Window Treatments

Transforming a room from blah to beautiful may be as simple as updating your window treatments. With so many options, however, choosing the perfect window fashion to compliment your room or décor can be overwhelming. Some considerations include personal style and functionality, such as privacy and light control. Here is an overview of some of the different types of window treatments available on the market.


Binds are considered hard window coverings comprised of slats and made from a variety of materials, such as wood, faux wood, composites and aluminum.  Offering classic clean lines, wood blinds come in a variety of paint finishes and rich looking stains perfectly suited for traditional, contemporary or modern homes.  If you’re looking to make a statement, you can add decorative fabric tapes and valences.

Blinds are effective at controlling light and privacy – fine-tuning light and privacy is easily done by tilting the slats. Since blinds are made from hard materials, they are typically easier to clean and hold up better. Blinds can be dusted with a soft cloth or cleaned with furniture polish. For those of us with pets and kids, blinds are a durable choice when cared for properly. Finally, blinds are available in cordless and motorized for added safety and convenience.


Roman ShadesShades are considered soft window coverings and are typically made from one or more pieces of fabric or weaved materials. Available in many different styles ranging from roman shades to solar shades and cellular shades to natural shades, each offers a uniquely stylish fashion with many options for customization so you can get that perfect look. Shades can be cleaned with the brush attachment on a vacuum, but they will need to be professionally cleaned for real grime or stains. Like blinds, shades are available in cordless and motorized options.

In contrast to blinds, which use tilted slats to adjust for light and privacy, shades are either open or closed. Although some shade manufacturers now offer Bottom Up/Top Dow options, which means you can raise from the bottom or lower from the top – hence the name.  This feature allows you to let in natural light from the top while maintaining privacy. Shades are available in blackout materials that completely blocks light out or light filtering fabrics that let in natural light while maintaining privacy.


Shutters are one of my absolute favorite window treatments because they are like adding fine furniture to your window. Available in real wood, composite and faux wood, this window fashion adds a touch of class, timeless style and aesthetic beauty to any room. Shutters, which are sometimes called plantation shutters, consist of louvers mounted inside a solid frame. The louvers, which are basically slats, can be tilted by moving a rod at the back or middle of the shutter. Shutters are available in many different styles and come in a variety of paint finishes and rich luxurious stains. According to many realtors, shutters are one window treatment that actually increases the resale value of your home.

wood shutterWhen you purchase shutters for your home, you are making a long-term investment. Shutters are a durable product that typically last twice as long as other window treatments when cared for properly. They are also easy to clean – just wipe with a soft cloth or swifter duster. Another advantage of shutters is their ability to cover odd shaped windows.  Because shutters are custom designed to your specifications, they are perfect for large and odd shaped windows.

The two most common complaints clients have about shutters are (1) the cost and (2) that they are always visible. While shutters aren’t always the most expensive option, they are typically many times more expensive than blinds for covering the same size window. While blinds and shades can be raised to and hidden under a valence, shutters are always visible even when open and pushed to the side. Finally, because shutters are custom made for your room, the time necessary to manufacture them is typically at least three times longer than other window treatment.

Soft Treatments

Soft treatments is a term typically used to describe any window treatment made of soft fabric materials and may include curtains, drapes, sheers, swags, valences, roman shades and much more. Since we already covered shades, this section will focus on soft window treatments that are mostly decorative in nature. These treatments are often layered over other treatments for a truly custom and designer look.

Soft TreatmentsWhen selecting a soft window treatment, such as drapes, it’s important to consider fabric, lining and length. The fabric you choose will help set the rooms style and may be coordinated with other furniture, throw pillows or rugs. Certain fabrics hang better, offer more durability and resist fading. Liners help fabrics hang better, resist wrinkles and block light from entering the room through the fabric. They can also increase the durability of the fabric by minimizing fading due to sun exposure.  The length of the drape or curtain is an individual preference. Although, many designers recommend hanging drapes or curtains above the window to give a sense of height to the room and, for a more traditional look, allowing the drape to puddle on the floor. More modern fashions typically have the panel stopping flush with the floor.

Designer Grilles

faux iron window insertPerhaps one of the most unique window treatments available, designer grilles are a great way to really make a statement. Tableaux custom designer grilles are part window fashion and part artistic expression. Custom designed and manufactured to your specification, designer grilles are made from various materials and may look like wrought iron, metal or wood. While originally made as window treatment, this versatile product is often used for wall hangings, decorative features and room dividers. If you are looking for a truly unique and custom look for your room, designer grilles offer countless possibilities.

To learn more about these or other window treatments, contact Made in the Shade Wichita for a free, no-pressure in-home consultation at (316) 272-2173.

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