A white roller blind in a white room is the most minimal of window treatments, all but disappearing when it's rolled up. That can be desirable with a large, attractive window or great view that you don't want to lose, or in a spot where glare and privacy are only occasionally factors.
Café curtains are a good solution where full-length curtains are either impossible or impractical, or where the upper part of the window -- and the view -- are especially appealing. This extra-short version consists of a single panel of fabric, with the rod threaded through a series of grommets.
Classic window-length curtains, with a ruffled valance, are perfectly suited to this sunny yellow laundry room. The combination makes the room feel as if it's straight out of the 1950s.
A loose roman shade makes these French doors feel more window-like and adds another note of softness to the cozily upholstered room. Roman shades come in a variety of styles and can be fashioned from any fabric to complement any room.
Blinds and shades not only make a fresher-looking companion to drapes than old-fashioned sheers, they don't permanently obscure the windows. Roman shades offer a second layer of color or pattern, while wood blinds provide texture and allow for the greatest control of light and privacy. With any drapes, hanging the rod higher than the top of the window makes for longer drapery, creating additional height in the room.
Bowed rods create a unique effect, lending extra volume to the flat planes of the windows. In this bedroom, the same rod and fabric were used to create a pseudo-canopy above the headboard.
Cafe curtains aren't the only way to leave the upper reaches of windows open; blinds -- such as these in bamboo -- can also be hung lower in the frame. This works best with blinds that have a plain upper edge rather than a flap or valance built in.