With the right window dressing, your windows can be more than just holes in the wall.
Treatments for windows range from expensively elegant to elegantly price-conscious to free and fabulous. Your budget, your style, and your needs help to determine what works best for your bedroom. Does your window face a public space so that privacy is a consideration? Or maybe privacy isn't an issue, but the window faces a view that leaves much to be desired. For some, the need to block out sunlight is a major concern. Think about how the window relates to the rest of the room and decide whether you want to emphasize the window or let it blend into the background.
Options, Options, Everywhere Options
You have lots of options for window dressing. The most expensive is custom-made draperies. If this is the look you want, you can save a bundle by making them yourself- if you have the equipment, the space, and the patience to do so. Or you can check out some of the ready-made draperies offered on the market now, maybe something in one of the many styles, patterns or sizes will work for you. Other options for a well-dressed window include blinds, shades, shutters, screens and even oddments that were never intended to be window treatments. You can pick treatments that are low-sew, no-sew, throw-it-together or lots-of-effort, depending on your skill, temperament and budget.
Let's start with blinds. There are vertical blinds, mini-blinds, blinds of wood and aluminum and blinds of vinyl in many colors. You can choose blinds alone or add over-draperies, fabric side-panels, and/or valances. With so many looks available, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse.
A Blind By Any Other Name Is A Shade
If you haven't looked at shades in awhile, prepare for a surprise. You can still find plain white, pull-down/roll-up shades, but you can also find them in a rainbow of colors. Shades come pleated, honeycombed, waterfall or flat fold Roman, and you can find them in an incredible array of textures, colors, and price ranges. Some shades (and blinds, too) now come in a cordless version. There are no dangling lift cords for a clean, uncluttered look and they can be raised and lowered evenly with one hand and stopped in any position.
Shutters Are Worth The Cost
Windows with shutters look great. Shutters are available in wood and faux wood styles (vinyl or something similar) and can be ordered in various finishes or even unfinished so you can paint them to suit your room. White or wood stained shutters impart a traditional feeling, but paint them red or orange or turquoise or some bright color, and they look warm and kicky and hardly traditional at all. They can be a bit more costly, so if this is the look you have your heart set on, be sure to work the rest of your decorating budget around it.
I like screens. Stand a tall screen on the floor in front of a smallish window and you effectively disguise the size of the window. Some screens are made so you can insert your own fabric or other material in the center; these are great for customizing to your design and don't cost a huge amount.
No Sew? No Problem
Screens could fall in the no-sew catagory. Another no-sew idea for dressing a window involves bed sheets. Insert a curtain rod through the big hem at one end of each of two sheets- twin size is usually a good choice. This works best if you use a tension rod or curtain rod or some roundish-type rod that you can prop over brackets and cover the ends with something decorative. That's it. Straighten out the gathers, tie the sides back with something, and there's your no-sew window dressing.
Here's another idea that works best with a smaller window. It involves a hot glue gun, dental floss or light weight fishing line, and lots of whatevers to hot glue on the line. Remember those annoying computer CDs that show up everywhere? Cut strands of the fishing line to the length of the window plus about 6 inches. You'll want enough strands of line so you can attach a strand every 5.5 inches across a tension rod in the window. Start at the bottom of a strand of fishing line and hot glue the line to the back of a CD. Move up the strand just above the CD and hot glue another CD. Keep going until you're about 6 inches from the end. Now do the rest of the strands. You'll end up with strings of CDs hot glued to fishing line. Put the tension rod in the window, start in the center and wrap the remaining 6 inches of line around the rod, adjusting the placement of the top CD, and hot glue when you're satisfied. Do the same with the remaining strings of CDs. You'll end up with a reflective, unusual window dressing treatment and rid your drawers of all those CDs. Good and good.
Remember that your window dressing doesn't always have to be spectacular and striking. A simple treatment with blinds and filmy sheers might be all you need, especially if you have a wall treatment or bed linens that you want to call attention to. And simple is usually cheaper, another thing to consider.
A Fabric Fantasy
Here's an idea that combines window dressing and wall treatment. Use a lightweight fabric to make easy gathered curtains. Then take that same fabric and cover the walls with it. If you use regular starch to paste the fabric to the walls, the whole shebang is completely removable- so you have unusual, inexpensive and removable all at once. For more detailed directions on the fabric-starch-walls treatment,
For Lovers Of Luxury
If you crave the look of
I've put together some tips on creating the look of luxury on a budget.
on luxurious windows might give you some ideas.
How About Bamboo Curtains?
Bamboo is showing up in lots of places now. Here's some information on