The Most Popular Types of Window Treatments—and How to Tell the Difference Between Each

home office with two different window treatments
Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg

There are many reasons why you might be in the market for new window treatments—whether you're renovating your home, moving into a new one, or just looking for fun ways to freshen up a room. Installing window treatments is a stylish way to elevate your space, and they can instantly make your home feel cozier and more refined. Plus, the right treatment can be a game changer in terms of bringing a space together, providing privacy, and filtering out sunlight.

From glamorous velvet draperies to efficient solar shades, there are window treatment options to fit your desired style. Whether you're going for a rustic, mountain-inspired look that keeps the warmth in, or prefer a coastal, airy feel for your cottage near the beach, our roundup of the most popular types of window treatments has you covered.

01 of 09

Cellular Shades

neutral-colored cellular shades
Courtesy of Graber Custom Blinds and Shades

Cellular shades have been popular for quite some time, which is largely in part to their versatility. "You can go all the way from sheer fabrics to full blackout for bedroom applications," says Rachel Hyslop, director of channel marketing at Springs Window Fashions. "They're something I think can go into just about any type of décor style—and we find that a lot of people layer with cellular shades."

They're particularly popular among homeowners in the Midwest and Northeast. "That honeycomb design naturally lends itself to insulating windows and keeping homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer," says Hyslop. "And it just has a nice kind of crisp, clean linear look."

02 of 09

Roller Shades

Bathroom with hexagon tile and marble counter
John Merkl

If you're looking for a unique option, the roller shade is essentially one continuous piece of fabric. "A lot of customers might see roller shades and think of the old vinyl roller shades that their grandparents had," says Hyslop. But this treatment style is far from a thing of the past. "The fabrics have become more designer-oriented—bolder prints, interesting texture (even velvety velour)—versus that kind of old-fashioned vinyl," she says.

03 of 09

Solar Shades

gray office space with solar shades
Courtesy of Graber Custom Blinds and Shades

A more modern, eco-friendly version of the roller panel is the solar panel. The treatment is popular on the country's west and southern coasts, where there tends to be warmer temperatures and larger windows—which is often what follows when you have a coastal view. "People want to let the light into their home, but they also want to know that they're getting protection from UV rays and other things that could damage floors or furniture," says Hyslop.

04 of 09

Natural Shades

white kitchen with wood blinds and open shelving
Kimber Collective

The variety of textures and tones that natural shades offer is a major lure for homeowners, catering to those with casual, eclectic, refined, or colorful styles. "Natural shades give an incredible texture to the room, and I think that's part of why they've been trending," says Hyslop. "Some of the natural fabrics almost have a true fabric feel, and we've been innovating—bringing in yarn and softer materials to blend in with the grasses and the bamboos, but also metallic threads and patterns."

If you're considering natural shades for your home, consider pairing them with a liner for a blackout application in bedrooms. However, if it's in a more sun-soaked area, such as a living room or kitchen, ditch the liner for light filtering.

05 of 09


gray living room with blue and white southwest patterned drapes
Courtesy of Graber Custom Blinds and Shades

Drapes are back in a big way, but they have been completely reinvented. "We see consumers gravitating towards cornices that are more linear or straight, and just looking at simple side panels," says Hyslop. While form may be rather minimalistic, homeowners are playing things up with patterns and even color-blocking.

06 of 09

Pleated Shades

living room with navy pleated shades
Courtesy of Graber Custom Blinds and Shades

Pleated shades may seem outdated, but they've also experienced a renaissance. "Part of that is just the fabrics—coming up with textural, printed fabrics, things that feel more modern and up-to-date," says Hyslop. One of Graber's newest best sellers is a 2-inch pleated shade, called Debonair, which comes in a neutral, tweed-like texture and is proportioned for slightly larger windows, says Hyslop.

07 of 09

Wood and Faux Wood Blinds

Courtesy of Annie Schlechter

Wood window treatments are a great way to complement a rustic farmhouse or mid-century modern look. On a budget? Faux wood is a solid alternative. "Ten years ago, it was simply just an extruded PVC slat, but there's been a lot of innovation around printing on that slat and wrapping the slat to make it look as much like real wood as possible—and I feel like we're at a point where some of the printed faux woods are just looking incredibly real," says Hyslop.

08 of 09


gray living room with pine wood shutters
Courtesy of Graber Custom Blinds and Shades

You simply can't go wrong with a classic. "Shutters have a traditional look, but I think they're still strong," says Hyslop. While often spotted in coastal and colonial-style homes, they're also quite popular down south. "I'd say that particular product sells more in the Southeast, in homes with a more traditional style of décor," she says.

09 of 09

Roman Shades

gray kitchen with roman shades
Courtesy of Graber Custom Blinds and Shades

No matter the look you are trying to achieve, roman shades are a versatile option that work with a range of home décor styles. "A Roman shade, depending on the fabric or style that you choose—and whether it's looped or flat—can skew very traditional or it can also skew a little bit more modern and casual," says Hyslop.

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