Window Treatment Guide

This post has been a long time coming! I have gotten a slew of questions relating to window treatments over the past year. When I opened up my Instagram Q & A almost half of them were related to window treatments. I have been meaning to do a thorough post for a long time, but all of your specific questions helped me get a better idea of what it is you all are struggling with.

I will preface this post by saying I loathe window treatments…y’all are not alone! We joke at work that it is one of the most stressful aspects and somehow always has a ton of revisions. Whenever doing custom window treatments there is a surprising amount of intricacy and things that can go wrong so easily. This post will focus more on great solutions for off the shelf treatments because custom can get quite pricey.


Issue: I have A Bay Window, How Do I Hang Drapery?

Due to our prominent bay window this is one of the most asked questions.. how did we hang our drapery in the bay window? There are a few ways to do this, but we went with the cheapest option. We purchased this adjustable rod with arms intended for a bay. It looks super clean and works well in our apartment, but it is in on the cheaper side. We won’t be here forever so I didn’t want to invest in the drapery or rods. Another trick is to purchase individual rods with no finials (the balls at the end of a drapery rod) and hook the drapery panel over the angle where the rods meet. This can be a little more costly, but you can use nicer rods and have a bit more control over placement.

Issue: I have No Idea How High To Hang My Drapery Panels

I mentioned this in the Q & A, but I am not a big fan of rules when it comes to design. The idea is if you mount your rod high enough above the window it creates the illusion that the window is bigger and the ceiling is higher. The standard is to mount your rod four to six inches above the top of the window frame. This can often prove tricky if you are using off the shelf drapery panels. They typically come in 84″ or 96″ L which can all be awkward if you have a standard ceiling height. 96″ can often be too long so you can get them hemmed or you can get the shorter panels and add drapery hooks for more length. Drapery hooks also work wonders for opening and closing drapery. – they slide across the rod much easier. We really only close the panels in our bedroom so I chose not to spend the extra money, but if you have a home and are looking for more of a polished look to your drapery I highly recommend. Do keep in mind you have to get panels with the capability to have pins fitted to the back in order for the rings to have something to affix to. That’s why these are my favorite easy drapery panels.

Issue: My Ceilings Are So High I Don’t Know How To Treat The Windows

This is something we don’t see a ton of in California, but double layering of windows can be hard to treat. If you want drapery you will have to go custom, however you can always treat the lower level of windows and leave the upper open. This can look odd if there isn’t a definitive stopping point, so often they will go completely untreated. If you do not need window treatments for privacy or lighting control you don’t always have to implement them. I think we often feel like it looks empty without them, but sometimes it is better than forcing something that doesn’t look right.

Issue: I Need Custom Drapes, But Don’t Have The Budget

Custom drapery is often very expensive and hard to get unless you are working with a designer or have access to a workroom. There are some options online now that make it a bit more affordable to get custom drapery in the size you need. Etsy is a great source for both window shades and drapery panels in different fabrics and lengths. 

Question: Where are your drapery panels and rods from?

I get asked this question all the time, which I love because my drapes are so cheap! We have these in the living room now and these in the bedroom. The ones in the bedroom hang much better, but were not blocking enough light in the living room which was causing a glare on our TV so we got the thicker version. I love both of them for the price, but will definitely be updating when we settle into a more permanent place. All of our rods besides the bay are these, but for a nicer version these are my favorite.



Issue: What Do I Put Over My Window Seat?

This is the perfect place to add a window shade. It won’t interfere with the seat and adds such a nice touch to a niche. My two favorite styles of shades are a casual flat roman and a pretty woven. This is the one we have in our kitchen which is great for the cost and this style is what we have in our bedroom (Bonaie Flaxen is the color) . The Shade Store and have great custom options for natural woven shades and romans at a ton of different prices. As always Etsy is a great resource for a custom shade including cordless (ideal for kids rooms) and blackout.

Issue: I Have Transom Windows and Don’t Know What To Do

These can be hard to treat and often go untreated unless you want an obscure style glass. Depending on the height of the windows you can do a roman shade, but you want to make sure you are able to open and close them. This can get quite costly but motorized shades are great for hard to reach windows.

Issue: I Have A Window Directly Above My Bed

I love this example shown below because it executes the solution perfectly. This is a place to avoid drapery especially if you have a headboard. A no fuss woven shade looks beautiful and adds such a nice texture to a neutral room. Even if you have a short headboard in front of a window an inside mount shade still works.


Question: How Do I know If I Should Get An Inside or Outside Mount Shade?

The mounting of the shade all depends on what type of window you have and what you are using the shade for. If you need a lot of light blocking and are using a blackout shade you will want to get it as close to the glass as possible to avoid light leaks. Outside mount shades work when there isn’t enough room on the interior of the window frame or if there isn’t an ideal place to fix the bracket.


I know how difficult window treatments can be, but I hope this post helped a little. If you have any other questions, definitely let me know!

Photography by Torrey Fox

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