Proof that inexpensive window treatments don’t have to look cheap
So you’ve got a new place to decorate, and you’re staring at naked windows, nervously fingering your wallet and pondering inexpensive window treatments. Hold on tight: According to homeadvisor.com, the average reported cost for dressing a window today is $342, with most homeowners spending between $97 and $587.
Interior designers seem to agree. At HGTV, they note that even spending $100-$200 per window will only buy a basic blind in today’s market.
Pick yourself up off the floor! Donna Babylon, author of More Splash Than Cash Window Treatments, argues that while window treatments “are not the least expensive thing to do in a room,” there are still plenty of ways to save money without sacrificing style.
Whether you prefer curtains or blinds – or want both – the first thing you must do is shop around. There is an incredibly wide range of prices to be found for curtains and blinds. Don’t overlook the outlet stores, and the Internet is also your friend here.
On the Web, not only will you find a huge choice of suppliers, but you’ll also find advice on installing your own inexpensive window treatments, from measuring to choosing to the actual installation. And that’s a huge saving right from the start: According to homewyse.com, the average cost to have blinds installed, for example, is $51.68- $107.48 per window!
So find a good site with easy-to-understand instructions and pat yourself on the back for saving so much money already.
Blinds are functional and sleek
Now that you’re feeling a bit more confident, you’re on to choosing your treatments. Keep in mind that the heavier the fabric, and the more elaborate the construction (pleats, trims and so on), the pricier curtains will be. The same goes for blinds: Real wood blinds are the most expensive, while plastic makes for the most budget-friendly window-treatments.
What’s more, the designer and manufacturer also affect the price. A set of eco-friendly, hand-crafted, custom-made hardwood blinds is much pricier than an off-the-shelf vinyl blind.
So what are some ideas for stylish, yet inexpensive window treatments? Starting with blinds for privacy and light control, vinyl mini-blinds are by far the least expensive. If you like the look of wood, but don’t want to fork over all that cash, consider faux wood blinds such as these
You might also choose matchstick blinds made from bamboo for even more savings, at about $30 each. Bamboo, like other wood and natural textiles, is one of the hottest trends in window treatments, notes Susan Schultz, trend specialist for Grace McNamara Inc. – not only for its beauty and price, but because it’s also sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Don’t get hung up on pricey curtains
Now, you might be done already decorating your windows! Sticking with blinds alone is an especially good option if you’re trying to keep your space open, spacious and modern-looking. But if you want or need curtains for greater light control or just like the look of them, you can still find ways to achieve inexpensive window treatments.
Again, heavy fabrics, elaborate construction, and designer names all add big dollars to curtain prices. So you want to look for the opposite of all that!
To keep your look minimal, you could simply add inexpensive valances across the tops of your windows. These Piper Semi Sheer White Tailored Valances are affordable at just $4.99 each, and give your modern look a softer tone.
You can also opt for sheers (lightweight, polyester curtains that allow a lot of light to penetrate the room) which, because the fabric is lightweight, make for truly low-cost window treatments and have a romantic look. Also consider window scarves, which you can drape over a curtain rod in any number of ways. For that matter, hit up thrift stores for real scarves for an even cheaper option!
Other trendy ideas for the limited budget
- Shop thrift stores for cheerful vintage tablecloths to turn into curtains.
- Pick up burlap landscaping fabric, which will cost you about $7 per panel. Stencil, paint, add ribbon trim or leave them as is.
- Painting drop cloths make great curtains, and you can decorate them in a multitude of ways.
- Bedsheets are a favorite used by style-conscious budget-cutters.
- Pillowcases make great café curtains.
You can turn all of the above into curtains by sewing them, or use fabric glue or iron-on binding for a no-sew option. Attach your new “curtain” to curtain rods with inexpensive ring clips, and your windows are good to go!
Of course, one thing that adds up and can trip you up budget-wise is the hardware you use to hang your curtains. Even at so-called discount stores, you’ll pay $42 or so for a standard rod. As an alternative, check out the Kenney Layla 1″ Curtain Rod at just $11.99 for big savings!
No matter what your taste in window treatments, shop carefully before you buy. And one of the best places to start is Curtainandbathoutlet.com, where you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality, selection, and prices.
If you truly want your curtains to control the light in your room, the Kenney Mfg 5/8″ Room Darkening Espresso Wrap Rod is a budget-conscious choice.
Another gorgeous option for window treatments that offer the ultimate in both beauty and privacy is the Brewster Premium Privacy Window Film, available in six different styles.