Window treatments aren't the first thing you think of when decorating a room but they are great at bringing interest and warmth into a room. Rooms include many diverse pieces of furniture, decorative elements and accessories. Window treatments are great at tying the elements of a space together and helping to control light and temperature within our homes.
There are two basic categories of window treatments to help us address these issues: decorative window coverings and functional window treatments.
Decorative Window Treatments
Decorative window treatments can add lots of interest to your home, using one or more of the following techniques:
- Add a layer of interest to a room through patterns, color, and texture as well as design.
- Complete the look of an otherwise “well-dressed” space, much like a beautiful scarf completes an outfit.
- Highlight a particular feature of a room like a bay window or window seat.
- Draw our focus towards a wonderful view of the outdoors.
- And most importantly, decorative window treatments tie all the elements of a room togetherby doing the following:
- Reinforcing a particular decor style, i.e. French country or Asian.
- Supporting the color palette that’s seen throughout the rest of the room.
- Matching the degree of formality within the space to create a cohesive room design. For example, tab top style curtains made of a cotton fabric would work well for a casual room, where ornate silk draperies would be appropriate for a more formal room.
Formal Window Treatments
Functional window treatments are window coverings that serve a purpose beyond simply their aesthetic value. Functional widow treatments are able to:
- Provide light blockage for a room used for daytime sleeping, i.e. think baby nursery, or a bedroom for someone who works nights and sleeps during the day.
- Filter light in a space where flexible light control is desired, such as in a room where television is watched during the day, or for a homeowner with light sensitivity issues. This is also helpful for blocking out a less-than-beautiful view without blocking the light entirely.
- Provide privacy at night from close-dwelling neighbors, or from curious pedestrians peeking into windows that are at ground-level. Many also feel more secure when the “big black hole” of nighttime windows can be closed off with a window treatment.
Factors to Consider in Picking Window Treatments
Just because a treatment is considered “functional” doesn’t mean it can’t be attractive as well! There are many handsome options, both functional and decorative, on the market today… but how do we begin to choose the right window coverings?
- Budget plays a role. Figure out what you’re realistically willing and able to spend on window treatments. Remember that attractive solutions can be found even on a modest budget; it just takes some creative thinking.
- Focus on priority rooms first. Where will your treatments go? Is it realistic for you to put treatments on every window, or will you need to dress your windows room by room over time?
- What will you need your treatments to do for you? Knowing the function of your window coverings (even if their purpose is purely decorative) is key to helping you choose a treatment that will work for you.
- Lifestyle and decor preferences are also guiding factors; for example, families with young children or pets may want to avoid treatments with cords hanging down, or floor-length styles that little ones may pull on.
Finally, if you’re stymied for ideas or struggling to narrow your options, start browsing decorating books, magazines … and don't forget about Pinterest. It's amazing how easily you can now collect all your favorite ideas onto 1 or more Pinterest boards. It couldn't be easier so check out HomeTips4Women's board on window treatments.
You can also gather pictures, fabric and color swatches, trim samples, and even items from nature from which to draw inspiration for your new window treatments. As your “style file” grows, so will your understanding of your own design likes and dislikes. As with any good design, it takes time to figure out a plan that will serve your needs as well as be pleasing to the senses.