November 12, 2012

Decorating 101 - Window Treatment Ideas

I love window treatments!  I think they are one of the best things you can add to your room and get the most impact.  If I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times from my clients "I never realized what window treatments could do for my room!".  As the world of interior design changes, I've noticed a lot more ready-made window treatment choices out there in cyberspace.  Some good and some not so good.  With that, I've decided to share a few of my designer secrets about window treatments with my readers.

I didn't learn a lot in college about window treatments, but I'll never forget this tidbit from one of my professors..."Drapes are a verb, not a noun.  Draperies drape."  So I always refer to my curtains as draperies, never drapes.  But I digress.  One of the most common window treatments out there are draperies.  You can do stationary ones that just frame your window, or you can do functioning ones that actually open and close as needed to control either light and/or give you privacy.
  • Never mount your draperies right at the top your window.  Go as high as you can or at least half-way between the top of your window and the ceiling.  
  • If you want to be able to open and close your draperies, use metal hardware.  Wood hardware does not work well for functioning draperies.
  • Make sure your draperies are lined, unless you are using a sheer fabric.

One trick I like to use for my clients who are on a budget, is to purchase ready-made panels and add a little trim detail to them.  Ribbon, trims and even buttons are a great way to add a little of your own personality to rather plain draperies.

I consider any fabric treatment going across the top of a window a valance.  I find myself doing less and less of these, but there are definitely rooms that need "hat" and not a full dress.  Some of the biggest mistakes I see with valances are they are mounted right across the top of the window - go up as high as you can to make your window appear taller.  I also see valances way too long.  I like to use the proportion of 1/4 of the window height and go up or down a little.  For example, your window is 72" long, your valance should be about 18" long.  

Finally, I find that clients are preferring fabric shades instead of wood blinds or shutters.  I like them because they serve a dual purpose - they function like a blind to give you privacy and light control, but they also bring in fabric on the window.  My best advice about these is to have these made by someone who uses a lifting system instead of a traditional cord control.  Believe me, this extra cost will save you a ton of frustration.

All photos can be found on my Pinterest Board or my website.


  1. Thanks for the info, Jennifer! Those window treatment ideas really are good for making or changing an impression of a room. As for these three, I always find valances very functional. They can hide any imperfections in the curtain or in the window itself.

    Greg Arnett

  2. Yes Herb you are right. You just mention here that all window are not equal. That's why window treatment are not same. Thank you for your share.

  3. Its great thought about window treatments ideasand about blinds installation concept where it will take different formas and through out The USA it will guide the best window treatments ideas for living Room, i just want to also share my company details that we leads in same products and services in California Cities, My products which we leads in ​creative window coverings, plantation shutter blinds, creative window treatments, Window Vertical Blinds  and many more products.

  4. Very well written about the current trends in window treatment, which is information and knowledgeable. Thanks for sharing this inspirational blog.
    window blinds houston
    shutters houston
    window shade houston tx



Jennifer Taylor Design All rights reserved © 2012

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley