The Colonial style is easily the home style with the most longevity in American home architecture. From the time the first American settlers built homes all the way to today, the Colonial style has represented timeless style and elegance.

Photo courtesy David Sawyer via Flickr (Creative Commons)

This timeless and well-known style can bring up a pertinent question: what window treatments work best with Colonial homes? Furthermore, do the same window treatments work well in Colonial offshoots like Dutch and French Colonial homes as well?

Join Sunbursts Shutters’ experts as we break down the ins and outs of Colonial home window treatments.

What’s Unique About Colonial Homes?

The first step to finding the perfect Colonial home window treatment is understanding what makes those homes unique. Though there are many offshoots of the Colonial style, many homes have most or all of these features:

  • Brick or wood siding, with an emphasis on earth tones on the exterior.
  • An entry door located in the exact middle of the facade, with two symmetrical windows on either side of the door.
  • A second story, almost always with 5 front-facing windows.
  • A “four-and-four” layout, with four rooms on both the first and second story. Individual bedrooms are upstairs while communal rooms are below.
  • A symmetrical, geometrically simple facade.

As you might be able to tell, the facade of a Colonial home is where the visual interest is. In particular, the windows of Colonial houses draw of lot of attention to themselves by virtue of being so neatly spaced.

Photo courtesy N. Houlihan via Flickr (Creative Commons)

The Best Window Treatments for Colonial Homes

Based on what we know about Colonial homes, three types of window treatments stand out among the rest.

Plantation Shutters are stylistically the perfect pairing for Colonial home windows. Their clean lines, neutral tones, and craftsmanship give them a style as timeless as the home itself. 

Polywood® plantation shutters give the added bonus of energy efficiency with their custom weather stripping.  This is a great benefit as many Colonial style homes exist on the east coast where eliminating drafts can be a concern. If your home has stained wood trim and accents, Ovation® wood shutters can give your home a nice transitional element as well.

Shutters can also add to that all-important facade, uniquely complementing the symmetry of your home’s windows, viewed from the outside.

Draperies are another common window treatment found in Colonial homes. Though not nearly as energy efficient or providing that same clean “pop” that shutters do, draperies can complement the historic charm of the Colonial style. As an added bonus, drapes tend to work with Colonial-era furniture, if you’re going for a truly Colonial style both inside and outside your home.

Shades are found in Colonial-inspired styles such as Dutch and French Colonial, but worth mentioning here as an alternative to shutters and drapes.

Window Treatments For Colonial Home Offshoots

As Colonial homes have existed for some 500 years, it’s natural that the style has given rise to some related home architecture styles. Luckily, the same window treatment recommendations usually apply, with some minor tweaks. Take a look!

Georgian Colonial Window Treatments

The most striking feature of the majority of Georgian homes is that the facade is almost completely flat, with no depth to the entryway and no hanging eaves. This makes the visual impact of a window treatment even more pronounced.

Our recommendation: Plantation shutters. The flat, almost imposing look of a Georgian home almost demands a similar window treatment.

Dutch Colonial Window Treatments

Dutch Colonial homes are a bit more stylized, typically having gambrel roofs, ornamented siding featuring shingles or bric-a-brac, and very prominent flared eaves. The windows in Dutch Colonial homes are almost always double-hung and multi-paned as well.

Our recommendation: Draperies, roller shades, or plantation shutters. Reclaimed wood shutters in particular can complement the mosaic look of Dutch Colonial siding.

French Colonial Window Treatments

An extensive front porch underneath a pitched roof is the most typical element of French Colonial homes. This means that front-facing windows will naturally be shaded, making light control less of a concern. However, the windows on the upper floors are typically very tall.

Our recommendation: Shades on first floor windows, plantation shutters on the second story.

Find More Window Treatments for Historic Homes

In addition to Colonial homes, we’ve covered Tudor home window treatments, Cape Cod home window treatments, and several others. For recommendations for your home, get in touch with your local Sunburst Shutters store by calling 877-786-2877 today.