Ask-Design-Mom Question:

I need some ideas for stylish window treatments in my living room that are not super expensive (no Smith+Noble for me!) but are baby-proof! I have an “almost-walker” who is 10 months and my existing curtains are just another means to pull up these days! I am looking for nighttime privacy but don’t need light control — I prefer bright rooms! thanks, Jen

Design Mom Answer:
Great question, Jen. I totally get you on the almost walker stage. I have very strong opinions on the whole window treatment subject. So, if our design styles don’t mesh in this area, my apologies in advance for giving advice you won’t use.

Basically, I prefer and am most drawn to simple, simple window coverings. If you have a substantial budget, I always recommend plantation shutters. They’re made of beautiful materials. They add an architechural element to any room. And because they’re mounted inside the window, they show off both the window itself and the moulding that surrounds it. Plantation shutters look good in pretty much any decor. Plus, there are no strings or weird hardware to present potential choking hazards — very baby friendly. I love the photo above from the West Elm summer catalog. I so crave a window like that.


If plantation shutters are a no go, my second recommendation is roman shades. Like plantation shutters, they can be mounted inside the window if you have a pretty window to show off. Alternately, they can be bought/ordered a bit oversize if you need to hide unattractive mouldings around the window. You can have them made — or make them yourself — from virtually any fabric, which is a great way to bring some color into a room. They look neat and clean and proper either opened or closed. Depending on fabric and construction, they can look either modern, formal or casual. Their installation is the simplest of any window covering I’ve discovered: just 2 brass hooks, no tools required.

I use roman shades throughout my house. A satisfying part of my morning routine is going from window to window, raising the shade to let the sun in, then winding the cord in a figure eight on a latch out of reach of the children. Ikea has a wide selection of inexpensive roman shades. I’ve even had excellent results dyeing their white ones (in my bathtub) to achieve a custom color.

I hope that helps, Jen! Design Mom Readers, what do you do for window coverings?

roman shade pic from pottery barn