Choose the Perfect Window Treatments
15 Options that Will Satisfy Nearly All Your Needs
Hung across the top of a window, a valance adds softness, color and pattern to a hard architectural element.
This casual treatment works well for family areas such as the kitchen, breakfast room and bathroom. It can hang alone or can pair with a blind, shade or shutter when privacy is needed.
This tailored treatment is a natural in formal living rooms, dining rooms or master bedrooms. Crisp, stitched pleats lie flat against a mounting board. Duplicate the box-pleated design on table coverings, slipcovers or bed skirts for a unified look.
A loosely slung fabric is draped over a decorative rod or wound over tiebacks at the top corners of a window frame. The middle fabric strip acts as a valance; the ends hang softly down the sides of the window.
This sumptuous fabric shade, featuring cascading scallops, culminates in graceful, blousy folds along the bottom. As the treatment is raised, vertical gathers create dramatic poufs.
This economical treatment, also called “stagecoach style,” uses fabric in its most unconstructed form: It hangs flat from a rod or mounting board while the bottom edge is rolled or folded to the desired position and held in place with fabric ties, ribbons or cords.
A roman shade adds luxury without yards of fabric. When closed, it is a flat fabric panel. When raised, cascades of deep, horizontal folds create a tidy look. Appropriate almost anywhere, a Roman shade’s level of formality is defined by fabric and trim choices.
Often called a wood valance, a cornice is typically made from plywood, painted or covered with wallpaper or fabric, and then mounted above a window. It works alone or with another treatment, and adds interest to rooms lacking architectural detail.
The curtain rod slips through a channel sewn into the panel’s top edge. The tighter the fit, the more dramatic the shirring. For a casual look, try lightweight fabrics and no liner. For formal décor, try plush velvet panels shirred tightly on a substantial rod.
Panels with Rings.
Wood or metal rings allow the hardware to play a starring role. Complementing virtually any style of drapery, panels with rings are easy to open and close, offering an alternative to the cord-and-pulley system of traverse rods.
Giving a sophisticated look, there are several styles of pleats, all of which are sewn into a panel’s top edge to create a decorative header.
Simple and unpretentious, tab-top panels are perfect for country home and cottage décor. Though styles vary, standard tabs are loops of fabric sewn into or onto the valance’s top seam. The panel hangs relatively flat, providing an opportunity to showcase interesting fabric prints.
Originally introduced to the Americas by the Spanish and used on large plantations in the South, plantation shutters come in many different styles and louver sizes, including the traditional 2 ½ inch louver. Larger rooms with taller ceilings call for larger louver sizes.
Bifold shutters easily swing open and closed from the inside, allowing full access to windows or privacy.
Featuring horizontal slats that tilt up or down to control light, venetian blinds are the most common and generally least expensive. Easy to maintain and available in a range of styles, they offer superior privacy and a neat appearance.
Factors to Consider when choosing window treatments:
Where windows face.
Windows facing the south and west get the most light.
Noise. Heavy fabric for drapes or shades may be used for windows facing noisy areas.
Light. How much and how often light is desired will help determine the type of window treatments.
Privacy. The correct selection of window treatments can provide privacy when it’s needed and allow an outside view at other times.
Room Décor. Colors and texture affect the mood and feel of a room.
Construction of a window. Custom designed window treatments may be in order for different sized or shaped windows.
The room’s purpose.
Different rooms serve different purposes and require different window treatments.
Price. Prices vary across all forms of window treatments.