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Looking for a way to spruce up a room for the spring season without the hassle of a complete makeover? Give any space a quick face lift with new curtains.

Window treatments can either fade into the background, or stand out in a crowded room. Just as the right accessories (like rods and finials) can make a statement, the fabric makes an even bigger one. Get whatever luxurious look you’re dreaming up, for a cost that won’t give you nightmares.

Fabrics That Only Look Rich
Shop these websites. You’ll need about 7 yards for two 84″ panels.
fabric swatches

    A huge range of affordable, high-quality linens in hundreds of colors.
    Judy linen in winterfresh blue, $9.50 per yard
    If you’re looking for a print, this is the place. You can even upload your own design and have it printed on fabric.
    Crosscriss by Holli Zollinger, from $16 per yard
    Traditional, modern, and everything in between. And with weekly coupons, prices that can’t be beat.
    Baretta Seaside by Home Essentials, $10 per yard
    This warehouse buys surplus fabric, then passes the wholesale price on to you.
    Mirage medallion citrus, $23 per yard
    Designer fabrics, including exclusive lines, at a discount. To save even more, watch the clearance sections and sign up for email coupons.
    Soho Outdoor in sorbet, $14 per yard

Punch Up Plain Panels
Try this easy way to fake the look of pricey window treatments: Buy inexpensive panels and add your own trim.

The DIY decorators at HGTV Magazine used an $11 faux linen curtain from Kmart and updated it with trim. You can find ribbon and other trim for as little as $1 a yard at or Sew, hot glue, or iron it on with hem tape, like Stitch Witchery.


Clockwise from top left: Large pom-pom trim in orange, $3 per yard,; Wright’s extra wide double fold bias tape in Mediterranean, $2 for 3-yard pack,; 23mm box pleated chromspun ribbon edging in cardinal, $10 per yard, M&J Trimming, 888-849-8201; Godiva geometric trim in denim/beige, $8 per yard, M&J Trimming 888-849-8201

Excerpt originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine.

12 Stylish Window Treatment Ideas
The Frugal Guide to Fancy Curtains
7 Beautiful Window Treatments for Bedrooms

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Curtains can make a room. They can add color, pattern, or texture instantly, and create an airy inviting space. They can also cost a pretty penny, but don’t have to. HGTV Magazine put together a go-to guide for fancy curtains on a budget. Check out these DIY and store-bought window treatments, and read on for all the rods and ends you’ll need to finish your new look.

5 Frugal Buys
Good-looking curtain rods and finials can be as costly as the curtains themselves. Here are some budget-minded sets.

inexpensive curtain rods

1. Umbra 28″–48″ staff drapery rod in black, $20, 2. Lincoln 28″–48″ rod in champagne silver, $27, 3. Versailles Home Fashions 48″ torch rod in antique gold, $40, 4. Style Selections 28″–48″ acrylic ball rod in bronze, $20, 5. Studio Tribeca 28″–48″ rod in Tuscan bronze, $25,

1 Cheap Rod, 3 Ways
Spray paint the same 99-cent IKEA Räcka 28″ curtain rod three different colors, then add fun finials for a sneaky way to save!

diy curtain rods

Blue: Satin Periwinkle paint by Krylon, Skulptur finial, $5 for a set of 2, Gold: Brown paint by Rust-Oleum Universal Hammered, Rope Ball finial, $20 for a set of 2, Floral: Aged Brass paint by Rust-Oleum American Accents Designer Metallic, Hand-painted amaryllis finial, $38 for a set of 2,

Excerpt originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine.

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Readers rejoice — the May issue of HGTV Magazine is bigger than ever before! That means more how-tos, more budget decorating, more house tours, more landscaping ideas, more expert tips, and more design inspiration — whew, that’s a lot more stuff.

May cover

180 pages behind this cheery cover

The issue hits newsstands on April 9, but subscribers’ mailboxes are being stuffed today. Feeling a little left out? Sign up here to become a subscriber and be amongst the crowd who doesn’t have to wait (or even leave their home) to get the latest design, decorating, and DIY advice. For now, here’s a sneak peek inside the largest issue yet.


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The color blue is having a moment! Our editors at HGTV Magazine just love the hue, and the March issue (on newsstands now) shows it. When mixed with white, blue becomes especially easy to use and oh-so-pretty to decorate with.


A sea of blue (with a pop of green) on our March cover

We featured some of our favorite blue and white pillows in this issue and think they’d look just as good in your home as they did in our magazine. Now’s your chance to win one pillow in either of two designs you see on the cover.

Here’s what to do: Enter for your chance to win by emailing us at with the subject line: Blue Pillows. Tell us your favorite way to decorate with the color blue in your home, and we’ll pick our favorite four ideas.

Hurry, though — contest ends at 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, March 6. If your entry is chosen, we’ll respond to you directly. Good luck!
Subscribe to HGTV Magazine and be inspired by all of our covers!

Need more of a blue fix? Check out February’s Color of the Month: robin’s egg blue. It’s more of a cool, teal blue that’s perfect for welcoming the coming spring.

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It’s time, friends. Time to introduce you to the final “after” in our long sunroom makeover project! And if you need a refresher on what the space used to be, enjoy a few progress videos here, here and here. You won’t believe the transformation!:

For info on how to get the look in your own home, I’ve created a source list for you here. Happy shopping, and thanks so much for joining us on this wild ride!

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Upcycling. You love it, right? Equal parts upgrading and recycling, the art of upcycling promises to breathe new life into those found objects you just aren’t quite sure what to do with. Case in point: a fruit crate I was gifted by some lovely blogger friends while teaching a course in Portland last summer. You might argue that a fruit crate is an odd gift, but to a design blogger? A fruit crate is the mecca of possibility.

Upcycling 101: From Fruit Crate to Toy Chest - Erin Loechner

Still, the aforementioned crate sat dusty in my entryway, begging to be used for more than hat, gloves and scarf storage. And as we started to plan our little one’s nursery (she’s due in July!), the thought hit me: why not transform this fruit crate into a rustic toy chest with a hot pink caster twist? The project was easy peasy and took just a few materials: casters, spray paint, spare wood and the crate itself! Here’s how we pulled it off:

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For those of you who happened to tune into The Nate Berkus Show last week, I hope you spotted two familiar faces! That’s right, Ken and I had the pleasure of welcoming Nate’s kind audience into our home a few months ago, and the segment has officially aired!

Click on Nate's photo to watch us on the show!

And because the renovation magic all began here on, I thought I’d share links below to a few of the projects we shared on the home tour, just in case you’ve missed a few along the long, wild ride!:


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Sunroom update time! For those of you following along at home, our back porch sunroom has been a massive work in progress for oh, the last six months or so (in case you’ve missed it, check out the before video here, and an in-progress video here!). We’re thrilled to be in the home stretch and can happily report that by this time next month, you’ll see the big, final, fully-decorated-and-loaded reveal. Can you hardly wait?

Sunroom Renovation Update - Erin Loechner

The excitement is brewing!


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Every now and then, Ken and I like to take a break from the heavy-lifting, sweaty renovating mode and switch gears to something a bit… lighter. Today, I’m making three nature-inspired crafts I found online that will have you shopping in your backyard in a heartbeat! Behold, branch hangers, geode bookends and light bulb planters – oh my!:

DIY truly can be a walk in the park, yes? Enjoy!

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Statement lighting is a must for me, as I find that quirky floor and table lamps can often make the most basic room shine. So naturally, after spotting this tripod floor lamp at Anthropologie, I was instantly smitten. Yet the lampshade didn’t quite work for us, and spending $300 on a base was a bit out of our budget.

Rustic Floor Lamp DIY Project - Erin Loechner

Our custom DIY lamp - finished and happy in its new home!

What to do? Craft the perfect lamp ourselves! Inspired by the tripod lamp base, we put our own spin on the design with a seaside-inspired lantern and reclaimed wood scraps from our closet pull project. The good news? We’ve documented (heavily!) the entire process below, so you can follow along at home. Care to give it a go? Follow the tutorial after the jump!:

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Dip dye is all the range in the crafts department these days, and I’m definitely aboard the fan train. It’s the simplest detail, really, but proves to make such a grand impact on even the most basic furniture pieces. The bolder, older sister to ombre, dip dye is a technique used in a variety of mediums – from baskets to tees to [gasp!] hair! – and is quickly transitioning from a fleeting trend to a long-lasting and well-loved design practice.

Dip Dye Stool DIY Before & After - Erin Loechner

Transform a $5 stool in an afternoon!


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Organization is my middle name (well, that and Elizabeth), so I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to share our latest video – a closet makeover! Ken’s been hard at work building a custom closet solution that we designed for our master suite, and you guys? It turned out beautifully. Take a look…

What do you think, friends? It’s a vast improvement, that’s for sure. And if you’re inspired to try the look in your own home, feel free to ask any specific construction questions in the comment section; I’ll be popping in to answer any and all!

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Laundry room makeovers might not seem like a high priority for most homeowners, but for me? Huge. I am completely, madly and deeply obsessed with doing laundry. It’s by far my favorite chore (although I’m pretty partial to loading/unloading dishwashers, too), and living with a half-finished, semi-cluttered laundry room has definitely put a damper in the joy I usually glean from this chore.

And with the momentum we gained from last week’s DIY vanity project (do you love it as much as I do?!), Ken and I decided it was time we bit the bullet and finished the last remaining items on our laundry to do list. Might I add that this means our renovation checklist for the laundry room is 100% complete? What a feeling!

In case you don’t remember what the space looked like in the very beginning, let me remind you photographically (you’ll want to wash your hands after seeing this image; trust me!):

Laundry Room Makeover Before & After - Erin Loechner

The super gross before photo!

Scary, right? Of course, wood-paneling the walls made a huge difference, and just a few short months ago, the space looked like this:

Laundry Room Makeover Before & After - Erin Loechner

An in-progress shot of our cluttered laundry room.


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Laundry rooms are all-too-often neglected spaces in the home, aren’t they? Sure, the laundry room might serve a purely utilitarian purpose, but function can be beautiful, too – right?

Concrete Countertop and Vanity in Laundry Room - Erin Loechner

A major progress update!

Right! Remember just a few short months ago when I shared our laundry room (almost!) makeover? We’ve been slowly but diligently working away on the space, and thanks to our renovation checklist, we’ve made an organized effort to finish over the next few weeks. First on the list? Tackling our custom vanity, which included a DIY concrete countertop project. And although we’ve worked with concrete before (remember the concrete mantel in our dining room?), we were super nervous to construct something so… intimidating. After all, a countertop needs to be both durable, functional, and (preferably!) beautiful.

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As most of you know, our sunroom has been the biggest current project in the Loechner Lair, and I’m happy to report that after a few snafus and some scheduling conflicts, we now have progress to share (did that rhyme? I think it did!)!:

Sunroom Renovation Drywall Progress - Erin Loechner

Well worth the wait!

Yes, that is a fully, 100% drywalled space. Are you starting to envision how beautiful it will be when finished? A vast improvement from the insulated room we shared just over a month ago, yes? We’ve tackled the electrical and finished spraying our insulation, so our renovation goal checklist for the room is coming along just swimmingly.

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Art makes the world go ’round indeed, and today I’ll be sharing how to create a quirky, informal art gallery for that empty wall you’ve been meaning to fill! Bonus? It’ll take just a short afternoon, so you’ve got no excuse not to give it a go!

Curious as to where you can score our art for your own home? I’ve got a source list right here – happy shopping!

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Pantone, the international authority on color trends, recently announced the color spectrum that you’ll see in both fashion and home decor in Fall 2012. With a mix of neon hues, dark moody shades, and soft neutrals, the color spectrum for this Fall will have a little bit of something for everyone. I always look to the Fall color reports to see what shades we need to incorporate into the AphroChic collection for the upcoming season, and fell in love with a few shades on this list that are sure to bring both bright and warm colors home, even as the weather becomes a little bit cooler.

Shades of Pink Flambe, French Roast, Honey Gold, Rhapsody, and Tangerine Tango all stand out to me as must-have colors for Fall 2012. They can be mixed and matched, or used alone to create a colorful impact no matter what the season. These are the types of comforting hues that you will love living with all year long.

via Design Sponge

I am a huge fan of hot pink, and am so glad to see the color back in action again in the form of Pink Flambe. It’s time to up the pink ante this year, and instead of saving this vibrant hue for small accessories, it will also look amazing on big pieces of furniture like a sofa or side chair. Set inside a room with neutral whites and browns, pink is sure to be a classic this Fall.

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Modern pet furniture has always been a hot topic in our home. Ken and I are the type of pet owners who plan our lives around our pups, and our pets are the type of dogs who bask in that delight daily (clearly, we’re in for a surprise when baby comes along this July!). And although we’d love to have gorgeous, modern pet gear sprinkled throughout our home, we’ve found that the majority of gorgeous pet items far exceed our budget.

DIY Pet Crate Coffee Table - Erin Loechner

If you can't find it, why not build it?

Still, I’m to the point where I can no longer look at our dogs’ cheap, plastic-y crate without shuddering. And when attempting to design your home around pets, it’s important you get a bit creative. Naturally, I consulted dear Ken with a conundrum much like my famous dining room table request:

“Can you build Bernie a dog crate that isn’t ugly?”

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