Curtains or No Curtains: How to Choose
Deciding between curtains or no curtains is an important decision that will affect your space’s overall aesthetics as well as its functionality. Drapery can complete your space by adding warmth and visual interest, plus, drapes provide privacy, light control and insulation. However, Drapery isn’t the only window treatment option, as you can also choose Blinds and Shades based on your needs.
The choice between curtains, another type of window treatment, or bare windows will ultimately depend on your specific needs and preferences.
When to Choose Bare Windows
Since window treatments are essential for providing privacy and light control, there are only a handful of instances where bare windows are a good option.
Best applications for bare windows include:
- Homes with a stunning view in a remote area.
- Minimal privacy concerns as neighbors do not have a clear visual into your home interior.
- Homes with minimal natural light where curtains aren’t needed to filter light or privacy.
- In sleek, modern spaces, where bare windows create a clean, open feeling.
- On oddly shaped windows like a port-hole style window where drapery may look out of place.
If your home doesn’t fall into one of the situations above, then you likely need window treatments to provide the right level of privacy and light control. Learn the benefits of curtains as well as Blinds and Shades for a better understanding of which might be right for your space.
When to Choose Curtains
When deciding between curtains or no curtains, learn the best situations for choosing these elegant window treatments to see if they align with what you need.
Choose curtains for:
- Added warmth and elegance for a polished, finished aesthetic.
- Lots of customizations, including pleat style, hardware, lining, fabric and more so you can create just the right look with the right functionality.
- Great privacy and light control, especially when you add on privacy or blackout lining.
- A sense of height and breadth for your window and overall space when hung high and wide over your windows with panels that trail to the floor.
- Good insulation for a more temperate interior, especially when adding privacy or blacking lining with cotton flannel interlining.
When to Choose Blinds & Shades
Blinds and Shades provide many of the same benefits as Drapery but offer a more tailored fit for your window. Learn when these window treatments might be a better choice than Drapery.
Choose Blinds or Shades for:
- A more tailored, streamlined look thanks to their custom fit on your window.
- A wide variety of customizations in terms of style, control types, material options, and more so you can capture just the right look with the right functionality.
- Install flexibility since they can potentially be installed in an inside-mount (inside the window frame) or outside-mount (on the wall or ceiling above the window frame) application. Keep in mind inside-mount applications require a minimum depth requirement for a secure mount that’s usually at least ¾-inch.
- Great privacy, light control and insulation with the right materials (and lining for Roman Shades and Woven Wood Shades).
- Affordability as they typically use less material that Drapery which can make them lower in cost.
MORE Considerations for Curtains or No Curtains
Now that you know the best applications for bare windows, as well as some of the best reasons to choose curtains, blinds and shades, learn what other factors to consider to help you decide.
These tips can help you further narrow down the best choice for your space:
The type of room you’re renovating will dictate which, if any, window treatments are right for your space. Rooms where privacy is essential, like a bathroom or bedroom, will likely require window treatments. Additionally, bedrooms may also require a room darkening effect for better sleep, so it will be important to choose window treatments with blackout material or lining. For rooms like dining rooms or living rooms where privacy isn’t essential, you might consider bare windows if these rooms also have a beautiful view. Or opt for light-filtering window treatments like sheer curtains or Solar Shades for softened light and a bit of privacy.
Privacy & Light Control Needs
Only if your room needs no privacy or light control are bare windows a good option. Most rooms need some level of privacy and protection from the sun. Luckily, there are several levels of light and privacy control you can attain depending on the type of window treatment you choose. For instance, Solar Shades block UV rays while still allowing natural light to filter in and they can help you maintain your view to the outdoors thanks to their transparency levels. At the other end of the spectrum, Drapery with blackout lining can provide an excellent room darkening effect and great privacy for your bedroom or media room.
The aesthetic effect you want to achieve in your room is an important factor to consider when choosing between curtains or no curtains. Bare windows will give you a minimalist, open look and create a bright space that seamlessly bridges the outdoors with the indoors. Curtains will add an elegant warmth to your space with their long fabric panels. Blinds offer a clean, linear design that can suit a range of aesthetic styles. Shades come in a variety of styles from sleek, modern Roller and Solar Shades to elegant Roman Shades to organic Woven Wood Shades.
The type of window treatment you choose as well as the material, control type, size of your windows and more will all affect your costs. Curtains will usually be the highest price since they use the most material in their long panels of fabric. Certain Shades are more affordable than others, with Roller Shades, Solar Shades and Cellular Shades being the most affordable. Blinds also are typically an economical choice depending on your material and control type choice.
Inspirational Ideas for Curtains or No Curtains
Still struggling to decide between curtains or no curtains? Explore curated spaces with curtains and spaces with Blinds and Shades to help you visualize the perfect design for your own room.
Ideas with Curtains
Bright Living Room with Tall Picture Windows
For any room with tall windows, curtains are a great choice to provide ample light and privacy control while also helping to accentuate the height of your windows and room. Choose a style like Pinch Pleat Drapery to provide a visual break at the top of your curtain panels that can help anchor the space, especially if your windows lack trim. A fabric with a neutral color and subtle pattern, like Surrey Stripe in Morel and Natural, will give your space the right amount of depth and dimension without overwhelming your overall design.
Inviting Dining Room with Floor-to-Ceiling Windows
For a room with windows that span floor-to-ceiling and wall to wall, curtains can provide privacy and light control whenever you need it with full coverage of the window. Plus, adding drapery with a warm neutral color and subtle linear pattern like Lily in Buff provides just the right amount of visual weight to the space to keep it from feeling too open. Rooms with too much spaciousness can end up feeling cold and uninviting, but Drapery can add just the right amount of warmth to transform the space.
Cozy, Tranquil Bedroom with a Large Window
Drapery is an excellent choice for any bedroom, as it is one of the most effective room darkening window treatments. Hang your curtains high and wide off the window so the panels can easily cover the entirety of the window, helping to block out the most light for a tranquil, darkened space, ideal for sleep. For a subtle aesthetic effect, choose a fabric that features a color that matches your walls and subtle texture or patterning, like Claude Stripe in Alabaster for off-white walls. The Drapery will blend with the wall for a continuous, cohesive look when the panels are closed, yet the texture will add just a touch of interest for greater design dimension.
Ideas with Blinds & Shades
Warm, Relaxing Bathroom
For a bathroom with a window above the tub, curtains just won’t work—and that’s where Shades come in with their tailored design that fits your window perfectly without fabric hanging too low to get wet. Achieve a sense of privacy and relaxation with an unlined Roman Shade made of fabric with a warm, inviting color like Lisbon Woven in Bronze. Keeping the shade unlined will still provide you with adequate privacy, while also allowing light to filter through the bronze fabric for a warm glow.
Boho-Inspired Bedroom with Organic Textures
For a bedroom with a boho-inspired aesthetic, capture an organic look with Woven Wood Shades made of Grassweave in Hemp. The woven fibers of the Shade will complement other natural textures in the space, such as a woven overhead light fixture, a jute rug and linen bedding. For greater privacy and light control, add privacy or blackout lining to achieve the right room darkening effect. Plus, if your bedroom has windows with structures in front of them, like a built-in bench or a desk, Shades won’t be in the way, so you can enjoy full functionality of your space.
Bright Modern Kitchen
For large windows in a kitchen, Metal Blinds are a great option for functional light and privacy control as well as added visual interest to an otherwise open space. In a bright, modern kitchen with sleek, warm neutral colors and dark wood wall paneling, choose warm-toned Metal Blinds, like 2-inch Metal in Champagne. The warm gold tone with a metallic sheen and linear design creates a clean, bright look that balances the dark wood while complementing the warm color and sleek lines of the cabinets and counter.
Finalize Your Selection: Curtains or No Curtains?
With lots of inspirational ideas as well as benefits of either curtains or no curtains, you likely have a stronger sense of what approach will work best for your space. To finalize your selection and make the best possible choices for your home, schedule a free design consultation with one of our expert Design Consultants. With their expertise in all things window treatments, they’ll be able to answer all your questions and guide you toward the right selections.