1. What is the sun exposure in the room. Think about where the sun rises and sets around your home to determine this, (or there's no shame in downloading an app like Compass to do it quick and easily!) If you have a south or southwest facing window, you may be getting a glare on your TV, or waking you up way too early and you'll definitely want to protect any fabric hanging in that window. So for this, blackout lining is your friend! Roman or cellular shades would work. If your window is north facing you may need as much light at possible, so valance or light filtering shade is ideal.
2. Do you have privacy concerns? Do your windows face the neighbors or do you feel like your living in a fish bowl at night? Then you most certainly will need some privacy. Light filtering pleated shades, woven or wood blinds will give you light and privacy. Need more than that? Try a blackout shade with bottom up/top down feature that allows light up high and complete privacy down low.
3. Does your window let in too much heat or cold? Temperature concerns while problematic, can be easily addressed. Blackout lining on long panel drapes acts as insulation around a window trapping the cold air of winter and the heat of summer, making your room more comfortable. Double cell honeycomb shades will do the same thing, if a shade is a more appropriate treatment for the space. They also have the highest R-value in insulation for window treatments.
4. Do you need your window treatments to be functional? If you need to address light, privacy or temperature concerns, your window coverings need to be functional. Your solution is most likely going to be a shade. Whether it be Pleated, Roman, Cellular or Sheer depends on your answers to questions 1-3 above. An alternative solution would be operable panel draperies that open and close with a traverse rod, hand wand, or motorization.
5. Do you want something to just sit and look pretty? Decorative window treatments add stunning beauty to a room, visual interest, a finishing touch and convey a mood and personality. If you're nodding your head, then you have several options. A valance, for one, is an excellent choice. There are so many unique and fabulous valance options to consider. You could also do stationary panels, if that's more suitable for the room, and lastly a roman shade can be very decorative.
I'm the owner of Sew Stylish Designs Llc, window treatment designer and fabricator of custom curtains, drapery, blinds and shades in Mt. Laurel, serving the South Jersey area. Whether it's a custom valance, pillow, or your own window treatment idea, I love to create something unique and beautiful from just a roll of fabric!