Window Treatment Styles

Windows are essential features that influence the overall look of any house. When it comes to your home's interior, windows allow in natural light and can help your home feel brighter and airer. On the inside of your home, though, you're faced with the decision of how to finish your windows. Window treatments are any type of covering or trimming that give bare windows a more finished appearance and, in many cases, add to their functionality.

In this guide, we'll look at five different types of window treatments, so you can determine which style would work best in your home. At Davids Furniture & Interiors, we can help you select and customize window treatments of every style.

Window Treatment Considerations

There are three major things to take into consideration when you're trying to choose the best window treatment option for your home: 

1. Material

One consideration to keep in mind is the type of material you want to frame or obscure your windows. Window treatments come in a wide variety of materials — this includes a wide variety of fabrics, from sheer curtains to heavy drapes. It also includes more rigid materials, like wood, vinyl and metal. Some materials appear more natural and neutral, while others can be bolder and feature bright colors and patterns. Material is an important consideration since it will influence both the appearance and the function of your window treatment. 

2. Privacy

Privacy is another important consideration. Some window treatments are not designed to provide any privacy and are merely a decorative finish for your windows. These are a great option if you prefer to feel more connected with the outside world, and your property already affords your home plenty of privacy. However, if you want to obscure the view into your home, you can do so with many types of window treatments. Some options, like blinds, allow you to change the level of privacy as needed.

3. Light Control

Light control is another critical aspect to consider for window treatments. Natural light is generally a good thing in our homes. In fact, it comes with many health benefits. However, there are times when too much light can come in, creating a glare or causing upholstered furniture to fade. In nurseries and bedrooms, you may need to block out light, so you can sleep during the day or later in the morning. Fortunately, some window treatments are designed to help you dim or block sunlight entirely.

Window Treatment Styles

There are several options to consider when choosing window treatments for your home. However, you can focus your search by determining which styles you're most interested in ahead of time. Some of the most popular window treatment styles are:

curtain styles and lengths

1. Drapery

Drapery is a general term for decorative fabric. When it comes to windows, there are two main types of drapery: curtains and drapes. You'll often hear these terms used interchangeably since they have a lot in common:

  • Curtains: While some curtains are lined and made from dark, heavy materials, as a general rule, most curtains are made from light fabrics. Lighter curtains may need to be paired with blinds or shades for more privacy or light blocking. Curtains come in a variety of sizes and styles, some of which stop at the window sill while others extend to the floor.
  • Drapes: Drapes are generally made from heavy, stiff fabrics that are backed by a lining. When drawn, they provide plenty of privacy and block out light on their own without the need for blinds or shades. Drapes are generally more formal than curtains, and they traditionally reach or puddle at the floor.

Whether curtains or drapes, drapery has some advantages over other types of window treatments. For example, curtains and drapes appear more decorative than blinds. With nearly limitless fabrics, trims and finishings to choose from, drapery can perfectly match the look you're going for. Especially when you want your home or a certain room to appear more formal, custom drapery is a must.

Some common styles of curtains and drapes include:

  • Grommet curtains: Also called eyelet curtains, grommet curtains are a casual and convenient option. They have grommets built into the top of the fabric panel, so they can be hung directly on a curtain rod. These curtains are especially easy to open and close because of their design, making them a good choice for windows you want to keep covered only some of the time.
  • Rod pocket curtains: Rod pocket curtains can still be fairly casual, but they have a more formal, traditional look than grommet curtains. These curtains have a pocket across the top, so a curtain rod can be threaded through. You can push the curtain to one side to let in more light or can maintain more coverage.
  • Tab top curtains: Some curtains have fabric tabs, or loops, at the top to hold the curtains onto the rod. As with grommet curtains, these curtains have a casual look and feel, making them a great choice for relaxed home decor styles or informal rooms.
  • Cafe curtains: While most types of window coverings cover the tops of windows, cafe curtains are hung on a rod partway down the window, leaving the top of the window exposed and offering more privacy for the lower part. The top of the window is often dressed with a matching valance for a coordinated look. These curtains are typically best suited to kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Pleated drapes: Pleated drapes are one of the most traditional options for window coverings, making them the optimal choice for more formally styled homes. You'll find various types of pleating, including a pinch pleat, goblet pleat, inverted pleat and more. Some drapes include a wand or a cord-and-pulley system to allow you to easily open and close the drapes.

2. Top Treatments 

When you only want an understated touch of decoration added to your windows, top treatments are an excellent option. Top treatments dress up the tops of your windows. They can be paired with blinds, shades or drapery for more complete coverage. Some of the main types of window top treatments include:

  • Window scarves: A window scarf is one continuous piece of fabric that is draped across a curtain rod so that it hangs over the top of the window and extends down both sides to a degree. You can also use a bracket at each end to hang the scarf.
  • Valances: A valance is a type of fabric finishing that typically hangs from a rod in a similar manner as a curtain, though it only covers the very top of the window. Valances come in many styles, including various fabrics, colors, patterns and trim.
  • Pelmets: Pelmets are hard, box-like coverings that obscure the curtain fixtures at the top of a window. They can be covered in fabric to match the rest of the window treatment. Pelmets can make your custom window treatments appear more high-end.

window treatment customization options

3. Shutters

If you're looking for curtain alternatives, consider shutters. These shutters may resemble exterior shutters, but they are designed for your home's interior. Interior shutters are often referred to as plantation shutters because they were originally found in stately Southern homes.  

Plantation shutters are comprised of large slats, called louvers, that can be adjusted in a similar manner as blinds to give you the desired level of privacy. You can mount them either inside an existing window casing or outside of the window. You can customize many aspects of your interior shutters, including: 

  • Material: Real wood is the traditional material for shutters, but you'll find other materials like vinyl and metal on the market today, as well.
  • Color: If you choose real wood shutters, then you can choose the right stain or paint color to match your home's interior.
  • Louver size: You can choose a wider or more narrow size louver to fit the look you want. Common louver widths include 2.5, 3.5 and 4.5 inches.
  • Tilt: You can choose whether to include a traditional front tilt bar in the middle or whether to eliminate the bar, so you move the louvers directly.
  • Coverage: You can only install shutters over the bottom half of your windows if desired, or you can cover the whole window.
  • Splitting: You have the option to choose double-hung shutters, and you can split the top and bottom halves to allow you to control these sections separately.

4. Shades

A window shade is one solid panel made from materials like fabric or vinyl. It can be heavy enough to block out light, or it can be translucent, so it provides privacy while still letting light filter through. Shades extend from the top of a window and can be pulled down all or part of the way. Some types of shades include: 

  • Roller shades: As the name suggests, roller shades roll up around a tube installed at the top of the window. You can pull down the shade for privacy and then retract it when you want to expose the window. Roller shades are simplistic and casual, so they work well in modern decor styles.
  • Cellular shades: Cellular shades are also known as honeycomb shades. These shades can retract, accordion style, but when they are pulled down to cover your window, the pleated honeycomb cells provide insulation as well as privacy. The Duette® Architella® Honeycomb Shade Collection from Hunter Douglas takes this design to the next level by incorporating a honeycomb within a honeycomb, reducing a window's energy loss by up to 40 percent.
  • Banded shades: Banded shades are also called dual, layered or zebra shades. When they are backlit, you can see that light is able to pass through alternating sheer fabric panels, while the other opaque panels block light. This combination offers some light, as well as privacy.
  • Woven wood shades: Woven wood shades have a uniquely natural look that is perfect for some home decor styles. These shades are made from natural woods, bamboo, reeds and grasses. When risen to expose part of the window, the shades hang in overlapping folds. They can also hang flat for more coverage. 
  • Roman shades: Roman shades are fabric window coverings that can be raised or lowered with a cord system. When raised, the fabric stacks in horizontal folds. Roman shades come in many styles. They tend to have a clean, modern feel, but they have a softer appearance than most roller shades or blinds.

automated window blinds

5. Blinds

Blinds are made from stiff materials like wood, metal or vinyl, though some can be covered in fabric for a different look. There are two main types of blinds, differentiated from each other by their orientation:

  • Horizontal blinds: Horizontal blinds are comprised of slats that run from side to side. As with shutters, the angle of the slats can be manipulated to provide more or less privacy and allow more or less light in. The slats can be controlled by a wand, cord or automated system.
  • Vertical blindsVertical blinds are stiff panels of material that hang vertically. They are attached to a sliding track at the top, so you can pull them to one side or have them cover the whole window. Vertical blinds come in many styles, from simplistic to luxurious.

Blinds can be one of the most utilitarian options for window treatments, which is why some homeowners may initially steer away from them. However, modern luxury blinds are nothing like what you'd find on the shelves at your local big-box store. They come with a more attractive appearance and impressive functionality. Choosing a material like fabric or faux wood, for example, is a far cry from the lackluster plastic blinds you may have seen before.

When it comes to functionality, automated blinds are an excellent option. Rather than using a pull wand or cord, you can open, close and adjust your blinds with the touch of a button. Hunter Douglas offers the PowerView motorization option, so you can control and even schedule your window treatments, so they assume the exact position you want. In addition to the remote control, you can use an app and even take advantage of voice command features.

custom window treatments

Custom Luxury Window Treatments From Davids Furniture & Interiors

Whether you're interested in luxurious drapes, high-tech blinds or anything in between, the design experts at Davids Furniture & Interiors can help you find the perfect window treatment options for your home. Since your home is unique, your window treatments should be, too. Custom and semi-custom window treatments from Davids Furniture are tailor-made to fit seamlessly in your home and provide the aesthetic that fits perfectly with your home's design style, all while offering the practical features you need to enjoy your preferred level of privacy and light.

If you have any questions, reach out to our interior design experts at Davids Furniture & Interiors and schedule a design consultation at one of our stores in Mechanicsburg or Harrisburg, PA. Our designers have the creativity and expertise to help you outfit your home with beautiful luxury window treatments that are optimized for you.

April 13, 2020 — Michael Martin