Window Treatments - Part 2

In Part I, we discussed the function and lighting considerations of window treatments.  Here we will discuss style, different options, and how to coordinate it all with your room.

Define Your Needs

Your first consideration should be what the function of the window will be.  You don’t want high curtain rods and tabbed drapes that would be difficult to open, or would not close entirely.  If there are young children in the house, safety must also be a concern.   Cords for blinds or drapes should not dangle near a baby crib. If there are children in the home, consider the new breakaway and safety window cord options.  When children are beginning to walk, you may want to consider using blinds or soft shades in a child’s bedroom to prevent an accident while playing with long drapes.  You should determine which end the opening/closing wand will be on for best convenience.  If some of the windows in your home are high, and you wish to use blinds as a window treatment, then consider the new motorized blinds that open and close with the touch of a button. 

Considering Style

Considering styles for window treatments are only governed by the imagination of the home owner.  With a few basic considerations, the rest is up to individual taste.  Experts recommend that you use fabrics and colors that can be repeated as accents throughout the room.  Valances and swags offer many choices in both style and coordinating colors.  A classic look is achieved by using sheers and opaque drapes with Roman style shades.  The shades will add both privacy and protection from bright sunlight.  Use stripes, florals or patterns in drape selection.  This can then be repeated throughout the room very easily.  Or, you can use contrasting shades in valances, cords, tie-backs or fringe. Balloon shades are another option.  These shades, often custom made, are a dramatic addition to any décor.  They have inverted pleats, spaced about 10" to 15" apart.  These panels end in billowing poufs at the bottom, and can be raised or lowered.  Austrian shades, similar to balloon shades, features vertical rows of swags that end in scallops along the lower edge. 

Rods and Such

You can make a statement with window treatments by your choice of hanging rods.  In a smaller room, avoid using large ornate rods with finials.  In a great room or living room, these will work well.  You can create a statement using brass rings on a brass rod with matching finials for a very unique and informal touch. 

Some Practicalities

If you live in a dusty rural area, give thought against heavy window treatments.  Heavy drapes with pleats and valances are great dust catchers, and will require excessive cleaning. If you live in areas of constant bright sunshine, avoid silks or heavily dyed colors, as they will fade and rot quickly. 

Window treatments can be as plain or as elaborate as you wish to make them.  Give lots of thought to what statement you wish to make when considering new window treatments.

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.