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Window treatments generally fall into two categories: functional and decorative. Functional window treatments are interior or exterior window coverings or modifications that reduce light, heat, or visibility, including frosted and stained glass. In contrast, decorative window treatments are purely aesthetically pleasing.
While classics, such as shutters, mini blinds, and drapes will always be in style, new trends include Roman, solar, cellular, and sheer shades. Motorized shades controlled with smart devices are also becoming more popular.
Where you buy window treatments depends on which types you're purchasing. While most window treatments are available at home improvement stores and other retailers, you can find custom drapes and blinds through local specialty stores.
Generally, window treatments range from $50 to $2,000, depending on the type, material, brand, and construction. DIY frosted glass spray, organza fabric for swag, and self-stick window films are less than $10, while custom drapes made with rare, exotic materials can run into the thousands.
While most interior decorators refer to blinds as window treatments, in real estate, blinds are often thought of as fixtures because they're screwed into the frame and attached to the house. This distinction is necessary when a real estate contract includes the right for the seller to keep window treatments.
People treating bay windows with shallow depth should stick with thinner options, such as woven wood, sheer, or cellular shades, and mini-blinds. For bay windows spaced further apart, Roman shades and drapery panels are great options. Valences are an excellent choice for bay windows spaced closer together.
Although any window covering will help keep your home cooler, cellular or honeycomb shades are extra energy-efficient. With honeycomb shades, the honeycomb-shaped cells trap warm air to prevent it from entering the room. Exterior awnings work to keep the sun from hitting your windows, which also reduces heat.
Bathroom window treatments need to be durable and able to withstand high humidity while giving adequate privacy. Some of the best options include:
Hang floor-length and shorter curtains and drapes up high and wide, between four to six inches above the window frame, which makes your window appear more dramatic. Floor-length curtains hang nicely when they're about 1/2 an inch off the floor. Short curtains should hang at the bottom of the window trim. Blinds and rustic shades, like bamboo, can sit inside or outside the window trim.
For soft arches, a curved metal rod with princess curtains, jabots, or swag is complimentary. Valances work well with most types of arches. For semicircle arches, fan-style honeycomb blinds and sunburst shades fill the arch's curve, while blinds and shades intersect at the top of the horizontal cross-section.
With curtains and drapes, measure six inches (15 centimeters) or more on both sides past the edge of the jamb. For inside-mounted blinds and shades, measure the window trim dimensions, from inside trim to inside trim. When using outside mounted treatments, measure the area you want them to cover.
Awnings, curtain liners, and privacy film help to reduce light. You can also layer window treatments, such as pairing blinds or shades with curtains and drapes. Cellular, roller, and Roman shades darken rooms very well. Black-out curtains and shades block the most light.
A scarf curtain, also known as swag scarf curtain, can be draped with: