There’s no question that the right window treatment can take your interior decor to a new level. Whether it’s a huge bay window, a vertical casement window, or a small hopper window, a new drape, curtain, or shade will add fresh, stylish appeal to the room. You don’t necessarily need to buy all new window treatments. There are ways to spruce up windows with materials you already have or by using a technique that you’ve never tried before.
Have your friends ever called you "extra"? Prove them right with flare. Jazz up those tired blinds, drapes, or curtains with some creative embellishment. You’ll find passels of interesting, low-cost additions online. Attach jacquard ribbon, rhinestone buttons, crystal beads, tassels, or satin bows or flowers to your window coverings to give them new life. Add borders or a decorative band across the bottom to direct the eye where you want it to go.DmyTo / Getty Images
Certain fabrics and a refurbished valance can add rustic farmhouse charm or a cozy cabin vibe to your windows. Try using gingham, plaid, burlap, or denim curtains to boost the homey atmosphere of your abode. Repaint metal curtain rods with rust-proof spray to add fresh appeal, or use an antique painting technique or distressing on wooden ones to complete the look.
Love the barn door look, but lack the space or funds to have one? Build your own smaller version to create an eye-catching feature for a window. Find one-inch by six-inch pine boards and barn door fixtures at the hardware store or an online supplier to build the sliding doors. Whitewash your panels or paint them in a coordinating color, or try a technique using vinegar or wood stains to artificially age the wood. You can also buy boards that are pre-stained or weathered to simplify your project.
Lace curtains are elegant, chic, and fit a wide array of interior styles. You can easily repurpose inexpensive lace doilies, table runners, and tablecloths into an attractive window treatment. Sew doilies or table runners together to create panels to fit your window. Check out thrift or hobby stores to find what you need. Dye your rescued linens in a single coordinating color or create a patchwork-style design using an assorted collection of shades and patterns.
Add texture and interest with handcrafted macrame curtains. Make them yourself or find a wide selection online. Macrame may look complex, but it’s just a series of knot variations that are fairly straightforward and look great with a bit of practice. You can even create fringed macrame curtains for a true bohemian look. Macrame cord is available in a variety of colors and weights, or you can dye it yourself.
Instead of using a traditional curtain or drape for your window, create vibrant, one-of-kind faux stained glass. Make your own using acrylic paint, school glue, and clear glue — or another of the many DIY techniques out there. This is an excellent window treatment for transom, awning, or round windows that are harder to fit with traditional options. You can also use window films that look like real stained glass, which are available in a vast number of color combinations and textures.
One of the most overlooked and artistic materials for home decor is the tea towel. You’ll find an abundance of linen and cotton fabric in prints, colors, and textures, available just about anywhere. The cafe curtain is one that doesn’t extend for the total length of the window — just half of it. It still allows plenty of light to come in but provides enough coverage for a bit of privacy as well. They're popular for kitchen windows. For this option, you won’t even need to sew anything. Use iron-on hem tape to create a pocket for the curtain rod. Or, use clip-on curtain rings if you prefer.
Consider a different route for your window treatment by installing shelves instead. This is an excellent option for plant lovers or those who prefer lots of natural light. Window shelves also add a level of functionality by creating a visually pleasing, naturally backlit space for knickknacks or other decorative items. Add a single, low shelf, or fill the window with several levels — you're only limited by what you can build!
If you want all the light you can get while maintaining some privacy, frosted glass is a superb option and simple to do. Apply a frosted glass spray to the interior window. You can even use stencils before spraying to add a beautiful design. Use a glass scraper to remove it if you make a mistake or want to change it out. You can also use a frosted window film, which sticks to the window via static cling — no adhesives — making it an excellent option for renters or anyone who loves redecorating.
One of the top ornamental window treatments is a cornice box. They cover the curtain hardware and create a stylish, elevated look. You make a cornice box out of wood in most cases, then cover it in batting to smooth the square edges, and top it with decorative fabric. Metal brackets attach the cornice box to the wall. These versatile window treatments not only add a softness to the room, they also work well for any window in any room in the house.
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