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Choosing Window Treatments

Overwhelmed by the sheer number of window treatments available? You’re not alone. From shades to drapes to panels, the variety can make even the savviest consumer a little dizzy.

A perfect window treatment allows in your desired amount of light, keeps nosy neighbors at bay and blends in with the room’s decor. Yes, that may seem like a tall order to fill, but it’s definitely possible to find a stylish solution without having an in-store meltdown.

Know the Basics about Window Treatment

Before you even set foot in a store, it’s important to take stock of these essentials:

Window Measurements:
You’ll need to measure the window frame, depth, height (include one measurement to the base of the frame and one to the floor) and width. You may also need to measure the interior width of the window frame depending on the type of window treatments you want to buy.

The Room’s Needs:
Not every room in your house serves the same purpose. Your choice in window treatments should reflect this. Are you looking to let in some light? Or block it out? Is this a space that requires additional privacy? Or do you want something that will show off a fabulous view?

The Room’s Design Aesthetic:
Your window treatments should complement your home’s decor.

Let the Light In

Natural light can do wonders to brighten up a room.

These following window coverings are known for being generous when it comes to letting the sun shine in:

Window Panels:
To let in the most sun, choose panels in a lightweight cotton or a sheer fabric. One panel is great for a small window, but two panels are essential if you want to feel the cross-breeze.

Basic Blinds:
This is a great choice for rooms that beg for a simpler or more masculine aesthetic. Wooden and faux leather options read heavier than aluminum mini blinds.

Honeycomb Shades:
These lightweight shades give the room a soft glow when down. As a bonus they also keep out the heat and cold.

Frame a View

If your abode overlooks a vista, snag a window treatment that really shows it off.

When paired with a set of window panels, a tailored valance helps create the perfect frame for a beautiful view.

This more dramatic option sweeps to one side. Use it alone or pair it with matching window panels or drapes.

This stiff, boxy treatment does double duty — it frames the top of the window and covers the curtain rod.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Block out the sun and give yourself a little privacy by covering your window with a roller shade, indoor shutters or blinds. Indoor shutters are meant to fly solo. However, roller shades and blinds can be matched with window panels for a softer, more relaxed look.

If you’re yearning for a dose of drama, skip the above options and go straight for a pair of heavy drapes.

Indulge in Trends

Yes, your window treatments should feel one with the rest of your room’s aesthetic but that doesn’t mean they can’t be totally on-trend. Some of 2012’s biggest trends include:

-Neutral colors.
-Bold prints
-Velvet and grosgrain detailing
-Dramatic silk drapes

Be Eco-Friendly

Choosing decor that’s good for the earth is rapidly gaining popularity. Pick a window treatment that’s made of one of these earth-friendly materials:

-Organic cotton
-Reclaimed wood

Window treatments can definitely make or break a room. However, picking the right one can be the icing on the cake when it comes to your room’s decor.

By Megan Mostyn-Brown

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