Not enough can be said about cheap window treatments. I have definitely spent money where it mattered, such as on the wood blinds that offer light control on the south-facing side of our house, as well as privacy control on the high-school-facing side of the house. But for most of our windows, I have spent very little.
In the kitchen, I just redid the window treatments for $21 apiece! The old café curtains were more than tired. Exhausted, really. Worn, stained, and faded from the evening sun, they needed to be put to bed. This weekend, I’m happy to say they’re in their final resting place. I stumbled upon two $2.99 hand towels at World Market that complement the icy-blue paint color (called “Atlantic” by Martha Stewart at KMart) on the kitchen walls. Paired with white, fake-wood blinds from Lowes ($17.99 apiece!) that you can hang yourself and adjust to any length, the towels make fun new window valances. The treatments make a huge difference brightening the kitchen—as my sister commented, they make the wall color pop and look fresh again.
The wood blinds were easy to hang, but having another set of hands (my sister’s) to hold the brackets, offer advice, and fish screws out of the sink drain helped a lot. It only took about forty-five minutes to redo both windows. For the valance, I just folded the towel lengthwise over a spring tension rod and rested it on top of the blinds. This may not be a good long-term installation, but it seems to be holding fast for now. As you can see, I still need to fill the screw holes from the old hardware, but since the kitchen needs a fresh coat of paint anyway, I’m not in a huge hurry.