As the term indicates, window treatments can be more than mere window coverings. Treating windows is thought of as "packaging" them as a design element rather than simply covering them for function. Coverings are used to protect privacy, insulate heat and cold, and filter light; and while many people consider window treatments more aesthetic, they too can be functional.
Although window treatments are technically more decorative, this term has evolved, and is frequently used to describe most types of window coverings. Sheers, drapes, curtains, cornices, blinds, shutters, and valances are all examples of standard window coverings. More than one type can be incorporated into the design plan, through the use of layered treatments, and this type of arrangement can include both style and function.
For example, if you select light filtering blinds as window treatments (for obvious reasons), you may also want to install a valance or window topper to soften the lines or to add color. Alternatively, you might layer more than one aesthetic treatment to create a dramatic effect: Consider the use of floor length curtains along with a cornice. Some designs incorporate several layers of window coverings, such as a room-darkening shade to filter light at certain times of day, with sheers to let light in at other times. Topping this arrangement might be drapes made from luxurious fabric.
You may decide to use a standard window treatment and combine it with something less traditional, or perhaps you would prefer to forego traditional treatments altogether. A popular window covering for those who enjoy clean lines is a vinyl covering that mimics frosted or textured glass or an etching compound that permanently changes windows. This is an interesting way to create privacy instead of hanging curtains. To make this treatment even more decorative, you might also suspend a panel of stained glass directly in front of your newly etched or frosted window.
There is no strict set of rules when it comes to window treatments. The best way to choose treatments for each space in your home is to choose the types that will meet your family's needs and at the same time will become an attractive addition to your design plan. Choose what you like. Window coverings should coordinate with the rest of your decor, but that does not mean that they have to match exactly. In fact, sometimes this is the perfect place to add a punch of contrasting color or some great texture.