How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments

Yes! You CAN DIY window treatments that look nice and don't cost a fortune. Click through for 9 ideas that will help you deal with low ceilings, small budgets, and even un-removable blinds. //

Window treatments are weirdly expensive, aren’t they? Like, how are those curtains HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS???

Thankfully, we have Liz to helps us DIY window treatments that won’t break the bank. And Liz is an ASID professional designer so you know she knows what’s up!

Hello, friends! I’m back this month to talk about an aspect of design that often makes me a little batty… window treatments.

Exquisitely detailed custom silk draperies make my heart swell when they’re done right, but the cost associated makes my eye twitch.

Most of my clients aren’t in their “forever homes,” so I feel like it’s a disservice to use a big chunk of the budget on expensive window treatments that likely won’t work in their next place. But, most off-the-shelf drapery panels leave a little to be desired. So I’m here to discuss some the land of the middle.

Before I get into the details, I have one demand: just say “no” to heavy, swagged, multi-layer draperies that are out of place anywhere other than a legit mansion. Simplicity goes a long way when it comes to window treatments.

Start by thinking about what sort of fabric you want to use. If going the ready-made route, stay away from faux satins and silks since they tend to look cheap. Cotton blends are my favorite.

If you need to blackout or insulation properties but are gasping at the cost of lined drapes, order some Roc-Lon instead and add it behind your panels.

If going the DIY route and sewing isn’t your bag, source wide fabrics with pre-finished edges. Sheets, drop cloths, table cloths, duvet covers, and burlap are all great options when finished out with lining. Drapery clip rings are the quickest way of securing the fabric to the rod.

How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments // yesandyes.orgMost bathroom, kitchen, or windows with a sill high off the ground can get a shade. Skip the mini blinds and go for a bamboo stick-shade or roman fabric shade. There isn’t much of a cost difference if you get them from the right place. Cough cough, IKEA, cough. Or, you could craft a faux shade out of any piece of cloth… placemat, scarf, pillowcase, or your old Coachella shirt.

How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments //
Height of draperies is really important. Do yourself a favor and skip the 84” tall panels if the top of your window frame is 78” or taller. Instead, go with a 96” panel or longer and hang them as high as you can, extending at least 6” on the sides of the frame. Your ceilings will look taller when the drapes are hung higher on the wall, particularly if the fabric color is close to the wall color.
How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments // yesandyes.orgIf you’re working with a series of windows, consider using long rods and individual panels for each window. Again, it will make your ceilings look taller!
How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments //
A top valance can hide mini-blinds that your landlord won’t let you remove.
How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments //
Hide off-center windows and make small rooms look larger by draping an entire wall.
How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments //
Help open floor plans flow by choosing similarly colored draperies in adjacent rooms. Also take a look at how the shades are layered to create a luxe look and make the windows appear taller by hiding the space above the window frame.
How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments //
Did your landlord paint the ceiling the same color as the walls? Create strong vertical lines that help the room look less monolithic by opting for bold drapes that hug the ceiling.
 How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments //
And finally, if you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, you can get those extra-long drapes by adding panels to the bottom of normal height drapes! It’s a look that’s on-trend right now and your wallet will be happy.
How To DIY Cheap, Classy Looking Window Treatments //
Confused about terms? Drapes are full width and will close fully; curtains are stationary panels. I just learned this a few months ago, which is quite sad for a professional designer!

And there you have it! I’m happy to answer window treatment questions in the comments.

P.S. How to fill your home with cheap, beautiful things from thrift stores

Sources: 1. Window Treatment Ideas  // 2. Window Coverings // 3. Lombardy Lane // 4. Young House Love // 5. Jan Hiltz Interiors LLC // 6. Ashton Woods Master Bedrooms // 7. Philadelphia Penthouse // 8. Small room, big curtains // 9. Lynwood Remodel // 10. Modern Interior Design //  11. Belleview Project

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  1. Patricia Anderson

    The way you put the drapes up so high looks awesome. A lot of people suggest getting shorter drapes. We are trying to do window coverings that make our living room look fashionable. I think trying to do this really tall drapes style thing will add a lot of character to the room! Thanks for the cool ideas on window coverings!

  2. shirley

    I live in a small apartment where the kitchen and living area are basically one room. There is a valance that runs the entire length of the wall. I don’t like the valance. I thought of taking it down, doing long curtains on the living room/open patio doors in the living area but I don’t know what to do with the small kitchen window at the other end.

  3. Bryan Mora

    This looks really beautiful. Looks as if professionally made. Thanks for suggesting the idea. Will try to implement it.

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