Window Treatment Terms 101: How to Speak the Lingo

Sunroom sitting area with olive-color drapes pulled back to reveal patio door and matching cellular shades on four windowsHave you ever looked through an interior design magazine or at pictures online and spotted windows with coverings that would look perfect in your home, but you weren’t sure exactly what type of window treatments you were looking at? Or what accessories would be needed to create the total effect that has captured your heart?

Fortunately, Exciting Windows! has an extensive network of design consultants who would be delighted to take a look at your pictures or listen to your ideas and help you select all the custom window treatments and accessories you need to bring your vision to life. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn some of the lingo used by the pros, consider these common window treatment terms:

Soft vs. Hard Window Treatments

These are the two main categories of window coverings. Soft window treatments are made of fabric or textiles and include drapes, curtains, swags, sheers, and valances. Hard window treatments are usually fashioned from wood, vinyl, or aluminum. They include blinds, shutters, and cornice boards. Different types of shades can be classified as hard or soft, depending on the material they’re crafted from and the aesthetic they create.

Drapes vs. Curtains

Many people use the terms “drapes” and “curtains” interchangeably, but there are actually some differences between them that are easy to recognize once you’re in the know. Both window treatments consist of fabric panels, typically hung in pairs. However, draperies are usually crafted from heavier fabric than curtains and may be lined for extra thickness. Drapes are long enough to extend from just above the window all the way to the floor. In fact, sometimes they have a few extra inches to create a luxurious “pooling” effect.

Curtains, on the other hand, are usually made from lightweight, unlined fabric, and they can be short or long.

Blinds vs. Shades

Blinds are hard window treatments with slats (louvers) that can be opened, closed, and adjusted at angles to control light and privacy. Shades are usually solid window coverings crafted from textiles, and they can be rolled up or down.

Now that you’re ready to speak the lingo, you’ll want to partner with one of the friendly and knowledgeable window treatment consultants in our network to select the ideal custom shades, blinds, or shutters for your home. Contact Exciting Windows! today to get started.