Odd-size windows can make a room charming and thoroughly delightful until you are faced with covering them. At that point, they seem eccentric, annoying and potentially custom-made expensive. Before you look at custom window treatments, there may be some other ways to cover your windows with a little ingenuity and only modest expense.
Assessing Your Needs
One frugal designer stresses the importance of making a clear plan for treating difficult windows. You will take measurements as a matter of course but also need to take time to think through how much coverage your windows -- and you inside them -- need. A floor-to-ceiling bedroom window across the street from another apartment house needs far more privacy screening than the large, view-filled living room windows that so charmed you when you were house hunting. Shutters may be the only way to conquer the bedroom-privacy problem, but the living room may get by with sheer panels until you can create a more elaborate decor plan. You may need to stage window treatments, devoting this year to blinds or shades, then moving forward. Taking time to plan thoroughly gives you a better picture of what you need to spend and helps you work effectively.
Sewing Your Own
Even people with no sewing experience often date their expertise with a needle back to an apartment that needed curtains on a budget. Sewing centers and online sites offer ample instruction, from the simplest curtains to elaborate shades, and often carry necessary hanging hardware as well as fabric.
Thinking Outside the Window
Do not rely just on decorating centers for ideas. People in many countries have been covering windows for centuries. Look at beaded curtains, shoji screen blinds and window coverings from other cultures, either in shops or online. Ideas vary but, equally important, available sizes may vary as well. Look also for designers willing to partner with customers. Some offer standard products but also make yardage available for you to create alternative treatments.
Learning From Designers
Treat design sites and magazines as research material for adaptation, whether by you, a crafty friend or a professional. Some custom-made ideas may be beyond your creative and financial reach but others may adapt reasonably to your needs. Keep an open mind and prepare to spend some time surveying professional ideas. Ambitious professionals will post their most interesting or challenging projects for viewing by potential clients.
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