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Dress up your bedroom with creative window treatments

Ilyce R. Glink
Y! Homes | Project Center
October 3, 2012

Your bedroom should be an oasis away from the chaos of work, family and general everyday stress. But many homeowners find bedroom design overwhelming.

To give your personal hideaway some pizazz without a ton of work, dress up your windows with these easy DIY window treatments. Change fabric or designs to match your current décor, showcase a beautiful view (or hide a bad one) and reflect your personality.

With a coat of paint, some new throw pillows and one of these gorgeous window treatments, your bedroom will feel like a spa in no time. Once you've gotten these under your belt, try these DIY draperies in other rooms of your house.

Bring in natural elements. To make your room feel like a woodsy retreat, use natural elements like wood, leaves and grasses in your décor. Instead of using a plain curtain rod to hang your drapery, opt instead to hang panels from an old branch. Head out to your yard to find a medium sized branch, or purchase a decorative one at a home store. Try to find something at least slightly straight. Use spray paint to paint the branch a color of your choice. The color you choose depends on the linens and wall color in your bedroom, but black, white, gray or dark brown are good options.

Once the paint has dried, screw the tree branch into the wall above your window. To account for the shape of the branch, use tie-top curtains or ribbon to affix the window treatments onto the rod. You may need to use more than one branch if your window is extra-large. You won't be able to close the drapes, so if you want to sleep in make sure to put a room-darkening shade behind those curtains.

Get creative with roller shades. Get a high-style, low-budget look by creatively dressing up a boring old roller shade. Roller shades come in a variety of sizes and colors, and some can be cut to fit the exact dimensions of your window. They're a perfect template to create your own designer window dressing.

Stencils are a great way to add drama to an otherwise bland window covering. Start with a roller shade in a neutral color that matches the general color scheme of your room. Then, scour the Internet for a stencil pattern — think maps, bold geometric shapes or basic outlines. Once you've found your outline, draw it onto the roller shade with a paint pen that complements your color palette.

If stencils scare you, try wallpaper instead. Simply find a pattern you like, cut a few pieces to the size of your roller shade and glue them together to make a fun window treatment. If you go this route, don't worry about color. Just purchase a plain white or room-darkening version of the roller shade.

Find alternate sources of fabric. Curtains can get expensive. Before splurging on designer brands, look for more affordable sources of fabric. Head to the local fabric store and find a swatch you love and have them cut a panel or two. Have the curtains hemmed at a local tailor (or do it yourself if you're good with a sewing machine), then hang them from a rod using curtain rings with clips on the end. You'll save a lot of money by not going the store-bought curtain route.

Finally, on her blog, "Simple Style," DIY blogger Karen Evans suggests considering tablecloths as an alternative source of fabric. They come in a wide variety of patterns, and you can customize the size by having them hemmed or adding additional fabric at the bottom. Tablecloths are durable and designed to be laundered frequently, unlike many of today's store-bought curtains. And since they're inexpensive, they can be swapped out frequently.

Ilyce Glink is an award-winning, nationally syndicated real estate columnist, blogger and radio talk show host, and managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog. Follow her on Twitter @Glink.