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If you’re like many of my clients, choosing the right window treatment is a confusing process. Trying to decide between the type of window treatment that would work best for you, your home, and your windows, plus finding just the right fabric, is sometimes enough to make you feel like having the entire window just walled off.

It can be a daunting task to choose the right window treatment. However, here are a few guidelines to help you get started. First and foremost, you must decide what you want your window to do. Once you’ve conquered that decision, half the battle is over. Ask yourself a few questions. Does your window provide a lovely view that you wish to enhance? Does your room thirst for the natural light the window provides? Does the window allow too much sunlight that will damage floors and furniture? Would you prefer to disguise a not-so-lovely view? Do your windows seem too small for the size of your room? Do you have an arch or shaped window? Because there are so many design options available to creatively solve any window challenge, it’s important you consider function first.

Take, for example, this window scenario — your window opens to a lovely view and you have absolutely no privacy constraints. The rule, in this case, is to frame the view or draw the eye to the window as the focal point to enhance the view. One design idea for this scenario is framing the window with stationary side panels. This classic and elegant design can be transformed from very formal to casual chic by fabric selection and design details.

Here’s another creative design “rule” for a different window challenge. Let’s say you are dealing with extremely narrow windows and your desire is to give them more prominence in your room. By hanging window treatments beyond the actual frame of the window, these same “thin” windows will take on a “larger” presence in your room. Conversely, if you’re dealing with shorter windows, a window treatment hung from floor to ceiling will add the height the room needs.

For windows with too much sun or a not-so-lovely view, you might consider shutters or sheers. Shutters are like a piece of furniture built for your window and certainly enhance the value of the home. They are available in vinyl, hybrid, and true wood. Sheers have come a long way from the basic voile and batiste. Even blinds have entered the sheer business with shades like the Hunter Douglas Silhouette® or Luminette®.

For privacy and light control one of the most popular options today is a fabric or woven wood Roman shade. These are now made cordless and the design possibilities are almost endless.

For windows with an arch, transom, or eyebrow shape, there are solutions. These, as well as bays, bows and two-story windows, should be left to a design professional. Projections, heights and angles can really be a nuisance and can be the cause of costly errors if not treated properly.

All in all, there is a myriad of design choices available to solve even the toughest of window design challenges. By doing your homework and figuring out the function you desire, your solutions will be exciting to explore.

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ANGELA ROWE, DDCD is Owner and Interior Designer of Decorating Den Interiors.

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