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Many people completed home renovations or moved into a new home in the last couple of years, and with new surroundings comes new interior design opportunities.

Window treatments are among the most important facets of interior design schemes, but the details can be mystifying. There are many different kinds of window treatments, assorted fabrics that offer varying levels of light filtration. Then, there’s the task of making sure it all coordinates with the rest of the room. It can be overwhelming.

But before you throw the blandest, cheapest curtains over your windows for lack of a better idea, read on to learn more about window coverings so that you can make the most of them to accentuate your decor and create a beautiful focal point around your windows.

Know Your Shades

Window treatments generally include shades or drapery or a combination of the two. Shades hang right up against the window, and you usually can draw them up or down by pulling on a cord. These are important for controlling the amount of light that gets into a room and how much privacy you get. Common types include roller, roman, pleated, honeycomb, solar, and blackout shades, as well as blinds. Each of these offers a different look and feel and lets different amounts of light into the room. Some, like honeycomb shades, can even provide insulation from cold or heat outside, cutting down on energy costs.

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Draw the Drapes

Drapery is the general term for the fabric components of window treatment that hang further away from the window and can reach all the way to the floor. Drapes are usually more decorative than shades and are what most people think of when they think of a window treatment. Common types include ripple fold, grommet, cubicle, goblet, rod pocket, and sheer drapery, as well as several different styles of pleated drapes. Each of these adds its own flair to a room and serves a unique design purpose. Take a look at different types and decide which kind you like or what works best in your room.

Find the Best Configuration

An essential part of getting the right shades and drapes is determining the best configuration for your window treatment. There are many options for arranging your curtains, like hanging a pair of matching panels for a symmetrical look or using one wide panel that can be pulled to one side. Or, you can get a set that includes special drapery pieces like valances or scarves. You can get as creative as you like for a look that is all your own.

Choose Your Color and Pattern

Once you have decided which kind of window treatment you want and how you want to arrange it, you can get into choosing colors, patterns, and textures for your window treatments, especially the drapes. There are thousands of options, so take your time and pick one that works best for you and your room. You can also consult a professional at a specialty store. Some people choose to treat their shades and drapes as an investment, spending lots of money getting the right things, but you can also affordably create the look you want. It depends on your priorities and the amount of time you have to spend shopping and comparing. With these simple tips and explanations, you are well on your way to finding the perfect window treatment for all the windows in your home. It only takes a little bit of know-how to make a big difference in how your windows work with the rest of your home’s interior—and to make the best of a critical design asset.