Choosing the right window treatment

Choosing the right window treatment for a home, or even just for a room, can be a difficult choice, especially if you aren't comfortable with interior design. There are so many options to choose from. To help you make the right choice we've put together a selection of window treatments to guide you when decorating a home.


Depending on your personal preference, window treatments can be formal or more simple in design.  You can choose from the more classical swags and elaborate drapings and gilded rods, or elect for simple, classic styles and more natural fabrics, hung on simple black, pewter or wood poles, often with rings.

The first decision when choosing which window treatment will work best for you is to remember that you need to select a style that suits your home and your decorating style.  Fabrics need to coordinate with the rest of the room, and create the feel that you want in your home or room.

Use the following to make up a list:

Form and Function


What shape is the window  


Do you want to make the window a focal point  


How big (measurements) is the window  


Is there room for tie backs and decorative side panels  


How does the window open  


Do you want a decorative or plain window treatment  


Does the window have a nice view, say onto a garden  


Do you need privacy  


Type of hardware you would like  


Are there children at home  

Although there are many options available when choosing curtains, the process does not have to be frustrating. If you have an idea of colour and style, and you have assigned a budget, then you can narrow down the search. You just need to give yourself the time, remain disciplined, and stay focused on your objective. By answering the above questions you will be ready to make an informed choice for the right window treatment for a window or your home.

Framing a view
If you have a beautiful view out of a window, you don't want to block that off with curtains or drapes. By framing the window with curtains in the same colour, or similar to, that of your walls they will not detract from the view outside the window and serve to frame the window.

Choosing fabric
If you are looking to add window treatments that add to the decor rather than simply hang in the room, select a quality fabric and have curtains made to measure instead of ready-made. However, where there are large windows or a large expanse of windows that needs to be covered, it can be prohibitively expensive to buy curtain panels for these areas, and under these circumstances you may need to opt for a more affordable synthetic fabric as opposed to not having enough fullness in a more expensive material.

It's also important to bear in mind that curtains need to be cleaned on a regular basis so as to maintain their appearance. Cleaning curtains can be costly when they need to be dry-cleaned. For this reason, it is necessary to choose curtains that are conducive to your lifestyle and budget.

With so many fabrics to choose from it's hard to know which fabric is the right one for a particular window - or room. Here are a few tips that you can use to guide you in selecting the right fabric:

Casual or Elegant
Some fabrics naturally lend themselves naturally to an elegant room setting, whereas other that obviously work better in a casual setting.

Format or elegant room: silk, sating, velvet, brocade, Jacquard

Casual or informal: cotton, synthetics

The style of window treatment that you use will also determine the type of fabric that you need for the drapes or blinds.



Choosing the right colour for curtains
Having decided on style and fabric, the next important decision you need to make is the colour for your window treatments, drapes, curtains or blinds. Choosing the right colour for curtains can make a huge difference to the look and feel of your room. While the main idea is to match or complement the décor of the room, you also need to take into consideration the size of your room. In a room that has dark furniture, dark curtains will make the room appear smaller and darker, so it is wise to keep dark coloured window treatments for a large, light room.

If you choose a fabric colour that contrasts with the wall colour, it will make the window stand out as a feature of the room, whereas fabric that blends with the wall colour will unify the space. For a room that has more than one window in one wall, particularly in a small room, busy pattern and colour for curtains can tend to make a room feel cluttered, and in this instance matching the drapes to the wall colour is better choice. However, create interest by incorporating neutral colour curtains in a textured fabric for added interest, such as weaves and tone-on-tone brocade to give the window treatment visual interest.

 Take home fabric samples to see the effect of different fabrics against your wall colours to get a feel for what suits the room.

Deciding on a style
The most difficult part in choosing window treatments for a home is that of selecting the right window treatment for different windows. Windows come in all shapes and sizes and there are those that are definitely more difficult to dress than others.  It may be the shape of the window, the location within a room, or how it opens.

Some windows are so small they would look quite silly with anything but a simple window treatment and you must be careful not to overwhelm them with complicated arrangements. A roller blind, Roman shade, etched or stained glass, or a sheer curtain set inside the window, are all good solutions.

How to dress arched or curved windows
Arched or curved windows can look beautiful but present a challenge when you need to provide some sort of shading or privacy on them.   For a formal treatment, custom-made pinch-pleated curtains can be made to fit the window.  A simpler solution is to leave the arch clear and cover only the lower rectangular part of the window with curtains or a blind.  The arch could also be filled with a stationary panel ruched in the centre or fitted with custom blinds with shutters in the rectangular section.

decorating den