If you’re looking at an empty window trying to figure out the best way to dress it, you’ll be surprised to know the number of different window treatments available out there. Blinds, shades, curtains, drapes — the list goes on and on.
To choose the best fit for YOUR window, it is essential to learn about the different types of window treatments and the factors to consider before the final selection. In that regard, this article will be your comprehensive guide — covering what your options are, followed by key considerations — so you can make a more educated choice!
Types Of Window Treatments
Simply put, a window treatment is a covering placed over windows for functionality and/or visual aesthetics. These coverings have the potential to adjust the room’s temperature, light, and privacy levels whilst making a significant impact on the home decor.
Generally, we can classify window treatments into two categories:
Hard window treatments — made from materials such as wood and vinyl. These include shades and blinds (there are also some exceptions, for example, roller blinds are made of fabric).
Soft window treatments — made from fabric or textiles. These include curtains and drapes.
Let’s now shed light on each of the window treatments specified in these categories:
Curtains are the most commonly-used window treatments. They usually come in a pair of two, and create a casual yet elegant look. Plus, curtains come in many different colours, patterns, and textures, capable of complementing every type of interior!
Three interesting types of curtains are:
Sheer curtains — These allow in sunlight and provide a medium level of privacy (somewhere between an empty window and opaque curtains).
Cafe curtains — These cover the lower part of the window and allow lots of sight into the room.
Pleated curtains — fabric is closely folded at the topmost part of these curtains, with the rest of the cloth below falling freely to the floor.
Drapes are made from thicker fabrics than curtains, and are mostly double-lined. As such, they can comparatively keep out more sunlight, provide a higher degree of privacy, and block waves of heat and cold better. They are often sold custom-sized to the exact dimensions of your window, giving them a more formal look than curtains.
Shades come in a variety of materials and can be rolled up to allow views from the outside, and rolled back down when you need to block out the light.
Two common types of shades are:
Honeycomb shades — Also known as cellular shades, these shades have small chambers that trap air. This trapped air provides insulation and helps monitor indoor temperature levels, resulting in lower electricity bills.
Credit: Alta Window Fashion
Woven Wooden Shades — Also known as bamboo shades, these are an excellent option to incorporate texture into your space with the perfect natural touch. They are usually made of bamboo, rattan, or jute.
Blinds are a type of covering, usually with individual slates, that can be tilted open and shut, removing the need to roll them up or down. Evident from their name, blinds provide privacy and block people from seeing inside. You can pull their cord to customise the amount of light levels.
Three famous types include:
Horizontal blinds — these are ideal for small windows.
Credit: 247 Blinds
Vertical blinds — these pair well with large spaces, such as in front of a sliding doors.
Credit: London Curtains
Roller blinds — consist of a single piece of fabric that wraps around a casing. This fabric unrolls to cover your window.
Credit: Baileys Blinds
How To Choose The Right Window Treatment For You
With so many options on the table, which window treatment is right for you and your room? Here are the top 4 factors to consider before choosing the window treatment you need:
Different window treatments offer different levels of privacy. For areas where a high level of privacy is needed, such as the bathroom, shades would be suitable. Blinds are ideal for the bedroom, where you can tilt them open during the day and shut them during the night.
Alternatively, if you just need the lower part of the room covered whilst also allowing light and views from outside (such as in the dining room), cafe curtains will do the trick.
Some curtains also have blackout materials (foam-backed fabric) that provide the utmost level of privacy. They are completely opaque, so there’s no chance of views being exchanged between the interior and exterior.
#2: Temperature Regulation
If your space gets too cold or hot, using window treatments that offer the maximum amount of temperature control would be right for you. An example is honeycomb shades that have a high degree of energy efficiency.
#3: Light Levels
Consider the light levels you need in your space. If you’re looking for a room-darkening option, you should choose a window treatment that serves the purpose: drapes. For folks who enjoy natural light glistening into their room, sheer curtains would be ideal.
The highest level of light is blocked by blackout materials; their opaque layer is designed specifically to keep out light. Unwind such curtains for a fully-dark interior even on a sunny day!
Finally, choose window treatments that complement your interior design. For example, woven wood shades would pair well with a biophilic interior, whilst minimalist white blinds would enhance Scandinavian decor. Meanwhile, if you’d like your window treatment to be a decor statement in and of itself, go for honeycomb shades to add texture, or choose printed roller blinds or drapes with a print or pattern that you love, for window treatments that can double as artwork!
Window treatments can dress your empty windows, provide a number of functional benefits, and double as decor, too. From curtains and drapes to shades and blinds, there are numerous options available. Make sure you consider key lifestyle needs, along with your style preferences in order to choose the one that suits you best!
Need some help to choose the right window treatment for your space? Just book one of our Interior Design Gurus here! They can look at your space over video chat and give you tips, ideas and guidance on the perfect window treatment for you!