There are some gorgeous window treatments on design shows and show floors, but they are not all going to work for you. You have a unique home, and you will want to approach your windows with your own needs in mind. That is the only way that you can get windows that you can live with.
Since you will be living with a window treatment for a long time, the first thing that you will want to consider is how much it will be used. A shutter in the kid’s bedroom will probably get banged around. A shutter in your nice guest room does not need to be as durable. That will also be a factor in how often you have to clean the shutters or drapes. Shutters have to be wiped down and can be dusted daily. Drapes, on the other hand, won’t show dust for months, but then they have to be taken to the dry cleaners. The amount of time you are willing to spend on cleaning your window treatments will be a part of your decision.
On an equally practical note, you need window coverings to perform certain jobs. If you want to regulate the heat in your house, you will probably want curtains that are lined with cotton fabric. Stiff fabrics might work for you if you live in colder areas. You’ll want to make sure your shutters shut completely.
Perhaps it’s a matter of keeping the light out because a window faces the sun. I know a restaurant that threw out heavy black curtains only to replace them because the window the curtains covered let light hit diners right in the eyes around dinner time. You might need to cover only half of the window all the time. You can use stiff valances on top to protect the eyes, and lighter, movable material on the bottom to let in a reasonable amount of light. It’s a similar story if the window faces the neighbor. A curtain over the lower half of a window can promote privacy and neighborliness at the same time.
From a decorative perspective, you probably already have some furniture picked out. The window treatment should complement the rest of your room. There has been a tendency towards bright, bold patterns and your window coverings can match this. If you have a lot of contemporary patterned furniture, a heavy traditional curtain will look out of place. On the other hand, a window treatment that is a solid color will survive changes in your furniture pattern if picked with care. The color scheme of a room is a consideration. A dark color scheme can feel soothing or smothering, depending on how it is done. A lot of dark patterns on top of dark patterns can seem cluttered. One dark pattern against a lighter backdrop can be comforting. Something similar goes for floor-to-ceiling window treatments. They fit rooms with high ceilings, but not every room can handle them. Every room has its own ambiance, and you will know when a window treatment enhances it.
Your personal style is the best guide to picking the window treatment that will suit your life best. If you keep these things in mind when looking for your window treatments, you will get the very best out of your windows for a long time.