Curtains can go very, an extremely wrong. If you walk overboard, you end up through something heavy and also expensive and claustrophobic, like among those getups Sally field wore in Lincoln. Top top the other hand, don’t ignore them until also late, after every the remodel money has been spent. Like I did. Through my husband threatening to thumbtack a bed sheet over the beautiful brand-new windows “to prevent the spying,” I faced a no hope situation.

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“Let’s review,” claimed my husband, that likes his privacy. “How exactly did we end up including only two new rooms yet 21 new windows?”

Um, the architect likes “light?” At least that’s what he said once he proved me the plans. It looked prefer a an excellent idea on paper, too. All the light. Of course, currently that we’ve moved in we virtually have come walk about in sunglasses. Therefore what’s the solution (and just how much walk I finish up spending)?

Photographs by Mimi Giboin.


Strategy No. 1: Don’t panic. Instead, walk indigenous room to room and also evaluate each home window calmly. As Brooklyn-based architect Frederick flavor puts it, “What carry out you need from every of her windows? Is this a room where you want to sleep in utter key darkness? Or carry out you live somewhere wherein the site has actually privacy and your remarkable views room the thing you are came to about?”


Strategy No. 2: Hang simple solid-color curtain panels.

Why select curtains (instead that blinds, say, or shades) for some windows? says Tang, “It is a standard trick to usage curtains come enlarge the visual result of window. Often civilization will place them bunched increase a foot or two off to the side of window, so will look together if a window is bigger.”

To get the most visual impact, “curtains look nicest as soon as they go from the floor every the means to the ceiling, even if the home window is not full height,” states Tang.


Strategy No. 3: Sew your own. In mine both my living room and also guest bedroom (above), twin panels structure the casement windows. These were pretty much the most basic sewing job evers. My girlfriend Stephanie, who is terrific seamstress and also being an internal designer, drew me a sample on the ago of an envelope. All I had to do was cut long lengths of fabric, darn lining onto them, press, and hem.

The point of these curtains to be to absorb sounds and also to add a class of structure to the rooms. In the life room privacy wasn’t a worry even for my husband–it’s a life room, ~ all–so instead of utilizing a zillion yards that fabric, i made 2 56-inch-wide panels. I never “close” them, and if ns did, they wouldn’t totally cover the windows. In all, I provided six yards the Cream Linen fabric ($14.99 a garden from Ballard Designs).

To include weight and body to the curtains, ns lined each panel v cotton Roc-Lon White drapery lining ($4.19 a yard from Jo-ann Fabrics).

Cost that the life room curtains: $125.


Above: No should sew a rod pocket. I attached clips come the top of each panel.

Cost of the life room curtain hardware: one Cambria Oil Rubbed copper Curtain pole ($49.99) and also four packages the Cambria Oil Rubbed copper Curtains ring (currently top top sale because that $4.99 per package) in ~ Bed Bath and also Beyond, $90.


Strategy No. 4: usage the money you conserved in various other rooms to splurge on tradition shades or blinds because that the bedroom.

In the bedroom friend don’t want to skimp. You spend at the very least one-third of her life in this room, so you want an excellent coverage: for privacy and to block the sunshine on Saturday morning when your husband takes the dogs out and also lets friend sleep in.

In my bedroom (above) space custom roman inn Shades native The the shade Store. You have the right to save money here by measure up your windows yourself and also installing your own shades ~ they arrive (they’re transport in lengthy cardboard box to her house).


The huge question is always whether to cave shades (and blinds) top top the external of the window jamb or come recess them. Says Tang: “If the home window jamb is deep enough, it’s nice to cave them inside because it gives an ext of a custom look. It’s an ext tailored and looks a little an ext finished.”

For the recessed option, you need to cut the remote or the shade precisely– within a quarter of an inch of the broad of the window.

Total cost of seven lined bedroom shades: $2,826.


Strategy No. 5: Some windows may not require anything. In ~ my house, I determined ten windows–in the kitchen and adjoining family members room–that might remain bare. The view was nice, there to be no require for privacy, and it was a cleaner look.

The trick to leaving home windows bare, claims Tang, is to be uniform. In a room, if you leave one home window uncovered, you likewise should leaving all the various other windows uncovered due to the fact that “you don’t want one to look choose an orphan.”

Another way to accomplish an uncovered watch is to think ahead–far, far ahead–and to include in the remodel style recessed curtain tracks or pockets because that shades. “You can build a bag on a window, where essentially the trim above the window falls a tiny lower come hide the shade that’s behind it,” claims Tang. Here’s an instance of the finished look, from among his projects with a previous firm.

Total cost: $0. (I know that’s self-evident, but the figure made me for this reason happy ns couldn’t withstand typing it.)


Strategy No. 6: inexpensive cut-to-order wood or bamboo shades. In my home office (above), late afternoon sun is a problem. It causes a glare on the computer screen. Photo by Michelle Slatalla.

“Windows that space south-facing need more attention than windows that are north-facing, because of sun,” states Tang. “For cases like that, I favor very an easy shades. It’s exceptional how many customized alternatives there space that provide you a lot of bang for her buck.”

Tang, who resides in a pre-war structure in Brooklyn, spanned his own windows with custom cut shades from house Depot. “They have a valence; ns live in a very traditional house where that kind of detail is ideal to the architecture.”

My inside mount bamboo shades (above) came from Payless Decor, which provides a wide selection at budget-friendly prices. After ns measured the windows and also placed the stimulate online, the shades and hardware crucial for installation came down on the doorstep about three weeks later. Castle were basic to hang and fit perfectly.

Total price of six Payless Decor bamboo shades (22.5 inches large by 53 customs high): $193.81.

Grand total: $3,500.

And the home windows look so much nicer 보다 if castle were covered with bed sheets.

For much more of Michelle’s amateur adventures in residence design, view The death of the shower Curtain and also My Worst architecture Decision Ever.

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N.B.: This is an update of a short article published February 18, 2013 during our movie Fest week.