Choosing a Window Treatment

Whether airy and open or dramatically draped, window treatments define the style and mood of a room. The first step in choosing a window treatment is to decide how much privacy and light you'd like. For a room in which minimal privacy is needed, take advantage of natural light and choose sheer fabrics that let the sun stream in. For more privacy and a cozy effect, create shelter with a soft wall of opaque texture and rich color. Better yet, multiply your options by choosing a double drapery rod, which lets you layer a sheer drape under a heavier one for added depth and maximum light control.

When it comes to choosing a drape, a layered look delivers the most options. Besides allowing for excellent light control, layering is a creative way to bring color and contrast to windows. Pair a pale inner sheer with a rich outer layer of velvet or silk, or match hues to create a tone–on–tone effect.

The length of your drapes can have great impact on the look a window. For a clean, casual look, hang drapes so that they just touch the floor. For a more, dramatic effect, allow the fabric to pool four to six inches on the floor in luxurious folds.

Begin by measuring the window and choosing a rod length and mounting height. (For details, see How to Measure for Window Coverings.) You can mount rods directly to the window frame or to the wall above it, depending on the look you want to achieve. (Tip: to create the illusion of added height, hang the rod slightly higher than the window frame.)

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Roman shades offer easy light control and a clean, tailored silhouette. They also offer instant privacy, and are available in many fabrics that add depth and dimension to room, from sheer cotton and linen to textural velvet and silk. All Pottery Barn shades are constructed with childproof cords, hidden side hems and durable linings for light filtration. You can mount them inside the window frame or to the wall or molding outside the frame. (Tip: When measuring for inside mounting, add 1–3" to the overall width of the shade to allow room for mounting hardware.)

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