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  • Writer's picturePatricia Kraisman

October - Design Details: Window Treatments

Updated: Jun 12

Choosing the right treatment for your windows can be one of the most confusing decisions for anyone. There are many design details in relation to window treatments so we ask our clients a handful of questions to help them determine exactly what they want and need regarding dressing their windows.

First and foremost, how do you use the space where that particular window is located? Do you need privacy? What role does natural light play in that space? Too bright or too hot from the sun? Too dark? What kind of view is there looking out of that window? How do you want the space to feel? Formal or relaxed? Let’s dive into these questions to help determine what the best solution is for your home.

Before we get into answering the questions, let’s clarify the different types of Window Treatments. Blinds, Roller Shades, Shutters, and Plantation Shutters are all different varieties of Hard Window Treatments. Curtain panels, Roman Shades, Valances, Sheers and Upholstered Cornice Boards are all forms of Soft Window Treatments.

Something that may seem obvious, is “how do you use the space where you need Window Treatments?”.

Obviously your needs for your bedroom may be completely different than your kitchen. The activities which take place in a room can help determine your needs. Many times, you will need a combination of both Hard and Soft Window Treatments in a bedroom. Having Blinds with Curtain Panels with blackout lining works great in creating a dark room suitable for people who need total darkness when sleeping. Maybe you don’t need it that dark, but want to soften the hard lines of the windows. Non-functioning Roman Shades and/or Curtain Panels are a great way to finish the look of your bedroom.

Non-functioning Panels paired with Blackout Accordion Blinds create a perfect sleeping environment.

Do you need window treatments for privacy?

Sometimes we wonder what builders were thinking when putting regular (clear) glass in a bathroom. Seriously? You don’t want to leave this window bare. A functioning Roman Shade works great in a bathroom. Bringing in a nice fabric adds a softened look to the hard surfaces of the most used room in the house. If you prefer Hard Window Treatments, such as Plantation Shutters, we highly recommend having them painted in a Marine-grade paint or polyurethane coat to handle the moisture levels of a bathroom.

Soft Folded Roman Shade Provides Privacy in this Master Bath.

What role does Natural Light play in the space? Is it too hot or bright from the sun?

Natural Light plays a HUGE role in the way your home looks. It can compliment your paint and fabrics and make a space feel clean and relaxing. It can also destroy your fabrics and change your paint color. Direct sunlight can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the space. In a Family Room, natural light can be a beautiful thing (unless it’s creating a glare on your TV).

Window Treatments are the obvious solution to control natural light. But what kind? Once again, it goes back to how you use the space. Functioning curtain panels are a great choice for a Family Room. You can control how much or how little light you want in the room. Using a lining that lets a little light in will keep the space feeling light and airy, and you can still watch your favorite shows. If you have windows too high our you want to keep them open to show their detail, we suggest using a UVA/UVB clear window film to help control the damaging effects of sunlight while keeping their architectural detail in sight. Of course, today’s newer windows have this feature included in the treatment of their glass.

UVA/UVB Film on the top windows block the damaging sun from the furnishings.

What kind of view is there when looking out of the window?

A beautiful view is a work of art. So how do you frame it? If you need privacy, particularly in the evening, shades or blinds that completely disappear from view are ideal, as well as, curtain panels made out of a sheer material can give you that privacy you are looking for. On the other hand, if your window looks out over a back alley or the side of your neighbors house, you may want to combine soft and hard window treatments to make the window itself the feature, not what’s outside. Plantation Shutters opened on a slight angle, flanked by curtain panels is the perfect solution that allows light in, but disguises what you don’t want to see. In the Formal Living Room below, a beautiful, but public, park lies beyond the patio. In the evening, the homeowner can close the sheers to keep their privacy.

And finally, how do you want the space to feel? Formal or relaxed?

Window Treatment trends come and go, just like hairstyles and fashion. Simple, elegant curtains will always be on point and relevant. The fabrics and trim you choose will determine their formality.

Gone are the days of overly dressed windows (think Scarlett O’Hara with all her tassels and trim, and layers of heavy velvet). They just don’t speak to the way most of us live. Imagine the dust collected in those things! This is the part where expert advice is needed before you make the big investment. Choosing the right treatment to go with the style of your home can be tricky. Do you choose a pattern, or solid? Solid linen in a bold color, or neutral with a trim? And if you’re doing a curtain panel, what type of pleat? Seriously, there are more than a dozen types of pleats. Click HERE to see what I mean. And do you prefer a Soft Roman Shade or Flat Roman Shade? Based on the size of the window, is buying Retail even an option? The list goes on and on.

Window Treatments and the many design details that need to be confirmed just add the finishing touch to any room. Finding the right style for your home doesn’t have to be difficult – simply determine what your needs are, and see the many options available for any budget. Once you answer the questions we asked, you are on your way to a better understanding of what will work best for you.

If you are still overwhelmed, give us a call, we love solving our clients problems and creating the homes of their dreams! +1 908.451.5357

Patricia Kraisman


+1 908.451.5357

Design & Build - Licensed - Insured


Int’l Assoc. AIA

CPAU, Argentina

COAA, Spain

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