One of the fastest, easiest and most cost effective ways to update any room is to change the window treatments. While it would be great if we could all afford custom drapes whipped up by a professional designer, you may find that it is more fun and satisfying to put your own spin on things. By tapping into your creative flair, you can turn a little bit of money and a small amount of effort into a whole new look for every room in your home.
Think Outside the Packaging
If you’re like me, you don’t get particularly excited by department store drapes. Browsing through the styles and designs available makes me wonder why the manufacturers don’t try at least a little harder to make their products look more appealing on the packaging. A casual glance at the inventory of most department stores is enough to send me hurrying to the nearest fabric store, where I can plan picture perfect windows from scratch.
What is surprising, however, is the cost of fabric. Store bought drapes that are already measured, cut, sewn and packaged are often less expensive than buying bulk fabric. Even when cost isn’t a driving factor, the time and skill needed to create custom drapes make those store bought options seem more appealing. Fortunately, if you shop around, you can usually find a decent department store drape that can be used as a base for something much better.
Details Make the Statement
Fancy drapes don’t have to cost a fortune when you consider that it’s the details that make the difference. Starting with a basic style and color that you like, plan to enhance the look with add-ons. Following are a few pointers that will help to get you started.
-Don’t get hung up on where you buy the drapes or how much they cost. Pretend you are in a design contest and one thing you are being judged on is how far you can stretch your decorating dollar.
-Do hold out until you find a material, style, and color or pattern that suit you. Just because you are going for store bought drapes doesn’t mean you have to settle. The whole exercise is a waste if you don’t love the end result.
-Don’t follow the package suggestions for how the drapes must be hung.
-Do use your imagination. Are the curtains too long? Let them drape upon the floor for dramatic effect. Are they too short? Lengthen them by attaching decorations, which can be anything from small colored bottles to seashells, silver bells to silk flowers. Keep an open mind.
-Don’t limit yourself to tired, predictable old curtain accessories.
-Do use rods, finials and sashes to tie the look together, but do something different. Rods need not follow a straight line. Hardware is hardly worth the effort unless it is interesting enough to get noticed. Re-purposed necklaces and scarves make great drape ties. Valences, if bold enough, can make the grandest statement of all.
Make that store bought drape into a fancy room addition by thinking of it as a canvas for your art. Whether the room is playful or elegant, traditional or modern, you can make it your own with accents. When you are ready to change the look, switch out the details and keep the drapes. That way your rooms never get stale and you will enjoy always being on the lookout for items that you will use to build your next masterpiece.