Window Treatment Selection

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Window treatments help define the style and mood of a room. When deciding on a window treatment, start with the style, then think about color and design. Don’t forget hardware choices to add the right finishing touch.
 
The first step in choosing a window treatment is to decide how much privacy and light control you need. For a room in which minimal privacy is needed, maximize the available natural light and select sheer fabrics. For more privacy and a cozy effect, create a soft wall of opaque texture and rich color. However, beware of overdressing windows with yards of fabric, which can make your room look dated.
 
Curtains
Both curtains and drapes consist of panels of fabric; it is how they are attached at the top that determines which category they fall into. By definition, curtains are gathered on a rod or attached to it by tabs, ties or rings. They are generally stationary; if they are opened and closed, it is done by hand.
 
Drapes
These are the mainstay of window fashions. By definition, drapes are pleated panels that hang from hooks that attach to small slides on a rod. You open and close the panels by a cord that moves the slides along a track. The rod itself may either be covered by the panel or exposed. Pinch-pleated styles are traditional, but numerous variations exist.
 
Shades
Shades are one of the most practical and hard-working window treatments. They offer easy light control, instant privacy and a clean, tailored silhouette in a wide range of colors and fabrics. Options include simple roller shades, insulated honeycomb shades, woven shades, wooden shades and soft fabric shades, including Roman, balloon and cloud shades.
 
Blinds and Shutters
Blinds and shutters have adjustable louvers and vanes that tilt to filter the light, level to reveal the view or shift to completely block the view. Horizontal blinds made of vinyl or metal come in a wide array of finishes and colors; vertical blinds also come in an array of textures and materials and create a more contemporary look. Wood blinds mimic the look of shutters but at a lower cost.
 
Hardware
All types of window treatments need hardware. They can be as simple as a spring-loaded rod, ideal for a café curtain, to an elaborate top rod that may outshine the window treatment itself. Hardware that will be covered by fabric is generally plain and unobtrusive. Other hardware is more decorative, including styles that include elaborate finials. When choosing the latter, look for styles that blend well with your windows and the rest of the room’s decor

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