Home Interior Design

Window Treatments for Colonial-Style Homes

Windows for colonial style homes are traditional, simple and practical. This style originated during the 1600s when settlers relocated to the country and built homes with symmetrical floor plans. Of course, their windows are symmetrically placed, and typically have front-facing gables. It has a familiar, classic look that brings you a glimpse of what America was in the past. If your house is designed colonial style, here are your window treatment options:

1. Window shutters

These protect the house interior from the harsh rays of the sun, and brings in air while still providing privacy to the house. Its louvered blades also serve as easy insulation for the interior. Besides its practical uses, it also looks great with windows since it can be fit to the shape of the window. Shutters were the usual window treatments used by homeowners during the Colonial era, and also during the pre-colonial times in New England. And now, shutters are still used and is still considered as the best window treatments for colonial-styled homes in terms of aesthetics and functionality.

There are two different types of shutters used for colonial-style windows: colonial shutters, which have narrower and shorter slats to protect the home against the cold weather and storms; and plantation shutters, which have wider and longer slats to keep the heat out. Your choice of shutters largely depend on the climate in your area.

2. Blinds

Next to shutters, window blinds are your second best choice for covering up colonial windows. These have slats that are one to three inches wide that are held together by cords that run through the blind slats. These come in wooden, plastic or metal varieties, and are available in different sizes that can fit almost all window sizes. Like shutters, they bring in air and protect the indoors from the sun. They are also easy to clean and maintain.

During the 1800s and 1900s, Venetian blinds (wooden blinds) are used, and it comes in clear finishes that showcase the details and graining of the wood. It’s a great choice, but we have a lot more material and color options to choose from today.

3. Draperies, curtains and valances

Although it doesn’t provide the same protection against sun and weather like shutters and blinds, draperies are your best choice if you’re just looking to decorate the window and complement the historic charm of your colonial home. Decorate the window using panel curtains made of muslin, cotton or ticking. Choose traditionally patterned fabrics like plaid or gingham. For tiebacks, use objects like strips of raffia, burlap or faux bittersweet garland. If you’re using plain panel curtains, you can add a swag of plaid fabric.

You can transform lightweight quilts into valances and layer them with plain panel curtains. Make sure you use the same material or color of quilts when decorating several windows in one place. For windows that don’t need privacy or additional sun protection, you can hang embroidery work or needlework. If you’re feeling extra, you can also make your own curtains using traditional fabrics.

If your shutters can’t cover your whole window, or if you’re using half-size shutters on the bottom half of the window, add a swag of fabric on top to fully cover the window.