Choosing Window Treatments For Your Home


Shades can give you privacy while still letting light into a room.

No one window treatment fits all when it comes to your home. While you may want privacy and light-blocking curtains in a bedroom, you might also enjoy a softer, light-filtering option for your living space. Beyond function, different size spaces and windows demand scaling the treatment accordingly. Finally, your style preferences come into play when it comes to choosing between drapes or blinds, dramatic or minimalist, and bright or neutral.

Here’s how to think through picking window treatments for every room in your house:

1.What do you need the treatment to do?

Do you have little kids or pets who necessitate picking a cordless or retractable option? If you want to preserve privacy for the room’s inhabitants, say for a bedroom or bathroom, you want to look for materials that obscure an outsider’s view. Lined curtains work, or if you opt to let light in but protect your privacy, cellular (honeycomb) shades are a fantastic and attractive option. If you are a light sleeper, maybe you would benefit from a light-blocking drapery.

Window treatments can also be used to great effect to insulate your home or preserve its airiness. If you are concerned about trapping heat in a room, choose an insulated, substantial fabric. Alternatively, if you live in a climate where you enjoy opening your doors and windows most of the year and need to keep air circulating, you are better off with a breathable material or screen.

The first step to choosing a treatment is knowing what you need it to do, functionally. Then you can consider your options for accomplishing this objective.

2. How do you want the treatment to look?

Is this meant to be a statement piece in a room or fade into the background? If you are using the treatments to highlight windows, then you need to pick an option that is somewhat bolder so that it draws the eye when someone enters the room.

The most obvious choice for a dramatic look is a rich-colored or textured curtain or drapery. A floor-to-ceiling look will accentuate the window’s height and frame the view outside. You can add a swooping valance on top for extra embellishment. You can lighten up the overall look by choosing semi-sheer materials, or go with something heavier like velvet, tweed, or tapestry.

However, beyond the world of curtains, there are also now more visually interesting blinds and shades made from fabric, wood, bamboo, and vinyl.

If you want the treatment to blend in with the rest of the room, look for softer, light-diffusing, neutral-colored options. Consider making it a retractable treatment, that can be pulled up or moved over to one side easily.


3. Consider alternative options.

Your choice does not have to come down to curtains or blinds. There are ways to accomplish light-blocking with shutters, or protect your privacy with stained glass. You can layer treatments so that you can adjust them accordingly to your needs. For example, layering an airy Roman shade under heavy, insulated floor-to-ceiling drapery is one way to let in the sun when you want, and close up the room when you need to keep it warm.

If you don’t see colors or patterns that your fit your style, work with a professional window treatment specialist on a custom design. Contractors can walk you through selecting the best curtain or shade to match the room’s size, your functional needs, and the house’s overall style.

Responsible Contractors has a free, anonymous-search directory of qualified, verified pros who can help you choose the best window treatments for your home. Check out your local contractors here:

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