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The Different Types of Window Treatments

Window treatments are the primary ways of controlling light and design in a room. Discover the different types of window treatments and how each is effective.

Home window treatments are the essential finishing touches to any home design. These items turn windows into accents that highlight your own personal style—but they offer more than a visually appealing complement to the rest of the home. In fact, depending on the type you choose, you also gain access to a plethora of different functions, benefits, and even customizable options. Here are the different types of window treatments you can use in your home and which ones are best suited for specific needs.


Beautiful blinds window decoration interior of room
Beautiful blinds window with sunlight decoration interior of room

Blinds function as a series of adjustable slats that you can raise, lower, or pivot using a cable. They’re the most common window treatments due to their affordability, maneuverability, and ease of use. Blinds are generally made of plastic to preserve their affordability, but they can also come in a few other materials to better fit with a homeowner’s design choices. Some of these other materials include wood, faux wood, and aluminum, giving the buyer options in regards to look, flexibility, and overall durability. However, it’s important to note that these alternatives can also be more expensive. Vertical blinds are also great options for people with large back doorways or windows that are too tall for traditional horizontal blinds.


Gray roman shades and a pink curtain on big, glass windows in a
Gray roman shades and a pink curtain on big, glass windows in a modern kitchen and dining room interior with a wooden table and white chairs

Like blinds, shades also unfold downwards over a window and contain slats, depending on what type you purchase. However, this is about where the similarities end. Traditional shades are more commonly created out of durable fabrics, which are then creased or rolled to give them specific appearances. Because the fabric blocks any space between slats, these window treatments offer more privacy and light regulation when closed. To properly see out your windows, you’ll have to raise the shades rather than peek through the slats. Additionally, due to their design, shades make excellent insulators—they can conserve energy use indoors while keeping the elements out.


Shutters are another type of window treatment that are highly effective at blocking out the sunlight as well as providing a home with a sleek appearance. Depending on your preferences, you can fix them to the area around the window or make them moveable along a set of hinges. Either way, they come in a multitude of styles and designs to coincide with any type of personal taste. With eye-catching pops of color and versatile materials, exterior shutters are particularly effective at drawing attention. Best of all, unlike interior models, you can install the different types of exterior shutters in unique and useful ways.


Spacious interior with pink drapes
Wooden table on pink rug and mint and grey chair in spacious interior with drapes and plant

Drapes or curtains work by either fully blocking off the window or leaving it exposed. There are few ways to adjust the amount of light curtains let into the home, and the type of fabric they’re made from dictates their effectiveness. Even so, they’re still highly sought-after for the touch of elegance they add to a room and their wide range of color, fabric, and thickness options. Since they simply wrap around the window area, you may want to pair them with another window treatment, such as blinds, to maximize their effectiveness.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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