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How to Choose Window Treatments

February 15, 2022
Window detail in the dining room in Plan 3 at Solterra in Denver, CO

One of the things you probably loved the most about your new home was the abundance of natural light. The morning sunrise streaming in, beautiful blue afternoon skies, taking in a gorgeous sunset, what’s not to love? You’re not alone! One of the biggest design trends for 2022 is a focus on connecting with nature and bringing those good vibes found outside, in. As nice as it sounds to have unobstructed views outdoors all the time, realistically there are things such as privacy, temperature, and brightness to consider.

We’ll help you explore the things to think about when deciding which window treatment works best in each room and the latest window treatment trends.    

What do I need to consider when choosing a window treatment for a space?

Window treatments are that beautiful overlap between personal style and function. They’re one of the few pieces that serve a purpose and reflect your taste all at once. The function your window treatment needs to provide will vary room to room. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a window treatment for a space:

Master bedroom with turquoise curtains in the Plan 1 at Bayberry at The Groves in Whittier, CA

1. Light control

The importance of how bright or dark a room needs to be will vary based on its purpose. A bedroom would benefit from blackout shades while a living room may be better off with curtains and sheers. Start by reviewing the directions your windows face. North facing windows will receive the least amount of direct sunlight while all others will receive direct sunlight at some point during the day. All window treatments are designed to control the amount of sunlight that is let in, but will differ in the ways they do so. Take into account how much light you want to allow in versus the need to block out harsh rays and glare.

2. Energy efficiency

While windows give you big beautiful views outside, they’re also the primary sources of letting heat in and out of your home. Window coverings are one of the best ways to keep your home energy efficient. A room that gets lots of afternoon summer sun would benefit from a treatment with greater insulation to stop the space from heating up, much like they would cozy up the room in the winter by keeping the warmth inside. While you may not mind if your home office cools down at night, you might not feel the same about the bedrooms.

Primary bathroom details at Legado in Portola Springs in Irvine, CA

3. Privacy

What’s around your home will determine your needs for privacy. Nearby neighbors or secluded open space may change which window covering you prefer. If the room overlooks your private backyard, you may be comfortable with a sheer fabric, but if the room faces the front and you have neighbors close by, you would be better off with something more private. Think about what the room is used for and if you’d be comfortable with someone being able to see inside.

4. Exterior views

In a perfect world, we would have pleasing views out of every window in our home. While we may have picturesque mountains out the front, you might have your neighbor’s shed peeking over the fence in the back. Window treatments are a great way to either frame the view or block some of those unsightly scenes.

Window treatment details in the great room of Residence 2 in Carrara 2 at Cranston's Riverstone in Calgary, AB

5. Aesthetics

Window treatments are the last piece of the puzzle within a room. They’re a great way to reflect the style and mood of your space while complementing your décor through color, texture, and patterns. If the space lends itself to an organic, earthy feel you don’t want heavy fabric that feels too stuffy. Your window coverings are meant to embellish and beautify the space, not take away from the ambiance you’re trying to create. It’s about finding that perfect blend between function and looks and with a variety of window treatments available, it’s easier than you think!

What are the different types of window treatments?

Since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for window coverings, there are plenty of options available for you to choose from. Let’s explore some of the most popular window treatment options:

Window detail in Residence 3 in Delano in Southern California by Brookfield Residential

1. Shutters

One of the most timeless and classic window treatments available, shutters offer a distinct “wow” factor to any space. Not only are they durable and functional but they block light incredibly well and prevent drastic temperature changes. Since they are installed directly to the window frame there are fewer gaps and when they’re closed, they provide an air space barrier between the window and the shutter which decreases the amount of heat lost.

Floor to ceiling drapes in the great room of Savona 3 at Cranston's Riverstone in Calgary, AB

2. Drapes

Drapes are an incredibly multi-functional option suitable for almost any space. Long, flowing panels coupled with an eye-catching rod can add dramatic elegance to any décor. They’re also incredibly effective at blocking harsh light and providing privacy. With so many fabric options and the ability to pair with almost any other window treatment, you don’t have to worry about your room feeling too heavy or dark. Layer with a sheer underneath to filter out harsh sunlight or go for a lined drape to maximize darkness and noise control.

Roman shades in the living room of Legado in Irvine, CA by Brookfield Residential

3. Roman shades

If you have little ones or pets in the home, long flowing curtains may not be ideal with the temptation for tiny hands to pull. Roman shades are a great alternative to drapes if you still want a fabric window treatment while staying within the framework of the window. When they’re closed, they block out the majority of light while maintaining privacy. They can also be partially raised to show the pattern and color of the shade while keeping part of the window open.

Primary bedroom in the Crimson Townhome by Brookfield Residential in Calgary, AB

4. Cellular shades

Sustainability has become a key focus in 2022 resulting in eco-friendly and locally sourced materials being used in energy-efficient window treatments. Also known as honeycomb shades, cellular shades are typically the most energy efficient window covering available. They are composed of numerous fabric cells that expand and contract like an accordion when the shade is raised and lowered. Cellular shades are designed to trap air, provide great insulation, create comfortable indoor temperatures, and help lower energy bills. There are options of sheer, light filtering, and room darkening materials coupled with hundreds of colors, textures, and fabrics resulting in an almost endless number of possibilities. It's easy to see why cellular shades are one of the most popular choices on the market.

Window detail in a craft room in a Brookfield Residential home in Southern California

5. Wood blinds

Wood blinds are a more budget friendly option compared to shutters, but are just as stylish and timeless. They add an elevated feel to any space and come in many types of styles, tones, and finishes. They provide the beautiful aesthetic of wood and are incredibly versatile for light control by letting in as much or as little light as desired based on whether they are open, closed, or just partially opened.

What are the window treatment trends for 2022?

Interior design trends for 2022 are focused on the incorporation of nature within your home. For window treatments, pops of natural finishes mixed with earthy color pallets are being combined to create a calming and natural ambiance. A focus on texture through the use of natural woven woods and reeds also provide an organic feel. Classic materials like cotton and linen match the light, natural theme of this year.

Primary bedroom window details in the Condos at Regatta in Auburn Bay in Calgary, AB

Much like our home in general, window coverings are now expected to be multi-functional. Treatments such as a sheer and a room darkening liner are being combined to give you a space that is light and bright when you want it, but able to provide privacy and darkness when you don’t.

Window treatment details in the great room of Residence 1 in Marigold at New Haven in Ontario Ranch, CA

When it comes to prints and patterns, 2022 is all about showcasing your personal style in a bold way. Play into natural colors with chocolate tones, navy blue, or hunter green to make a statement or look for prints that play off floral patterns and tropical colors. Try to balance the pattern and the color to ensure a relaxing environment doesn’t turn into a visually chaotic space. Monochromatic rooms are increasing in popularity so complete the look with window treatments that blend with the color of the walls and trim.

Wall to wall curtains in a living room in a Brookfield Residential home in Edmonton, AB

For a retro vibe, wall-to-wall curtains give a dramatic look with tons of style. In line with traditional décor and vintage pieces, pleated draperies and full-fabric roman shades are having a moment. Wood blinds or shutters in a rich stain also coordinate well with antique furniture.

Bedroom details in Huntington at Boulevard in Northern California

Window treatments play an important role in any room by helping the space serve its primary purpose while adding a touch of style and beauty. If you’re looking for more design advice, homebuying insights, or moving tips and tricks, the Brookfield Residential blog covers it all. Be sure to follow along for more!