They say eyes are the window to the soul. If that's the case, we're inclined to believe that windows are the eyes of the home—and don't they deserve a little something to help them stand out?
Window treatments may be something of an after-thought for some, but it shouldn't be—after all, what has the potential to transform a space better than a breathtaking view, or a flood of mid-morning light? Not much. So naturally, the way you dress your windows matters.
Dialing into what a space needs from its window treatments isn't always easy. It combines a calculation of directional light that evolves throughout the day, the types of tasks that will take place in the room, and the level of formality required—but when the perfect solution is selected, it can really make any décor scheme sing.
For some of our favorite window treatment ideas to transform your home no matter the style, read on.
Play With Scale
If you love pattern but worry about mixing and matching with your window treatments, just pay attention to scale. Mingling prints with different-sized repeats, like this wall treatment and dreamy shades combo, is an easy way to ensure your pattern mixing doesn't become overwhelming.
Plus, we love the playful effect of using long draperies alongside more tailored curtains.
Attract Some Opposites
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, which are spaces that prove patterns of the same scale can coexist peacefully. The water-droplet motif of this wallpaper is echoed—but not quite matched—by the concentric circles of these curtains. The photo-negative color scheme helps pull off the effect, creating a look that's bold but irresistible.
Get Hip to Clips
Clip-up curtain rings get an unnecessarily bad rap—but we're all in favor of reclaiming them. Not only do they make hanging, laundering, or swapping out window treatments easy as can be, but they lend a laid-back feel to your space—which is ideal if you're working with perfectly imperfect fabrics like linen or raw silk.
Another way to interplay floor-skimming curtains with sophisticated shades: match the materials with a unifying neutral hue to create a cohesive backdrop for your furnishings.
Windows aren't the same height? No worries. "Fake" a consistent height by mounting shades a little higher—just be sure to order shades with an outside mount, as opposed to those that sit within the window, or inch your curtain rod up a bit as needed.
Rise To The Occasion
If you want to dial up the drama and add some stunning length to your room's focal points, there's no better way to exaggerate the profile of your windows than to dress them in full-length drapes.
Buck conventional wisdom and mount your curtain rod just below the ceiling or crown ding, and opt for curtains that skim the floor to create the effect of bigger windows.
Tie It Back
Curtain tiebacks were big in past decades, and they're experiencing a resurgence. The new tiebacks of today are nothing like the ones you remember from the 90s. Using textural elements like artisan tassels in place of the more formal, fussy options of old, these tiebacks remind us that every accent in a room is an opportunity to add some unique texture and playful touch.
Dress Your Doors
French doors deserve a little added drama, too. Gossamer sheers are the perfect complement to these chic portals—we can just picture the curtains blowing softly in the wind on a summer night.
Trim It Out
One of our favorite ways to add a custom touch to window treatments is to incorporate some DIY texture in the form of unique trim. Picking the right curtains for your space can be tricky, and if you're fond of a certain fabric but looking for something a little more personalized, taking matters into your own hands can be just the ticket.
Several online sources can now bring the stunning trim selection of New York's garment district right to your laptop.
Shades, drapes, why not both? We're seeing more and more designers opt for this unique one-two punch in their designs lately—and it's easy to understand why. Shades lend a textural touch and offer as much privacy as homeowners desire, while floor-length drapes dial up the drama and frame the window beautifully.
The result is a mix of classic and modern, formal and casual, and it's tailor-made for today's homes.
Try Rounding Up
Spaces with a rounded bay of windows can pose a challenge for window treatments, one that often is solved by placing curtain panels at either side. But, if full coverage is what you're after, you may need a more custom solution in the form of an arched curtain rod.
In terms of aesthetics and instant impact, there's no better option—and we'd be surprised if we didn't see this look gaining steam in the months to come.
Mix Your Materials
We love how these blinds mimic the wall treatment in this space with subtle horizontal variegations. Fitting them with an "inside mount" in these windows gives the architectural window trim a chance to really shine.
Consider All Angles
You can always match your shades to your draperies—but why not use these elements to add a little variation? These darker shades draw the eye upward toward the striking ceiling beams, while the mid-tone neutral drapes keep the space feeling airy and accessible.
Go for a Warm Glow
We're big fans of frosted windows in the bath, but we have to admit that there's something oh-so-enticing about the warm glow given off by these shades. And with a view like this one, you wouldn't want to give it up.
Pick warm-toned wood or fabric for your blinds to achieve this similarly flattering, cozy source of light in your bathroom.
Embrace The Abstract
Even the pattern-averse can get behind this brilliant dining space. If you've fastidiously chosen solid carpeting and furniture, fear not: window treatments are actually an ideal place to incorporate pattern.
Since they're easy to swap out with time, they're relatively low-risk to experiment with—and can even be prime real estate for testing out an unexpected accent color, like the terra cotta hue shown here.
Create a Clean Break
Alternately, there's always something to be said for crisp, clean white drapes. Even in a predominantly neutral space like this one, long flowing swaths of white fabric lend an air of levity and a refreshing, airy vibe to the room.
Contrast Your Composition
Exposed brick can feel like a pattern in and of itself, especially if it's classic red-brown blocks with wide white mortar. But, that's no reason to shy away from patterns, as this space expertly shows.
A leafy tropical print adds some definite contrast to the red brick. It's an effect we wouldn't be certain of on paper, but in practice, it completely works—and we love it.
Blend In to Stand Out
Raise your hand if you're in love with your wall color. When you find something that works, embrace it—and find ways to lean into it again and again in different applications.
Picking window treatments that are a near-match for your wall color is a sleek, sophisticated way to create a cohesive backdrop for your favorite furnishings. And as seen here, it can be both impactful and understated when done correctly.
Line Things Up
Most shades will, by necessity, have a bit of a horizontal stripe pattern. It's subtle, but it's something you can play with as part of your design scheme if you know where to look. Use these barely-there stripes to your advantage.
In this space, they intersect with the vertical trim on this clean white accent wall, creating a little interplay that's mimicked again by the striped pillow and sleek shelving unit.
Channel Your Inner Cafe-Owner
"Cafe curtains", or short curtains mounted halfway down the window, aren't just for your favorite coffee establishment. In the bath, they're a great alternative to a frosted window to allow for some privacy but also let the light in—and elsewhere in the home, they're equally handy.
Try out a bold printed fabric like the one seen here, since you'll need less yardage than you would with full-length drapes.
Lighten Up Your Prints
We've finally found the answer to the classic "printed or sheer?" curtain conundrum: both. Sheer-printed curtains feel distinctly modern, even in timeless gingham as shown here. And best of all, since they seem to dissolve into the light of the window, they're an easy way to incorporate loud patterns, dark colors, or bold lines without overpowering a space.
Dial Up the Drama
We're big fans of the high-contrast look. The little touches make a room feel even more put together, so of course, we love these window treatments. The look combines black-painted window frames with gauzy, dusty nude curtains, finished with a chic tie-back, of course.
Work Those Angles
Do a double-take: these aren't multiple curtain rods situated at 90-degree angles. Instead, it's a single continuous rod that turns the corner—so you can nestle those dreamy drapes right in the corner when you want to let the light in. Pure brilliance.
Draw a Line
A squiggle here, a straight line there—these window treatments are all about linear thinking. The drapes' spirographic design contrast nicely with the linear look of these shades.
Block It Off
In a neutral, airy space like this, color-blocked curtains strike just the right balance between bold and understated while quietly echoing the two-tone four-post bed.
Plant One Here
Sometimes the best window treatment is the most unexpected one, like these trailing pothos plants adding a distinctly bohemian element to the gauzy sheers underneath.
Invite a Valance
Valences are a window treatment option that comes and goes throughout the years—but personally, we're firmly on the side of Team Valence. These structured, sophisticated window dressings lend a timeless architectural element to any space, and they're a great way to incorporate a print that wouldn't read as clearly on pleated drapes.
In this sleek bedroom, texture is king. So, it's no wonder the designer opted to add even more touchable detail to the window treatments. The airy, organic fabric is finished with a small pleat detail at the top—something we often see with more formal designs.
But, the kicker is this: the curtain panels are hung at a slight drop, with rings, which counteracts the formality of the gathered fabric. It's a bit of an aesthetic balancing act—but one that works beautifully in this context.
Channel Seaside Vibes
Sometimes, it's best to do what feels natural—like incorporating organic textures in this Scandi-meets-beachy space. The woven seagrass blinds add tons of visual interest to the space, without blocking too much light, thanks to their open-weave construction.
Stripe It Rich
Often, a bold striped border on custom shades looks a bit preppy or coastal. But, this cozy, layered space is proof that the timeless design can work with a variety of aesthetics. In a sea of muted neutrals, the effect is chic and crisp, but not fussy.
Make It Short
The antidote to those expansive curtain rods that consume a whole room, these made-for-corners brackets are a clever option. The shades in this space are capable of providing all the coverage needed, so the drapes are purely decorative.
This is why it makes sense to cut the rods short and confine them to where the long drapes look best—the corners.