Window decor from blinds to valances
The term window treatments is used to describe any practical or decorative accentuations used to make windows more functional and aesthetically pleasing. Traditionally, blinds and shades, curtains and drapes, window cornices, window swags and window valances are included under this umbrella heading. However, there are others, and the more you use your imagination, the more striking and effective your choice of window treatments will be.
An Overview of Popular Window Treatments
If you don't know where to get started, consider these time-honored options in the world of window treatments:
- Blinds and shades. Typically, window blinds consist of horizontal (or, more rarely, vertical) slats that can be rotated open or closed using a level. They also have a drawstring which allows you to raise the blinds completely to let light or fresh air in. Shades function similarly, but are usually solid rather than slatted and can be rolled up around a core placed at the top of the window.
- Curtains and drapes. While the actual difference between curtains and drapes is purely nominal, curtains are usually sashes which are unlined and cut in a variety of lengths, while drapes are operated by drawstrings, cut in a single piece and cover the entire window. Curtains and drapes rank highly among the most popular window dressings, and you have innumerable options at your disposal, from casual, airy looks to the elegant and formal.
- Window cornices. An architectural accentuation, window cornices are borders that project out beyond the width of the frame, functioning like a kind of crown for your window. They can be simple and geometric in shape, or you can create elaborately carved and crafted window cornices, depending on the architectural style of your home.
- Window swags. Swags are, essentially, a specialized type of curtain that hangs on a rod over top of the window and is draped in such a way that a semicircular length of fabric hangs over the window. The fabric semicircle is framed on either side by symmetrical arrangements of fabric which are usually richly textured.
- Window valances. Valances are similar to swags, except that the top length of fabric is straight and horizontal rather than semicircular. They are cleaner and less ostentatious than window swags.
Finally, shutters are also considered a type of window treatment. You can use shutters both inside and outside your home, and they work well in combination with any of the aforementioned treatments.