We Know: All About Window Treatments

What Are Window Treatments?

Window treatments are really anything that dress up, cover up, or otherwise can be considered decorative additions to your windows. This can include blinds, valances, shades, shutters, curtains, even wrought-iron grates. A window is the heart of any room, and the way you decorate it influences the mood of the entire room. Your three primary considerations are light effects, style, and color.

What Should I Consider First?

The first consideration is how you want it to affect the lighting and other basic requirements, such as privacy, energy efficiency, and architecture. Natural light in a room is crucial, and the way you dress your window determines the color and quality of the light coming in almost as much as the placement and size of the window. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • Do I want more or less light in this room?
  • How hot does direct sunlight make this area?
  • Do I have furnishings or rugs that can fade in sunlight?
  • Will I need special treatments to fit odd-shaped windows, like arches?
  • Is the view outside beautiful or not? (If it's pretty, a treatment with a frame effect is very nice; if it's the neighborhood dump, blinds might be a better choice.)

Can Window Treatments Create A Mood?

By choosing the correct style, you can create a perfect mood in your room. There are four basic moods you can create in a room just by using the proper window treatments: open and bright; warm and homey; sophisticated and modern; or classic. The function of your room should help you choose the treatment you prefer, as will the mood you want to set in the room.

For the open, bright style, very simple and transparent treatments are the ticket. Choose cool colors, simple and untextured fabrics, and flowing styles. If you prefer a warm atmosphere in your room, consider print fabrics, wood or other natural materials for blinds or shutters, wrought-iron fixtures, and simple, casual styles.

For sophisticated styling, clean lines with modern colors or finish, such as chrome, are a good choice. A great set of blinds may be all you need to dress up a window; consider using your treatment to add a splash of strong color to otherwise-neutral rooms. And if you prefer classic, use classic, antique dressings: wood, aged brass or iron, heavy tapestry curtains, rich elegant colors, and fine fabrics such as silk or velvet. Classic styling generally works best with tall, ceiling-to-floor windows.

What About Color?

Your other room decorations may decide your colors for you, but if you're in the position of agonizing over color, try these things:

  • In neutral-colored rooms, choose a vivid splash of color.
  • Use a color that you love.
  • Use primary colors to give a room energy.
  • Use colors that complement, not match, colors you're using already. If you don't know how to do this, get a color wheel at an art shop and use colors that are directly opposite one another on the wheel.
  • Use darker tones in more formal rooms.
  • Read decorating magazines, and clip window treatment photos you really like.
One or a combination of these methods will work for you. Use all three parts function, style, and color together while creating your window's look, and you're sure to find a window treatment you like.

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