If you have pets or messy kids, you probably don’t have curtains, sheers, or window netting. Why not? Because they don’t survive very long in those conditions. Maybe blinds are better. Or bare windows. But that only works if you don’t mind the loss of privacy … or have no neighbors.
For most of us though, window treatment ideas help us turn bland houses into personalized homes. They can show off your personality, lower utility bills, and cut down noise pollution. That could mean muting outside noise … or muting indoor sounds. So let’s explore a few ideas!
1. Polka Perfect
Let’s begin with the basics. This bedroom has a simple set of floor-length curtains and sheers. The curtains are a pale, neutral tone that matches the rest of the room. The large polka dots add interest and draw the eye. The window is mounted with curtain rods rather than a curtain box. This is becoming increasingly common for modern homes since rods are easier to maintain.
2. Black it Back
If you opt for windows and sheers, you’ll need something to hold them back during the day. The quickest solution is to tuck the fabric into a windowpane or hold it with your window latch. A more grown-up answer is to buy this black leaf-shaped candle-holder. It lets in the maximum amount of light and it looks good too. Plus, it won’t rust or stain your curtains.
3. Light and Airy
Ordinarily, people decorate their homes with light walls and dark curtains. The sofa might be dark as well, making it a visual centerpiece. But if you’re bold enough to opt for darker walls, pale-colored curtains can help lighten the room. In this example, the walls are a rich reddish-brown. The creamish-white curtains, chairs, and lampshades help to tone things down.
4. Pots and Panes
Kids are magnets for dirt, and they’ll pad their dirty paws all over your pretty curtains. Kittens will scale those curtains and midnight and yank them down. Railings too! So if your home is full of fingers and claws, get blinds instead. If the blinds feel too dull and plain, you can use a potted plant to brighten up the room. Although the plant might not survive the kids and pets …
5. Tan and Tinted
You can usually tell if a house a female resident … because it’ll have sheers. Bachelors are generally fine with plain curtains. But you may have genuine reasons for avoiding sheers. They dim the light slightly and trap extra dust, which can influence allergies. So if you’re wary about window netting, use fogged colored, stained, or smoked windows paired with curtains.
6. Tilt and Plant
A lot of windows use two curtains that draw in opposite directions. But if you have a small, single-curtain window, you may be unclear on how to style it. If you’d like to balance out the room, use a decorative curtain holder to tug it to one side. On the other side of the window, place a potted plant or decorative vase. It will create a psychological counterweight to the curtain.
7. Sunny and Green
What if you don’t want any window dressing at all? It’s okay to keep your window uncovered, especially if you’re on the upper floor and no windows are facing you. That way, there’s less chance of anyone peeping in. But if you’re foregoing window dressings, treat the glass instead. You could mist or etch it. Paint the wall a bright color and put potted plants near the window.
8. The Royal Treatment
Just because you have a small window doesn’t mean you’re restricted to a single curtain. You can still buy lavish layers of fabric. Opt for floor-length spans and install a curtain rod that’s significantly wider than the window. That way, when you draw the curtains, the frame the window on both sides. It’s a useful technique if your window has any decorative finishing.
9. Wide and Wonderful
People assume the only way to exaggerate natural light is through French Doors. But these treatments are expansive and expensive. They can also leave your home exposed, both psychologically and security-wise. Instead, use large windows that stop a foot from the ground. Fit them with horizontal wooden shutters so you can easily control lights levels and privacy.
10. Broaden the Fold
Office blinds are often plain and boring. At home, you can invest more in aesthetics. This example has a wide, three-panel window with a deeply recessed sill. That wide surface is ideal for potted plants or even a small vegetable patch. Install pleated draw-down blinds for privacy and light control. This is key, as such large windows can be blinding in full daylight.
11. Light and Exciting
Conservative styling doesn’t have to be dull. This room is all done in neutrals. It’s full of grays, off-whites, and beiges. But the textured bedspread and the patterned curtains add some pizazz to the bedroom. These subtle shifts in tone help you bring the room to life.
12. Both is Better
Many homeowners prefer curtains while commercial spaces opt for blinds. But if you have the choice, the capacity, and the budget, why not both? Blinds are easier to clean than nets or sheers. You can simply vacuum them with a brush attachment. And it’s easy to open or dim them either by remote control or drawstring. At night, the curtains will finish the job.
13. Silky Sheen
The purpose of a curtain hold is to pull back the fabric and let light in during the day. But it can also be a decorative bauble in itself. In this example, lush silk curtains in mixed hues are bunched up using an intricate ornament. The color selection on the curtain (and its holder) are rich browns, creams, and sages that will glint every sunrise and sunset.
14. Vaulted Venetians
Vaulted ceilings are often found in attics and log cabins. They’re usually high up and poorly lit. But modern vacation vaults may have a picture window. Or maybe a series of smaller windows that make up the entire wall. In this case, automated shutters may be more effective than individual curtains or blinds. Set up a remote control or coordinated wall switches.
15. White on White
Two polar situations may inspire large windows. One, sunny climate, because you want to let more of the sun in. Two, gloomy regions with so little sunlight that you want to ‘suck up’ as much as possible. This home could be in either set-up, but it seems like the latter. The large windows are dressed with white translucent curtains and white blinds for maximum brightness.
16. Groomed and Grilled
Bare windows are fine for isolated areas or gated compounds. But if anyone can see into your house from the street (or the neighboring building), you need effective window treatment ideas. You could buy colored shutters or cheap blinds. Paint the window frames to match. On the outside, diamond-shaped grills heighten security without lowering light levels.
17. Cells and Closure
Most window treatment ideas are driven by décor and decorum. You want your windows to look nice and you want to stop people from peeping in. But sometimes, you want thermal window dressings. In this example, massive windows let in lots of light and let out much-needed heat. So the cellular honeycomb blinds help you retain heat during colder months and chilly nights.
18. Best in Brown
Cellular blinds give your home a contemporary feel. But if you’re looking for something more rustic and royal, try these quarter curtains. These fractional window dressings are great for bay windows. Their projection causes refraction. This makes it harder for people outside to see the interior view, so curtains aren’t crucial. You can drape them decoratively to match the seats.
19. Bathroom Beauty
The most popular window treatment ideas for bathrooms involve camouflage. The window will be small, fogged, smoked, textured, or misted. But if you have a pretty view from your tub and a large clear window, consider horizontal blinds paired with curtains. They’re especially helpful for sub-divided windows like this one. Use quick-drying fabric for the curtains though.
20. Clear Views
For apartment dwellers, windowless curtains aren’t an option. Too many nosy eyes and trigger-happy camera-phones. But if you have a fence and your windows are protected, you can leave your view wide open. Instead of curtains, sheers are a better window treatment idea. Get a smooth, well-finished curtain holder. If it has sharp edges, it will soon rip your sheers.
21. Bath and Panorama
Here’s another interesting way to convert a vaulted space. In this penthouse, the tub is sunk into the floor, opening up a gorgeous view. With such large windows and such a tempting tub, you don’t want to get out of your sudsy bubbles to draw the curtain. Try automated shutters. Lower them to take in the view, then raise them as you leave the tub to avoid providing a free show.
22. Clinical Cure
Some people are afraid of hospitals. All the white upsets them. But start whites don’t have to be plain or uninspiring. Infuse lots of natural light and the space feels calm and angelic. This hospital room is brightened by massive windows that take up nearly 70% of the wall’s height. The windows are dressed with billowy white curtains that make the room feel airy and light.
23. Double Delivery
It’s not just hospital wards that look resplendent in black. If you’re building a house, think about window treatment ideas. Consider them before your frame the glass. This room has two large windows that closely spaced. They’re too far for matching curtains and too close for contrasting ones. Opt for thick white sheers instead. With smoked windows for added privacy.
24. High Splendor
Spaces with high ceilings can be difficult to decorate. Luckily, you have a broad selection of window treatment ideas. In this example, the floral floor-length curtains suit the size of the room. They also create a cozy atmosphere. This is important because, given the high roof and massive windows, you may feel dwarfed in this room. The curtains make it seem more homely.
25. Mix and Match
You don’t need a curtain on every window. Especially if you have multiple windows in the same room. Here’s a clever way to camouflage that extra window. Put an L-shaped couch in front of it and install shutter blinds. When the blinds are shut, they look like a door to a private room, so nobody will bother with it. Off-set this with floral curtains for your main window.
26. Expose your Personality
We don’t pay much attention to other people’s curtains. But in those idle, subconscious moments, your eyes will dart to their windows and their floor. A lot. Assume the same will happen in your home and invest in creative window treatment ideas.
This flowery curtain may seem generic, but it says a lot about its buyer. It shows softness, gentility, and warmth. It expresses the sensibilities of a typically feminine home-maker. Be equally discerning when you’re buying yours. What do you want your curtains to say about you?
27. Quirky can be Good
Many modern homes have phased out curtain boxes in favor of curtain rods. But that means you can’t have decorative fabric covers like valances, swags, and cornices … or does it? This home-owner found a clever way to install freestanding valances. They come in a pair, like many of the other features in this living room, from storage trunks to rectangular poufs and potted plants.
28. Potted Perfection
The main reason for window treatment ideas is to protect your privacy. You want to prevent perverts and nosy passersby from looking inside your home. And what’s the most organic way to do that? With potted plants? Ensure they’re tall enough to block the view. But their leaves should be spaced enough to still let some sunlight into the house.
29. Fancy Frenching
A lot of people who would consider French doors are wary. They like the open feeling and natural light. But they’re afraid of the people walking by. If someone looked in at the wrong moment, they might catch you doing something embarrassing or private. Solve the issue by drawing thick curtains over your French doors. As a bonus, it makes low ceilings seem higher.
30. True Blue
In the movies, curtains are often flowery and feminine, full of lace and pinks and fuchsias. In the real world, window treatment ideas might be more mundane. If your windows are too narrow or too few, install king-sized curtain rods above them, leaving lots of overlap on either side.
You can then drape heavy, floor-length curtains in bold colors like navy blue. They’ll psychologically enlarge the size of your room. Pick a strong color to contrast pale walls. And ensure your curtain rod is sturdy enough to support the weight of your fabric.
31. Venice Vanguard
In the world of interior design, Venice is mostly known for its horizontal blinds. But you can find pretty curtains in Venice too. This home is the perfect example with its striped, yellow-and-gold-colored curtains and its swag-draped sheers. The asymmetric layout of the fabric adds mystery and glamour … or tattles on whoever turned up the cloth and peeped at the neighbors …
32. Serene Sauna
Saunas in movies and books have no view. You sweat your stress away while staring at steaming coals, wooden walls, and fellow steam bathers. But this particular sauna looks over a glorious sea. Which is why the picture windows remain bare. Large lumber pillars hold the glass in place.
33. Bathe in Gold
Where is your bathroom? Upstairs or underground? Facing the street or the back yard? If your bath is in an exposed section, you need smoked glass, thick sheers, and heavy curtains. So to make up for the obstructed view, this home-owner made their bathroom decadent. With glossy curtains in pale gold and diamond-shaped motifs spread around the room, it drips luxury.
34. Valiant Valance
Not many curtain rods are dressed. But if you really want to execute those window treatment ideas, you can still put a valance over your rod. You’d have to buy curtains specifically for that purpose. Both the curtains and the valance are looped through the rod and gathered into position. The image here is rendered, but it clearly shows the valance looped around the rod.
35. Crosshatch Couture
Clever design isn’t always expensive or complicated. This gorgeously dressed window uses the simplest element of all – line. The glass has textured horizontal rows to make the window fuzzy. That way, nobody can clearly see in. Pair this with well-spaced vertical blinds. This basic window treatment idea creates a pretty squared pattern when you glance at it. Such pretty shadows.
36. Neat and Narrow
We’ve seen a lot of massive rooms so far. Meaning we have lots of window treatment ideas for high ceilings and vaulted windows. But what if you have the opposite challenge? What if your narrow space is plugged with a wall-to-wall window? Well, you should dress it with a wall-to-wall sheer. This widens the space, making it seem lighter, larger, and better ventilated.
37. Well-lit Dentist
We’ve already reviewed a white hospital room … now let’s look at teeth. Dentists need tons of light (and electricity) to do their job. Especially for color-matching your filings and implants. So instead of curtains, install permanent blinds. Buy minimal furniture so the room stays light and airy. Only essential equipment, preferably in bright cheerful or soothing shades to calm clients.
38. Your Window to Health
When you’re in a spa, air needs to circulate freely. With all that moist air, scented oils, and heated items, ventilation is key. The walls might be made of breathable lumber or loose reeds. In this case, the glassless window uses diagonal crosshatch timber mesh. The whole space is an array of deep browns glossy blacks, and soothing earth tones. They restore your body and spirit.
39. Light-Blocking Window Treatments
Not all hospital rooms house sick patients. This one looks more like a lab. Possibly for x-rays and ultrasounds. It’s why the entire wall is made of French doors and unobstructed windows – the light helps medical technicians read their equipment accurately. But for sensitive tests that require light blockage, dressing your windows with cellular blinds is a good idea.
40. Wood and Tile
We’re all about choices, so here’s a second selection of window treatment ideas for spas. This one is made of concrete or plaster and finished with light-colored reflective tile. But to maximize illumination and ventilation, half the walls are glass-less gaps held apart by wood. The wood is arranged in large square grids. They maintain air circulation, which is crucial to spa healing.
41. In the Upside Down
Contemporary houses tend to have large windows. Sometimes, the entire wall is glass. In this sample, two perpendicular walls are glass, except for a foot above the floor and a foot below the ceiling. Finding the right curtains for windows that large may prove tricky. So continue with your contemporary theme with up-down cellular window shades that open in different directions.
42. Monochrome Windows Dressing
We’ve looked at blue curtains on white walls. But in this exceptional example, the painted walls and the window dressings are the same royal shade of blue. But the luscious folds of this lustrous fabric contrast the smooth, flat wall. Plus, the window has an elegant arch that draws the eye. So using a uniform color helps balance out this dramatic design decision.
43. Stains we Like
In certain styles of architecture, the window itself is part of its dressing. A good example is the stained glass found in churches, shrines, and castles. The meaningful patterns, etched texture, and beautiful colors are aesthetically pleasing and they protect privacy. This stained glass arch window brings some of that joy and class into your home. It comes in variegated green.