Fast and Easy Ways Dress Up Your Windows - dummies

Fast and Easy Ways Dress Up Your Windows

By Katharine Kaye McMillan, Patricia Hart McMillan

With or without fancy treatments, windows provide a focal point and a spot where everyone wants to sit. They open a room’s interior to the views outside and flood it with natural sunlight. Do you need window pizzazz in a hurry? Try some of the following ideas:

  • Add silk flowered vines, especially roses. Artfully drape them across the top of a window. Don’t be stingy; buy several strands for lush fullness.

  • Adorn a (clean) fishnet across a window by the sea.

  • Craft a faux valance by cutting a plastic tablecloth to shape and then taping it (on the backside) to a rod.

  • Create a faux valance by nailing crossed oars across the top of a window in a beach house.

  • Dangle a strand of Mardi Gras beads, hippie style, across a small bathroom window.

  • Drape a rectangular tablecloth (folded in half lengthwise) over a thick, decorated pole. Six or more inches from one side of the pole, hang a long folded length of ribbon across the pole with loose ends hanging below the cloth. Gather the ribbon ends and pull them up until the cloth begins to swag, and then tie the ribbon into a bow. Repeat on the opposite side. The result looks like a balloon shade.

  • Flank a bathroom window with discarded mirrored bi-fold doors; they reflect the light and add sparkle and glamour.

  • Fold butcher’s paper (looks like a paper bag) into accordion pleats, punch holes through the pleats (on one end only), and push a curtain rod through, gathering it gracefully as you create a cafe curtain. (You need a length of paper two to three times the width of your window.)

  • Fold colorful dinner-size napkins in half on the diagonal and drape them, pointed side down, over a thick, stained or painted wooden pole. (Use enough napkins to cover the width of the pole.) This technique is great for a kitchen or breakfast nook.

  • Glue seashells directly onto the window frame of a summer cottage.

  • Hang a lace tablecloth, either running a narrow rod though the lacework or using pinch-clips.

  • Hang a wooden plaque with an interesting painted scene or pattern across the top of the window.

  • Hinge old doors to create standing shutters to flank a window. Choose plain or paneled doors to suit your scheme.

  • Make sheet curtains to match your bedding. Just buy extra flat sheets (two to serve as curtain panels) to shirr (gather) on a wooden rod and tie back at either side of a regular double-hung (not too wide) window. To create a curtain rod pocket with a narrow header, sew a seam 3/4 inches from the top of the sheets’ 4-inch hem, and then gather the panel over a wood rod.

  • Open your window to the season by stripping off all treatments and adding a few glass shelves to hold colorful glass bottles.

  • Paint window trims in a dashing, contrasting color. Leave well enough alone, or take this treatment one step further by painting a few flat baskets in the same or even wilder colors and arranging them over the top of the window.

  • Pierce a fascinating pattern into a sheet of tin, and fit over your window and frame (if desired) for a window that isn’t an egress and has no redeeming view. This idea is great with lodge look and other rustic interiors.

  • Prop a salvaged iron gate across your window for a beautiful pattern that doesn’t obstruct light or view.

  • Put those antique antimacassars (crocheted and knitted arm covers) to work as a valance. Drape them over your rod, or clip them on with pinch clips that come in white and various metal colors to match your rod.