Window coverings are older than the Middle Ages, even older than ancient Egypt. Throughout time, people have used animal skins, tapestries, and wooden shutters to separate living spaces, cover doorways, and provide climate control.
Because of their longevity, window treatment trends have run the gamut. From the minimal all the way to the Victorian era with its multi-layered drapes and shutters, complete with fringed pelmuts, windows have been subtly adorned and heavily decorated.
Here’s what’s next for trendy window treatments.
If you want a little privacy without sacrificing light and a pretty view, window decals are the way to go. They’re a world away from the basic window film of the past.
Give a single paned window the appearance of intricate stained glass. Get a geometric Frank Lloyd Wright look or something more ornamental. The play of light through even faux stained glass will change the entire atmosphere of the room.
Frosted films provide the privacy of etched glass without its permanence. They’re available in a variety of pretty patterns. Damask and fleur are more traditional, while starbursts and rounded squares go retro.
2. Jewel Tones
Luxe has returned as jewel tones become a popular choice for walls and curtains. Matched with spendy fabrics like velvet, silk, and wool, jewel tones are a high-end window treatment.
Ground a swath of gemstone with earthy elements elsewhere. White furnishings balance the richness and keep things airy.
Or go all in and create a jewelry box room in your home. Combine emerald walls with ruby pillows and citrine Roman shades. Cover the room in sapphire paint from floor to ceiling and drape the windows in amethyst. A glint of topaz adds a pop of contrast and excitement.
3. Black Window Frames
Black window frames are bringing the attention to the beauty of the windows themselves. The graphic punch is a nod to industrial design.
Windows with architectural details, like French, panes make an impact in black. The strong, repeated lines give off the effect of living in a historical conservatory sunroom.
Whether you’re painting your frames or you’re considering a window replacement, don’t rule out black. It’s as classic as white, and it goes with everything.
4. A Little Bit Country
Farmhouse isn’t going back to the backwoods, but it is becoming more refined. Small infusions of traditional patterns have a place in the modern, cozy home.
Gingham cafe curtains are a cheerful addition to a breakfast nook or kitchen window. Plaid is always ready for a comeback.
The delicate floral and dotted designs of grain sack valances harken back to a different time. Even burlap has its place when used in moderation.
Letting the light shine through the house is in. Sheers in every color provide a layer of privacy and flood the room with that perfect, diffused sunlight.
Pinks and corals cast a warm glow. Dip-dyed tulle curtains offer a chic ombre effect. Try patterned sheers for visual interest.
Semi-transparent curtains are also a great standby in a multi-layered window dressing system. They give you the middle ground between opened up or closed off.
Sheers, shades, and drapes alike are getting all the trimmings. Trim tape is an easy way to customize basic or budget curtains.
Trims with glass beads or capiz shells add a gentle seaside touch. Embroidered borders and tassels with a Morrocan flair add texture to otherwise plain linen curtains.
Pompom borders run lengthwise down curtains to playfully define the edges. Horizontal lines of rickrack make a retro statement.
Or you can forgo the curtains altogether and dress the windows only in trim. Pompoms strung on fishing wire are a modern update to beaded curtains. Plus, they’re just plain fun.
As all-white everything begins to recede, people are enjoying the drama of home decor again. What’s more dramatic than metallics?
Tweeds woven with metallic threads are a subtle introduction to the trend. Luster fabrics play up metallic sheen.
Sequined curtains bring the 70s into sharp, edited focus. Temper the boldness of sequins with gunmetal accents and neutral furnishings.
Gold foil prints are a wink of metal without overdoing it and are a mix of soft and hard.
It’s not just window coverings that are receiving a metal makeover, curtain rods are getting their time to shine, too. Stainless steel curtain rods make a modern statement.
A brushed finish and unadorned utilitarian finials keep the steel rods from veering into glitzy territory. Other metals, like bent iron and unlacquered brass, are also a fresh alternative to black or white.
Shutters are moving inside, and they couldn’t be less like their louvered plastic exterior cousins.
Bright white plantation shutters can be coastal or rustic. Fixed or free-swinging, they provide climate and light control. They have the versatility of blinds but never feel cheap.
Shutters with a natural wood finish are warm. A wall of windows outfitted in shutters gives off a California vibe with unfussy clean lines.
Decorative window screens cut the glare from the sun while enhancing the view. They’re artwork for your windows.
Made out of wood and laser cut to your exact specifications, window screens are infinitely customizable. They cast interesting shadows around the room, and they’re a stunning visual from the outside in.
Their artistic appeal makes them the best window treatment for tackling the bed against a window dilemma. The screen doubles as a headboard and doesn’t feel forced or contrived.
Whether you choose something frilly like leafed branches or something understated like interlocking cubes, window screens are an instant talking point.
Mixed Materials Are the Latest in Window Treatment Trends
For now, the future of window treatment trends is mixed. Materials are no longer relegated to textiles and chintzy blinds. Decals, screens, and trims are making windows the star of the room. Classics like shutters and sheers continue to be a graceful way to filter light.
If design trends are what you’re looking for, check out our interior design category. We’ll keep you up to date with what’s coming up next and give you tips for designing your own space.