ALL POSTS TAGGED "window treatments"

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Spring is officially here as of last week, but unofficially here according to my local weather report. This means we still have time to prep our homes for the upcoming seasons. I think we can all agree it was a less than enjoyable winter (thank you, polar vortex!), and my energy bill certainly saw the effects of that.

There are simple ways you can make your home more energy efficient both inside and outside to lower your bill. How? By outfitting your home with the proper window treatments. Choosing the right ones can help reduce heat loss from your home in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Here are some top picks and their benefits:

Window Awnings

Window Awnings

© Gibbs Smith, Barry Dixon Interiors, Brian D Coleman; Photography by Edward Addeo

Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain up to 77 percent. They’re not only beneficial to your outdoor space, but they’re stylish, too. For even more protection, choose a light-colored canvas to reflect more sunlight in the coming months.



Design by Susan Anthony

Window blinds are better at reducing summer heat than keeping out the cold. When interior blinds are completely closed, they can reduce heat gain by around 45 percent. Not bad!

More Money-Saving Tips

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There’s nothing that allures me into an article more than “free!” or “skip the store!” So, when I tell you that I have some free decorating ideas for you that won’t cost you a penny, I hope you know I’m not just trying to lure you into my blog post — or am I? Kidding! Instead of purchasing heavy tiebacks from a home decor store, try something you have sitting around the house — a worn leather belt, patterned necktie or jewelry for something more glam.

How to Use Neckties As Curtain Tiebacks

Add a masculine touch to draperies with a necktie. Tie a Windsor knot and let your tie hang loose, or attach it to the wall with Velcro for something more permanent. Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions >>

How to Use Leather Belts As Curtain Tiebacks

Desperate to tie back my own curtains and let in some sunlight last weekend, I reached for the first thing in sight: a skinny, worn leather belt. After some creative looping and knotting, I haven’t had the heart to remove it. It looks too good. Get the Full Step-by-Step Instructions >>

5 Easy Tieback Ideas

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It’s finally summer, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been racking your brain for warm-weather solutions. Sure, the heat is great for going to the lake or pool, but there comes a time when enough is enough: cue the A/C and iced lemonade. And for those of you with sliding glass doors, you may be looking for a way to cover them up and eliminate the excess heat that is so stealthily creeping in. Here are some of my favorite solutions:

Plantation Shutters:

Not only will plantation shutters bring an easy-breezy southern charm to your home, they’re also energy efficient in both the winter and summer months.

Sliding Panels:

Because they are so easily adjustable to cover any or all of the sliding glass door, these panels are the perfect solution for someone wanting to save on energy bills while also letting in some of the beautiful scenery summer has to offer.

Shoji Screens:

These Japanese screens are made of rice paper, which does allow some light in the house. However, what these panels lack in heat resistance, they make up for in delicate, oriental style.

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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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Farima and I conquered the Atlanta Gift and Home Furnishings Market last week. And I feel pretty confident saying that because we got lost less than 20 times, had no blisters, made it to almost every seminar on our schedule AND visited the must-see showrooms on our list. High five! This trade show is aimed more toward home accessories, and while each company had their own signature style, we were still able to spot some can’t-miss trends throughout.


Atlanta Mart TrendsClockwise, left to right: Natural Life / Susan Wallace Barnes via Lifeguard Press / KARMA LIVING / Arcadia Home / Floating Circus / KARMA LIVING

A clear trend roaming through the design world right now is animals. Whether in pillow form, faux taxidermy or biologically-inspired artwork, they’re everywhere. (Have you seen the Portlandia skit “Put a Bird On It“? It’s like that.) And we’re not just talking birds here. Owled out? Sorry, but owls aren’t going anywhere. If anything, they’ve gotten more popular. We saw owls left and right! But, we saw some unexpected creatures coming out of the woodwork for spring 2013: crustaceans, flamingos, elephants, whales and turtles. These animals are dressing up apparel, accessories and home decor in charming ways.

See More Design Trends + Finds

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You know the frustration of not being able to find a pen or paper anywhere in the house and instead having to scribble something important down on the back of a piece of mail with a carrot or lipstick, right? That’s how I felt a few months ago while trying to source pinstripe fabric to upholster a client’s master bedroom walls. No matter where I looked, I couldn’t find a decent pinstripe to save my life. What the hell is wrong with the world when a guy can’t find a decent pinstripe ANYTHING? Did Joan Crawford buy every damn yard of pinstripe in her heyday for her famous power suits? But I digress. As pinstriped products started to surface after some serious sourcing, I promised myself I’d try and make life easier for any other design lovers looking for menswear-centric materials. From discount fabric to ready-made window cornices, here’s a half dozen doozies sporting pinstriped perfection. Now that all is fine and dandy with my menswear quest, I’m currently sourcing pear, white and tangerine geometric wallpaper fit for a nursery. Guess how that’s going? Let’s just say there will be another post in a few months just like this one.

Stretch Pinstripe

The Stretch Pinstripe Short Dining Room Chair Cover in black from Sure Fit is a cost-effective way (only $14.99) to add a menswear touch to existing dining chairs. Although available in several colors, the black color way looks the most chic.

Pinstripe Suiting

As far as what I ended up using for the aforementioned master bedroom walls, I came across this insanely affordable 1/4 Pinstripe Suiting Fabric in Navy/Black from for $6.98 per yard. When using fabric on walls, you can go two different routes: have an upholsterer add batting to the walls, then fully upholster them, or drop the fabric bolt off to be backed with acrylic. To budget appropriately, keep in mind that decent backing runs about $10 per yard.

The Shades Store

Hands down, the best pinstripe fabric out there is British fashion designer Paul Smith‘s “Bespoke” line for Maharam. The Shade Store carries customizable cornices sure to give any window a tailored, menswear-inspired look. I will tell you what will not give a window a tailored look: plastic mini-blinds. Blech, I feel like those monsters sit perched in windows, peering at me just waiting to steal my soul.

Thomas O'Brien Menswear

American designer Thomas O’Brien is known for his classic, masculine style. Luckily for us, that style is available to all quite affordably through Target. The Menswear Duvet – Espresso looks like custom bedding; however, it’s mass-produced and less than a hundred smackeroos. Considering the fact that dudes can’t even get a decent pair of jeans for less than $100, I’d say this deal is superb.


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So, today is moving day for me! Well, lease-signing day. And that means I have brand new bare windows and walls…a blank slate to go design crazy. No matter what design I choose for my new abode, draperies/shades are something I absolutely cannot live without and must go up — fast. (There’s nothing worse than waking up to a blinding ray of sunlight in your face or introducing yourself to neighbors in a way you never intended.) What I love about roller shades is that you can pair them with floor-to-ceiling draperies for a dramatic and sophisticated look or let them shine on their own. So if you’re looking for some budget-friendly, easy-to-make window treatments, check out this roller shade embellishment project. (You won’t believe how easy it is! No sewing involved.)


This teenage girls’ bedroom gets an instant boost of color and detail with the addition of green rick-rack to the bottom of crisp, white roller shades. If rick-rack isn’t your style, you can use any kind of upholstery trim: grosgrain ribbon, bullion fringe, gimp and jute burlap trim, to name a few. Various trim styles allow you to be as elegant or playful as you like. So grab some plain roller shades in your ideal hue, find a gorgeous trim and get crafty! has a detailed materials list and step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) to help you out along the way.

Come back after you’ve finished the project, and let us know how your shades turned out! If you’ve already embarked on a shade embellishment project, share your tips and suggestions with everyone in the comments below.

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Window treatments can make or break a room…

Roller shades in our kitchen keep the look modern and fresh. HGTV Design Happens - designer Erin Loechner - kohler sink

Roller shades in our kitchen keep the look modern and fresh.

…and there’s nothing that can feel more unfinished in a space than a bare window. Yet with copious amounts of options (shades! draperies! panels!) how do you know what to pick for your space? Here’s the four things I keep in mind, and you can use as guidelines, when planning window treatments…along with a sneak peek of what we chose in our own home!

Choosing The Right Window Treatments

1. Consider the room’s purpose.


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