Curtains or drapes? Venetian blinds or shades? Before you delve into this dilemma, ask yourself: do I want privacy, or do I want light (or less of it)?
Window treatments -- curtains, blinds, drapes, shutters and such -- come in a range of types that provide privacy, light, shade, or a combination of these elements. Different areas of the home need different window treatments. Here are a couple of suggestions for your living room, your bathroom, and your bedroom:
Sitting areas need more light. It's where we read, lounge, or welcome guests: as such, these spaces need to be well-lit, cheery, breezy, and welcoming. For the living room, choose curtains made out of sheer or semi-sheer material. They should be easy to draw up or off to one side to offer a view of the outdoors, especially during the day.
Privacy is paramount in the bathroom -- but you'll still need some natural light. To this end, opt for cellular shades that you can simply roll down for when you're using the bathroom. The shade will still let in light. Remember, too, that the bathroom is a high-humidity area: curtains can get wet, or get damp and store moisture from the air. It's advisable to use shades or blinds instead.
Bedrooms need privacy, but they can be bright and airy too, depending on your preference. Drapes can be used in tandem with sheer or semi-sheer curtains underneath. Keep the sheer curtains over the windows to let in light; pull the drapes closed over them if you want your bedroom to stay dim and perfect for sleeping in. Choose extra-thick drapes during the colder months to keep warmth from seeping out.