You could argue that natural light is the most important feature in any room. But you could also say that being able to block that light is just as important, and that's where window treatments come into play. Not only are they necessary for deflecting harsh rays and providing privacy, but they can also add an important design element through texture, height, color, and pattern. From curtains to drapes to shades of all kinds, here are nine contemporary window treatment ideas we're loving.
1. Light and Breezy Drapes That Filter Sun
To keep the harsh sun out of your little one's eyes during an afternoon tea party, think contemporary window treatments that are light, bright, and breezy. These floor-to-ceiling, dusty pink drapes bring height and color to an otherwise minimal playroom design by Mel Bean Interiors. When you're focused on filtering light, as opposed to privacy, go for a semi-sheer option.
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2. Traditional Roman Shades With Bamboo for Texture
Roman shades are a classic, but when you choose to go with bamboo instead of linen or another fabric, you add texture and a contemporary touch. Here, Interior Impressions paired bamboo shades with a cowhide rug and office chair for an elegant space that doesn't take itself too seriously. And the best part is that you can adjust their height based on the time of day and your privacy needs.
3. Roller Shades That Are Versatile and Customizable
Roller shades are the triple threat of window treatments — they can do just about everything. Ranging from blackout to light filtering, these coverings are available in a variety of fabric and wood options, and you can raise or lower them to any height. This roller shade from Stoneside is just one of the brand's seemingly endless options. Customize them to perfectly match your contemporary aesthetic.
4. Patterned Drapes That Play With Scale
Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design didn't shy away from texture, pattern, or color in this pretty pink dining room. Instead of choosing drapes that blend into the background, Patton went bold with an emerald pair that add another element of color and fun to the contemporary bohemian space. This room — which would be perfect for homemade meals or takeout — is an experiment in scale, from an oversize light fixture to large art to attention-grabbing drapes. Yet everything feels balanced and beautiful.
5. Barely-There White Shades That Don't Distract
We're relaxed just looking at this elegant contemporary bathroom from Michelle Lisac Interior Design. The white window treatment both filters light and provides privacy, which is a must for nighttime bubble baths with a good book. And the barely-there shade allows the bathroom's standout pieces — the sleek tub and art deco light fixture — to be the stars of the room.
6. Tall, Dark, and Handsome Curtains for Adding Edge
You can never go wrong with tall, dark, and handsome, even in window treatment form. That's why these inky curtains, in a timeless dining room designed by Amber Interiors, work so well. The heavy fabric ensures privacy and light control in case a dinner party goes late into the night. And we especially appreciate how the curtains complement the room's varying textures and neutral tones.
7. Window Treatments That Double Up
If you want versatility in your light and privacy options, consider adding both Roman shades and curtains to the window like Black Lacquer Design did in this contemporary living room. Close only the curtains when you want to decrease the effect of the midday sun, pull down the shades at night, or draw both for extra light and privacy protection. In addition to the practical aspect, we love the visual interest of combining both horizontal and vertical treatments.
8. A Sleek Valance That Adds Height
Forget your grandmother's dusty floral valance. The traditional addition can actually be quite contemporary — just look at the one in this bedroom by Studio Ten 25. The white design with black trim both complements the lively, patterned wallpaper while exaggerating the ceiling height and adding a classy cover to the simple shades below.
9. Shutters That Aren’t Just for Beach Houses
There's a coastal quality to shutters that we adore, but that doesn't mean the wood window treatments are solely for beach houses. In fact, this bedroom, designed by Becki Owens for Kailee Wright, looks clean and airy because of the shutters. While they can redirect light easily, keep in mind that shutters can't be pulled up all the way. Consequently, they will semi-obstruct your view.