Think of them as jewelry for your room.
When it comes to decorating your home, it can be helpful to think of your design elements in layers. The first layer is foundational and makes up all the most substantial elements of your room—think flooring, molding, wall treatments, built-ins, and furniture. The second layer is like the jewelry to your space, those little (and big) touches that bring a scheme to life. And, like a great outfit, the right jewelry—in this case, things like lighting, window treatments, and decor—can take a look from basic to truly something special.
Let’s take window treatments for example. At their core, they’re a utilitarian item, helping maintain your home’s privacy and shield your spaces from too much sunlight. But, as any designer will tell you, they’re really so much more than that. A considered window treatment has the ability to uplevel your space in an instant, bringing more color, personality, and a custom feel to rooms big and small. To help you dream up the best curtains, blinds, or shades for your space, we’re rounding up nine designer-approved window treatment ideas that show the magic of a well-dressed window in all its glory.
Add a Playful Trim
Custom window treatments are a designer go-to, but they’re not your only option. Even if you don’t want to spring for custom curtains or Roman shades, you can bring a bit of pizazz to a more generic option by adding a playful trim. Though the stunning shades seen here in a project by J Kathryn Interiors are custom, the cute pom pom fringe is an easy DIY addition you can make to any window treatment.
Match Your Patterns
Looking to go high-impact with your design choices? Consider matching your window treatments with your wallpaper. In this sophisticated bathroom by Langley Alexander Designs, a relaxed Roman shade and coordinating wallpaper—both from Thibaut—create a graphic yet timeless look.
Go Bold With Color
Window treatments can be purely functional—or they can add a punch of electric energy to your room. Case in point? This charming nursery by DAG Design. Instead of sticking with a soft baby pink as is typical in such a sweet space, designer Cara Fineman opted for Roman shades made from a zesty pink and orange Peter Dunham textile.
Create Privacy (Without Blocking a View)
There are occasions where window treatments are necessary purely for privacy purposes—but blocking a view can make a space feel shut off. The solution? Cafe curtains. This classic window treatment boasts vintage and functional appeal, allowing for light to filter in without risking prying eyes. They’re especially useful in bathrooms, like this serene and light-filled space designed by Katie Davis.
Carry The Aesthetic Throughout Your Room
Choosing patterned window treatments can be a great way to add a bit of funk and personality to your space, but mixing prints isn’t as easy as designers make it seem. If you want to combine like a pro, look to this space by J Kathryn Interiors for inspiration. Here, designer Jessica Kain Barton repeated the print from her custom window treatments on nearby pillows for a look that is both cohesive and fresh.
Try a Traditional Valance
Valances get a bad rap as a relic of the ‘90s that few want to revisit, but they can actually be totally modern when executed correctly. In this charming space by designer Whitney Durham, a window seat gets the royal treatment with the help of bamboo shades and a custom chevron valance, which adds just the right pop of personality (along with those playful fringed pillows!).
Upgrade Your Functional Spaces
Prioritizing window treatments in the main areas of your home—think the living room, primary bedroom, and kitchen—is a no-brainer, but we’re here to make a case for upgrading your more utilitarian spaces, too. Adding something like a Roman shade or pinch-pleat curtains can go a long way toward making functional rooms more enjoyable to be in. Here, Paperwhites Interiors worked a ribbon-edged Roman shade into a laundry room design scheme, proving that chores can be fun (or at least, beautiful).
Layer Your Window Treatments
You know what’s better than one beautiful window treatment? Two! If you want to add an extra dose of texture and coziness to your space, consider layering various window treatments, like a Roman shade and floor-length curtain. In this airy bedroom by Katie Davis Design, a seagrass shade adds privacy and light-blocking abilities, while an additional Roman shade on top brings a bit of pattern and personality.
Swap Shades for Historical Finishes
While every room can benefit from the softness and texture traditional window treatments add, there are some instances where harder—and historical—finishes are better suited. Many antique homes used to be designed with shutters inside to block out sun and cold. These days, this timeworn and traditional feature can add vintage charm to any space, as demonstrated in this guest room seen at The Dowager Inn.
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