What are Traditional Window Treatments?

While planning your window treatment project, you may have come across the term “traditional window treatments” and wondered how those differ from contemporary options. The truth is, there is a lot of overlap between the two. Traditional simply refers to products that have long-established use, whether they’re inspired by styles of 18th Century England or the French countryside. So, traditional window treatments like draperies and shutters are also considered contemporary. Here’s another way of thinking about it: Since they came into vogue hundreds of years ago, traditional window treatments have changed but never gone out of style. Below are two of America’s top-selling traditional window coverings:


Whether you prefer to call them drapes or curtains, draperies are crafted and designed for elegance and beauty. Draperies look good in most rooms but are especially suited for larger or more formal spaces. When shopping for draperies, pay close attention to the fabric. There is a wide variety of colors, textures, and patterns available, so you should have no problem designing draperies that go well with your décor. If your style leans toward the contemporary, forgo the darker tones and focus on lighter fabrics instead.


Shades are a great alternative to traditional drapery, and, in terms of style, they’re probably more versatile. Roman shades are one of the most popular. They hang flat when closed and gather into deep horizontal pleats when raised. Because Roman shades practically disappear when fully raised, they look tailored and streamlined, reflecting a contemporary, even modern, design aesthetic. But because Roman shades can be crafted from different types of luxurious fabrics, they are a good choice for a traditionally styled home. Depending on your light control and privacy requirements, you can choose sheer light fabrics or heavier dramatic prints.

If you would like window treatment advice from a professional designer in your area, contact Exciting Windows! We can put you in touch with one of our member consultants who can help you design traditional or contemporary window treatments to your exact specifications.