you want your home to look contemporary? Rustic? Traditional? Retro? Futuristic?
Certain window treatments lend themselves to certain styles better. For instance, if you want a modern look, you can probably rule out curtain tiers.
2. What Are Your Space Constraints?
Some window treatments take up more space than others. For instance, shutters are limited to the area within your window frame. If you want drapes, on the other hand, you have to install them on the wall next to your window.
If you have little or no wall space next to your windows, that will limit your options. Be sure to get an installer's opinion before you order your window treatments.
3. What is Your Main Goal?
Window treatments can serve a few purposes. For some people, the goal is to block light. For others, it's about privacy. In some cases, decoration is the only purpose.
This is one of the first decisions you need to make before shopping for window treatments.
Dressing Your Windows in Style
For most homeowners and renters, window treatment ideas are afterthoughts. After all, windows seem like small peaches compared to wall color and flooring.
Still, they go a long way toward helping you enjoy the look and comfort of your home. The hints above can help you narrow your search and find out the best window treatment choices for your home.