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What Are The Basics of Window Treatments?

Updated on August 8, 2014

When looking to re do a room in your home, there are so many places to start. You could paint the walls, get new furniture, new decor and if the room has windows, you will need new window furnishings. These can be as simple or as extravagant as you would like but it can be easy either way with a variety of options in each category of the overall design such as; size, shape, color, layout, and the amount of pieces. If you are looking to consult with a specialist about re decorating of a space in your home, these many options may seem too overwhelming and discourage you from creating your dream space but with a little bit of research beforehand, you will have the advantage and be able to walk away from your consultation feeling like your dream space is attainable.

What can go into a Window Furnishing?

Your first question may be; “Well what else is there besides curtains that make up a window furnishing?” The answer is pretty long winded. There are variety of pieces that can make up a very extravagant window covering but unless you are decorating a palace, it may be a bit too much. Knowing the basics and a few extras will help you decide what can be a small added flair, and what is over the top.

The “Basics

Blinds - These are made up of vertical or horizontal slats that are held together by a variety of materials and are used to keep out most of the light.

Curtains - Curtains are made up of light weight, unlined material and are usually hung up using a decorative pole and held back with tie backs to let in most of the sunlight.

Draperies - These furnishings are made up of a heavier material than curtains and are hung with the purpose of insulation. They can be stationary or mobile and can hang from floor to ceiling, creating a more formal look than curtains; but there are many styles of draperies as well. Draperies should not be confused with “drape” which is the way fabric hangs over a window.

Shades - These can be another name for blinds but is a more general term for any opaque window covering.

Sheers - Sheers are made up of light, very translucent material and can be layered with drapes or curtains to create a layered look. Sheers can be used alone as well to obstruct the view but still let plenty of light in.

The Extras

Learning the “extras” is what can differentiate an actual interior designer from the novice home redecorator because the list is so extensive and covers a wide variety of categories such as terms describing the design of the curtain, blind or shade; terms applying to the actual fabric, terms applying to the embellishments, and terms describing the pieces used to actually hang the furnishings.

The big question is usually answered once you have chosen a furnishing from the list of basics because then you will be able to form an idea of the overall look you want and choose embellishments and fabrics based on that idea. Have no fear though, your interior designer will not look down on you for not knowing the technical term. Just be open to explaining your idea several times using your laymen's terms until you are both on the same page and your look can be completed.

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