Ugly window treatments are the thorn in almost every renter's rear. Plastic mini blinds — or worse, vertical blinds — are automatic aesthetic killers, but they can be remedied for a shockingly small amount of money. The key to making dirt-cheap window treatments look like a million dollars is as easy as knowing where to shop and mastering the designer tricks for hanging them properly. This foolproof formula will instantly elevate the look of any room — we promise!
Start With the Classics: White Linen Curtains + Black Curtain Rods
You cannot go wrong with white linen curtains and black rods with simple finials. Think of it as the tuxedo for interiors, only a tux that plays well with any style, from formal traditional to California casual. This pared-down color palette also grants you permission to go bananas with colors and prints in other places in the room and you won't get sick of your choice halfway through your lease.
Find Affordable Versions of the Classics
Absurdly cheap price point aside, these Ikea Ritva curtains ($25 for a pair) are actually beautiful in person and well-loved by design bloggers. They are made from a cotton/linen blend and have a subtle crosshatch pattern that adds the perfect amount of texture. You can add Ikea's black-out liner to create a thicker, heavier drape, which can make them look even more formal, or leave them as is if you want them to filter (not block) light while adding privacy. They also come with heading tape along the top back of the curtains, which makes it easy to create pleats with hooks and curtain rings.
Mainstays 1" Diameter Curtain Rod With Black Ball Finial($12) is another great buy. $12 for a 30"-84" adjustable curtain rod is pretty hard to beat – I've looked. I have these hanging in my living room and they look identical to rods I've sourced for quadruple the price. Pair them with these matte black drapery rings and you have the ingredients for the perfect curtain cocktail on a budget.
Use Curtain Rings:
Using curtain rings makes opening and closing curtains a cinch, but designers also prefer their polished aesthetic. Adding rings creates neatly pinched pleats that keep curtains looking beautiful, open or closed.
Know How to Hang Your Curtains:
Create the optical illusion of sky-high ceilings by hanging your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. You'll be amazed by how drastically this shifts the look and feel of a room.