Window Treatments In Tough Economic Times: Plan & Budget

When you are about to tackle your decorating project and selecting your window treatments, just getting started can be an overwhelming experience. Where do you begin? I suggest you go to one of the large chain book stores. They carry most of the decorating publications and the owner won't scold you for "reading" them in the store. You'll have a few dozen to pick from. Flick through the ones that reflect your style and taste. Magazines can be very inspiring but don't get too nervous. These are all staged for inspiration only. It's not natural. You don't see dog bowls, television remotes or kid's dirty socks. Magazine shoots have a team of people who work on the scene staging. However, you can recreate what you see – at a fraction of the cost of hiring a decorator.

Understanding what you want to accomplish with your window treatments can help you narrow done the choices. Here are the questions you need to answer:

• Do I need privacy or decorative?
• Do I need light control?
• Do I want a layered look? (Multiple treatments on one window)
• What window treatment styles do I want? (formal, casual, contemporary, etc.)
• Do I want silk, faux silk, cotton, linen, or blended fabrics?

The room that you are decorating will help you answer many of these questions. If you are decorating a living or dining room, you might lean towards formal. If it's your family room, you should be thinking more casual with light control for your media center. Your bedroom can be casual or formal, but privacy should be at the top of your list. If you have young children, room darkening should be important for afternoon naps.

Budget is also a strong factor in your decision. I have put together a simple chart as a guide. I am using a typical window that is 35" wide by 58" long. For pricing fabric products, I selected a popular cotton print that can work in just about any room setting. I haven't added any of the different product upgrades and options such as trim to make this easier to present.

Pinch Pleat Drape with Sheers = $589
Pinch Pleat Drape (48"W x 89"L) = $433
Valance with cellular shade = $392
Cornice with 2" wood blind = $359
Sheer Shades = $300
Valance (Soft Curve Board Mounted) = $297
Cornice = $279
Flat Roman Shade = $240
Straight Valance (rod mounted) = $146
Cellular Shade ½" = $95
Wood Blind 2" - $80
Bamboo Shades - $78
Faux Wood Blind 2" = $66
Vertical Blind = $50
Roller Shade = $43
Aluminum Blind 1" = $42

Here is the conclusion. You should create a window treatment budget for each room in the house. Generally speaking, the public rooms on the first floor are where you should invest the most. Your friends will see these rooms and when they are talking behind your back, it just might be positive. Upstairs you can focus on shade and blind options that give you privacy and light control at a great price. To add fabric to a shade or blind window treatment, I recommend adding a fabric rod mounted valance. They look great and there are many styles available for under $100. Remember this can all be done in stages. Set your priorities and stick to a plan.

By: Kyle Keehan

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