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Window treatments 101: A guide to getting started



I was recently with a client at her new house. We were talking window treatments, about whether she should add them to the living and dining rooms. I gave her my two cents on the topic, which is to invest with a clear sense of purpose.

Photo: Design Dump

Does the room need light control, privacy, or (literal) warmth? Or are you only looking to enrich the room’s visual appeal? The latter is a completely legit priority, but there may be other ways to update or enhance your space if your windows would rather be left unadorned.

If you know window treatments are what your room wants, here are some baby-step considerations to get you started.

 

Bold or Net Neutral?

Nothing says “wow” like framing windows with a bold pattern or pop of color. You might want to highlight an accent color from a rug or pillow or create some interesting contrast.

pink curtains.jpg

Photo: Amelia Hallsworth/Houzz

Photo: Better Homes & Gardens

I think going neutral has a power of its own, too. Choose a color that is similar to the wall color for a modern or elegant look and then dress up the rest of room as you please.

Photo: TG Interiors

Stripes or Solids?

Take time to look at what your room really wants as far as a window treatment goes. Choosing any kind of pattern or color can feel risky, but considering the whole scene of your room can help you select a style that really fits.

If the room already has a boldly patterned rug or piece of furniture, you might want to stick with a solid or a small, subtle print that gives that kind of illusion.

red dining room.jpg

Photo: House and Home

Conversely, if the existing furnishings are mostly neutral or solid, you can play with a print around the windows without making any other changes that feel too costly or big.

Photo: Houzz

Inside or Outside Mount?

An inside mount creates a clean look and shows off attractive trim.  

inside mount.jpg

Photo: Houzz

An outside mount is often the only option due to the design of the windows, but it’s also a good choice if you need maximum shade for total darkness.

Photo: Project Nursery

Check out this handy guide for more on choosing your mount.

This hopefully gets you thinking about color, texture, and placement as well as whether or not your room needs window treatments at all. Next up, we’ll cover how to choose between shades, curtains, and blinds in Part Two.


 

Sara Eizen is a Seattle-based interior designer and home organizer with a passion for helping busy families reclaim style and space in their homes on any budget. In a bi-weekly column for Seattle's Child, Sara shares creative, fun, affordable tips and tricks for clearing clutter, sprucing up rooms with minimal effort, creating systems that simplify family life, and much more.

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