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Budget Window Treatments

Updated on August 20, 2014

Liven Up Your Living Space with Easy Window Treatment Ideas

A change in window treatments is an easy way to boost the personality and spirit of your living spaces. You can make a few very simple updates that will increase the "wow" factor when guests enter a room.

Because many of us are always on the lookout for ideas and trends that fit within a limited budget - and even less time - here are a few window treatment favorites that can be accomplished in one hour, one day, or over a weekend! You don't have to be a sewing whiz, either; no-sew products such as tapes and glues can make these projects pop!

Let's Begin with a Color, Texture, Pattern Room Critique

Before you select colors for any of the following window treatments, step back and look at your living space with a critical eye. You should be able to pick out a focal color along with complementary secondary and accent colors. In addition, you may see a blend of textures and patterns that will guide you toward specific types of fabrics and hues. Your style preference and personality are important aspects of decorating; do not be afraid to highlight either one.

Quick Changes: Perk up your windows in an hour

Add a splash of color or change the existing texture of a window treatment with swags and cascades; they are easy to hang and inexpensive as well. Lace tablecloths, scarves, and table runners make terrific swags: drape them across a rod or set of hooks. Piece matching goods together along one end and let them cascade to the floor.

Also, shop the discount material sections of your favorite stores. If you find an eye-popping color or fabric, hem the sides and ends, then add fringe or other embellishments.

Replace old drapery rods and finials for a completely fresh accent. Look for unique items such as rebar - those rusty rods found in the lumber department of home improvement stores. These make a wonderful change from the standard options. Rebar can be cut to size at the store. Clean with a stiff brush, add a coat of spray paint, and mount on antique or unusual-looking coat hooks instead of brackets and finials.

What a Difference a Day Makes: Window treatments in eight hours or less

Shades and blinds - both faux and natural - have definitely acquired pizzazz. They can open up a small space as opposed to draperies, which add coziness to a room. It is fairly easy to find closeouts and overstocked items that are drastically marked down at home improvement stores.

Shades and blinds are easy to mount, too, with the right tools: a pencil, measuring tape, and a couple of screwdrivers in different sizes. You should be finished in under a day, even with multiple windows.

Cornices, or pelmets, add depth and accent to a window. You can finish a horizontal, three-sided box in a few hours. Cornices add formality or can bring a whimsical touch to a room. They are easy to upholster, stain, or paint. You do not need extensive woodworking skills to create your own cornice: lumber, a saw, measuring tools, nails, and brackets are all the tools you need.

Simple Cornices are Easy to Make and Install!

Simple Cornices are Easy to Make and Install!
Simple Cornices are Easy to Make and Install!

Can't Fail Window Treatments

Complete Photo Guide to Window-Top Treatments: Do-It-Yourself Valances, Swags, and Cornices
Complete Photo Guide to Window-Top Treatments: Do-It-Yourself Valances, Swags, and Cornices

You'll never look at windows the same again. Walk through this spiral bound book and see how the window is a part of your entire homescape and how to bring that often-neglected space to life.

 

The luxury of a weekend: Treat your windows to a couple of days

Most department stores carry rod-pocket draperies, but fabrics and colors may be limited. If you choose to make them, you may need a weekend and plenty of workspace to achieve the perfect look. The basic concept of rod-pockets is to create a hem or casing at the top that is large enough to slide over a pole.

To give rod-pockets an upscale look, cover the tops with swags, a valance, or a cornice. Add a couple of decorative vases on one side and let a complementary cascade puddle on the opposite side for an asymmetrical design. This approach will also let you add special touches for the holidays if you choose: easy up and easy down.

Wondering what to do with French Doors? Try rod pockets! They're simple and budget-friendly.

Wondering what to do with French Doors? Try rod pockets! They're simple and budget-friendly.
Wondering what to do with French Doors? Try rod pockets! They're simple and budget-friendly.

See How Easy It Is?

As you can see, many window treatments involve layering: shades, drapery or sheers, and swags, valances, and cornices. The combination will depend on the location of your window – west- or north-facing, for instance - for best energy efficiency and privacy. On the decorative side, however, you can mix and match any of the above ideas to create a winner for your living area.

The Easiest Window Treatments

Bonus window treatment tip:

Do-it-yourself draperies do not have to be positioned at the standard coverage points of a window. Raise the rod to give height to a room or place the brackets further apart to camouflage an odd-shaped window.

All photos copyright Cindy Kennedy

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