Q. Hi, Mackenzie. My plan is to break ground this weekend on shopping for drapes and painting my bedroom. I have one tall (think victorian San Francisco apartment) window that might require a of couple curtain panels. I drooled over C&B for a minute and had hoped CB2 would come through — but alas they don’t carry curtains. I am definitely painting an accent wall behind my bed — hopefully a shade of gold/marigold. Something like:
Here are a few I like from CB. Not so much the color — but I am looking for a nice pattern:
Might you have any suggestions for cheap, fun curtains?
-Kristen (San Francisco, CA)
A. Hello Kristin! Thanks for your question. I love that shade of yellow you picked to paint your wall! Shopping for curtain panels is usually the part of the design process where the project comes to a screeching halt. The retail price of a good looking pair of curtain panels is enough to give anyone sticker shock! Luckily I have a few insider tips that will allow you to get the look for less!
#1. My first tip is somewhat obvious, but it is often cheaper to find the fabric yourself than to purchase retail curtains. You can either sew them (for major savings) or find a seamstress to sew them for you (ask your drycleaner or search seamstress on craigslist).
Fabric.com is my favorite fabric site because it has pretty much every fabric available for a cheaper price than I can find anywhere else. It also allows you to search terms such as “geometric” or “drapery fabric” which is helpful. If you’d like any help determining how much fabric to order, please let me know!
#2. My second idea for less expensive curtains would be to purchase some curtains from a store like Ikea or Target and then spice them up yourself. You can purchase stencils at a craft store and paint directly on cotton curtains. You can paint in any color you like, but I would seriously consider using a metallic paint!
You can make your own stencil with an exacto knife and acetate OR you can purchase stencils. There are a variety of designs available at pretty much any craft store. My FAVORITE stencils come from Olive Leaf Stencils.
#3. The next tip I have would be for a more bohemian look, but it is a really strong trend right now and I am loving it. This is called dip dying,or ombre, and it is a great way to bring custom color into a space.
To get the ombre look, you just start with plain inexpensive curtains and then dip them in water first and fabric dye second. It is really simple. Here is a great tutorial for how to do it: How To Dip Dye
#4. The next idea I have for you is to search the internet far and wide for inexpensive geometric curtains. Also, you could try Home Goods or Ross which always have inexpensive curtains, but sometimes it is tricky to get the exact number of panels or sizing right. I just recently attempted to track down geometric curtain panels for a client. In the end we decided to go with using the stenciling technique on inexpensive curtains because we just couldn’t find the curtains we wanted at a price we were comfortable with!
Here are some of my favorite curtains from the world wide interweb:
#5. Well this really isn’t a tip, but I just have to get it off my chest. While I’m on the topic of curtains, I really want to share one of my very favorite trends that is happening right now. I have seen this in a few different places and am itching to try it in one of my client’s homes! To get this AMAZING look, you take a room with a really neutral palate and then throw in floor-to-ceiling length curtain panels in bold, warm hues. I think it works best with a semi-reflective fabric like silk dupioni, sateen, or even taffeta.
I hope this helps you with your curtain search! Happy shopping!