Window Styles and Window Treatments

Window Styles and Tips for Window Treatments

Be it in a house, an apartment, or a mobile home, you have windows to allow the light in, air, and sunshine. But because those expanses of glass also take casual glances, the sun's harsh rays, and icy drafts, you're just as much certain to require curtains, draperies, or shades. Here are some tips that will help you design the best treatments for any types of windows that are in your home.

Arched windows

Improving the unique look of this beautiful window, while keeping its character, will need careful planning and probably special-order hardware. You may opt to leave the arched part bare and garnish just the rectangular area under. The elegant folds of pleated draperies or tieback curtains can subtly soften the upright lines of the bottom portion of the window -putting the arch in the spotlight.

Gothic-Arched Window at Lacock AbbeyCredit:

When light or privacy is a problem, you can beautify it using a fan of fabric tucked on a custom-bent rod, allowing you to cover the glass area without altering the lines of the window. For a really simple overall effect, stretch some sash curtains below.

Bay windows

This type of window that forms an alcove may be played down or pointed up in any of the following: A two-panel drapery for the whole bay, having sheers or not underneath, may be set up on custom-order rods.

Bay window imageCredit:

Permantent tiebacks can be placed on each window. It could be with or without a valance or sheers, and individual roller, Roman, or balloon shades for each window and these can be paired with the said tiebacks, provided the shades are placed between the jambs for ease of operation. Other appealing treatment is a cafe-style tab curtains.

Bow windows

While its graciously curved lines allow this particular window arrangement to look more unified than bay windows, bows conform beautifully to similar styles of window treatments.


Bow WindowCredit: Wikimedia

Casement windows

Sometimes used separately, casement windows can be found in groups of two or more. These outward-opening windows nicely go with shades of any type, tiebacks secured close to the sill, or floor-length treatments.

Walter V. Davidson HouseCredit:

The object is to choose a style that will not spend its life billowing outside or impede the operation of the window.

Cathedral windows

Found in several modern homes, cathedral windows introduce the problem of a large and oddly forged expanse of glass. The top portion of this type of window is usually left as is; otherwise it's a job for drapery masters. You may use roller or Roman shades for the main window area, floor-length draperies or tieback curtains with or without secondary valance or sheers.

Clerestory (or ranch) windows

Typically set high on the walls of modern one-story or split-level homes, clerestory windows give a no-frills solution to admitting light while leaving enough expanses of wall space.

ranch style windowsCredit: Wikimedia

Such windows are best handled by a simple pinch or box-pleated sill-length draperies. Roller shades having long pulls can also be used, or, if you have for ceiling-level windows, use shirred-on-the-rod sheer stationary panels.

Corner windows

Although corner windows allow maximum amount of light that to enter a room, their dimensions may be awkward.

corner windowCredit: Wikimedia

To unite their appearance, you could use sill or floor-length draperies opening out to the sides or inwards to the center on one-way traverse rods. Tieback curtains or cafes are great as well. Roller shades mounted inside the frame may also be utilized. The follwoing curtains may work  as well: tab curtains; tiered curtains; ruffled curtains with or without matching cafes or valance; or a single treatment having one panel on each window tied back from the corner.

Dormer (or recessed) windows

Dormers usually appear as window seats or attic insets.

Dormer WindowsCredit: Wikimedia

The picture-frame impression of such a window can be improved with any of the following treatments: Roman shades; cafe or tab curtains; sill-length draperies or tieback curtains with or without sheers or roller shades; or rod-pocket curtains set on tension rods inside the window frame itself. Tension rods installed between the walls of the recess are usually the most convenient hardware option.

Double-hung windows

These windows the most common window styles, and maybe found stand alone, in pairs, or in groups of three or more. Virtually any treatment or combination of treatments works well.

Double Hung WindowCredit: Wikimedia

You could treat several windows as one unit; join them using a continuous valance or with sheer curtains running across side by side windows. You could also dress adjacent windows separately- for example, choose Roman shades or one-way tiebacks.

French doors

This  window style can come in several forms, often comprised of a pair of matching doors, one or both of which open either inward or outward. French doors are sometimes flanked by matching vertical windows, and in this case it is most effective to treat the entire window area as one unit.

French DoorsCredit: Wikimedia

Your main objective when designing treatments for French doors is that the drapery, curtain, or shade must not hinder the movement of the door. For individual doors that open inwards, make use of door-mounted hourglass or sash curtains. For overall treatments, utilize draperies mounted on wall or ceiling, leaving room for stackback on each side of doors.

Picture windows

Found generally in homes built in the last few decades, picture windows include both pros and cons.

Picture WindowCredit: Wikimedia

While absolutely suited to admitting maximum light and framing a pleasant view, picture windows makes your interiors subject to heat loss during winter, excessive sunlight and its accompanying problems during summer, and a lack of privacy. These problems can be eased by any of these treatments: stationary tieback curtains matched with sheers; floor-length draperies lined using sun-reflective fabric, with or without a valance or cornice; Roman or Austrian shades.

Sliding glass doors

These huge expanses of glass may be treated in similar manner as picture windows provided the treatment allows comfortable operation of the door or window. One-way traverse rods are utterly suitable for one-way-opening windows and doors.