When To Use Curtains vs. Shades & 7 Unique Window Scenarios

Design Guides

March 1, 2022

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  1. Shelly says:

    Hi Nadine. I just moved i to a townhouse on a golf course and as much as we love the light, we want a bit of privacy. We have patio doors and the. A window the same length on top of it in both our master bedroom and living room. The bedroom has ample space on either side for curtains but the living room has a fireplace and wall right on the left side. How would you work with this? We want to be able to have the light come in during the day but have some privacy.

  2. Christine says:

    When you say shades are you including blinds in that category or strictly referring to shades

  3. Sophie Brazier-Smith says:

    I have a question i don’t think has been tackled yet… I have a lot of patio doors along one side of my open-plan downstairs. I wanted to put curtains but the kitchen patio door is close to the sink and dishwasher so curtains are not really an option. Would it be strange to have 4 doors with curtains and one with shades or am i better off doing all roman shades?
    Thanks in advance, I wish i could just figure it out myself 😭

  4. Jennifer says:

    This was super helpful! I have three windows and a patio door on the same wall. Windows about 18” apart and the last window and patio door are about 24-26 inches apart. Do you use one super long rod for the whole thing or a separate for the patio door?

  5. Catglover says:

    What would be the best window treatments when my living room, dining room and kitchen are one big open space. I have 1 window in my living room and 2 in my eating area one of which is on the same wall as the window in the living room.

  6. Jade says:

    This post was so helpful! I’m curious, I have craftsman style windows in my bungalow that are positioned on the corners. 2 on one wall with less than 12” apart and 2 on the other wall also less than 12′ apart. Would curtains with a corner attachment work best or opt for shades?

  7. Nm says:

    Very helpful, thank you! I agree with an earlier comment. I sometimes have a sense of what might look best, without understanding exactly why. You give useful measurements and clarify proportion and visual weight considerations. I appreciate reminders about light and privacy needs, drapery fullness and other factors. These guidelines will make it much easier to choose window coverings consistently throughout the house.

  8. Lukin Kamei says:

    Thank you so much for clear explanations and examples. I know what to do for my windows now. Was really lacking confidence in what can be done. Thanks

  9. mecca says:

    I am so so happy I found your blog. My curtain struggle has been real, feeling completely stuck. This is the first time I’ve been able to connect what my windows need with specific design reasons – your explanations along with the examples is fantastic. I’m feeling more confident about dressing windows in my 105 yr old home. Thank you for this! I’m off to stalk the blog now 🙂

  10. Jinna says:

    I have a lakeside house with tons of pine paneling and trim. I have many windows in my living and dining, but don’t want to obscure the view most of the time, but want privacy on occasion. Any ideas?

  11. Tbgonzal says:

    Hello! What would you recommend for narrow casement windows? Old house & they swing inward 😊.

  12. Lenina says:

    Hi! I recently found your blog and have been skimming through your posts, and just wanted to tell you that you are definitely fulfilling your mission statement of making design accessible to people that don’t know what they are doing and are overwhelmed by the process (it’s me. I’m people.) This advice in particular is so helpful to me and the really bizarre window situation I have going on with a super sloped ceiling on one side and a wall on the other side of a window. Shades it is! Thank you 🙏🏻

  13. jhamrick says:

    I have a special problem. We have closed in our double garage to make an in-law suite. We have huge windows where the garage doors were. They look wonderful from the outside. You cannot tell it was a garage. It looks so good with the style of our home. But, on the inside, they go all the way to the floor since the floor had to be raised, and there is a lot of room at the top. There is more room than normal. We have thought of curtains all the way to the top or use a modern farmhouse cornice. Can you give us some ideas! Thank you so much.

    • Danica says:

      I recently saw @jennasuedesign on Instagram tackle a similar issue and she used roman shades to cover the unusually large gap between the top of the window and the ceiling. Then she added curtains and it looks incredible! Maybe that would also work for your situation?

  14. Ashley says:

    What do you recommend for a bedroom window that is not centered behind a bed’s headboard?

    • Danica says:

      Ohh that’s tough! Do you by chance have another open wall that you could put the bed? You could then hang curtains on the window without it highlighting that it’s off centered.

  15. jennifer says:

    where do you buy your curtains and shades?

  16. Mary says:

    Unique challenge: My husband designed this beautiful turret with 6 narrow windows, 3 on each side of a door. Shades? Curtains? Maybe even shutters? The dimensions are 10" by 60". Thank you!

    • Danica says:

      How beautiful! If the windows are close to each other I’d try out one set of curtains per side. If they’re spaced apart, maybe shades would work better!

  17. kha says:

    Thanks for providing great information about the curtains.If the windows are extremely big should I use light color or dark color curtains?

  18. Mya says:

    If the room has two exposures, do I need curtains on every window? One wall is great for shades (room darkening, heater below) and statement curtains, but the 2 windows on the side almost seem like they’d be best with shades

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