It's easy to fall into a decorating rut, but try breaking out of the mold by doing something a little different with your window treatments. If you're overwhelmed by all the options available, it's easy to pare down your choices by how you want your windows to look and function. There are many choices, including some that feature technology.

PRIVACY

The windows in your home function as a way to bring in light. They also give you views. But, at night or in areas like the bathroom or bedroom, privacy is going to trump fashion. In these areas, it's best to think about the types of window treatments that are going to give you the privacy you need, the light you want and the look that complements your room's design.

In a bedroom, a layered approach is always a good option. Panels have a softening effect and offer the option of staying open or closed. Adding a blind behind the panels in a natural material such as wood or bamboo provides a rustic touch and offers some privacy. The looser the weave in the blind, the more light you'll have and the more organic your blind will look. But if complete privacy is a must, opt for a shade or shutters that can be tightly closed.

For a unique twist in the bedroom, try mirroring the bed with window panels. If your bed is between two windows, add only one panel on the left side of the left window and one panel on the right side of the right window. This adds extra emphasis on the bed and creates a strong focal point in the room.

AUTOMATIC CONTROL

If you'd like to manage your light and privacy with the flip of a switch, you can. Today's window treatments can do more than go up and down. Shades and blinds can both preserve views and help bring temperatures down. And, like your coffee maker and home thermostat, you can program when you want your shades or window treatments raised, lowered or tilted. Controlling your windows can be done via a remote, a switch on the wall or even an app. Prices range from about $100 and up per window based on the type of lift mechanism used (solar, battery or outlet) and the type of operation (remote, switch or app).

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NEW STYLES

If you'd like a new look for your windows, try a bold pattern in panels and a simple Roman shade behind, or reverse the look for something really fresh. Add simple panels and use a boldly patterned shade behind them. Or coordinate fully by adding panels and shades all in the same pattern to keep the look unified. For something even fresher, take down all the window treatments and paint the window casing with a contrasting color, like black. Add in a bold Roman shade and you've got an updated window.