Window Treatments for Home Staging

For a faster, more profitable home sale

Kitchen with venetian blindsVenetian blinds give this kitchen a crisp, contemporary look.

Window treatments are used in home design to control light, create privacy, frame a view, add accent color and texture, and make a living space warm and inviting.

Window decor can be used to emphasize architectural details or soften the hard edges of a room. Decorating your windows can instantly change the look and feel of a room— sort of like accessorizing your favorite outfit.

Home buyers today are looking for homes with plenty of natural light. Natural light is the most important kind of lighting for a home, as it infuses a home with a bright, expansive aura. 

If you have a house for sale, be sure to install window treatments that are clean and contemporary in design. If you have a great view and privacy is not an issue, consider leaving off any window coverings, or just go with sheer curtains.

Different styles of window treatments

Monotone color scheme bedroomThe window treatments in this monotone bedroom show how hard and soft window treatments complement each other.

Window coverings can be divided into two groups; soft and hard. Soft window treatments are made with fabric, of course. Examples are curtains, draperies, valances, roller shades, and roman blinds. Fabric drapes and curtains soften a room and make it more inviting.

Hard window treatments are made from a variety of different products, like plastic, metal or wood. This group includes blinds, shutters, screens, even specialty glass that is frosted or stained. Hard and soft window treatments can be used alone or together to complement each other.

Don't stage your home with outdated window treatments

Lacy window curtainsToo fussy and "taste specific." This style will not help you sell your house!

If you have a house for sale, this is the time to update the look of your windows.

Most buyers are looking for a "move-in-ready" house-- in spite of what you see on TV, there really are not that many fixer-upper type people out there.

Plus, most people are worried about the unexpected and costly problems that pop up during a renovation.

Remove outdated built-in valances and cornices, as they can look bulky and block natural light.

Take down dark, heavy window treatments, like velvet or brocade draperies. Heavy drapes can make a room look and feel dark, stuffy, or too formal.

Remove worn or outdated venetian blinds and cheap roller shades.

Get rid of window coverings in outdated colors, those with fussy ruffles or shirred fabrics, ornate laces, bishop sleeves, swags and tassels.

Formal window treatmentsAn example of excessively formal draperies. Great if you live in Buckingham Palace; not good for selling your home!

Sadly, old-fashioned or overly ornate curtain styles can be a deterrent to selling your home, because buyers will think the entire house is outdated and rundown as well.

Theme-based window treatments, like “My Little Ponies” or “Disney” characters are just too taste specific and won’t appeal to many people over the age of 10.

Wild patterns and animal prints are also buyer turnoffs.

Colors, patterns, and textures

Wildly patterned or garish-colored window coverings should be avoided when you have a house for sale. Neutral colors are best, because almost everyone loves them. Decorate with neutral patterns; geometric and stripes are usually stylish without being too taste specific.

Window coverings should complement the color palette and style of each room. Fabric that looks good on your furniture will also look good on your window. A general design rule is to repeat a fabric two to three times in a room; repeat on an upholstered chair or pillows.

If you have customized window treatments that enhance your home decor, consider leaving them for the new home owners. This is a great selling feature, plus it's one less thing you'll have to pack for your move! Chances are, they won't go with your new home anyway.

Texture can greatly influence the mood in a room. In general, the smoother the texture, (like silk or satin) the more formal a room will seem. Smooth textures can also make fabric appear lighter.

The reverse occurs with coarsely textured fabrics. Coarser textures absorb more light so colors will appear darker. Heavily brocaded draperies will look far heavier than silk drapes. 

Beautiful windows with a sea view.Let beautiful windows speak for themselves!

In the same manner as textures, heavily patterned fabrics will look weightier than solid colors.

Window treatments for home staging

It’s okay to simply leave windows bare— especially if the windows look out on a fantastic view!

Sometimes windows themselves are just too pretty to cover.

You don't want buyers to miss a stunning view, a lovely garden, or a tempting outdoor living space

If you're not sure how to dress a window, it’s better to leave them bare rather than having the wrong window treatments in place.

If you're concerned about privacy, hang sheer curtains to soften your window, yet still allow natural light to flow in.

Window treatment styles that will sell your home

Kitchen window valanceThese charming kitchen window valances add a rustic look to this kitchen.

Curtains and drapes

Things to consider before you select your window dressings;

  • What is the overall style of your home? Is it formal or casual?
  • What is the interior lighting like? Is it too dark? Is privacy needed?

Tab-top curtains - these are a good choice for an informal, casual look. Curtain rods are threaded through the tabs and look best mounted outside the window frame.

Tie-top curtains - Tabs are tied directly to the curtain rod, giving them an informal look.

Tie-back curtains - These are simply curtains held back with fabric or cord ties.

Grommet-top curtains - Curtain rods are threaded through grommets at the top of the curtains, resulting in a clean, contemporary look.

Rod curtains - Curtain rods are shoved through a pocket sewn in the top of the curtain. This creates a straight, crisp look. Rod curtains can be mounted inside or outside window frames.

Valances - Window valances are horizontal decorative features that hang at the top of a window. They're often used to hide curtain rods. Valances can make a window seem taller when mounted on the wall ABOVE the window rather than on the window frame. Hanging a valance is a good way to add color or pattern to an otherwise bland room.

Window blinds and shades

Kitchen with window blindsKitchen with light filtering pull-up window blinds

Window shades and blinds are good choices for kitchens and bathrooms. If you are trying to sell your house, avoid window shades with overwhelming volumes of pleated or billowing fabrics, like balloon and Austrian styles. Instead try;

Bathroom with roman shade window blindsRoman shades are an elegant finishing touch in this bathroom. Photo by

Pull-up blinds - Pull-up blinds create flat pleats as they're raised and typically look formal. Pull-up blinds can be mounted inside or outside of window casings. They can be pricey if you have to custom order to fit, because windows aren't a standard size..

Venetian blinds - Venetian blinds typically have 2" wide horizontal slats, usually made of aluminum. Other common materials are vinyl, plastic and wood. Venetian blinds are great for blocking an ugly view, yet still letting light in. Wood blinds look good in traditional rooms, whereas metal blinds have a contemporary vibe. Always leave blinds partly open when showing your house to allow light in.

Roll-up window blinds - Rollup blinds window blinds roll up from the bottom. They look best in a casual, contemporary space. Great for kid's rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms.

Roller window shades - Roller shades lift up and down smoothly with a spring-roller mechanism— they conveniently adjust to any position. Very affordable, they're available in a wide variety of materials and typically covered with a plastic coating or fabric. Roller shades look best when combined with other forms of window treatments, like window curtains.

Roman shades - are an elegant and classy way to highlight your windows and control light. They have wide pleats and open up in an accordion-like fashion. Roman shades are straight and flat when unfolded, in the closed position. Roman shades are available in a variety of different fabrics and folding methods.

Baby's room with red window shades and blindsThis adorable baby room is brightened by the red window shades and paired white curtains. Find these shades at

Roller window shades - Roller shades lift up and down smoothly with a spring-roller mechanism— they conveniently adjust to any position. Very affordable and available in a wide variety of materials, and often covered with a plastic coating or fabric. Roller shades look best when combined with other forms of window treatments, like window curtains.

Window shuttersThe great thing about shutters is that you can enjoy privacy and light simultaneously. Photo by

Shutters - Traditional-style shutters are louvered, which means they're angled to let in light. Most people love the way they look. The shutters in the photo above have a crisp, contemporary look.

How to hang curtain panels and drapes

The width of each panel should be 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 times the width of the window.

Treatments can be hung in two ways:

  • To the windowsill
  • To the floor

Curtains and drapes shouldn’t hang partway between the window sill and the floor. If you have a radiator or air conditioner in the way under a window, hang curtains at the windowsill. A full length curtain touching a base board heater won’t hang right and may be a fire hazard.

Floor length curtains should break at the floor about an inch or two to create an elegant drape.

If floor length curtains will be opened and closed daily, a 1/4 to 1/2 inch clearance at the floor will allow them to operate smoothly.

If you want to go for the elegant puddled look, (where extra curtain fabric is gracefully arranged on the floor) the allowances are 6 to 9 inches.

Short curtains that fit inside the window sill should sit at the windowsill. Curtains that fall outside the window sill should fall at the window sill. Shorter curtains shouldn't hang partway between the sill and the floor.

Selecting window hardware for home staging

Curtain rods are made from a variety of products; metal, wood and plastic. I've seen curtain rods made from tree branches, an oar, a hockey stick, an antler, and a piece of bamboo! If you have a house for sale, keep it simple-- don’t be too taste specific. 

After taking down old window coverings, you'll be left with ugly holes in the walls from the hardware. Fill the holes with spackling paste or another product called "erase-a-hole." 

Stay away from outdated thick clunky rods with large finials and fat rings. Select an updated, curtain rod in a thinner style, but substantial enough to make the window important. 

For really wide windows, you’ll need at least one center support bracket, maybe two depending upon how wide the window is and how much weight the rod will have to bear.

Please don’t put holes in beautiful window molding, especially if the house is historic. It’s often best (and easiest!) to leave the windows bare to show off the trim work. If you must have window coverings for privacy, mount the hardware outside the window frame.

Choose the appropriate wall anchors for hanging rod brackets. Don’t use screws and wall anchors that come in the little packages with the curtain rods when you buy them. They're usually cheap, break easily, and the screw heads strip out. Ask a hardware store worker to help you pick out good quality wall anchors and screws.

Try Kwik-hang to get your curtains up in a hurry!

I wish Kwik-hang had been around years ago when I used to hang a lot of curtains and drapes. No need to worry about ruining sheetrock or fussing with drywall anchors.

Kwik-hang holds up to 20 lbs. and comes in five color options; black, silver, brass, white and bronze.

This product is available at, Bed Bath and Beyond, Walmart, and of course, Amazon.

Watch this video to see just how easy it is to hang curtains! Video by Kwik-hang. 

Window treatments for problem areas

Living room interior design picturesCeiling to floor draperies make a low ceiling feel higher
  • To make low ceilings appear higher, hang curtain rods close to the ceiling instead of just above the window frame. Use full length curtains that hang to the floor. This will add a longer vertical element to the room, making ceilings seem higher.
  • To widen a narrow window and allow more light in, use a rod that extends beyond the frame. With curtains pulled back, more of the window will show, making the window seem wider. Be sure edges of the window frame don’t show, or the illusion won't work.
  • To make a window appear taller, install the rod a few inches higher than the frame. Add a valance to cover the gap between the rod and frame.
  • Ceilings and windows appear taller when using drapes with vertical stripes or patterns.
  • To make a window appear shorter, install a valance on the frame instead of the wall. The valance will cover part of the window, making it seem shorter. 
Modern curtainsGrommet curtains and geometric patterns look well in a contemporary interior.
  • If a window is off-center with little or no wall space on one side, hang a rod and curtain across the entire window and swag the curtain toward the side with more wall space. This will draw the eye away from the off-centered side.
  • For windows situated in an awkward place, use curtains the same color as the walls. It'll be less noticeable that way.
  • Hang sheers to block out an ugly view. They'll soften the view, yet filter light in.
  • Apply frosted window film to small windows where you need privacy, as in a front door. Frosted window film lets light in, is easy to apply, and is removable!
  • To find, go to,, or Also available at Amazon, Lowes, and most home supply centers.

Living room interior design picturesAvoid overly elaborate and formal window coverings like these.
  • If you want to direct a buyer’s attention to a great view outside, hang curtains that're the same color as the wall. This will give the illusion of more space in a room as well.
  • Consider the mood you want to create in each room. For instance, if you're going for an elegant feel in the master bedroom, go ahead and stage it with window coverings made from luxurious and smooth fabrics.
  • In tiny rooms, don't overwhelm the space with oppressive window treatments.
  • If the scale of a room is large overall, use window coverings that complement that grander feel. 

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