How to choose window treatments

Jan 18, 2011 at 10:13 a.m. ET

Because there are so many fabric and textile options out there, choosing window treatments can be overwhelming unless you know exactly what kind of window treatment is best suited for your space. Whether you want to dress up your bedroom, living room or master bath, choosing a window treatment doesn't need to be a chore. Read these simple guidelines before you begin shopping for window treatments.

Choosing Window Treatments - Natural Light

Types of Window Fashions

It can be daunting to select window treatments due to the vast number of styles, colors, textures, and types of window fashions available today. Before you shop, do your research—do you want blinds or shades? And beyond that, if you choose blinds, do you want miniblinds or vertical blinds? Roman shades or cellular shades? Contact your local window shade retailer to see swatches and styles up close.

Let Light In

As you make your decision, factor in how much light you want to let into a specific room. Certain types of window shades allow for higher levels of privacy and shade in a specific room. If you're interested in a well-lit room but still want to maintain privacy, think about shades that open from the top down so that you can let sunlight through without leaving your living room on display to neighbors. If you are planning window treatments for a bedroom where you might want to to control the amount of light entering a room, then you may opt for heavier shades. For a kitchen or sitting room, choose a ligher treatment that will be easier to operate and manipulate during the daytime.

Determine your budget

Before you make any home renovation decisions you should research the cost of the purchase. With window treatments, you'll likely want to keep them uniform, so factor in the number of windows in your home as you seek an estimate. Remember that the initial estimates you receive might be more than you expected, so be prepared to negotiate.

Room Style

Consider your room decor; look at the colors, textures, and materials that you already use in the room. For example, valances are well suited for home offices and kitchens, while heavier draperies are better in bedrooms where you might like to block light for sleeping late on weekends.

Window Style

Assess the look for your window before you decide on window treatments. Whether you have arched windows, rectangular windows, square windows or round windows, each will require a different type of treatment. Also consider the size of the window before selecting a dressing—smaller windows will look better with lighter shades while larger windows can stand up to heavy shades and drapery.

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