If you’re putting together a home, it’s likely that you’re going to have to put some thought into what type of window treatments you’ll need. They don’t always have to be colorful or elegant, but they need to compliment the theme of your home and windows. The following guide will explain to you the various types of window treatments so that you will be able to choose the best styles and features for your home.
First things first, we will need to discuss styles. Each window treatment has several distinct styles, and each style will have a unique effect on the ambiance of your windows and rooms.
Window treatment styles can range from classically pleated drapes to colorful, child-like valances to contemporary style blinds and shades. Such items can transform the personality of each of your windows as well as the tone of the rest of your room. Long drapes, for example, add solemnity to the most casual of rooms, whereas Roman Shades, with their masculine prints, are well-suited for contemporary style homes. You can even use basic wood blinds for natural rural style windows.
So, before you start looking for window treatments, you should first make up your mind about what kind of style you’d like to give your windows. Once you have figured that out, you will have an easier time choosing the right set of window treatments, regardless of their type or features.
Drapes and Curtains
Drapes and curtains are arguably the oldest and most elegant of all the various types of window treatments. This is particularly true for classic style drapes, which are typically used for casual and formal rooms.
A set of rod pocket drapes, for example, look great in most living and dining areas. They feature light but thick looking fabrics that add a certain charm to any room they’re installed in. Another good example of a popular drape or curtain are tab top curtains, and they are most often used in informal areas.
For a more classical option, try drapes with visible pleats sewn into their panel tops. These curtains feature either rings and rods or corded pulley systems to keep them in place. Their thick looking fabrics are also ideal for ballrooms and conference areas.
Window Cornices and Valances
Window cornices and valances are cute, beautiful, and colorful items that allow you to add decorative interest to even the most plain of windows. Valances are small sheets of fabric that you can stretch across the top of your window, whereas window cornices are made from wood and covered with fabric or wallpaper.
These items also often have colorful designs and patterns and may be used to brighten up rooms that lack architectural detail. However, because of their small sizes, it’s worth mentioning that cornices and valances cannot be used to control the amount of light and heat that passes through your windows. If you do want to use these types of window treatments, be sure to install them in rooms that don’t get a lot of direct sunlight, or add some shades or blinds to block out the light.
Window Sheers and Lace Curtains
Sheers and lace curtains are the lighter and more transparent cousins of traditional window drapes. Not only do they allow plenty of light to pass through, but they can also soften them, making them more pleasant.
The downside is that these types of window treatments offer limited privacy, so they’re not that good for bedrooms or areas meant for peace and quiet. They do, however, look great in kitchens and dining rooms, and they can also be used as swags draped across the upper parts of your window.
Window sheers are most suitable for traditional and rustic style homes, but there are also variants that can be used for more contemporary style windows. As for lace curtains, they are almost exclusively used for classical and rustic style homes and windows and don’t look good on most modern and minimalist style rooms.
Shades are simple, elegant window treatments that offer optimum protection from heat and sunlight. They’re also the best type of window treatment for rooms that require privacy.
One example of shades is billowy balloon shades, which form folds along their base when opened, giving your windows that romantic look. Another good example is tie up shades, and they feature ribbons and strips of fabrics to keep them open.
What makes shades different from most other types of window treatments is that they can be combined with practically any other type of window decoration, including valances and curtains, making them a good choice if you like to experiment with hybrid styles and layering.
Blinds are simple, efficient items made of metal, wood, plastic, and synthetic materials. They also provide excellent privacy and light control.
Plastic blinds have a reputation for being bland and soulless items meant for offices, but there are plenty of other options to choose from. There are, for example, wood blinds (usually made from faux wood) for rustic or Asian style rooms, white metal blinds that add an industrial feel to windows, and aluminum blinds for laundry rooms and garages.
It’s also worth mentioning that blinds can have different features. Most people are familiar with horizontal blinds, which stack from top to bottom, but there are also vertical blinds that stack either to the left or to the right. There are also blinds that can be combined with other window treatments, while others are designed for specific types of windows and even glass doors.
Finials are ornamental items that you add at the ends of curtain rods. They don’t offer any practical benefit, but they can make your curtains look more attractive and eye-catching. Usually made from wood, glass or metal, these items can turn an otherwise plain looking curtain rod into a decorative item.
Finials can also take on various shapes and sizes, including fish, stars, seashells, leaves, and many others. There are also vintage style finials for old curtain rods.
Finally, we have curtain rods. These seemingly simple items are often ignored but they are still window treatments. Curtain rods are, of course, designed to suspend fabrics over your windows, but they can be more than that.
Curtain rods with wide diameters are most suited for rooms that get a lot of traffic, while those that have narrower sizes are meant for kitchens and bathrooms, preferably paired with lightweight curtains. There are also tension rods that can be fitted inside window casings and work well with sheer or lace panels within many windows.