Window Treatment Ideas To Suit Every Space And Style

These shady characters were designed with form and function in mind.

Hanna Seabrook Living Room After in Louisville, Kentucky
Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

The first thing you need to know about these window treatment ideas is they’re not just for windows. Doors, nooks, and even porches can benefit from a little drama that can easily be swept aside (or up) when it’s time to take in the view. From Roman shades to pinch pleat drapery panels, bamboo rollers, shutters, and blinds, the possibilities for windows, doors, and more are endless.

The key for finding the best window treatment is to allow your space and design aesthetic to take the lead. Determine your objective (for example: privacy, light filtration, or upping the style ante) and then go from there. Window treatments can be used to both blend into and enhance your design or look—and we haven’t even mentioned functionality yet. A good window treatment will need to work for both your light and privacy needs as well as make sense from a functionality standpoint. For instance, you wouldn’t want drapery panels dusting the bathroom floor or heavy treatments inhibiting the view in your sunroom. When the balance between function and form is achieved, you know you’ve found the perfect window treatment for your space.

01 of 20

Double Up

Phoebe's Formula
Laurey W. Glenn

Don’t settle for just one window treatment. A layered approach can bring warmth and texture by creating a more casual effect than drapery panels can provide. Conversely, if you want to bring in the natural appeal and filtered light offered with bamboo shades but don’t want the space to feel too low key, panels can be called on to elevate the look.

02 of 20

Take It Outside

Aiken Street House Plan (SL-1807) Front Porch design by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Annie Schlechter; Styling: Page Mullins

Give your porch the window-treatment by enclosing the space in shutters that can be opened for full view (and breeze) or shut over when privacy is needed or that midday sun hits. Consider how color can play a part in the look and feel while taking your curb appeal up a notch. A wall of shutters can put off unapproachable vibes, so soften the entry with tied-back panels.

03 of 20

Hit Reverse

Neutral Window Treatments

Window treatments that pool on the floor have the potential to show a hint of lining, so why not make it pretty? Here a double-sided treatment emphasizes an attention to detail that will keep your draperies a cut above the crowd. Depending on what type of curtain header you choose, the draperies can be entirely reversable so you can more easily swap your style for the season.

04 of 20

Elevate the Exterior

2022 Idea House dining room

The views from these windows lead to a courtyard, so designer Charlotte Harris Lucas of Charlotte Lucas Interior Design selected a floral fabric ( Schumacher Floreana in Berry ) for both the dining chair and window treatments. Not only does it give a taste of the flora to be found on the courtyard just beyond, but it also creates a sense of cohesion and elegance.

05 of 20

Keep It Breezy

2022 Idea House Upstairs coffee bar

When you don’t want to obstruct the views or stand in the way of even a single ray of light making its way to your space, sheers are the way to go. They provide privacy but effortlessly blend into the background, obstructing neither light nor the airiness of the space.

06 of 20

Reinforce Pattern Play

Hanna Seabrook Living Room After in Louisville, Kentucky
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

Bold upholstery fabrics bring an extra punch and keep the space feeling cohesive when used for window treatments. If you’re really looking for a way to give your space a maximalist look , consider matching your wallpaper and curtains. It’s a classic design trick that takes a certain level of design confidence, but will never go out of style.

07 of 20

Take a Breather

Trendy living room
Hector Sanchez; Styled by Jared Hughes

Window treatments are the ultimate chameleon. Use them to create impact, bring color, texture, or even call on them to strike a calm and palette-cleansing note. With so many colors and patterns filling the space, the off-white curtains allow a bit of breathing room. They subdue the palette and create a link that ties the entire space (pattern, color, and all) together.

08 of 20

Go Earthy

A Formal(ish) Dining Room
Maura McEvoy Photography

There’s no shortage of personality in this dining room, but natural elements like reed-style shades ground the design while furthering the collected look. From color, pattern, texture, silhouette, and more, the possibilities for mixing and matching are endless, but don’t underestimate the power of finding a window treatment that pulls the entire scene together.

09 of 20

Sharpen Up

Kitchen Warm Wood Backsplash
Photo: Max Kim-Bee; design by Tilton Fenwick

If you have a crisp, clean design but can’t forgo the window treatments, consider a flat Roman shade that extends all the way to the ceiling. It will keep the lines sharp while providing maximum privacy when shut. It can also act as a subtle way of keeping the space from feeling too stark.

10 of 20

Opt for Subtlety

Scene Stealing Trim
Photo: David A. Land; design: Andrew Howard

Café curtains aren’t just for the kitchen. Here a sheer shade keeps the pretty bath soaked in natural light, but allows for privacy as well. Keep in mind other upholstered items within the space, like the sconce shades here that pull from the same white palette, to help create a sense of cohesion.

11 of 20

Don’t Forget the Doors

Texas Flanigan Makeover Landing After
Julie Soefer Photography

Don’t let the name fool you, window treatments are for doors too. A wall of French doors is outfitted with earthy shades that keep the space feeling both calm and beachy. When completely opened, they provide nearly unobstructed views but, when released, create total privacy.

12 of 20

Tie Them Back

Power Walls
Photo: Courtesy Of Mcgrath II; design by McGrath II

Use a tieback on drapery panels and you’ll find it delivers a completely different look than if the same panels go unchecked. The framing effect expertly plays up the entryway into the home, to create both a romantic feel and keep the bottoms of the panels from getting caught in the doors when in use. Form and function make the perfect pair.

13 of 20

Warm Up

Soften the Space with Linens
Photo by: Laurey W. Glenn

If you’re not considering how your window treatments can give the finishing touch to your space, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. Here it both softens and warms up the dining room’s aesthetic, while giving weight to a smaller piece of furniture that might otherwise be lost behind the round dining table.

14 of 20

Accentuate the Design Details

Give a Dose of Tradition
PHoto: Laurey W. Glenn

Window treatments can sometimes be used to hide an unsightly view or cover up design flaws, but they are just as effective at drawing out certain architectural features you wish to highlight. Here a beautifully curved window casing is given even more attention with drapery panels cascading from within.

15 of 20

Create Definition

Create Privacy with Pocket Doors
Photo: Tria Giovan, Styling: Olga Naiman

If you have a wall of windows or doors, consider breaking up your panels to create definition. Without window treatments, the wall could also seem a bit stark or severe. Draperies create a softer, more feminine finish, but without obstructing the views or details of the transom above.

16 of 20

Pay Attention to Detail

Create a Calming Palette
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Trim, heading, style, inside- or outside-casing mount, and even pooling preferences can shift the look of a window treatment entirely no matter what type of panel, curtain, or shade you’re working with—so consider them all. A pleat-style heading, elegant tape trim, and barely floor-skimming length create elegance and a long-line look.

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Know When to Simplify

Girl's Bedroom & Bath
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This space is not short on drama, so keeping the shades simple and streamlined with a simple, light-filtering white blind, helps focus the attention without demanding its own moment. Matching the blinds to the window trim help create a clean, uniform look.

18 of 20

Keep It Short and Sweet

Idea House 2020 Main Bath with Soaking Tub in Corner by Windows
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

For areas where you don’t want curtains anywhere near the floor (specifically in spaces like baths, kitchens, mudrooms, and laundry rooms), you don’t necessarily need to ditch the drapes altogether. Opting for a shorter length provides a more casual look while still managing to provide a bit of elegance without sacrificing the room’s functionality.

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Go Big

Idea House 2020 Mudroom with Storage and Bench
Robbie Caponetto; Styling: Kendra Surface

If your windows are on the smaller side, you can exaggerate both their size and shape by selecting a Roman shade that is hung outside the trim or casing. This will work particularly well if the window casing is painted the same color as the wall.

20 of 20

Create a Space

Fran Chaiprakob Primary Bath
Annie Schlechter

Think beyond the windows and doors when it comes to utilizing window treatments. A heavy curtain, tied back with a tassel brings all the flair and drama to this bath. It functions in place of a door but with style and personality to spare.

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