The Ultimate Guide to Window Treatments

cornices and shades

Are you having trouble choosing the right window treatments? Let us walk you through the many options and help you find the perfect styles for your home.

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Window Banks: Panels & Valance

panels and valance

Just as you'd showcase a beautiful painting with an equally attractive frame, preserve nature's artwork by flanking a window bank with softly gathered curtain panels united by a wide, tailored valance that spans the top. If exposure from outside elements is a concern, add sheers behind the fabric panels, as they can be drawn shut when needed, while still allowing in light.

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Window Banks: Tent-Flap Panels

tent-flap panels

If sweltering sunlight or howling winter winds come calling, mount your treatments snug within the frame of each window to aid in insulating your room. Curtain panels in tent-flap style offer clean lines that are attractive both open and shut, depending on weather conditions and privacy needs.

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Window Banks: Shades


With today's worldwide selection of woven materials and the plethora of fabric patterns, Roman shades are far from simply practical coverings. Embellish your shades with decorative contrast binding or trim, and you've given your windows both style and function.

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Window Banks: Panels on a Rod

panels on a rod

Curtain panels trailing from a decorative rod are the most classic of treatments. Accentuate the architecture of multiple windows by suspending a narrow panel between each pane. For a bay window that projects beyond the room's footprint, simply mount the rod on the foreground wall.

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Double Hung: Pleated Panels

double hung panels

As tried and true as the window itself, pleated drapery panels deliver elegance in the most straightforward of treatments. For a more formal, decorative statement, add an angular valance pleated to mimic sophisticated jabots. Or for a more laid-back effect, top panels with a flouncy scalloped valance.

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Double Hung: Swags


Unify a pair of side-by-side double-hung windows with asymmetric swags draped across the top of each and cascading down the outer edges. For spaces requiring a touch of privacy, layer sheers beneath the decorative swags.

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Double Hung: Cascading Panels

cascading panels

The beauty of the versatile double-hung is its ability to wear the most casual curtain panels or the most formal bellowing draperies. For fine-dining sophistication or great-room grandeur, pour rich, full panels over a grand curtain rod and bustle one or both slightly aside on matching tiebacks.

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Casement: Pleated Shade

roman shade

Complement a casement window's contemporary appeal with a tailored, pleated shade. Mounted neatly within the window frame, these fabric treatments enhance clean-line design with a soft touch.

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Double Hung: Panels on Rings

panels on rings

To open a double-hung window on a warm summer day is to treasure the refreshing breeze floating into the room. Capture the sensation visually by framing the window with flowing panels clipped to rings that draw easily across a decorative rod.

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Casement: Roller Shade

roller shade

Winning a resurgence in design with its retro style, the roller shade offers many decorative options in patterned facades, embellished hems, and charming pulls.

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Casement: Panels on Swing-Arm Rods

panels on a swing arm

Echo the booklike function of casement windows with panels hung on swing-arm rods (airy sheers work particularly well).

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Casement: Tab-Top Panels

tab top

A proven fit on nearly any window, drapery panels can be formal or laid back. Tab-top panels lend casual comfort to any space.

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Transoms: Shutters

shutters on transoms

Simple, clean lines complement a shapely arched transom window. Shutters mounted on double-hung or casement windows below an arch provide classic design, light, and privacy control. For additional privacy, fan-shaped shutters fit many standard arched transoms.

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Transoms: Duel-Fabric Panels

duel fabric panels

Transoms add natural light along with the illusion of height. A curtain rod mounted at the ceiling enhances the height trick, while dual-fabric panels—sheer on top attached to opaque tails—let the extra light shine through.

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Transoms: Full Dressing

full dressing

Homes with elegant, traditional decor often feature transoms. When style directs a full, robust window dressing, treat the main collection of windows with drapery panels connected by a valance (adding blinds beneath for privacy, if necessary), but mount the rod as you would without the transoms, so the architectural addition is still enjoyed.

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Patio Doors: Door-Mounted Panels

door mounted panels

For a soft touch applied directly to French doors, hang curtain panels cinched halfway down to let in the light. Don't forget the view from the outdoor living area—use a coordinating fabric for the curtain backs.

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Patio Doors: Cornice & Draperies

cornice & drapes

With careful placement, even the most sophisticated window treatments can apply to French doors. Crown the door frame with a shapely cornice that disguises the rod. Be sure the panels can move aside sufficiently to allow the doors to open.

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Patio Doors: Stacking Panels

stacking panels

Follow the natural flow of a sliding door with flat fabric panels mounted above on a gliding track. The visual parallel is striking, while the stack-aside function keeps the decorative treatment practical.

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Patio Doors: Cornice & Shades

cornices and shades

Use horizontal shades or blinds mounted on the wall above the door frame to give sliding doors privacy and light control. To disguise their less-aesthetic headers, top the shades with a decorative valance. Be certain the valance and raised blinds are mounted high enough to allow easy passage through the door below.

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