Nate Berkus
Credit: Courtesy

When it comes to decorating your home, window dressings can be one of the most confusing parts. There are pleated options, various lengths, flowy drapes ... so how do you know where to start? Luckily, celebrity designer Nate Berkus knows just how intimidating curtains can be, and he's here to help.

The design star currently has his very own collection of roller shades with window experts The Shade Store, so it's safe to say he knows a thing or two on the subject. InStyle got the chance to sit down and chat with Berkus at the grand opening of the brand's flagship store opening in Soho, and he shared his best advice on how to master window decorating. Read below for his top 4 tips on jazzing up your curtains.

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1. Don't leave window treatments until the end

Curtains may seem like something that can easily be left until the end of your decorating spree, but Berkus warns against leaving them for last. "I think that the biggest mistake, but also the most understandable decision that people make, is that they leave window treatments until the end," he revealed. "I learned over 21 years of being in design that, really, a room isn’t finished unless the windows are addressed in some way."

2. Don't be afraid of roller shades

If you want carefree curtains, Berkus suggests going with the simplicity of roller shades. "I like tailored—like, really tailored—and I like mixing a roller shade with drapery panels, because I like that layered feeling," he said. "The reason that I like a roller shade framed by drapery panels is that it makes me certifiably insane, as a triple Virgo, to watch people’s fingers on my fabric. And I hate walking into a room and having to readjust them all the time. For instance, inside of Poppy’s nursery we have drapery panels and my roller shades, and it’s a dream because we’re only touching a little metal mechanism twice a day, for nap time and bed time, and no one has to touch the fabric."

nate berkus x the shade store embed
Credit: The Shade Store

3. Curtains don't have to be fancy

Window dressings may seem like a fancy design element, but Berkus is into a more casual vibe. "I like something that’s very, very informal. I like them unlined. You actually save money by adding a roller shade, because you don’t have to line your fabric to make them black out, so you kind of get that luminescence from the fabric if it has that. Or you get to sort of appreciate the light coming through the weave. You know, like, unmessy-messy."

4. Neutrals are your friend

When it comes to curtains, not everything needs to be matchy-matchy. "When you’re investing in something that’s built in, or like a window shade, I find it’s better to veer neutral, because you can always change your accent color—same with the sofa. I’m looking at, you know, all the interior magazines, I’m seeing the comeback of chintz, I’m seeing a comeback of all these historic French floral fabrics, and I love all of that. I think there’s a place in the world for all of that. But for me, I would do a solid sofa with piping, and have the pillows out of the pattern opposed to committing to something that deeply."