Window Treatments Guide: Blinds, Curtains, & Drapes

New windows increase the value and energy efficiency of your home. On paper, they’re a no brainer. However, to get the most enjoyment out of your windows day to day you’ll want to install window treatments. 

In this post, we offer guidance on measuring your windows for curtains, blinds, and drapes. We also give tips on how to pick the perfect window treatment styles for your home. 

Measuring & Installing Window Treatments

Types of Window Treatments to Choose From

Curtains and drapes are often referred to interchangeably, creating some confusion about whether or not there’s any difference. The key difference between curtains and drapes comes down to density. While both consist of fabric panels, usually hung in pairs, drapes often have a backing that makes them much thicker than curtains. 

Blinds are quite different from curtains and drapes. They consist of a series of slats, typically made of metal, plastic, bamboo, or vinyl. You can either tilt these slats to allow light in or use a pulley-type mechanism to raise and lower your blinds, completely.  

How to Measure Windows for Curtains and Drapes

Woman Installing Curtain Rod

Both curtains and drapes hang from rods. Typically, the rod is attached to the wall outside of the recessed area where your windows are installed. This is called an outside mount. 

To measure for an outside mounted rod, we recommend measuring from one end of the window(s) you intend to cover to the other. Then, add three to six inches to either side.  

This length (the width of your windows + six to twelve additional inches) will also be used when selecting the width of your curtain or drapery fabric. Take this number and divide it by the number of fabric panels you wish to hang. This will tell you how wide each individual panel should be. 

Most curtains and all drapes will hang from the rod to the floor. We recommend mounting your curtain rod four to eight inches above the windows you are treating. To find the proper length for your curtains, measure from the floor to the curtain rod. 

How to Hang Window Curtains and Drapes

Woman Hanging Window Drapes

First, you will need to mount your curtain rod. Start by making pencil marks on the wall to show where to attach the hardware that will hold the curtain rod in place. Make sure your marks are on an even plane before proceeding. 

Next, position the hardware over the pencil mark you’ve made. Use a level to ensure that the hardware is level before drilling guide holes into the wall. Then, fasten your hardware to the wall. 

Before attaching the curtain rod to the hardware, you will need to hang the curtains themselves. Make sure the curtains are facing the right direction. Then, make sure the curtain rod is extended to the proper length and connect it to the hardware. 

How to Measure Windows for Blinds

Man Measuring Window for Treatments

When installing window blinds, you will almost always go for an inside mount. An inside mount refers to window treatments that are hung inside of the window frame so that the treatment covers no more or less than the width of the window itself.  

First, measure the window frame from side to side. For an inside mount, you will want to round your measurement down to the nearest 1/8th of an inch.  

Then, measure the window frame from top to bottom. If you do not want your blinds to rest on your windowsill, subtract about 1/4th of an inch from your measurement. 

If you are measuring an old window for blinds, you may want to account for potential discrepancies in the width and height of the window frame. Take multiple measurements from different starting points and base your blinds selection off of the smallest width and height measurements you come up with. 

How to Install Window Blinds

First, grab a pencil and the brackets that come with the blinds you’ve purchased. Use the brackets to guide you as you make your pencil marks. We recommend placing brackets one inch from the inner edge of the window frame.  

Use a drill to create guide holes over your pencil marks. Then, screw the brackets into place.  

How you attach your blinds to the brackets will vary based on the model you’ve purchased. Some of the easiest blinds to install will simply snap into place with light pressure. Others will require the installation of additional parts. 

Window Treatment Colors & Styles

Window Blinds Overlooking Water

Choosing Colors for Your Window Treatments

Now that you’ve got your measurements out of the way you can get to the fun part. Choosing colors! 

Turn to color psychology if you want to ensure that your window treatments put you in a good mood. Keep in mind that warm colors (such as red and yellow) tend to evoke energetic and passionate feelings while cool colors (such as blue and green) tend to make us feel calm and peaceful.  

Take note of other elements of your interior design as well. What accent colors appear in your wallpaper or decor? Do you want window treatments that catch the eye or subtly compliment the rest of your design?  

If you’re feeling hesitant about opting for bright, boisterous window treatments, you’re not alone. Many people prefer neutral colors and tones for their window treatments, such as white, grey, or black. Neutral colors are calming, modern, and timeless. 

Choosing Window Treatment Styles

Color and style go hand in hand. When it comes to window treatments, there are a variety of options ranging from formal, to relaxed, to minimalist, and more. Before you leap towards fancy tuxedo pleat curtains or minimalist bamboo blinds, consider your current interior design. You’ll want to make sure your window decorations match the style and feel of your home. Windows can stick out and make a statement. They can also blend in with a steady, calming look. It all depends on the vision you have for your home. 

Finding the Perfect Window to Treat

Preparing to measure, pick colors, and choose window treatment styles doesn’t make much sense if you don’t have a nice window to treat. West Shore Home offers high-quality, stylish windows perfect for any home. With flexible financing and one-day installation, we make getting the perfect windows for your home quick and easy. 

Get in touch with us today to start your new window project.