Transform the look of your windows on a budget with this helpful guide to achieving designer-style but inexpensive window treatments!
Window coverings can be a costly surprise when it comes to home decor. Often, it can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to cover a single window, which is out of reach for most of us. However, there are plenty of affordable options that can bring a stylish look to your home without breaking the bank. That’s why I’ve gathered this collection of inexpensive window treatments that are sure to look great in your home!
I am pretty middle-of-the-road with what I’m willing to spend on decor. If we use a piece of furniture often, like our slipcovered sofas, I think it is worth the investment. I’ll also invest in solid wood furniture and professional artwork. However, window treatments are not an item that I’m willing to spend a lot on. Luckily, there are many options that fit the aesthetic we’re looking for and are both beautiful and inexpensive!
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In our remodel we swapped out our living room window treatments for these linen panels, driftwood shades, basic hardware, and curtain clips.
Tips for Choosing Window Treatments On a Budget
Window treatments are often the final touch that brings a room together. From luxurious draperies to more affordable natural shades, there is an abundance of options to choose from. It is possible to find attractive window treatments that don’t break the bank.
- Start by considering the type of window treatment you need. Do you want something to block out light or just add a decorative touch? If you’re for light control, consider using blackout curtains with room darkening liner, or even a combination of both. If you’re just looking for a decorative touch, you could opt for light filtering sheer panels, or even a simple valance.
- When shopping for window treatments, look for sales and discounts to help keep the cost down. You may even be able to find used window treatments in thrift stores or online. With a little creativity, you can find inexpensive window treatments that look great and fit your budget.
- A simple way to save on window treatments is to choose ready-made curtains, blinds, and shades that come in standard sizes. These can be found at most home improvement stores or online. You can also get cut-to-size window treatments, which are slightly more expensive, but still more budget friendly than fully custom options.
- If you’re handy with a sewing machine and willing to do a bit of DIY, there are tutorials for making your own curtains and shades from fabric, which can be surprisingly inexpensive.
- Make sure to choose window treatments that are the correct size for your windows. You’ll want to check how any shades need to be mounted to your windows. You should hang curtains and drapes tall and wide of the window frame.
When searching for cheap window treatments, remember to consider the style and function you need to find the right solution. Opt for neutral and straightforward designs that won’t break the bank. To ensure you don’t have to replace them too soon, choose timeless styles that won’t go out of fashion. With a bit of research, you can easily find inexpensive window treatments that are both stylish and practical!
Shown in our Dining Room Makeover, get a similar look with Tuscan Shades, Basic Curtain Rod & Hardware in Black, Linen Curtain Panels, and curtain clips.
The Best Window Treatments for a Budget
Below are my favorite budget-friendly and cheap options to get the look of custom window treatments. Just because you’re saving on costs doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice on style! Mix-and-match the different types below to create layered combos for your home. My favorite part of these suggestions is that they’re classic, they’ll match the current trends but also keep serving you even if you change your decor!
Layering your window treatments is a great way to get a designer look in your home, as well as adjust light and privacy. Start with the basics like shades and hardware and then add curtains or drapes. You can save money by finding bargains for all the pieces, or splurge on certain items. The result will be an elegant, put-together finish that will take your space to the next level.
Natural or wood shades are an excellent window treatment option for those looking for a stylish yet inexpensive solution. They come in a range of colors and styles to suit any interior and are easily adjustable to fit any window size. I personally love the texture bamboo shades add in rooms with light paint colors, creating an attractive contrast. They also provide privacy, block light, and add character and warmth to the room (which I talked about in this post!), making them ideal for matching or complementing existing furniture finishes or baskets. Plus, they are simple to install and maintain, making them a good choice for a beginner DIYer.
No. 1 | Tuscan Roman Shade
This is a similar source to what you see in some of the older photos in this post, but not the exact shade (which is no longer available). Instead of the roll-up style, these are cordless roman shades (which I prefer, the cords can be dangerous with little ones!). “Tuscan” is close in color to what we have, but I also like the “Dali Native” color. These are the closest to vintage bamboo shades. There are many size options to choose from to fit your exact windows. These shades have a warm finish, and I love how they play off of the natural raw wood in our home.
No. 2 | Driftwood Roman Shade
These shades are a step-up from the roll-up shades in functionality but are comparable in price. Rather than the roll-up style, which can be a little frustrating, these are a classic roman shade and go up accordion-style. They hold up really well over time. I appreciate the cordless safety feature. I also really love the driftwood finish, it’s my favorite weathered gray. Honestly, if I found these sooner they would have been throughout my house rather than just in a couple of rooms.
No. 3 | Cocoa Roller Shade
These roller shades are the same as what we have in our home but in a darker stain. We had these shades in some rooms in our previous home to tie in with our dark hickory hardwood floors.
In our Primary Bedroom Makeover, we used the Driftwood Shades, Basic Curtain Rod & Hardware in Satin Nickel, and Linen Curtain Panels.
Window Treatment Hardware
If you’re looking for a cheap way to refresh your windows, window treatment hardware is a budget-friendly and easy solution. This includes curtain rods, finials, holdbacks, and other decorative pieces to help hang your window treatments. With a variety of sizes, colors, styles, and finishes available to match any decor, you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for your home. Installation is simple, so you’ll have your windows looking great in no time. It’s a great way to give your window treatments a completely new look without even changing your drapes or shades.
While you can get window treatment hardware in any finish, I just chose dark options for this collage. We had dark floors and door hardware, so it was my main metal choice for our home. With that being said, you don’t have to have just one finish through your house, and we’ve also had brushed nickel hardware and brass in rooms in our home!
No. 4 | Basic Curtain Rod with Round Finials & Mounting Hardware
This hardware is about as classic as you can get and is hands-down my favorite at a very reasonable price. I really like that the brackets are small and hidden by the drapes. As the top review says— they look like Pottery Barn at a fraction of the price!
No. 5 | Window Treatment Rod with End Caps
This hardware is also very classic but is a bit more elevated with a decorative bracket. The end caps give the rod a more modern flair.
No. 6 | French Pipe Drapery Rod
I love this industrial-inspired option. Not only do the drapes wrap around, which give them a fuller appearance, but the hardware is extremely stylish on its own and affordable.
I intentionally didn’t link to my curtain rods with the cage finials shown below. They were from IKEA several years ago, but I really didn’t like them. The curtain rods didn’t hold up well and the mounting brackets were unnecessarily large. However, I know a lot of people like the final style. They were the IKEA BLAST, but they’re no longer sold and the combo of a cage and acrylic seems to be unique. For a similar feel at a good price, try these.
Get a similar look to our Family Room window treatments with a Roman Shade, Basic Curtain Rod, Clear Finials , and Sheer Panels
Light & Airy Curtains
Curtains vs. Drapes
When it comes to window treatments, curtains and drapes are two of the most popular choices. Curtains come in a variety of fabrics, making them a great option for those looking for an affordable, stylish window treatment. They can be long or short, which is the main difference between them and drapes, which typically graze or pool on the floor.
Drapes are a more formal window treatment, typically made of heavier fabrics like velvet and brocade, and they also have more room darkening capabilities. As a result of their weight, they can also help with energy efficiency in the winter by blocking cold air. They tend to be more expensive than curtains, but they can also provide a more luxurious look (think, velvet drapes) if you’re looking to invest a bit more in one of your layers.
I gravitate toward light and airy curtains because I love the fresh feeling they bring into a room. They look very clean, and you don’t lose much natural light. They are my go-to choice between curtains and drapes. They are also very affordable, as they are usually made of lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen. What’s great about them is that they can dress up a window with minimal effort (no pleating required!), making them a perfect choice for anyone looking for easy and inexpensive window treatments.
No. 7 | Thin Sheer Curtains
These curtains appear to be extremely similar to the discontinued IKEA VIVAN panels and have great reviews. While thin, they are not completely sheer. Readers often described them as “the curtains that look like a bedsheet” and that’s an extremely accurate description. The weight in person is comparable to a standard cotton bedsheet.
No. 8 | Lace Sheer Curtain
These romantic lace panels are similar to some that I picked up at IKEA years ago and used in my daughter’s room. It’s a slightly whimsical variation on airy curtains to use along with natural shades.
No. 9 | Linen Curtain Panels
I love linen, and these curtains are an extremely affordable way to bring in a luxury look. They are a bit heavier than the other options and the “natural” color is pretty close to white. We had them in “natural” for our dining room and primary bedroom.
Overall, window treatments are a great choice for updating the appearance of your living space without burning a hole in your pocket. There’s a wide variety of styles and designs to pick from, so you’re sure to find something that reflects your taste and budget. With the right window treatment, you can easily give your home a refreshing makeover and create a comfortable atmosphere. If you use any of these ideas in your home, let me know in the comments or tag @ninahendrickhome on Instagram!
Hi Nina, do you recommend hemming your curtains a certain way? (I’ve heard of alternatives to sewing but not sure how well they work!)
Hi Jess, I’m really not the best authority on this! My husband actually hemmed our curtains. I’m hopeless at sewing. I have heard great things about hem tape, but I’ve never successfully accomplished it.
I love youR style!!! Thanks foR posting the window treatments! They are Beautiful! I am goIng to start decorating my first window and ive been in my house for 20 years!!! I procrastinate for sure!
Hi Nina! The photos above are just beautiful! May I ask the paint color? It looks like the shade I’ve been looking for! Thank you in advance if you’d be willing to share :-)
Hi Lindsey, It’s Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. You can see all of our paint colors here!
Hi! Thanks for the inspiration!!! Love it!!! Do you mind sharing where the rings and clips came from too please? Thanks again!!
They were from Ikea, but I’ve been using these lately!
Thanks for a most informative article. I wonder if you can tell us you’re wall color choice. Thx!
Hi, Pam! It’s Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray.
Could you tell me where to find the curtain rods in the picture?
They were from Ikea!
Hello! Did you roll your shades forward or backwards? I can’t seem to get the same look rolling forward as instructed.
Also, the shades in your kitchen appear to have a valance? Are those shades different? I thought that you had mentioned that these were the shades that you used mostly throughout your home (with the exception of the Home Depot style)!
Hello! Love the bamboo shades. Noticed when I went to purchase the mounting hardware that she’s is black. I do not notice the black in your pictures. Did you she something different to hang yours?
Hi Amie, My shades came with stainless hardware, but they may have changed the design since then. They are about 5 years old.
Can you tell me the name of the IKEA curtain panels you suggest?
They are the VIVAN panels.
Hi – I LOVE what you have done with your windows in this post – especially the price! When I went to Amazon to order the curtains, many of the reviews say the curtains are more of an off white, but they look pretty white in your photos. I need them for a dark grey bedroom where we are doing white accents. Any thoughts on whether these will work or look too creamy? Thanks so much!!
They are definitely a bit on the cream size- if you are putting them up against a stark white it will be noticeable. All of my “whites” are actually off-white, so that may be throwing off the perspective!
What color paint is on the walls?
Hi, Daneen! It’a Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray.
Thank you for helping my solve my dining room window treatments dilemma. I can’t wait to put it to action. Love your site by the way.
Thank you so much, Sonia! Glad to help! :)
I think the window treatments you’ve come up with are fantastic! The bamboo roll up shade complements the white drapes nicely. It’s a great way to add a custom look to your house. Thanks for the window-decorating inspiration!
Good Afternoon Nina,
You have finally solved my delima regarding shades and curtains for the windows. I have bought blue material, white material and heaven knows what else trying to decide what to do with my windows. Thank you so much for your post. I’ve just discovered your site and have looked around a bit, I am certain I’ll return. Keep up the great work Nina!
So glad to help Marie, thank you so much for stopping by!