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5 Tips to Picture-Perfect Window Treatments

Choosing the right window treatments needn’t be intimidating or expensive. Use these five tips to get the best fits for your cabin.
by Sarah Asp Olson

Both functional and beautiful, a well-placed window treatment can add a splash of color, a touch of personality or simply disappear until you need a little privacy.

Nervous about trying your hand at window decorations? Start with something simple, like blinds. Credit: James Ray Spahn photo

“Bare windows sometimes look undone, incomplete,” says Jodi Klatt, owner of Rustic Redefined in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “[Window treatments] really help with the coziness.”

Whether you’re in the market for cozy or chic, modern or rustic, selecting window treatments for your cabin that also fit your lifestyle and budget is easier than you may think. These five tips will help you make the most of your windows, no matter the location.

Protect your privacy. Take a look at your cabin from the outside in. If you’re surrounded by acres and acres of dense forest, you may not care if the birds and the bears can easily observe you in your natural habitat. But, if your property abuts a high-traffic lake or you’ve got close neighbors of the human variety, you may want to cover up, especially after the sun goes down.

Mind your materials. Klatt recommends starting with wood blinds. “I have lots of clients that will need a starting point because they can’t do it all at once, so I would go for blinds first and add color afterwards,” she says. “You can get the wood blinds in every color to match the frame of the window, and they kind of disappear.” Other functional materials for cabin decor include natural silk cottons, cotton ducks and textured fabrics, such as burlaps.

Consider the view. The last thing you want is to get an eyeful of fabric when looking out at the scenery. Be careful on how curtains are hung, Klatt cautions. “If they just cover the window frame, you’ll get your full view out of the glass part of the window,” she notes.

And remember those passing by on the lake or in front of your home get a different view from the outside. “I like a uniform look from the outside,” says Klatt. “If you see a red window treatment in one window, a blue in one, nothing in one of the others, it feels disjointed and it feels smaller.”

Get personal. A cabin is the perfect place to get a little funky or even cheeky with your decor. If you’ve got a theme — maybe woodsy animals or nautical inspirations — take advantage of fun fabrics and carry your theme onto a cafe curtain or cornice board. This works especially well in three-season porches, bathrooms and kitchens.

Don’t break the bank. Window treatments are a great way to bring warmth, color and personality to the interior of your cabin, but curtains shouldn’t be a budget buster. “I would rather see [clients] put their money into a long-lasting piece of furniture than I would a window treatment,” says Klatt. “If the budget is a concern, do little tricks to keep things inexpensive, like handmade treatments or faux versus real wood.”

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