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Selecting the right window treatments can change the look of any room for the better.

Window treatments are an important part of a room’s decor. Beyond their functional purpose of providing privacy from the outside world, curtains and drapes have other aspects of decoration that can factor into what type you choose. They dress up a window, tie in an entire room’s “look,” and when properly chosen they can bring other benefits as well. Some designers even value the impact of window treatments on a room’s overall feel second only to paint. Consider them wisely and with a holistic view of what you want to achieve with your window coverings.

The outside view should be considered when picking out window treatments. If the view is a focal point in the room, the last thing you want to do is block it from your guests. Just as you would carefully select the perfect frame to surround a beautiful painting, the vista outside your living room window can be “framed” with lovely curtains. The picture window is so named for this very reason. A time-honored classic choice would include loosely gathered panels and a valance that banks the top and sides of a window.

Sheer or Opaque Drapes

Whether you pick sheer or opaque draperies, you are in essence controlling how much light enters a room. For homes in colder climates, the draperies and can even act as an extra layer of insulation from cold weather outdoors. Mounting the drapes within the window frame can minimize any small drafts that may bring in the chill.

Consider the View

Remember to consider the view when the sun goes down. That black empty expanse can feel like a gaping hole in the room and give off an uncomfortable feeling. You’ll want to select a window treatment that softens that feeling, by creating privacy and adding color, texture and even an eye-catching element – for example balloon valances with fringe.

Coordinate with Furniture

You’ll want to make sure your curtains and window accent fabrics coordinate well with your furniture. If you are unhappy with the look of your room, an update to the furniture’s color and fabric may be in order. A simple change of the upholstery, drapes, throw rugs or pillow accents can completely alter the feel of the room. Consider having furniture reupholstery done to make sure the colors match or at least compliment each other – the hues you choose will dictate the formality of the room, how cozy and inviting it is or even how elegant.

Type of Window

The type of window will also dictate the style of curtain that works best. A bay window will look one way with a gathered scooping valance and a completely other way if you use an exposed wrought iron rod with some sheer, breezy curtains.

When shopping for new looks for your living room or bedroom, you’ll want to take into account the entire room. Factor in the flooring, the ceiling color, the walls, what kind of environment are you trying to create? These goals will help you choose the right window treatments and might even inspire you to have some furniture restoration done to tie the whole room together.