How to choose the right window treatment

Supported by DIY Blinds

Who would have thought choosing the right window treatment could be so difficult! Roller blinds, curtains, shutters, venetians, roman, panels and drapes… the options just keep going!

I recently had to decide on window treatments for our new house and found the decision completely daunting — it was like the window saga all over again!

Knowing many of you are currently building or renovating and this is a decision you’ll need to make soon, I thought it would be helpful to talk about the different options available, things to consider and other helpful tips so you [hopefully] find making the decision easier than I did!

Related article: How to affordably update your window coverings
Related article: Adding a luxe feel to my home with designer sheer curtains from DIY Online Blinds

Window treatment options

Roller blinds

Possibly one of the most popular options, roller blinds are a simple and affordable choice. Choose from blockout (ultimate privacy and darkness makes them ideal for bedrooms) to light filtering (softens light and suitable for living areas). Otherwise try a sunscreen (provides daytime privacy and blocks 95% UV rays, great for sunny spots) or face mounted (above the window) or recess fit (within the window).

You can opt for simple flat fabrics or textured or even patterned. Be sure to get a few samples before you make the decision. For example DIY Blinds will priority post samoples to you for free so you can be sure the fabric works with your wall colour and overall colour scheme.

See what a transformation new roller blinds made at Bonnie’s house with these before and after photos.

Dean and Shay living room
Image of roller blinds via The Block

Double roller blinds

Just as the name suggests this is two layers of roller blinds on a single bracket. Either a blockout and sunscreen, blockout and light filtering or light filtering and sunscreen. Switch between complete privacy and darkness to light filtering so you can enjoy the view.

This option gives you ultimate flexibility while still having the sleek look of roller blinds. Get more out of your space by changing the level of light and privacy to suit your changing needs.

Roman blinds

Fabric blinds that fold as you draw them upwards. These are a soft and elegant option suitable for a range of interior styles. A simple white fabric looks great in a modern home, whereas a textured white is suited to the Hamptons style. The warmer tones look fab in a classic home!

These are more of a feature window treatment than the streamlined roller blinds, however just like roller blinds they are available in blockout, light filtering and sunscreen fabrics. They also require a little more maintenance, needing regular dusting, vacuuming and spot cleaning.

If you go for this option, be sure to look for a provider that can offer a chain drive system rather than cords, such as DIY Blinds, as they are child safe and provide a cleaner look. It will cost you a little more but is a worthwhile upgrade.

Roman blinds
Image of Roman blinds via Bloglovin

Venetian blinds

Available in a variety of materials, they can also suit a range of interior styles. Classic timber blinds fit perfectly in a botanical or tropical interior. Aluminium suits the ultra-modern style. Visionwood venetian blinds are ideal for coastal or modern homes.

If you haven’t heard of Visionwood venetian blinds before, they are a popular alternative to timber as they are a fraction of the cost, are made from moisture-resistant materials (making them ideal for wet and humid areas such as the bathroom or laundry), and are anti-fungal and anti-static (making them a great choice for people with asthma).

Venetian blinds require regular dusting (without exerting too much pressure) to keep them in top condition.

Venetian blinds
Image of venetian blinds via Decoholic

Vertical blinds

Slat-like blinds that stack behind each other as the blinds are opened. Affordably priced and easy functionality and maintenance also makes these a popular choice. Decide on a child-safe wand or traditional chain control, and left, right or centre opening.

Honeycomb blinds

The option I selected for our house. I opted for blockout in the bedroom and light filtering in the kitchen/dining area. These can either be recess fit (within the window frame) or face fit (above the window frame) and are generally made from a material that is water and fade resistant, giving them a long lifespan. The pleated honeycomb design also provides exceptional insulation, helping to keep rooms cool in summer and warm in winter.

Honeycomb blinds
Image of honeycomb blinds via Made by Mood

Panel blinds

Suitable for large doors, windows or bi-fold doors. These fabric panels attach to an aluminium track and slide behind each other when opened. These also come in blockout, light filtering and sunscreen options. Whatever your style, you can choose between ultimate privacy to simply reducing glare and heat while maintaining the view.


Available in sheer fabrics for that floaty, romantic feel, to lined drape fabric for blockout. Curtains in drape fabric are also great insulators. Further, gently diffuse light with sheer curtains. You can hang them as block out rollers or plantation shutters.

Master bedroom
Full height curtains by DIY Blinds in Kyal and Kara’s home

Plantation shutters

Traditionally a super pricey option that required professionals to install, plantation shutters are completely cordless timber, timber-look or aluminum shutters. Shutters fit as a part of the window. They can be made to suit any shape window such as arch or round windows.

Exterior shutters

Some window treatment companies also offer custom exterior shutters. As well as offering light and privacy control, exterior shutters can also enhance your home’s street appeal and offer greater security.

Plantation shutters window treatment
Plantation shutters in this kids room by Bec and George via DIY Blinds

DIY Blinds have made this option far more affordable in recent times though. They offer the choice of you installing them yourself (to save on installer costs) or can provide a professional installer to do the complete job for you. Find out more about their plantation shutters here.

And just to make things more confusing, many of these window treatments have additional options such as cordless, semi-cordless, wand, chain or automated.

So how to decide on the right window treatment?

Our top tips for choosing the right window treatment

1. Decide on your budget

You might be surprised to learn just how expensive some window treatment options can be! I got a quote for honeycomb blinds throughout my house and choked when I heard the price!

Your budget may immediately rule out some window covering options. It may also make you decide to order and install the blinds yourself rather than having them installed by the provider. This is definitely not a bad thing! I saved over 50% by measuring and installing our blinds which I bought online. The only downside I found buying online was that I had to wait quite a few weeks for my blinds to arrive. Good retailers such as DIY Blinds have faster turnaround times so there are speedier options available.

Roller blind and sheer curtain window treatment
Image of roller blinds and curtain via Apartment Therapy

2. Decide on your style

Some window treatments are better suited to certain interior styles than others. Consider what look you are going for and research what window treatment best suits the style. You can look at sites such as Houzz and Pinterest. The style may also determine if you go with face mounted or recess fit options.

3. Get the colour scheme right

Take the time to request samples or swatches so you can see how they look in your home. If you have cool white walls, a warm white window treatment may look yellowish and vice versa. If you have warm white walls and use a cool white fabric on your windows, you may find they look bluish.

Textures and patterns can add interest. Why not request a few samples outside your comfort zone to see how they look in your home too?

Vertical blinds window treatment
Image of vertical blinds via Idyll Og Him

4. Decide on the finer details

Once you know the option you’re going with and the colour or finish, it’s time to make all the small decisions that can have a big impact. These can include face mounted or recessed; left or right control; chain, cord, cordless or wand control; track colour; base rail colour… Again, the research you did into your interior style will help you make these decisions.

5. Find a supplier

As I mentioned, I saved over 50% on the price I was quoted by buying my blinds online. Don’t just consider the physical stores in your area when looking for blinds when there are excellent online stores that can save you big bucks. For example, DIY Blinds guarantee to beat any price, have a huge choice of window treatments, are 100% Australian and come with a 5 year warranty.

Has this guide helped you decide on what window treatment to use? Do you have other useful tips you can share? Let us know in the the comments below.

Check out more building and reno content here

This article was originally published in May 2016 but updated with new information and images

Gina Beschorner Style Curator

Welcome to Style Curator, your destination for daily interiors inspiration, styling tips, reno advice, home tours and DIY projects!

We're on a mission to help you create a home you love. And with plenty of tips and tricks, tutorials and other home inspo, we give you all the tools to achieve it!

I’m Gina, Founder and Interior Designer, and you can read more about Style Curator here.


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    1. Hi Gina,
      We have just finished renovating our home. Our lounge room over looks our pool and we are undecided on window coverings.
      We originally thought shutters but have bounced between soft grey sheers too. We are so unsure which way to go. We have warm white walls shaker cabinets under our tv unit. Lots of windows.we don’t need to block out the neighbours and sun isn’t the issue. The dining area will have the sheers which is in the next room.

      • Hi Melissa

        Thanks for your comment. It would be great if you could email me a pic of your space ( but based on what you’ve mentioned, I’d probably suggest a combination solution. For example, a sunscreen roller blind (inside) can offer daytime privacy while still give you views out to the pool, and a sheer curtain over the top. The sheer curtain will soften the look of the roller, add thermal benefits and privacy.

        I used this combination solution in a recent kitchen/dining project which you can see here

        Hope this helps 🙂

    2. Hi Gina,
      I just came across this article while trying to decide on window furnishings and EEKKK you are right, there are so many options!
      We are thinking of honeycomb in the bedrooms/rumpus and then a roller blockout with a sheer curtin for privacy as we have an modern industrial theme and the concrete floors, black window frames, tapware and foor handles might need some soften with a sheer curtain. We do have a raked ceiling and the large sliding doors that we would add the sheer curtain is leveled without the raked. Would you recommend to still add the sheer to the ceiling?

      Thanks Amanda

      • Hi Amanda, there are so many decisions, aren’t there?! I hope you found this guide helpful. Personally I would have the sheer curtain from the ceiling as I think this creates a modern, luxe look – how high are your ceilings? And when you mention wanting honeycomb, roller blinds and sheers are you thinking of having all 3 on each window or honeycomb blinds in some rooms, and the roller and sheer in others? I definitely love the idea of sheer curtains to soften the rooms and found this made such a big difference in my home 🙂

    3. Hi Gina,

      i have recently started following your blog & its great. We are planning to go with a Scandinavian theme in our master bedroom.
      We are confused with whether we should go with blinds and curtains or both.

      Can you suggest if we want to combine both , is Roman grey blinds with Sheer white curtains a good option?


      • Hi Niki, thanks for your lovely comment. Ohhh there are so many window treatment options, aren’t there? For a Scandi look I really love full height sheer curtains in a light grey or white, and then for practicality it’s good to have a blockout behind. For the blockout you could use roman blinds, roller blinds (more affordable and less bulky), or shutters. If you haven’t already, I suggest googling ‘roman blinds with sheer curtains’ and then clicking in the image tab to see lots of examples. That combo is often used in more Hamptons/Coastal and Traditional interiors so I’d probably be more inclined to go with recess fit roller or shutters depending on budget x

    4. I’ve just signed up to buy a renovators delight in Bonython. The current drab drapes definitely need replacing. So pleased a search of your site took me to this useful past article – a big help to know my options.

      • Congratulations Diane, that’s so exciting! Deciding on window treatments can be overwhelming but once you know the options and style you want to achieve, it becomes a lot easier. So glad you found this article helpful 🙂

    5. This is very timely, Gina, as I have been trying to work out what window coverings to use in the bathrooms. The biggest issue is the bathroom on the ground floor that has a floor to ceiling window facing the street! We are getting external ‘zipscreens’ on most windows, which are great for daytime privacy and keeping the insects out in Summer, but they don’t offer privacy at night, which could be a bit of a problem for anyone using that bathroom!

      Some good options to think through from here for interior blinds though. I love the honeycomb ones you chose – I’d like to have blockouts on some windows and curtains on a couple of the living areas and main bedroom.

      PS. I finally started a blog! Please come by and help me wade through the selections 🙂

      • Eeeeek, YAY! So glad I can follow the progress of your build now! I just tried to comment on your floor plans post but for some reason it said my comment wasn’t allowed. I’ll have to try again later. Can’t wait to read your regular updates. Who is your architect? So exciting!

        But yes, window treatments, what a saga! I’m glad this post could give you some ideas. Those zipscreens sound mega fancy, can’t wait to see pics on your blog. What are you thinking for in the bathroom?

        Down the track I may consider adding sheers over the honeycombs in the bedrooms but I would want these to be from the ceiling and am worried this could look weird with the high ceiling. Anyway, that’s a decision for another day.

        PS Your street looks amazing!!

        • Cool, bouncing ideas around definitely helps! Thanks for letting me know you couldn’t comment, I think I’ve fixed it now 🙂

          Our Architect is Et Al Architecture, he was recommended by a work colleague and is actually based in Bangkok (but used to live in Canberra).

          The zipscreens do sound fancy but we thought they were good value. I like the idea of the sun not hitting the glass in Summer and only having the ‘flyscreen’ look when the blinds are down. I think whatever window covering I use in the bathrooms (they actually all have windows facing the street!) will need to be external, or some sort of film.

          How high are the ceilings where you are considering the sheers? I think we may have a similar problem in the Lounge room where the ceilings are 2700 but the top of the window stops at 2400. I was still planning on doing it anyway! But I was thinking heavier curtains in that space as it’s going to be the tv watching room. Maybe when they’re tucked away, they will look ok??

          • Great job fixing the comments, it works now 🙂

            Is this your architect Whoever you used, it’s clear the choices you’ve made so far are fab and your house is going to be STUNNING!

            Most of our ceilings are around 2.7m but in our bedroom it rakes up to over 3.2m and that wall is pretty much all window… I’m worried it will then look like a wall of fabric and there isn’t really anywhere I can hide the curtains away. I might just pop down to Spotlight and buy a few metres of fabric and send my husband up a stepladder so I can visualise it, lol!

            • Thanks for the positive feedback! No, that’s not him. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have a web presence, most of his recent work is designing embassies overseas.

              Wow, 3.2m is so luxurious for a bedroom! Hehe. The husband/stepladder plan seems like a good one 🙂

              I don’t think sheers take up heaps of room so you might be ok, although I admit I’ve had to think a lot about which direction I could draw them in the living areas so they’re not bulky and in the way. I have a 2.4m wide bit of wall in between the large doors/windows off the kitchen and family room but I really want to put a piece of art there so the last thing I want to do is cover it up with curtains :/ I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that I can manage both.


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