A Room by Room Guide to Choose the Right Window Treatment

It’s no secret that fabulous window coverings can really make a room look polished and pulled together but with so many options to choose from, how do you decide which window treatment is right for you?  We’ve created a room by room guide to choose the right window treatment, so you can pick your treatments with confidence.

A quick overview of window treatment options

Before we dive in to which window coverings work best in which room, here’s a quick overview of what your window treatment options are:

  • Blinds
  • Shades
  • Shutters
  • Curtains
  • Drapes

Of course, within each of these categories are varying types of window coverings, but these are the basics. Ready? Let’s look at each room to see what kind of window treatment makes sense.

Living Rooms and Family Rooms

Depending on the style and orientation of the house (north, south, east or west) you might need to treat your windows differently. In general, curtains, drapes, and shutters are your best bet here. When considering curtains, consider any problems that you require your curtains to solve. Too much light? You will need a heavier or lined curtain rather than something light or sheer. Are you looking to dress up a formal living or dining room? Velvet or heavy silk might be a good option though consider your lifestyle too:  homes with kids or pets may require easy washing cotton or rayon curtains. Shutters are a wonderful option that really let you control how much light you want in a room. More allergy-friendly than curtains or drapes, you can choose shutters in different slat widths, real wood or manufactured wood, and in numerous colors. Keep in mind that shutters typically require a frame, so you’ll lose some light when they’re installed. If your room is already fairly dark or lacking bright sun, you may also consider shades. Looking for just a tad bit of light protection and privacy?  Sheers might be a good style for you as well. Plenty of light, the ability to look outside, and they can stay in place most of the time; no need to open, shut or adjust.


Most people don’t have a need for complete privacy in a kitchen, so choose a window treatment that makes sense for your lighting and overall functionality. Some people want constant light and bright, with no obstruction of their view at all. Valances are a nice option here, and can be made from materials, wood or metal. It’s the next best thing to no window treatment at all for a full unobstructed view! Need to control the lighting?  Shades are a wonderful option here. Depending on your needs and what direction your kitchen window faces, you could opt for pleated shades, honeycomb shades, or even roman shades. These are also great options for glass doors to help with sunlight and privacy. Cafe shutters are designed to allow plenty of light but not too much by covering the lower half of a window, typically at table height. This makes them perfect for kitchens.


More than any other room, bedroom window treatments need to provide light control, temperature control, and privacy, which means you also have a LOT of options to choose from!  Here are just a few:

  • Shutters
  • Vertical blinds
  • Pleated shades
  • Curtains
  • Drapes

People struggle with choosing window coverings for bedrooms more than any other room. Why?  It’s the balance between functionality and style. Working with a good interior designer can help here. They can help determine exactly what the room needs based on style and functionality. Panel drapes are nice as they can be easily moved around based on light and privacy needs. Wood blinds can provide more nuanced protection and privacy. Plantation shutters are actually not an ideal choice for bedrooms. They are not designed to be light-tight and can disturb your sleep.


Bathrooms, like bedrooms, need privacy. Light is up to the individual person, though more natural light is always idea. Depending on where your bathroom window faces, shutters, blinds and shades would be best. While you may be able to put a curtain in there, the damp environment may not be ideal. Best to stick to a material that can hold up to moisture.

Hopefully this short article provided insight on which window coverings are best for which room. Still not sure?  Contact an interior designer near you to help find window treatments.