Window coverings serve an important role in your home, giving you privacy and also protecting your furniture and decor from the harshness of prolonged, direct sunlight. But the range of choices is so wide, including blinds, shades, shutters and curtains, that some homeowners have a hard time deciding which they prefer, or whether they can mix their window coverings according to the room where they are installed.

There are no hard and fast rules about what you should use, versus what you could use. The decision is up to your tastes, preferences, and what works with your decorating scheme. What you decide is great for one room, may not fit in another, so you switch from blinds in the bathroom to window shades in the bedroom, and that is just fine, as long as you are happy with the way the decor looks when you're done.

For example, the living room is where most people entertain visitors and family, and because it is often a "public" room, people tend to go for more distinguished or striking window coverings, that may include shutters or curtains, and occasionally a combination of both.

A beautiful set of lined drapes, with sheers underneath, and topped by a decorative swag, are not only functional, but very decorative and can be coordinated with the furniture, or serve as an accent to the overall scheme of a room. Sometimes simplicity creates an equal impact, with a set of antique slatted shutters that fold out from underneath a pair of brocaded lined drapes.

Window coverings are an expression of your personal tastes. The attention you give the details and accessories that go into making them a part of your home decor, shows your creativity and sense of style.