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Published: Thursday, 9/1/2005

Window Treatments 101

Windows are the eye to the outdoors. That s why you have to think carefully when deciding on a style for each room in your house. But with so many terms exclusive to the window industry, how do you see clearly? Here s a guide to help you sort out all of the jargon.

Type: Horizontal blinds

Materials: Aluminum, plastic, wood and faux wood

Uses: Control light and privacy easily. Durable and easy to maintain.

Type: Vertical blinds

Materials: Aluminum, vinyl or reinforced fabric

Uses: Overlapping nature enables light control.

Type: Swags (curtains)

Materials: Soft or sheer fabric

Uses: A portable style that can be draped over another treatment or used alone to soften a window frame.

Type: Curtains and drapes

Materials: Fabrics in various colors and patterns

Uses: They can be designed to suit your decorating style. Fabric can add visual warmth to a room.

Type: Cellular shades

Materials: Sheer or opaque paper or fabric

Uses: Available in various opening methods such as motorized or pull from bottom. Can be custom fit for any window shape or size.

Type: Roller shades

Materials: Vinyl, canvas or bonded fabric

Uses: Offer moderate to full blackout of light for total privacy.

Type: Roman blinds

Materials: Various fabrics

Uses: Manipulated cords and pulleys. Offer a casual look and add insulation

Type: Shutters

Materials: Wood or polymer panels or louvers; fabric, glass or metal inserts

Uses: Give an old-fashioned, cottage aura to a room

Type: Cornices or valances

Materials: Varies; anything from wood to silk-flower garland

Uses: Used to hide drapery hardware or make window and ceiling look taller.

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