Nine Ways to Upgrade Your Window Treatments
In most homes, curtains and shades tend to play a supporting role. While couches are fussed over and tables debated, window dressings are often treated as an afterthought. Which, of course, is a mistake. Thoughtful curtains aren't just functional—they have the power to instantly elevate a space, just as poorly planned treatments can take away from an otherwise lovely room.
The first step to curtain success is measuring. Just as too-short or too-long pants can make for unflattering proportions, curtain length can affect the perception of a room. As a general rule, curtains should just about (but not quite) touch whatever it is they're stopping at, whether a deep sill, a radiator, or the floor. Overly long, pooled curtains have a tendency to look sloppy, while curtains that stop short can make ceilings appear lower. Once you know your length, it's time to curtain shop. You have two options here: Browsing ready-made retail options or having something custom made. (A third option to consider: buying something pre-made and upgrading it with a DIY embellishment like the chic sash we included in our roundup.)
Any home store will offer a wide variety of curtains. However, if you prefer a personal touch or more eclectic look, many mainstream offerings will be too formal and fussy. If your style is more streamlined and sophisticated than ornate and ornamental, look no further than these fuss-free, modern window treatments. Enjoying a light-filled room in the comfort of your home has never been more pleasant.
Simple Cafe Curtains
Make believe you're in a bustling French brasserie with light linen café curtains that leave the upper window open for illumination. Trim a tea towel to fit the width of your window and attach clip-on rings to hang the treatment from a simple brass rod.
Modern Throw Window Treatment
Cast shade on lesser window treatments with a simple DIY project that transforms a throw blanket into an eye-catching conversation piece. Repurpose your favorite throw as a clever covering by hanging the blanket from a curtain rod placed above your window.
Reversible Linen Curtain
This linen curtain is brilliant in its simplicity, thanks to the small loops tacked onto its lower corners.
Roller Shade with Twisted-Cord Tassel Pull
Punch up the panache of your favorite window by fastening a festive linen tassel to an austere roller shade. The cord pull adds subtle aesthetic interest without overwhelming the eye.
Raffia Window Curtain
Simple window treatments can seem severe and stiff. Ramp up a rigid window hanging with raffia bow ties for a modern twist on traditional tassels.
Ribboned Roller Shade
Lend a dash of the debonair to your décor with a ribboned roller shade customized to your palette preferences. Simply attach a length of grosgrain ribbon to the lower edge of your shade using fusible webbing to create a timeless trimming for your windows.
Roman shades provide privacy with a streamlined design that offers an opportunity for infinite iterations. Choose shade and lining fabrics in solid, neutral hues to maintain a modern aesthetic.
No-Sew Applique Curtains
A border of pale-green appliqués dresses up sheer linen curtains without blocking the sunshine. The botanical motif evokes the foliage inside and out, and the cutouts' positioning can be adjusted to suit any panel size.
A Chic Sash
Handwoven belts are a breezy way to cinch loose dresses and caftans, but they can tie a room together, too. Here, a patterned sash worn in traditional eastern European weddings pulls back neutral drapes in style. Artisans around the world craft colorful pieces like these and sell them online. Order matching multiples, and give windows or French doors a distinct finishing touch.