As a homemaker, and a designer, I work within budgetary limits. Custom window treatments can be awesome, but when all you need is to dress a window simply and effectively, you can use ready-made options in your home with beautiful results.
I recently had a two-hour consult with an amazing couple in a historic home downtown, and wanted to provide the resources I use in my own home as a reference since we aren’t doing a full-service project.
I figured I would share with you guys exactly how I have dressed my own windows as well – sources and all!
There are two ways to mount roman shades: inside the window frame and outside.
In my best friend’s nursery, we mounted shades on the inside of the windows since she had a fun color on her original-to-the-home trim, as well as plenty of natural light in a small room:
But you can see an outside mount roman shade here in our bedroom (note that these curtain rods are from IKEA and I really do not like them!):
Most shades can be mounted either way – when you measure you just have to account for which way you’ll hang. In our home, I measure for my roman shades to be outside mount. I have Madison mount them an inch or two below the crown molding, then mount the curtain rod at the same height. Why?
Q: Is there ever an appropriate time to use an inside mount?
A: Yes! If you have historic or particularly beautiful window trim, and/or very large, plentiful windows (just like in my friend’s nursery). Mounting roman shades on the inside of these windows won’t block architectural details or affect the natural light significantly. Or maybe you just feel like using an inside mount. Do whatever you want, feel it out, it is YOUR home. Learn the rules so you can break them, right?
I have used roman shades from both Overstock and Amazon with success. In our guest room I used corded roman shades (they have the pull cord) and did not line them, although I need to. These particular ones are from Overstock, but they do not sell them in corded anymore! I did find the same color and brand in cordless.
Upstairs in the nursery, I used cordless roman shades for safety. You just pull on the bottom or push it back up! I did not line them since I can pull the drapes shut at night for privacy, or during the day for a little extra light blockage. They are from Amazon.
In our bedroom I used white corded roman shades from Overstock that have since been discontinued; I will probably replace them. They actually work and look great on their own, but I definitely went through an all-white phase when I first moved in and, wow, is it boring in there. I would use them again in another project if I had patterned curtains or a wall color or something to make them fun. I will replace them with wood-tone roman shades.
Our bedroom faces the street, so I went with lined shades. We layered with drapes, but I didn’t want to have to pull them shut behind my bed. I DIY lined mine with plain white fabric. It looks clean from the outside but still provides privacy at night. There are a few tutorials out there and I can’t remember which I used, but look on Pinterest! It was super easy, and all I needed was the fabric and a hot glue gun.
Q: Do I need unlined or lined?
A: You will need lined if you need privacy at night and do not plan to layer drapes, and/or if you want to keep out more light during the day. You can use unlined if you plan on layering with drapes or are using shades in an area where privacy/light blockage isn’t needed.
I hang our curtains either right underneath the crown molding, or an inch or so below. I then extend the curtain rod mounts 5 or so inches left to right of the window. If the window is much larger, you might need to eyeball how far out to hang in proportion to the window. Don’t get stuck on it being some perfect formula. I mean…don’t hang them like 2 feet out, but there’s no exact amount that will somehow be more beautiful! Loosen up.
Q: How long do my curtains need to be?
A: As long as it takes for them to hit the floor! You can have them *slightly* hover above the floor (I’m talking an inch or less), but please don’t dress your windows in high waters. Unfortunately, most retail stores (World Market, Target, etc.) only sell 84″ curtains in store which are way too short if you hang them correctly.
Q: Do I slip the curtain right on the rod?
A: You can if you like! I prefer to use drapery hooks and rings (linked below) so that they slide way easier. It also creates a nicer look!
Lastly, below are the exact sources I use to dress a window inexpensively and beautifully. Feel free to leave a comment if you have found great sources you want to share with the community!
My favorite inexpensive curtain rod (used in the nursery)
My favorite inexpensive slightly off-white drapes (they come in a pair!)
I hang my curtains by tucking these drapery hooks (use 10 per panel) into the backs of the drapes…
…then hang the hooks on these drapery rings (use 10 per panel)