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Low Cost Window Treatments

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    Types

    • Popular types of low cost window treatments include valances, cafe curtains, Roman shades, pull-down shades and even draperies, when no-fuss draperies are favored over heavily decorated, floor-length options.

    Function

    • Cafe curtains are hung from a tension rod that sits inside the window frame, usually in the middle of the window. Valances cover only the top portions of windows. However, some valances, such as butterfly valances, are meant to be released from cord or ribbon systems to hang over most or all of the window. Roman shades are pulled down in one piece from the top instead of consisting of two pieces which are pulled apart from the sides, like traditional curtains.

    Benefits

    • Low cost window treatments often are just as effective at blocking out at least part of incoming light as more expensive, floor-length options, and they are as attractive. Since they are more cost effective, using inexpensive window treatments leaves more room in the decorating budget for other design elements. Because many low cost window treatment options, such as cafe curtains, do not block out all of the window, they are good for rooms with views or rooms that receive a lot of desirable indirect sunlight.

    Cost Differences

    • Cafe curtains and valances use less fabric than other treatments, which is why they are often far cheaper than other window treatments. The same is true for Roman and pull-down shades, which usually fit directly inside or just outside the window frame and thus require less fabric. Even traditional draperies can be purchased cheaply, however. In an interview with Apartment Therapy, Leslye Womack from Best Dressed Windows in Austin, Texas, recommends using inexpensive fabrics from the fabric store such as sheer or muslin and pair them with an inexpensive rod and clip-on hooks to make your own affordable draperies.

    Privacy

    • Cafe curtains and valances traditionally only cover half of the window, so they aren't really intended for rooms where they are the only window treatment and privacy is a necessity; these treatments are mostly decorative. Cafe curtains afford more privacy than valances that only cover the top half of the window. Roman shades, pull-down shades and minimal draperies are the most private, cost-effective options.

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