There is something different about the house," our daughter Kelly said after she and her husband, Britt, spent the day with us. "I don't know what it is, but it feels cozier."

There is something different about the house,Ē our daughter Kelly said after she and her husband, Britt, spent the day with us. ďI donít know what it is, but it feels cozier.Ē

If I ever doubted the power of window treatments to add the perfect finish to a room, here was proof positive. I had just dressed our living room windows with paneled drapes after years of letting the windows fly solo with shutters.

Often, window treatments are one of the last things we do when we decorate a room, but a room just isnít ďdoneĒ until the curtain call. Need to cover a window or two in your home? Here are three of my favorite treatments.

Made in the shade

The Romans are still conquering the world ó the world of window coverings, that is. Roman shades, a classic in interior design, are hot. A Roman shade is simple but gorgeous.

The shades also offer another opportunity to bring color and pattern to a space. And they are an ideal option for a room with awkward window placements.

Another perk of Roman shades? If you have pets, they canít soil or destroy them. The dog canít rest against them, and the cat canít use them to sharpen its claws.

Panel discussion

Beautiful drapery panels are my all-time favorite way to finish a window. There is something about the way they frame a window; theyíre the perfect borders to a great view.

Panels can fill any role in your room. They can be almost invisible in the overall scheme of the decor, just adding that last warm layer. Or they can explode with personality, the stars of the show. You can use them to interject new colors or patterns or have them repeat a theme in the room. The sky is the limit, so you can let your creativity run wild.

My favorite way to hang panels is a few inches below the ceiling molding, then hemmed in the spot where they just break on the floor, like a manís trouser. Iím partial to pinch-pleat tops and sides and bottoms finished with a contrasting welt, a Greek key band or a mini pleated flange.

Whether you want to go bold with the drapery fabric or pick a quieter color and pattern, be sure to get a fabric that you will love for years to come. Drapes are an investment, so you donít want something youíll grow tired of in a year or two.

If you have a window in a hardworking room such as a laundry room, check out simpler window treatments such as adorable cafe curtains. They add miles of charm to the space but donít get in the way.

Layers of lovely

Often in decorating, more is less. But, sometimes, more is more. On windows, well-done layers can be transporting.

When you think of pairing a ballooning shade with curtain panels on a window, you probably imagine a heavy, dated Victorian look. But you can perfectly execute the look by picking clean, modern fabrics that stem from traditional roots.

One of the bedrocks of my companyís looks is to pair the rustic and refined. With window treatments, nothing brings this to life like rich panel drapes over bamboo blinds.

Mary Carol Garrity, the founder of home-decor retailer Nell Hillís, writes a blog at her companyís website, www.nell

hills.com.