We've got you covered with these drapery do's and don'ts.

Share story

Should you have window treatments or go without? Install solar shades or drapery?

When it comes to dressing your home’s windows, there really aren’t any wrong answers, just myriad options based on your desired aesthetic, look and budget. But there a few things your should try to do — and try to avoid.


• Consider solar shades when looking to achieve a more modern look. Solar shades come in different opacities; the higher the percentage, the more open the weave. A shade that provides 3 percent opacity will allow light to enter a room when down, while a 1 percent opacity shade gives a near blackout look.

• Consider a natural material such as wood or bamboo for your blinds. They tend to be durable and cost-effective.

• Cover an entire window opening. Whether you wish to have your window treatment’s hardware mounted inside or outside a frame is a personal choice. But be sure to have window treatments at either end of the windowsill, or in the case of long drapery, extend to the floor.

• Mix window treatments throughout a home. It is perfectly acceptable to integrate shades, blinds and drapery throughout different rooms, depending on the desired aesthetic.

• Consider partial draperies. This is a common trick of interior designers involving a technique in which panel drapery is installed as stationary decorative panels on either side of a window or door opening. These types of panels are not intended to be functional.


• Purchase window treatments without consulting a professional or understanding what measurements are required to achieve a desired look.

• Forget to clean window treatments on a regular basis. Whether by dusting, dry cleaning or placing window treatments in a washing machine, you will want to keep them clean and fresh, as they can often be magnets for dirt and dust.

• Ignore safety. Always opt to use suggested safety devices around small children.

• Choose window treatments that will clash with your décor. In many cases, less is more.

• Forget that window treatments are decorative enhancements, not a must. In many instances, a gorgeous view should take center stage in lieu of window treatments that could be a potential obstruction.