Your Reading List

Window Treatments Can Be Creative

Curtains can be made out of just about any

piece of fabric that catches your eye.

I’m always looking for invent ive window treatment ideas that are out of the norm and I’m delighted by the great ideas out there, especially in decorating magazines.


I guess window treatments fascinate me because they are so versatile. This is one place where a homeowner can get very creative. Some window treatments can be very low cost so you also have the flexibility of changing them on a whim.


Depending upon your style of décor, you may have to spend a little more to get the right treatment for certain windows. Large picture windows and any window in a main room that is a focal point should be treated as such and adorned with the proper, luxurious treatment that it deserves. Your custom window service is your best bet for these requirements. They will have an array of designs available and can assist you in making a good decision for your specific needs. This can be quite an investment so ensure that your choices will stand the test of time with regard to design and colour. Opt for a timeless design that will not become out of date within the next few years and will allow for changes in your other décor areas. Consider a design that has changeable components like drapery scarves so that you can keep the look fresh.


The rest of the windows in your home are a free-for-all with respect to unique design. Treatments for the bedroom and kitchen for example, can be whimsical and fun depending upon your tastes. Let’s break these ideas down into a few categories just to give you an idea of what can be done.


If you don’t need total coverage or want to top off a window that has a café curtain consider using any of the following: a small shelf over the window to hold herb pots, bric-a-brac, trophies (child’s room) or dried flowers, (which can also hang from dowels on the underside of the shelf ), a dried floral swag, antique linens (like handkerchiefs) draped on a simple rod, vintage doll clothes on hangers hung from pegs on the window frame, a cornice board covered in fabric, painted and/or adorned with small items (like children’s toys) or covered in wallpaper, sun-catchers hung from the inside of the window casing or directly on the window, a stained glass or vintage lead glass panel suspended in front of the window from chains to catch the light, drapery scarves can be draped over a simple rod as can silk floral swags available at your local craft store, and the list goes on.


Curtains can be made out of just about any piece of fabric that catches your eye. You don’t have to be a great seamstress either. I’m not one who likes to sew and I utilize products made especially for the “stitchingly challenged” like fabric glue or hemming tape that you can use with a hot iron. For simple rod pocket curtains, products like these are fantastic. I’ve created window treatments from colourful bedsheets, pillowcases, fabric remnants and even off-the-wall items like placemats, wallpaper and furnace filters. Plain tab-top curtains, which are fairly inexpensive, can be enhanced with a design or stencil using simple craft or fabric paint. If you can sew then you can further adorn plain curtains with colourful ribbon edging and decorative tiebacks. Any window treatment you create can be adorned with decorative buttons, ribbons, faux jewels or whatever other small items your imagination can muster. You can also hang them in a unique fashion using decorative ribbon or other similar item to make tie-tops. Consider iron-on transfers or glow-in-the-dark decals in a child’s room for added fun.


If you require total privacy or sun blockage, inexpensive roller blinds come in a variety of col-ours and can be topped off with a simple topper treatment. The sleek, yet more casual look of custom-made shutters might be great for the den or rec room. Windows that bear the brunt of the summer sun might require a proper window shade to keep the room cool and to protect the window treatment and furniture from sun damage.


I recently created a really unusual window topper for our cottage. I used a vintage fishing rod that I had collected for the curtain rod and draped a taupe, gauzy fabric from it in an irregular fashion so that it just topped the window. My design idea was to try to create a treatment reminiscent of an old fishing shack with tatty fabric and old lures and it worked out quite well. I adorned the topper with vintage fishing lures and bobbers. The topper is awesome and also allows me to display the vintage rod and lures which were previously stored out of sight.

Old boat oars or garden rakes/tools can make interesting curtain rods for sunrooms, porches, potting sheds or at the cottage. Sporting items like hockey sticks might be fun as a curtain rod in a rec room, child’s room or den.

I had picked up single, luxurious rod pocket panels for $5 on clearance last summer without really knowing what I’d use them for. Each panel was different but gorgeous. One panel was a creamy satin, highly decorated with brown stitching in a leaf design. I wanted to use it for my home office but one panel just wasn’t enough. I decided to fashion a stationary Roman shade out of it and now I’ve got a gorgeous, lined, luxurious window treatment for $5. Sometimes you have to sit with things for a while before they become what they are meant to be.

Look around your home for items that might be used in a unique way. Start flipping through those decorating magazines and get inspired!

– Connie Oliver is an interior designer from Winnipeg



Stories from our other publications