Window Treatments 101

While window treatments may not be the first part of your space that comes to mind when designing, they actually can make a huge difference in the overall appearance of a room. But, with so many options on the market, it's hard to know where to start. That's where we come in, of course! A trained designer is the best way to get things just right, but we've put together a few of our best tips and tricks for getting the look yourself.


First things first: you need to determine what type of window treatment will best fit your needs. It's important to consider the look of your window treatments, but it's also vital to think about their function. Are you just looking to add a finishing touch to your room? Do you need to block light or sound coming in? Are you in need of a little more privacy? All of these functions will affect the type and style of window treatment that you ultimately select.


There are so many different window treatments, it's important to know what you're options are! We like to think of window treatments as broken into two basic categories: shades and drapery. In the shades category, we have: Roman, Austrian, pleated, and roller. In the drapery category, there are many aspects to consider: gathering style (at the top), fullness, length, opacity, lining, and fabric. To get the best of both worlds, you can combine both shades and drapery!

Let's break these types down a little further:


Shades are best for when something is right up against or next to a window. They are a bit more tailored than drapery, and should be fitted to your specific windows. You can mount shades within the window frame, or right outside/above the window frame.


Drapery has a more flowing feel to it, with less specific measurements necessary to fit to your windows. They should be mounted slightly above/outside the window frame and flow to the floor. Quick tip: the higher you mount your drapery, the taller your ceilings will look (but don't get carried away)! The length is somewhat up to you, as some people prefer drapery to hit the floor perfectly, while others prefer a longer, pooling look at the bottom. Take into account your needs when deciding on opacity, linings, and fabric. If you just want a compliment to your space, a sheer curtain can work well, but if you're looking to stop the sun from coming into your bedroom in the morning, you may want to consider a fabric or lining that blocks light.


Once you know your function and the type of treatment that will best fit your function, it's time to consider your style. Is your space light and bright, or dark and moody? Do you want to add interest and texture with trimmings, or stay sleek and clean-lined? The gathering style you choose should reflect the overall aesthetic of the room. A pinch pleat can be quite formal, while a tab top tends to be more casual. Be sure to take into account your wall color, as the window treatments will be right up against this, and the other colors in your room. Do you want to draw attention with bright hues, or keep it simple with neutrals? Whatever you decide, remember it's okay to change your mind! Sometimes, you really need to see something in your space to know if it's right or not. Don't be afraid to experiment and adjust as needed!


Need a little more help with your window treatments? Consider booking a consultation with one of our interior designers at The Finish for a stress-free, professional touch.