20 Window Treatment Ideas to Suit Every Room

windows in a dining room

Blanco Bungalow

Windows can be every bit as stunning as the rest of a room. You just have to know how to dress them. There are many window treatment ideas to choose from, including curtains, shades, and shutters. And they each have their pros and cons in terms of privacy, blocking light, and adding aesthetic value to a room. Some options are more for appearance while others will keep a room dark and private.

Here are 20 window treatment ideas for all the windows in your home.

  1. Sheer Panels

    A sheer panel is a curtain made of light, semi-transparent fabric. It offers a little bit of privacy and diffuses some light. And from a design standpoint, it acts to soften a window. This window treatment is best for living spaces where you aren’t concerned about privacy.

  2. Light-Filtering Curtains

    Light-filtering curtains are heavier than sheers. They offer a good amount of privacy, though if light is shining directly through them there might be some visibility to the other side. They won’t fully darken a space from outside light. They can be made from a wide variety of fabrics, so they’re versatile for many design styles. They’re ideal to provide some nighttime privacy in living spaces. 

  3. Blackout Curtains

    Blackout curtains offer the best light-blocking power. They are generally composed of a decorative fabric lined with another heavy fabric that keeps out light and also insulates a room against heat and cold coming in from the window. They are perfect to keep bedrooms dark.

  4. Venetian Blinds

    Venetian blinds have horizontal slats that can be made out of several different materials, including metal, wood, and vinyl. A cord is pulled to raise and lower the blinds, and the slats also can be tilted. These blinds can be sized to fit most windows, and they offer varying privacy levels. However, the horizontal slats do collect dust. They’re good for most rooms, though they won’t fully block light in bedrooms.

  5. Vertical Blinds

    Vertical blinds are often seen on sliding doors and tall windows. They’re not highly decorative, often being made out of PVC. But they get the job done in terms of privacy and light blocking when they’re closed. They also don’t collect as much dust as horizontal blinds do.

  6. Shutters

    Shutters are a more decorative alternative to blinds. They are typically made out of wood and can be painted or stained to match most room designs. They can be tilted open to offer some light into a space. Or they usually can be swung open for an unobstructed view. They don’t completely block light when closed, so they’re best for living spaces and not bedrooms. They also can be used in bathrooms.

  7. Honeycomb Shades

    Honeycomb shades, also known as cellular shades, are typically made of fabric that folds up in a way where the shades look like honeycomb from the sides. There are options to filter some light, along with fully light-blocking styles. They also can help insulate windows. These shades will work for most rooms.

  8. Roman Shades

    Roman shades are often made of fabric, but they also come in other materials, such as bamboo. They fold up in even pleats when raised. But when they’re lowered they have a smooth surface. They can be raised partially to allow some privacy and light blocking. However, there’s no way to see through them when they’re lowered unless you use a sheer material. These shades are suitable for most rooms.

  9. Curtains on a Double Rod

    Hanging curtains on a double rod offers lots of versatility. A common combination is using a thicker and more decorative curtain material for the outer rod and hanging sheers on the inner rod. That way, you can close both types of curtains for maximum privacy and light blocking. But you also can close only the sheers to allow light into the space while still maintaining a bit of privacy. This window treatment idea can work in living spaces, as well as bedrooms. It could be especially beneficial for an office if you need to diffuse a little light with the sheers during the day and want privacy at night with the thicker curtains.

  10. Curtains Plus Blinds

    Opting for curtains and blinds provides options similar to using curtains on a double rod. You can close both for a blackout option. Or you can just keep the blinds down but tilted open for some light and visibility. Adding curtains over blinds also helps to dress up the blinds and soften their harsh lines in a space. It's a great option if you have older blinds that are still functional but not necessarily that attractive to you. The options this combination provides is good for creating different light and privacy conditions in a bedroom.

  11. Curtains Plus Shutters

    Like curtains over blinds, curtains over shutters makes for a versatile window treatment. You can use blackout curtains to fully darken a bedroom. Or for a living space you can simply choose a curtain fabric of your liking to dress up and soften the shutters. Adding curtains over shutters also helps to insulate the windows.

  12. Inside-Mount Treatments

    Many window treatments are mounted outside of the window frame. But there are treatments—including certain curtain rods, shades, and blinds—that can be mounted inside the frame. Select this option if you like a cleaner look and don’t want to cover up the trim around your window. But in some cases, especially for shades and blinds, this will be a custom option depending on your window size. So it might be pricey.

  13. Solar Shades

    Solar shades are specifically made with fabric that will block light and protect you from UV rays. The fabric also is typically resistant to fading from the sun. Options range from some light-blocking ability to full blackout. These shades are ideal for windows that get a lot of direct sunlight.

  14. Roller Shades

    A roller shade is a very simple window treatment that doesn’t offer much aesthetic value. These shades come in a variety of materials, including fabric and vinyl. When they’re open, the material is flat. And when they’re closed, the material rolls up on a dowel. They range from light-filtering to blackout, so they can work in most rooms.

  15. Floor-to-Ceiling Curtains

    Unless you have floor-to-ceiling windows, you don’t necessarily need floor-to-ceiling curtains to block light and add privacy to a space. However, such curtains are often used from a design standpoint to add some drama to the room. They are excellent for framing a beautiful view out the window, and they are ideal for glass doors as well. Besides adding design impact with the fabric of your choosing, floor-to-ceiling curtains draw the eye up, making the ceiling feel taller. They're great for living spaces as well as bedrooms.

  16. Rod-Pocket Curtains

    Curtains with a rod pocket come ready to hang. All you have to do is slide them onto your curtain rod via the pocket of fabric at the top. If you like a softer look to your window, rod-pocket curtains are the way to go because the fabric covers up the rod. However, sometimes they can be difficult to slide across the rod depending on the size of the pocket and the diameter of the rod. Plus, it is important that the pocket is well-stitched for heavy curtain types. Otherwise it might eventually tear from the weight of the fabric and the force of you sliding the curtains.

  17. Curtains With Grommets

    Some curtain panels come with grommets sewn in at the top. Slide these grommets onto a curtain rod, and you will be able to open and close your curtains with ease. The grommets also help the curtains to stack nicely when they’re open. However, like rod pockets, they can be prone to tearing if they aren’t well made, especially with heavy fabrics. Plus, as the grommets are always visible, they might not fit with every design preference.

  18. Curtains With Rings

    Another option to attach curtains to a curtain rod is with rings. The rings slide around the rod and have small clips that you fasten onto the curtain fabric. This option is ideal if you have a decorative rod that you don’t want the curtain fabric to cover. However, sometimes the clips aren’t strong enough to hold heavy fabric.

  19. Valance

    A valance is a short piece of fabric that hangs just across the top of a window. It’s used for decorative purposes, as it won’t do much for privacy or light blocking. Valances are often used to spruce up kitchen windows where privacy at night isn’t an issue. They also can be used over the top of curtain panels for a formal look.

  20. Window Tier

    A window tier is essentially the opposite of a valance. It’s typically a fabric curtain that covers the bottom portion of a window. It’s mostly for decoration, but it also offers some privacy depending on the window height. Plus, this window treatment idea can be used in conjunction with a valance for a little more privacy and light blocking.