How to Choose the Best Window Treatments

Guest author: Kerrie Kelly, ASID for The Home Depot

When choosing the best type of window treatment for your space, first determine its function. Are you looking for privacy, light, or both? Then determine the architectural elements of the room. Is there crown moulding and wainscoting, or is it an architecturally blank palette? Next look at the design details, like color and texture. Does the rest of your room design call for a little more or a little less? The below window covering advice will help you incorporate the functional and visual elements your space needs.



Drapes vs. curtains: Curtains hang directly from the rod, while drapes traditionally hang from hooks that connect to sliding hardware on the rod. With both options, layering the fabrics offers the most versatility. A sheer panel closest to window offers privacy while still bringing in light. It also incorporates texture and color in the room. Pair a light layer of velvet or silk, or match hues to create a tone-on-tone effect.

Design Tip: Install the curtain rod taller and wider than the profile of the window. With the draperies drawn, this creates the illusion of bigger windows. When open, the light is maximized because the fabric draws all the way to the edge of the window.



Blinds vs. shutters: Both blinds and shutters use louvers that tilt to let the light in or shut it out. On blinds and traditional shutters, the louvers are typically an inch wide, so they’re great for privacy, but don’t let in as much light or as much of the view.

Plantation shutters, which have two or three inch louvers, provide more light, air and view. They also add a lot more polish and style architecturally, where blinds tend to have a more generic look.

Design Tip: Add fabric treatments such as valances and cornices over the top of your blinds to add some architectural interest to the room or to a bland window face.



DIY vs. pro install: Curtains and blinds generally take nothing more than a screwdriver, a measuring tape, and some patience — so go for it!

Draperies and traditional shutters require a little finesse, so those might be worth a call to your handyperson.

Plantation shutters require installation by a professional because they’re set into a frame within the window frame, almost the way a door is hung from a jamb, so it’s easy to make a mistake that’s hard to fix.


Window treatments work hard for the money. Whichever works best for you, keep window treatments near the top of your design list. Splurge on fabulous fabrics or richly finished shutters, or keep it simple with colorful drapery panels and horizontal or vertical blinds–either choice will make an immediate impact on your space.


About the author: Interior designer Kerrie Kelly writes on window treatments and interior design for Home Depot. Kerrie is the Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide, and she enjoys providing advice to homeowners on interior shutters, blinds, curtains and other window treatments. For a collection of window treatments available at Home Depot, you can visit the company’s website.

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