Updated: Jul 19, 2021
Are blinds the solution to every window? Absolutely not. The purpose of a window treatment is typically twofold: privacy and achieving a look for the space. In a more functional space like a hallway, blinds may be the perfect treatment so no one is tripping on curtains and the light can also be adjusted throughout the day. But what window treatment works for a bay window above a banquette or a small kitchen window? Today, I'm going to walk you through how to chose window treatments for those tricky window locations and more specifically when to use roman shades!
Assessing your window
First, you need to think through how the window will be utilized. In my home, I have a GIANT picture window at the front of the house. When we bought the home, this window came with blinds but I decided to remove them because it took away from the view. I also added floor length curtains to make the room feel cozy.
So when assessing your window, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Is your window in an area that needs privacy? Is the privacy just at night or is it in a more intimate location like the bathroom or a bedroom? Can drapery touch the floor or is it in a space that is high moisture like the kitchen or next to a shower?
Window treatment options: blinds, curtains & roman shades
Now, let's talk about the different window treatment options out there. The most standard option is blinds. While they are typical, they also are very utilitarian in both appearance and function. So what can can be used instead of window blinds?
Another commonly used window treatment is curtains. These provide a much more polished and cozy feel. Curtains and blinds can also be used simultaneously which gives even more privacy and light filtering variation. My rule of thumb though is to only use curtains in rooms that will be vacuumed. If it's a space that needs to be mopped then you shouldn't be using curtains.
This brings us to the next window treatment option that is one of my favorites - roman shades! A roman shade is a cross between blinds and curtains. The shape resembles curtains in the way that they stack horizontally but bring in the materiality of curtains through fabric. They fit the size of the window like a blind so nothing touches the floor. These qualities make them perfect for spaces that have high traffic, will be mopped, yet still need a soft look.
A couple more options that could also be used in these tricky spaces would be roller shades or bamboo blinds but I personally love the softness of roman shades. I've also found that bamboo blinds can easily make a small room dark and the light control can be difficult.
Below are some imagery of roman shades that I've used in client homes along with some product links.
Taking the plunge!
These roman shades are all from Selectblinds. What I love about their website is that they make it easy to type in your window dimensions and customize the treatment for your space. They also have so many functional add ons (liners, motorization, etc.) and the cost difference is really clear for each addition.
Window treatments may not seem like the most glamorous thing to invest in but I promise it will make your room feel more curated and polished! I consider it one of my design secrets when finishing a room. We just ordered 3 different roman shades for our home and I can't wait to share the before and afters soon!