Tips and Guides

101: 6 Window Treatments that You Need to Know

Discover a few decorating tips and choose the best treatment for your space


When it comes to window treatments, keep in mind that you're not limited to using thick drapes, sheer curtains, and printed fabrics. Architect Ivy Tablante-Darilag shares six different types of window treatments that you can consider, plus tips on what styles they work best in:

Main photos from: Next Home Style and Shanty 2 Chic.

Full or Heavy Curtains/Drapes

These are chosen to enhance privacy and block off harsh sunrays.

Heavy curtains can be used for both modern and traditional themes depending on the choice of material, fabric pattern or print, and mounting style (grommet-type, shirred, pleated).

Photo from The Adventures of Elizabeth.

Glass Curtain/Sheer Drapes

These drapes can help you achieve privacy while still letting in natural light. Sheer drapes help blur the view of the interiors wen seen from the outside.

These are often seen in tropical-themed homes. Sheer curtains can also be combined with or layered under heavy drapes, enabling users to shift between complete and partial blocking off of light.

Photo from Gabriels Webb via Remodelista.

Roller Shades

Roller shades are used when a modern, sleek, and clean look is desired. Like drapes, the material for roller shades may be customized, depending on its availability with the supplier. The material used is usually composed of PVC.

These are usually used in corporate or commercial settings because of their very simple, straightforward aesthetics and ease of maintenance.

Photo from Smith & Noble.

Roman Shades

Like roller shades, roman shades use roll-up mechanisms. Instead of rolling up, these actually fold up and also use fabric, not PVC. They can easily match other drapery or soft furnishings in a room.

Roman shades may be used in both commercial and residential spaces.

Photo from Shanty 2 Chic.


This type of window treatment allows both complete and partial privacy. Blinds come in different materials, such as PVC, laminate, or wood. Make sure the blinds are durable, especially for the more common PVC type.

Vertically oriented blinds are usually used in offices, while horizontal ones may be used in residential spaces.

Photo from Next Home Style.

Valance/Valance Boards

Commonly used as an accent placed over the top portion of windows, valances may be combined with drapes, shades, and blinds to enhance a design theme. They are used alone when covering the entire window is not necessary or desired. Valances are made up of regular drapery fabrics, sometimes mounted on a board with padding (hence, “valance board”).

Valances give off a dramatic and grand look, so they work best in hotels and classical interiors.

Photo from Hayburn & Co.

This snippet originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

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