Window treatments are generally broken into two categories: Hard and Soft treatments. Hard window treatments (wood/synthetic) include blinds, shutters, shades, and cornices. Soft window treatments (fabrics) include Roman shades, curtains, draperies, sheers, and valances. Hard and soft window treatments can be used individually, or they can be combined to create an attention-getting layered look with greater functionality.
While a single window treatment can look great on its own, layering treatments will add more dimension and visual appeal. Adding draperies to a window with shades, for instance, will add softness. A valance or cornice (aka top Treatments) can add a pop of color or an interesting pattern that you might not otherwise achieve with a Shade/ Drapery/Curtain alone.
There are some aesthetic features that can only be accomplished with a certain treatment. Drapes (outside mounted), for example, need to be used if you’d like your windows to appear wider. Roman shades can make a window look taller. Layered together, they add great height and dynamic presence to a room.
Different treatments provide different variations of light control. Layering different treatments allows you to unlock more light control options. A sheer woven wood shade or sheer curtains with functioning drapery panels, for instance, would provide both light-filtering and room darkening options.
There are several types of window coverings that can help darken a room but to achieve the best blackout conditions you will need to layer different treatments as well as overlap the window edges. Lined drapes and shades are a successful combination. Perhaps our favorite is a project that combines Plantation Shutters and blackout lined drapes. Or, you could combine blackout lined shades with outside mounted lined draperies or curtains for preferred effect.
Up to 50% of a home’s heating and cooling benefits can be lost through its windows. Well-constructed window coverings will actually enhance the energy efficiency of your home. When you double up on treatments, not only do you get more light control options and the aesthetic benefits, (to say nothing about privacy) you’ll also find that your home operates more efficiently. Motorized shades combined with drapes will have your energy bill shrinking.