Friday, August 3

Window treatment secrets

I love windows.  I like everything about them--the way they let light shine in during the day, the way they let light shine out at night--windows are one of my favorite things.

I like window treatments, too--all kinds of window treatments.

One of my favorite window treatments is the plantation shutter, like these in my bedroom.  One of my favorite looks is color-painted walls with white trim, and plantation shutters just blend in seamlessly with the white trim.  They're great for privacy and light control.  I like the way they look when they're closed or open.  They look great from outside, too.

Another of my favorite window treatments is woven blinds, like these matchstick blinds in my living room:
While I really like fabric window treatments,  I don't like to pay for them.  So all the fabric window treatments in my house are homemade, like these full-length curtains in my guest room:

Here's a confession, though.  The guest room is the only room in my house with full-length curtains.  I admire the look of full-length curtains and draperies, but somehow I just don't like to mess with them.  Mine always seem to collect dust and dog hair along the bottom or get pulled from their rods or hang crooked.  Besides, full-length curtains require so many yards of fabric that I balk at the cost.  I do like to add color and pattern and texture to a room, but I usually do that in the form of decorative valances.

My kitchen window sports a no-sew faux Roman shade.

My youngest son's room has a simple valance to coordinate with his colorful walls and homemade upholstered headboard.

My laundry room wears a simple straight valance made of cheerful fabric.

That laundry room window treatment is made my favorite way:  it's just fabric stapled to a board with trim added.  To make this kind of valance,  I cut a board (I usually use a 1x4) the width I desire.  I make a fabric panel the width of my board plus enough to cover the sides.  I usually just double over a piece of fabric and use the bottom fold as the bottom of the valance.  If I don't have enough fabric to double over, I sometimes sew a lining to the back of my decorative fabric.

I attach L-brackets to the bottom of the board and to the window frame or wall above the window, like this:

Then I staple the fabric panel to the top of the board, making sure that the panel hangs straight.  From there, I can add as little or as much embellishment as I like.  The laundry room valance simply has a couple of layers of trim glued onto the top.

In the breakfast room of my last house, I layered envelope-style panels on top of straight panels, then added trim at the top and a large covered button to the middle of the top panels.

In the bedroom of my last house, I made a valance from scraps of fabric left over from my bedding.  This consisted of a flat panel stapled to the board, two panels draped over the flat panel, pelmets added to the ends and in the middle, eyelash trim stapled to the very top, and covered buttons added to each pelmet.  I just sketched designs out on a piece of paper until I came up with a combination I liked.

Here's a secret for you:  window valances don't get any wear and tear, so they don't have to be perfectly made.  You have no worries about how they'll hold up, so you can just put them together with staples and glue and a little spit!

And here's another secret: windows don't have to be treated to look great.  If your walls are painted a lovely color and your trim is crisp white, untreated windows can look great.  For instance, the windows in my blue dining room are completely untreated--except at Christmastime, when I have fun adding decorations to the window frames, like this:

So how about you?  What kinds of window treatments do you like?  Do you make your own?  Check out the window treatment party at Kelly's Korner for lots of ideas!


  1. We love plantation shutters too. We have half ones on the first floor and full on the 2nd.

  2. All of your window treatments are so pretty. I like the look of long curtains but the cost of making them means my house has none. Plantation shutters look great in your bedroom. It's nice that they are decorative and you can control how much light comes in.

  3. I used your blog as an inspiration for making our Roman Shades - and I even linked it in my post. I loved your kitchen blinds so much! I had to change you made yours because I knew my kids would yank on mine and pull them down. Thanks for the great ideas!

  4. Plantations shatters are great, I love them and they're used very much around here, specially in the hot climate cities, like Guayaquil-Ecuador. I'm also loving lately, the almost bare window treatment, we did changed ours in the kitchen and social areas to Hunter dirt collecting, lol..Your house looks gorgeous and you are so talented, which is great, as draperies are sooo expensive! Happy weekend.

  5. I like valances also and have them in all my rooms. Some of the rooms have a side straight curtain also. And I have just a straight piece of fabric draped from one side to the other of my sun room. But I do have Roman shades on those windows also because of the privacy issue in the winter.

  6. Love the faux roman shades!! Moving next week and have been looking for an easy roman shade pattern. I'll definitely be making these for my bathroom!!!

  7. Hello! Stopping over from Kelly's. :) Oh yes, I love plantation shutters and roman shades...didn't know what they were called, thanks for filling me in!

    Also, these are a ton of great ideas - I'll be sure to use them in the future. :)

    Take care!

    PS, Your home is so lovely!

  8. I just love looking at your beautifully dressed windows! Your home is so pretty and I think your windows are a large reason why. You've done a great job making the right choices for your many windows. I still just LOVE your guest room though! It's so cozy and charming.

  9. I love all of your window treatments, but the plantations shutters are my absolute favorite! Where did you purchase yours? We've been trying to find some for our bedroom that won't cost us our first child.

  10. I love plantation shutters and hope to have them in my next home.

    I have a set of windows that I'm trying to figure out what to do with now. I have three tall rectangular windows, with an eyebrow window over the center. The rectangular windows have 2" wood blinds, but I don't have anything covering the eyebrow. That room will soon be a nursery, and I'd like to block out the light from the eyebrow during nap time. Any thoughts?

  11. I just love peeking into your beautiful home! They are all lovely treatments, especially the Christmas windows!

  12. Your home is beautiful - isn't it amazing how window treatments just finish everything up?

  13. great ideas and "secrets!" thanks for sharing!!

    amy from houston, over from kelly's korner

  14. I prefer your choice of treatment in your living room. It looks so clean and opened as opposed to using those heavy drapes/swags etc.

  15. My plantation shutters are supposed to be installed next week, can't wait! Love all your window treatments, you are so creative! XO ~Liz

  16. Very unique color on how to give life to a room by using this kind of design, really am impress!


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