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Window Treatments Buying Guide

We want our rooms to be bright and comfortable, but we also need privacy and protection against harsh sunlight and chilly breezes. Well-chosen window treatments control the light and view, and they can help minimize a room's flaws or maximize its charms. 

Types of Window Treatments

Types of Window Treatments

Window treatments have evolved into today's variety to meet different needs. Soft treatments, such as shades and curtains or draperies, enhance a room's decor through the color, pattern, and texture available in thousands of fabrics. Assembling the final look is a bit like putting together an outfit. "Hard" treatments -- blinds and shutters -- incorporate fewer decorative options, but they can filter or block out light and keep heat in or out. Install them solo, or top them with fabric for versatile combinations that offer the best of both worlds.

Curtains

Curtain panels are casual, usually made from unlined lightweight fabric, and often hang only to the window's sill or apron. Panels hang in a variety of ways. With rod-pocket panels, a simple curtain rod slips through a channel sewn along the panel's top edge; a pocket sewn a few inches below the top edge suggests a ruffled effect. You can also attach clips or sew decorative rings along the panel top. Or choose a grommet-design curtain and run the rod through the built-in rings. With loops of curtain fabric sewn to the back of the top edge, tab-top panels hang relatively flat, making them ideal for showcasing large-scale prints. Curtains are generally opened and closed by hand.

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Oriental Trading Company

Skull Curtain. The tattered look of its sheer fabric will give any room a frightful presence! Add this skull curtain to a bewitchi...ng Halloween party theme or a frightfully fun haunted house. Plastic. 92 Imported. read more

Crate & Barrel

Hand-drawn floral motif resembles artisan woodcuts, layering the window with a fresh approach to pattern in a soft shade of blue. ...Curtains are lined in cotton-blend fabric and detailed with 3 hems and 3 rod pockets. Curtain accessories also available. -100% cotton front -70% polyester and 30% cotton lining -Dry clean only -3 rod pocket and 3 bottom hem -Made in United Arab Emirates read more

Crate & Barrel

Casual stripes of ivory and natural chambray cotton, enhanced with ivory stitching along the vertical, create virtual pleats for b...eautiful texture and movement. Back tabs make even more of the pleating effect or simply hang from 3 rod pocket. Curtain accessories also available. -100% cotton -Two hanging options: rod pocket for a gathered look, back tabs for pleated look -3 rod pocket, 4 hem -Dry clean -Made in India read more

Crate & Barrel

Dobby-loomed curtain panels stripe creamy cotton with pastel chevrons composed of tiny orange squares for softly defined pattern a...nd color. Matte nickel grommets along the top add to the fresh, modern look. Curtains are lined in cotton-blend fabric and detailed with 4 hems. Curtain accessories also available. -100% cotton front -69% polyester and 31% cotton lining -Dry clean only -Matte nickel grommets -4 bottom hem -Made in India read more

Draperies

More traditional in feeling, draperies typically are lined, are made from heavier materials, and hang all the way to the floor. In living rooms and other formal spaces, this flowing design looks elegant. Another difference: Draperies are opened and closed by pulling cords attached with pulleys to a traverse rod, which uses a series of hooks sewn behind decorative pleats along the top of each panel. Among the variations, classic pinch pleats feature equally spaced stitched folds; pencil pleats are narrow and tight; and elaborate goblet pleats use stiffening paper above the pinch to form a wineglass shape.

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Tadpoles
$44.00
at Target

Find window curtains, panels and valances at Target.com! Welcome sunshine into the nursery by sliding open these classic gingham d...rapes. Soft, pink-and-white drapes slip easily over standard curtain rods. Coordinate with other tadpoles basics nursery... read more

Tommy Bahama
$129.00 $175.00
at BeallsFlorida.com

Papaya & mango is a refreshing palette for this textured shadow leaf design. Pair of drapes measures 84 x 42 in. with a 3 in. head...er & features the same design as the Palma Sola comforter. Drapes are 100 percent cotton with a polyester blend lining.,... read more

Tadpoles
$29.00
at Target

Find window curtains, panels and valances at Target.com! Welcome sunshine into the nursery by sliding open these classic gingham d...rapes. Soft, red-and-white drapes slip easily over standard curtain rods. Coordinate with other tadpoles basics nursery... read more

Trend Lab
$15.00 $39.00
at Target

Find window curtains, panels and valances at Target.com! Trendlab rainbow floral window drape

Valances

Used on its own for simplicity or in conjunction with another treatment as a decorative accent, a valance is draped or hung only across the top of a window. Your fabric choice and installation method will determine the valance's style and the mood it conveys.

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Veratex
$52.00 $86.00
at Olejo Stores

The soft elegance and romantic appeal of the luxuriously traditional Toscano bedding collection makes this beautiful bedding ensem...ble the perfect centerpiece for any bedroom.68"Note: This product is not returnable. read more

Veratex
$42.00 $59.00
at Olejo Stores

The Castille Collection features a paisley pattern in vibrant tones of red and gold. The elegant comforter has tassel detail on th...e corners while the pieced flanged standard sham showcases the paisley print in solid gold and embroidered stripes. The... read more

The Shade Store?

"Give the top of your window treatment a clean, elegant look with The Shade Store's custom cornice & valance collections. Cornices... are available in 3 styles, with over 400 unique fabrics. Valances are an available option with our roller & solar shades,... read more

Heritage

Add a touch of elegance to any room with this window valance. Made of 100-percent cotton, this valance is a fantastic way to shade... your room from the sun and will bring beauty for years to come. read more

Shades

Shades are available in several styles that operate up and down rather than side to side. Roller shades range from translucent paper to light-blocking vinyl or bonded fabric. Tie-up shades are held open by fabric ties. Balloon and Austrian shades are shirred and gathered to create volume and romantic drama. The fabric in tailored Roman shades forms horizontal folds when raised. Pleated and cellular shades use paper or fabric in accordion- or honeycomb-shape construction to boost privacy and insulation with minimal bulk.

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The Shade Store?

"The Shade Store offers an exclusive collection of 11 unique handcrafted window treatment products including custom shades, blinds..., drapery and hardware. Order free swatches from a selection of over 800 luxurious fabrics and materials. Each treatment... read more

The Shade Store?

"Handcrafted with the utmost care, The Shade Store's Waterfall Woven Wood Shades collection features beautiful bamboos, grasses an...d natural weaves. Browse our exclusive collection of over 100 eco-friendly materials. Privacy and blackout linings are... read more

The Shade Store?

"The Shade Store's custom XL Pleat Shades can help you strike the perfect balance between privacy and light control. This multifac...eted shade is available in over 30 exclusive materials, perfect for any d?cor. Top down bottom up and cordless options are... read more

The Shade Store?

"Meticulously handcrafted in our state-of-the-art workroom, The Shade Store's flat roman shades have a clean, finished look due to... an expertly sewn permanent bottom fold. Choose from an exclusive collection of over 400 luxurious fabrics. Free privacy... read more

Blinds

Made with metal, wood, or plastic slats and in a variety of widths, horizontal blinds excel at providing privacy and managing incoming light. Stiffened-fabric or vinyl vertical blinds bring these qualities to patio doors.

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Select Blinds
$84.00 $120.00
at Select Blinds

The NEW Cordless Faux Wood Blinds feature a 1 1/2 inch slat for a streamlined look and easy operation. These cordless blinds offer... the safety benefits of a cordless product by eliminating the lift cords. The blind is operated by pushing on the bottom... read more

Select Blinds
$43.00 $61.00
at Select Blinds

Add warmth to any room with our 2" Select Wood Blinds. Choose the popular Routless option that features no routed holes on the sla...ts and provides extra privacy. Hardwood slats come in 22 different stains and colors that bring out the wood's natural... read more

Select Blinds
$61.00 $87.00
at Select Blinds

2" Deep Wood Blinds are handcrafted using wooden slats made of lime wood from the Linden tree. A special 4 coat process gives a hi...ghly sealed surface to the wood that resists dust and protects against scratches and marring over time. Gently rounded... read more

Select Blinds
$27.00 $39.00
at Select Blinds

1" Designer Mini Blinds from Select Blinds provide you with trendy colors to finish the decor in a sports themed room or any other... room. These mini blinds come with a streamlined headrail, eliminating the need for a valance and it offers a sleek and... read more

Shutters

Perhaps the most permanent window treatment, wood or faux-wood shutters use louvered panels to screen a view and create architectural impact. A range of louver widths allows shutters to complement different home styles.

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Norman

Get the character of wood without the expense. Each Norman Woodlore shutter is crafted from wood composite harvested from well man...aged forests and wrapped with a hard coating, making it one of the most eco-friendly shutters on the market. The shutter... read more

Norman

Designed with long-term performance in mind, the Norman Wood Plantation Shutters start with select basswood and other hardwoods av...ailable. Each shutter is then crafted by hand and given a smooth finish producing brilliant surfaces that emphasize soft... read more

Bali

This Bali EuroVue Shutter is an innovative wood composite shutter specifically designed for super-easy installation on most window...s. It offers a cleaner look, a fuller view to the outside and a design that installs as easily as a blind! There is no... read more

Blinds.com

Our Economy fauxwood shutters are made of hollow PVC which provides high energy efficiency to lower energy cost, low maintenance, ...easy to clean and is an eco-friendly (polyresin material that is 100% recyclable, reuseable and formaldehyde free)... read more

Product Features

Product Features

The window-treatments market includes such a broad range of products, it's tricky to single out design elements specific to each category. However, all treatments share general characteristics that come into play as you narrow your choices.

Size and Fit

Because function is equal to fashion in this product category, window treatments can be purchased off-the-shelf or in custom sizes to fit any window.

Style

Whatever look you're after, you can find a treatment to achieve it. Soft coverings such as curtains and draperies offer the most variation in color and pattern. Blinds, shades, and shutters allow you to express your taste in finish, texture, and scale.

Safety

Curtains, draperies, shades, and blinds now offer manual or automated cordless operation for homes with young children. This feature is also ideal for windows and skylights that are difficult to reach.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

The process of shopping for window treatments involves decisions related to both how they look and how they work. Think about what each treatment can do to make your rooms more attractive and your daily life more comfortable. Keep in mind that you may be living with these treatments for several years -- especially if they're custom-made.

Window Location

Consider the time of day you use the room and the direction the window faces. Southern and western exposures call for treatments such as blinds or shutters designed to control afternoon sunshine; if you hang curtains or draperies, be sure they are lined or the fabric is fade-resistant. North- and east-facing windows, however, are better served by light-filtering curtains or shades. If privacy is your top consideration, look for blackout shades or curtains, or plan to layer window coverings for design flexibility. For kitchen windows, choose simple treatments of synthetic and washable fabrics instead of heavy, dry-clean-only curtains. Other good cooking-zone options are cafe shutters and metal blinds, because both are easy to clean. In humidity-prone bathrooms, PVC or faux-wood blinds provide privacy without warping.

Window Hardware

If your windows are already equipped with curtain poles, traverse rods, or shade hardware, you'll save trouble and money by installing treatments of the same type as what was there before. Traverse rods that operate smoothly can be reused -- they won't show behind your new draperies. If you like the style but not the finish of existing poles, it's possible to paint them.

Window Hardware

If your windows are already equipped with curtain poles, traverse rods, or shade hardware, you'll save trouble and money by installing treatments of the same type as what was there before. Traverse rods that operate smoothly can be reused -- they won't show behind your new draperies. If you like the style but not the finish of existing poles, it's possible to paint them.

Window Size & Shape

In new-construction homes, windows are often standard sizes that make it easy to find ready-made window treatments. Older homes with bay or bow windows or nonstandard-size windows may require custom treatments, which are worth their higher cost for the professionally finished look. To emphasize unusual shapes and architectural millwork, consider a top treatment only, or mount curtains or shades inside the window frame. You can also install window hardware to make a small or narrow window look larger or wider.

Decorating Style

Let historical influences and your personal taste suggest what type of window treatment best fits the style you have in mind. (See our buying guides on Curtains & Drapes, Valances, Shades, and Blinds & Shutters for suggestions.) Choose a practical length -- to the sill, the apron, or the floor. Select cotton, linen, tweed, ticking, or a similar fabric for casual decor; choose silk, taffeta, toile, lace, or velvet for formal settings. Shades, blinds, and shutters are all adaptable to various styles, depending on finish and details.

Privacy & Insulation

As a rule, the thicker or darker the treatment -- or the more layers it involves -- the more privacy and energy efficiency it will provide. Look for interlining, blackout, or thermal curtains and shades as ready-made solutions.

Decor on sale
Frontgate
$29.00 $49.00
at Frontgate

Made of 100% polyester for lasting weather resistance. Sheer panels define an outdoor space without separating it from the surroun...dings. 304 stainless steel grommets will not rust, season after season. Grommets slide easily on our oil-rubbed black cast... read more

Escape Sheer Outdoor Drapery Panel - Green Sheer Stripe, 108"L - Frontgate
Veratex
$52.00 $86.00
at Olejo Stores

The soft elegance and romantic appeal of the luxuriously traditional Toscano bedding collection makes this beautiful bedding ensem...ble the perfect centerpiece for any bedroom.68"Note: This product is not returnable. read more

68" Veratex Toscano Swag Valance in Blush
Veratex
$42.00 $59.00
at Olejo Stores

The Castille Collection features a paisley pattern in vibrant tones of red and gold. The elegant comforter has tassel detail on th...e corners while the pieced flanged standard sham showcases the paisley print in solid gold and embroidered stripes. The... read more

68" Veratex Castille Swag Valance in Garnet
Rev-A-Shelf
$153.00 $202.00
at Build.com

Rev-A-Shelf, 6862-39-570, Half Moon, Lazy Susans, A convenient solution for those hard to reach blind corner cabinets, this combin...ation pivot and slide half moon shelving system brings the back of the cabinet closer to you, providing added storage... read more

Rev-A-Shelf 6862-39-15-570 Almond Half Moon A convenient solution for those hard to reach blind
Rev-A-Shelf
$95.00 $126.00
at Build.com

Rev-A-Shelf, 4WLS801-35-52, Half Moon, 4WLS, Lazy Susans, Features: Great for Blind Corner Cabinet Applications Wood Classic Serie...s Consists of 1-5/8 Inch Solid Wood Rim with 5/8 Inch Thick Maple Bottom Tray Strong Finger Joint Construction Aids in... read more

Rev-A-Shelf 4WLS801-35-52 Wood Half Moon Features:Great for Blind
Rev-A-Shelf
$153.00 $202.00
at Build.com

Rev-A-Shelf, 6862-39-570, Half Moon, Lazy Susans, A convenient solution for those hard to reach blind corner cabinets, this combin...ation pivot and slide half moon shelving system brings the back of the cabinet closer to you, providing added storage... read more

Rev-A-Shelf 6862-39-11-570 White Half Moon A convenient solution for those hard to reach blind
Tommy Bahama
$129.00 $175.00
at BeallsFlorida.com

Papaya & mango is a refreshing palette for this textured shadow leaf design. Pair of drapes measures 84 x 42 in. with a 3 in. head...er & features the same design as the Palma Sola comforter. Drapes are 100 percent cotton with a polyester blend lining.,... read more

Tommy Bahama Palma Sola Window Drapes
Safco
$144.00 $294.00
at Shoplet.com

Shutter to think of all the receptacle possibilities Easy-on-the-eyes cans are a brilliant addition to any workspace. Step-on capa...bility means no hands and no mess necessary. Top separates in the middle when opening, providing a large area for... read more

Safco Shutter Cans Saf9951bl
Oriental Trading Company

Do It Yourself Shutter Shading Glasses. Add paint glitter foam pieces and more to make these shades as cool and unique as you! Wat...ch kids smile and laugh as they create their own style with whatever you have on hand! A fun summertime DIY craft activity... read more

DIY Shutter Shading Glasses - Crafts for Kids & DIY Crafts
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