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Pick up a few decorating magazines from your local book store. Take time to browse through them and cut or tear out pictures of rooms and window treatments that reflect your style and what you hope to achieve. Save your pictures in a folder or notebook and don't be afraid to scribble notes so you can remember what caught your eye.

Take your pictures and notes shopping. You will need to see, touch and feel many different kinds of window treatments.  Talk to the staff to get more expert advice about which products will work best for your particular situation. A good basic initial question is "Are your window treatments primarily for light control or decoration?" How soon do you need them? 

At this point you are gathering Information about various materials, products and options.

Your selections may include drapes, blinds, roman shades, verticals etc. Take the time to look at as many products as possible. Ask for manufacturers brochures to take home. Take a break, go to lunch and go back. Keep an open mind and take notes. Don't buy on the first trip out unless you have already done your homework.

Select a few drapes in different styles and colors that you like.  Purchase only one each and take them home to see how they look in  your environment. You will be surprised how different the colors look  in the store versus your home. Be sure to ask your retailer about  getting refunds during the selection process.

Take the appropriate measurements for the window treatments your  interested in. Window treatment measurement accuracy is critical,  more critical than you may imagine. You may want to hire a  professional to measure for you. They will charge a fee but will usually  deduct the price of the measure from the actual installation.

Keep in mind that purchasing window treatments is a "project". It may take a few to several trips to the store to buy, try and return drapes until you find the right fit.

Beware of sales people too willing to sell you just about anything. Window treatment selections need to be thought through taking into consideration other elements in the room and home.

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