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Beginner's Guide to Window Treatments

trendy window treatments in kitchen

Arguably the most eye-catching element in a home, windows are meant to grab your attention. They welcome in the warm sunlight and offer a glimpse of the cool outdoors, seamlessly blending functionality with style. How you dress your windows shouldn’t be an afterthought. Thoughtfully selecting window treatments, like shades, curtains, and blinds, can transform and influence a room’s atmosphere, tone, and intention with ease. Read on to learn more about window treatments and get window treatment ideas for your home. 

What is a Window Treatment?

Window treatments are any kind of cover that you put over or around your windows. They most commonly serve to control the amount of privacy and natural lighting in your home during daytime hours, but they can also add style to spaces. All window treatment options fall into one of two categories: soft window treatments and hard window treatments, based on the materials that they’re made of and their feel. Soft treatments are things like curtains, while hard treatments include your blinds and shutters.

Window Treatment Ideas

Whether you prefer soft or hard treatments, there are plenty of options for homeowners to explore as they consider how they’ll cover their windows. Here are details on some of the most popular ideas for window treatments and how to make the most of them in your home décor:

Roller Shades  

Roller shades are durable pieces of laminated fabric that you roll up or down. A cost-effective and sensible option, roller shades are fade-proof and easy to clean. Plus, their tight binding and near-opaque transparency make them perfect for protecting your privacy. Great window treatments for small windows, hang them in simple, minimalistic interiors with limited space for other window treatments.   

roller shade window treatment being pulled down

Kitchen hardware is another small thing that can make a big difference in your home. Check out these kitchen cabinet hardware ideas.

Solar Shades   

Solar shades, often dubbed "window sunglasses," are a type of roller shade that blocks harsh UV rays and peering eyes while preserving outdoor views. They are made from synthetic fibers like PVC and polyester, with the material woven loosely or tightly depending on the preferred transparency level. Excellent for regions with lots of sun, these sleek, eco-conscious shades are best for larger windows and will keep your home cool.  

solar shade window treatment

Wood Blinds

Wood blinds are a popular window treatment constructed from horizontal wooden slats that you can raise or tilt to regulate insulation and light. Mount them inside or outside the frames—they’re customizable, long-lasting, and energy-efficient. Boasting timeless appeal, wood blinds pair with anything from traditional to contemporary décor but shouldn’t be used in high-humidity areas. 

brown wood blinds window treatment in home

Interior Shutters

If you're after a practical living room window treatment, interior shutters are a favorite among homeowners. Unlike blinds, these shutters are fixed to the window frame and open like a door. They have wooden louvers, similar to slats, that you can adjust to control light, ventilation, and noise. With a classic look that never goes out of style, window shutters can add value to your property and deliver the peace and quiet you desire. 

interior shutter window treatment in bedroom

Looking to add even more value to your property? Check out our tips on small updates that can make a big difference

Pleated Shades  

Made from a single piece of paper or polyester fabric, these shades feature pleats that stack neatly in small folds when you raise them. This accordion effect creates a relaxed appearance, allowing a generous amount of natural light to filter through but still ensuring privacy. Available in many sizes, colors, and patterns, pleated shades offer convenience and are budget-friendly for windows, patio doors, and skylights.

pleated shade window treatment in home


Drapes are decorative window coverings made from heavier, more luxurious panels, like velvet, silk, and damask. Held up by a rod above the window, drapes cascade down to the floor in loose folds. Lined and used to darken a room or as a statement piece, they infuse elegance and sophistication. They’re ideal for a formal dining room or other rooms with a dimmed setting, like a bedroom, living room, or home office.

drapes window treatment in kitchen

Roman Shades  

Roman shades are fabric window coverings with soft, horizontal folds along the length of the shade. Combining the drama of drapes with the utility of shades, they fold and stack as you pull on the drawstring in a waterfall-like motion. They may rank among the most expensive treatments, but their versatility, craftsmanship, and ornate nature will be the focal point of any room. 

roman shade window treatment in sunroom

Maintaining Window Treatments & More 

When it comes to window treatment options and window treatment ideas, roller shades, solar shades, interior shutters, drapes, and Roman shades are among the most popular. However, window treatments aren’t the only thing that can totally transform a room—paint is powerful, too! Not sure which paint color to choose? Read our article, “Set a Tone: Mood-Boosting Paint Colors for Every Room,” for expert painting tips, tricks, and advice.   

Window Treatment FAQs

1. How many window coverings are necessary?

As a rule of thumb, you should have one window treatment for each window. 

2. How much are window treatments?

Window treatment prices vary. Roller shades can cost as low as $8 per window, while custom shades can cost over $2,500 per window. 

3. Do window treatments increase home value? 

Yes, well-made, quality window treatments are desirable and can increase property values. 

4. How much do window blinds cost?

On average, window blinds can cost anywhere from $50 to $250.