Having great windows is a major plus in any home–they add character and provide much coveted natural light. Without window treatments, however, the space will look unfinished.
Whether you choose blinds, cornices or curtains, windows are a good place to anchor the room’s overall design and inject your own personal style. Before deciding on a treatment, determine what function the window covering needs to serve and the aesthetic you want it to reflect. Is it for a home office? Blinds that block out glare from the sun are a good choice. Looking for an elegant touch to a dining room window? A cornice is a stylish option. Do you need privacy? Opt for an opaque material.
Custom curtains can be expensive, so think about both utility and style before making your decision. There’s many options for great window treatment ideas that work for every budget and skill level. Below are our five favorite trends.
Wood cornices are one of the most classic window treatment ideas, but they are often overlooked as an option in contemporary homes because of their traditional nature. Used alone, however, cornices can create a sleek, modern look. Though they can be paired with curtains, stained or painted, wood boxes are perfect for the kitchen and bath, where fabric can succumb to water damage. These are best built by a skilled carpenter for a custom fit, so they can be expensive if you aren’t handy. Cornices hide curtain hardware and blend well with luxurious detailing, like crown molding, to give your home a gracious, regal look.
If you love the look of clean edges but lack the funds for custom cornices, you can still have a beautiful window without any soft goods at all by painting the window’s mullions, frame and sill instead of dressing it with curtains. Any DIYer with a steady hand and some masking tape can paint a window, and the color possibilities are endless. Try a bold pop of color to highlight the view, but for best resale value, choose a dark brown or black color for a chic look.
Swing Arm Curtains
Swing arm curtains are one of the more unique window treatment ideas, and they haven’t seen much use in the United States in recent years. They require a special hinged curtain rod that allows you to move the curtain to stand out at a 90-degree angle from the window. Swing arm curtains are a brilliant and surprisingly inexpensive solution for bedrooms where you want to be able to block light easily without having to worry about ruining a carefully pleated or artfully scrunched curtain fabric with daily adjustments.
No list of window treatment ideas would be complete without the ultra-rich look of opaque panels. Classic velvet is great for blocking light, and it can give your bedroom the feel of a sumptuous palace. Velvet’s beautiful drape allows it to look its best when tied back and allowed to cascade to the floor. Other great choices for opaque panels include sueded fabrics, chenille weaves and silk damask. Choose an unusual color for high impact in both traditional and modern spaces.
Sheers are a bestseller for a reason: they look great in every room without costing a fortune. Sheer panels offer privacy while still allowing for plenty of light in your room, so they’re a great choice for north-facing windows or high-traffic areas. White sheers create a beautiful, breezy feel and are at their best when hung from floor to ceiling. Sheer panels are also available in a variety of colors. Match the walls for an interesting textural variation, or add a touch of color to a neutral room by choosing sheers in a pastel shade that works with the overall palette of the room.