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Watch Out: Fresh Window Treatment Ideas

Window treatment ideas have evolved from simple curtains and blinds so much for the past few decades. And since the design rules are much more flexible these days there’s a lot of ways of implementing those ideas.

Good Old Curtains Revisited

Curtains stayed people’s favorites when it comes to window treatments. It doesn’t mean, however, that they should be boring and bleak. Creative curtains may become just the right accent for any room.

Window design by Jamie Herzlinger
Window design by Jamie Herzlinger

Here, neutral curtains blend with the general color scheme, but a patterned pelmet turns them into an eye-catchy detail.

Pelmets have a more formal aesthetic, so if you are aiming for a relaxed look better opt for valances. Both are great decorative elements that can further dress up your windows.

Jim Thompson silk curtains
Jim Thompson silk curtains

In this Greenwich village apartment everything has a dramatic flair. Jim Thompson silk curtains dyed ombre dark red though take center stage in the white living room.

This coloring technique is perfect for giving your old curtains a bit of a makeover. It’s cheap and can liven up any old living room in an instant.

Printed curtains
Printed curtains via Kate Marker Interiors

Speaking of livening up your living or dining room, printed curtains bring in the dynamic no other element can replicate (well, perhaps, except for a rug).

The key is to pair up the color of a print to a big piece of furniture like in this dining room above. Matching that navy blue cabinet the printed curtains fit into the picture perfectly.

Creative curtains
Creative curtains

Curtains don’t have to be made of fabric. These beaded-aluminum curtains greatly complement this modern New York apartment.

Minimal and slightly sparkling these stylish curtains fit well with the sleek modern aesthetic that’s always heavier on cold, solid textures rather than soft fabrics.

Dramatic Drapes

Designer curtains by Shelly Riehl David
Designer curtains by Shelly Riehl David

Designer curtains can look differently. Shelly Riehl David creates frilly meringue-like window treatments that evoke an old French cottage feel in the room.

In a minimal modern interior they probably wouldn’t look out place but rather give it an unexpected design element.

Combination of curtains, valances, and shades
Combination of curtains, valances, and shades

Pelmet curtains can also bring a bit of drama to the room. In this English retreat curtains with appliqued pelmets look quite dramatic thanks to their muted bright red color.

Outfitted additionally with the printed Roman shades windows became extremely decorated and yet functional.

Dramatic drapes
Dramatic drapes

Dramatic drapes aren’t new in the world of design, but their use dwindled considerably over the past century. In this farmhouse residence designed by Jeffrey Bilhuber the double windows called for dramatic curtains.

Following an existing focal point Bilhuber dressed the central part of the window with pelmet printed curtains and flanked them with matching green drapes.

Trendy Shades Galore

Shades of all kinds became incredibly popular lately. A wide range of colors and prints offers a great variety of choice. Best fit for bathrooms and kitchens shades can also be easily paired with other window treatments, if necessary.

Hunter Park Home Designed by Alice Lane Home
Hunter Park Home Designed by Alice Lane Home

Neutral shades are as good as the blinds only they offer a lot of different styles. Even neutral prints and patterns can bring a great dynamic to the interior.

Here the shade’s print matches that of wallpaper emphasizing floral motifs. Shades are probably the most versatile of all window treatment ideas.

Bedroom window seat
Bedroom window seat by Creative Wall Coverings & Interiors

Shades can be paired with pelmets, valances, and even curtains. It’s all a matter of functionality and aesthetic you’re going for.

Here printed shades are accented with a turquoise pelmet that matches the accent color of the interior tying different elements of decor together.

Bright bathroom shade
Bright bathroom shade via House Beautiful

Bathroom windows are often left untreated but a bright Roman shade can do a world of difference there. Just be sure to choose the print that will work with your tiles. And go for the contrasting color that works with the color scheme.

In this bathroom design the shade is almost as important as tiles. You could even say they contrast each other competing for attention. But it doesn’t take away anything from the interior.

Unusual Roman Shades

Brian Patrick Flynn Patterned Bathroom roman shade
Brian Patrick Flynn’s patterned bathroom Roman shade

Bright shades are often a welcome accent in an awkward hallway or a utility room. As long as it works with the color scheme it won’t look out of place.

In this bathroom renovation by Brian Patrick Flynn the bold ikat-patterned Roman shade corresponds perfectly with the room’s color scheme creating an eye-catchy accent in an already bright room.

Ikat shades
Ikat shades via Elle Decor

Ikat print is a great way to add some exotic flair to your interior. In this Upper East Side apartment formal luxury style meets unexpected modern accents with ikat Roman shades thrown into the mix.

Design by Gabhan O’Keeffe
Design by Gabhan O’Keeffe

Shades, as any other window treatments, come in a great variety of materials. These are made of a semi-sheer fabric that offers minimal sun protection, but their colorful frills are adding a lot to the interior dynamic.

Echoing the stripped multi-color carpet and sofa those bright shades are there solely for purely decorating purposes.

Graphic shade
Graphic shade via The Decorista

Graphic shades became trendy a while back. They don’t have to feature a print or actual graphics. Some just have inspirational words and phrases printed on them.

They seem like a great addition to a library or a home office. Here the tiny bedroom acts as all three so the graphic shades make a perfect fit.

Statement Window Treatment Ideas

Printed valance
Printed valance via Classic Casual Home

Kitchen windows don’t usually allow any kinds of dramatic window treatments, but shades and valances work for any windows.

Don’t be afraid to use statement valances independently from curtains. They will provide both a decor element to the room and a bit of sun protection.

Curtains and valance
Curtains and valance via Architectural Digest

This beautiful country retreat is a study in bright accents. Pink, green and blue are used seemingly randomly throughout the room but they are tied together with both the matching wallpaper and the carpet.

Bright window treatments don’t overwhelm the interior though since the central window features only a valance.

Creative Window Treatment Ideas

Want to instantly jazz up your interior? Get inspired by these creative window treatment ideas. Sure, they may require more effort and funds, but they are worth every minute and penny.

Frosted glass
Frosted glass via Freshome

Frosted glass is underappreciated as a window treatment. There are so many possibilities and designs to explore and create.

Here the BBQ area with a dining set uses frosted glass as a feature wall. It must also be a sunny side, so it’s more protected during the day.

Faux Grilles
Faux Grilles via Made in the Shade

Faux grilles are perfect for those challenging glass transoms. Besides the rich choice of materials, finishes, and shapes easy installation proves they are a great window treatment.

They also look beautiful on the regular windows and can offer some privacy for the sliding glass doors. You can even order them as room dividers.

Window screens
Window screens via Freshome

Decorative window screens bring some mystique to the interior. They are also good at increasing privacy for the ground level rooms.

Screens come in different styles but the Oriental ones look the best thanks to their intricate patterns and motifs.


Stained glass windows
Stained glass windows via Drawhome

Stained glass isn’t as popular as it used to be, but lately it’s been getting some love from the modern designers. And it probably has something to do with all the church conversions.

Of course, you don’t have to live in a church to make use of stained glass. A few colorful panes are enough to make your windows stand out from all the rest.

DIY Window Treatment Ideas

When it comes to DIY window treatment ideas there is no limit to what you can do. And you don’t even have to spend that much money. You don’t even have to know how to sew.

Coffee sack burlap curtains
Coffee sack burlap curtains by Funky Junk Interiors

Coffee sack or burlap curtains are easy to make and they give a room that unparalleled rustic charm. The only problem is fixing them.

Here’s where you can either use what you have (an old curtain rod) or employ your experience and savviness to find a way.

Barn door window shurtters
Barn door window shutters by All Things Thrifty

Barn doors aren’t just for entrances. You can use them in many different ways including as shutters. These will surely add some rustic charm to the kitchen or a dining room.

Just install the sliding mechanism above the window and you can easily control the amount of light and privacy in the room. But the best part is that you don’t even have to wash them.

Fabric scrap curtains
Fabric scrap curtains via HGTV

Don’t want to splurge on expensive drapes? It’s time to get busy with some old fabric scraps. You may even use old sheets if you have to. The principle is easy. Cut the fabric into strips and tie them around a plastic tube that will be your curtain rod.

Window treatment ideas don’t stop at curtains and shutters, of course. You can repurpose anything from old beads to umbrellas to dress your windows, but those are bold ideas for adventurous DIY-ers. Still there are lots of options on the market and many more ways to use them.



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