The Confusion Of Choosing: 5 Pressing Window Dressing Questions Answered

Curtains, blinds and other window dressings can do a lot for any room, but when it comes time to choose between the vast number of variables, it can get confusing. Don't let that stop you from decorating your windows to your heart's content, though, as this area of home decor can make or break the "Wow" factor of every room in your home.

Here are five of the more pressing questions surrounding window treatments, answered:

1. Curtains Or Drapes?

To some, the words "drapes" and "curtains" are interchangeable, with no real difference between the two. The truth, however, is that curtains and drapes are similar only in the fact that they adorn windows. They're actually not the same item, nor do they serve the same specific purposes.

  1. Drapes: These are crafted with heavy materials and are usually lined. Drapes will block light and even drafts; thus, if you have older windows that let the cold in, drapes are ideal. They're also better for privacy, making them perfect for your bedrooms. Drapes are often more laborious to care for than curtains, but cleaning isn't needed that often, so don't be discouraged if you really need the privacy and thermal stability.
  2. Curtains: Lighter in fabric weight than drapes, curtains are usually added strictly for aesthetic purposes, although they do shut out light to some degree. They can add privacy to a room, although not as well as drapes. Curtains are generally more versatile and come in a wider variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Ruffles, patterns, and designs add personality to a room, and the sheerest of curtains can create a very romantic and whimsical effect.

2. Shades Or Blinds?

The difference between shades and blinds is much clearer than the difference between curtains and blinds, with each having its own set of unique benefits. 

For the most part, your choice between shades or blinds is a personal preference, although they can serve slightly different functions.

  1. Shades: Fixed to the frame of your window, just like blinds, shades will either roll up and down or gather, depending on the style. Shades come in a vast array of styles and colors, which may give them an edge over blinds. If you have small children or curious cats, shades are likely the better choice over blinds, as they don't suffer the same damage when prodded by hands and paws.
  2. Blinds: Often more sophisticated-looking than shades, blinds lift up with tilting slats to either offer more privacy or block light. While they're not as simple to clean as shades, they can be very quaint and functional, especially if the room has a modern look with clean lines. Blinds are available in basic white and other colors, but they also come in different wood types.

3. What Purpose Does The Window Treatment Serve?

By defining the purpose of your window treatments, you can solve a lot of indecision in the selection process, including what materials they should be made of. One of the wonderful things about window treatments is that you don't have to sacrifice form for function, but it is the function that should dictate how you dress the window.

  1. To darken and block light: You definitely need curtains, preferably ones manufactured to completely block light.
  2. To increase privacy: You can combine curtains with shades for greater decorating elasticity, or pop up simple drapes that cover the glass completely.
  3. To add a simple touch: An elegant valance or plain white blinds should do.
  4. For dramatic, room-changing effects: Plan on color-coordinating everything about your window treatments, and focus on the room as a whole, rather than the windows themselves.

4. What Color Or Pattern Should You Select?

Matching the colors of your curtains or drapes can seem complicated, but try picking a single color that runs through the entire room, such as the carpet or main pieces of furniture. For the bedroom, coordinate the window treatments to match or complement your comforter, and if you're using dark, heavy drapes, offset them with a sheer white panel or bright tie-backs. Don't forget to choose a fade-resistant fabric, especially on windows where the sun shines brightly and for long periods of time.

Another clever way to choose just the right color for your window dressings is to find a common color in the art work of the room, then match that as closely as possible. Not only will all the colors work in harmony, but you'll actually make the colors in your art works pop.

5. What Should You Do With Extra Curtains?

You might find yourself with an extra panel or two after mix-ann-match decorating or for some other reason, and there could be leftover fabric from re-sizing, but whatever the reason, consider yourself fortunate. Extra material or panels can quickly and easily be turned into coordinating tie-backs or sashes, or, if you're handy with a needle and thread and have enough fabric to work with, make a few pillows for a really polished, professional, designer look.

Don't let the number of decisions you have to make for amazing windows deter you, as there's simply too much decorating drama at stake. Find the perfect combination of color, fabric, form, and function for your window dressings, and your home will look like it belongs in a magazine. To learn more about window treatments, check out websites like

About Me

Creating A Luxurious Garden

When we moved into our little house a few years ago, I didn't think there was anything we could do with the yard. It was unsightly, overgrown, and incredibly unattractive, but I was determined to make it a beautiful space. I started focusing on one area at a time, and within a few months, things really started to turn around. Before we knew it, the yard was gorgeous and the neighbors were asking for our secrets. I wanted to create a blog all about creating a luxurious yard and garden so that you can enjoy an outdoor paradise of your very own.


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