DIY Window Design: Window Treatment Ideas

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Window treatments, interior decorating elements for your windows, are great ways to play up any room. With different patterns and technologies available for your windows, curtains, blinds and the like, there's no end to what you can do. Here are a few great ideas to spruce up your window design.

Glass Options

A popular addition to many bathroom windows is frosted glass. Created by sandblasting a clear sheet of glass, frosted glass is translucent when hit by light, keeping light from coming in too brightly. The concept also gives homeowners visual privacy while still letting light into the room. Some homeowners will even wax frosted glass onto otherwise plain window panes to add designs or patterns. The frosted glass design will catch the light in a different way, highlighting the design. Frosted glass can be purchased at most home supply stores.

Do-it-yourselfers can create the frosted glass effect by applying vinyl film to a glass surface. Using the vinyl film, they can stencil decorative designs or logos onto the glass, creating a similar effect to that of using canned frosted glass sprays.

High-Tech Tricks

For a high-tech window treatment concept, try smart glass, also known as switchable glass. This glass can change light transmission properties when voltage is applied by a user. Certain types allow users to control the amount of light and heat passing through it, at the press of a button. It can change from transparent to translucent, partially blocking light while maintaining a clear view through the window. Other smart glass types can provide complete privacy at the turn of a switch. To install smart glass, consult a professional and have them evaluate your home's compatibility with the system.

Case-by-Case Concepts

Double-height rooms: Extra long curtains are great for tall lounge or living areas. A space with a double-height ceiling and several windows could be grounded and enhanced with extra long curtains in a bold fabric. In double-height rooms, the two tiers of windows can make a room seem overwhelming, particularly when facing the sun. The extra long curtains will unify the windows, calming the light inlet and making your living space seem more manageable.

Dull rooms: For extremely under-decorated rooms, add a splash of color to your curtains. It requires little commitment, and you can replace it if it begins to wear on you. If it's an office, then don't go overboard with bright colors, because the strength of it will distract you from your work. Consider instead a soft zebra print in champagne beige with soft blue hues. For a living space, which is all about thriving and activity, consider bright red curtains, or at least adding red trimmings to a more traditional design. It adds instant pizzazz, and you can coordinate small decorations in the room to draw back to it.

Dark living room: When the wood or general surfaces in your living area are dark or darken up the room too much, try white valances paired with white linen curtains. They block out the dark wood and brighten up the windows, which brings more light into the room. The light-dark contrast is also calming, perfect for bedrooms or studies.

Guest room shades: To add a hint of character to your guest room, try a printed fabric for your shades. It will add character to an otherwise boring traditional window treatment. Try a basic beige floral or a soft aqua - something that won't tire with age or go out of style soon. Guests will appreciate the flair, and they'll feel more like they're on vacation.

Wooden window shades: If you're a fan of your wooden window shades but want to add warmth to the room, then consider a goldenrod yellow curtain. The shade will match easily with any wood type or color, and it reflects sunlight without blinding you. Consider keeping some yellow carnations in the room, or another small pastel yellow item, to subtly draw back to the curtain color.

Lambrequin curtains: A lambrequin is a unique type of window treatment that incorporates a rigid frame covered in fabric. They typically hang from the top of a window and are great alternatives to valances and pelmets, creating a cleaner, more structured look than curtains or drapes, so they're perfect for a modern look in any room. The minimalist treatment can even be used to dress up smaller room windows, such as bathrooms or studies, without worrying about wind flapping the drapes around.

Last Updated: July 22, 2011
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About Emelie Battaglia Emelie Battagila is a contributing writer for

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