Where Form Meets Function: Choosing the Right Window Treatments for Your Room
Use Beautiful Window Coverings to Play with Light and Make a Statement
Window treatments are a critical part of a room’s design theme. They present an opportunity to combine materials, mix patterns and create a visual statement that’s customized to your unique decor. Not only do the materials you choose add color and texture to a space, they also allow you to manipulate the overall room tone by blocking or framing the light that filters in from outdoors.
When choosing window coverings for your home, consider the room’s color scheme and feel. Would a bold treatment provide a vibrant contrast, or would something more simple be complementary? Think about the placement of lamps and overhead lighting within the space, as well as how and when you will use the room. Do you need direct light from the windows? Is privacy important?
With these factors in mind, you can choose from this selection of our favorite window treatments to find the best fit for your space. Here’s a primer on the styles we most enjoy incorporating into our clients’ homes.
Drapes often play a central role in the overall design of a room. Eminently customizable, fabric selection alone can create a desired mood in any room. Luxury velvet exudes sophistication, while bold prints can establish a focal point, all while serving the functions of privacy, light control or simply making a design statement. Drapes are made from heavier fabrics and are often lined and pleated. They can be an effective tool to block out light or provide complete privacy, making them a common choice for bedrooms. The rod itself also adds a design element, offering variety in its materials, finial shape, and placement—from a few inches above the window to just below the ceiling line. Drapes aren’t exclusive to interiors: we love to bring drapery outdoors, taking advantage of the broad selection of indoor/outdoor fabrics available today to create a resort-like setting on any porch, patio or pergola.
Thanks to their extremely versatile nature, sheer fabrics are one of the most common types of window treatments. There are many beautiful sheer fabrics that can create an ethereal look. From embroidered to burnout, they vary from contemporary to traditional (and they certainly don't look like your grandmother's sheers!). They come in various lengths and can be hung from a rod or from rings that are strung onto a rod. Sheers can provide light control based on their level of opacity, and choosing a warm or cool hue can alter the glow of a room. Casement fabrics, also a type of sheer, provide an even more unique look and feel. Sheer Roman Shades are popular among millennials who welcome the light day or night.
Valances come in all shapes and sizes and are a decorative accent for any window. They’re often paired with curtains, blinds, or shades, as valences themselves don’t provide privacy. Instead, they’re used to add a touch of color or design flair, or to conceal the hardware of the blinds or shades below. With diverse arrangements available—including flat, gathered, pleated, board or rod mounted—we can create custom styles and sizes to fit your design. Unique valances can be especially fun in a kids room using a theme, monogram, bats or bows; the options are endless. Imaginative cornices, tailored or dripping with fringe, continue to tell the story of a room.
Shades are perhaps the most practical window treatment: If you want to block out light or provide privacy in a room, they’re a straightforward solution. Shades can be made from a variety of materials and are custom fit to the size and shape of a window. The mechanics can vary, from a pull, to a roller, to manual adjustment that lifts and lowers the covering. Our favorite style is the Roman shade, which folds into even, horizontal layers when raised and lays completely smooth when drawn, showcasing the beauty of the material with a crisp silhouette that lets in partial light while providing privacy.
A great option for diffusing light, blinds are infinitely adjustable. They can be tilted to a fully open position, completely closed, or paused at any angle in between. With a quick tug on the cord, horizontal blinds can also be lifted and lowered to expose all or part of the window. For this reason they work well in a space where your light needs vary depending on the time of day or occasion. Materials play a big part in the level of sophistication here: wooden blinds with fabric or ribbon bindings offer a higher quality look than a plastic or metal blind. Vertical blinds are an option for sliding glass doors or very large windows, and they don’t collect quite as much dust as horizontal blinds.
Shutters aren’t exclusively exterior window decor — interior shutters are a non-fabric solution that offer substantial light control and style. Shutter types are distinguished by their size and mobility. Traditional and plantation shutters vary by the width of the slats, or louvers. Cafe height shutters leave the upper portion of the window uncovered, ideal for tall windows in rooms where sunlight is always welcome, while full height shutters fill a window completely. Panel arrangements are also customizable: single-panel shutters fill the length of a window or are divided in half, while bifold shutters can be tucked away on either side of a window. Materials can include wood, composites and plastics.
Window treatments are an incredible tool to set the tone of a room, from manipulating the natural light to complementing your color scheme. With so many types, styles and customizable details—even motorized and cordless options are now available!—there are infinite combinations to complement each room in your home. Need help pinpointing the right one? We are experts in the field will find the perfect window treatment to achieve your decor goals. Come visit or give us a call at bb Interiors today and we’ll find you the perfect fit.