Making the Case for Hanging Curtains in Your Rental

I am so excited to (finally) be getting into some fresh new projects and reveals in our Kansas house! While I’ve spent most of the last month sitting in front of the computer getting the site updated, I have taken breaks here and there to continue to settle in and style up our house. One of the biggest things I’ve been focusing on in recent weeks is window treatments. We have always hung some sort of curtain or window treatment on most of the windows in our past homes; and they are often one of the first projects I tackle in a new place. Today, I’m going to show you just how transformative window treatments can be and make the case for why you should hang them in your home…even if you’re renting…and even if it’s just for a short time!

Making the Case for Curtains

There tends to be a running “joke” among military spouses that with every move, you have to buy new curtains. Without fail, it always seems that the curtains from the pervious house (or houses) don’t ever work because the sizes are wrong/different, you need more panels than you had last time,  your tastes changed, or all of the above! Even though curtains can be a bit of an investment and a pain to hang, I personally think they are completely worth the cost and effort. Whether it’s a tailored roman shade, a simple cornice box, fancy draperies, or basic off-the-shelf curtains, the addition of color, pattern and texture on the windows is immediately transformative in a bland space. When the walls are neutral (and can’t be changed), when a space lacks architectural details, or when your furniture is very monochromatic, curtains add a powerful punch of style in a relatively budget-friendly and efficient manner. Even if you don’t do anything else to your space, adding window treatments will help the room instantly feel more complete, comfortable, and stylish. Let me show you what I mean!

Here’s the last peek you’ve seen of our family room…

Family Rom Before Curtains

And here is the room today! Basic linen curtains (these are from Bed Bath & Beyond) hung on a simple black rod instantly make this room feel more complete. Sure, we’ve done a bit of re-arranging since you’ve seen the space last (and even added a new couch!), but the big transformation really came when we finally hung the curtains. I seriously hemmed and hawed over what to do in this room for WEEKS…buying and returning curtain set after set and even selecting some fabric for custom drapes. I ultimately decided non-patterned curtains were the way to go, but amped up the style a bit with the two-tone look (just a navy curtain and a white curtain hung side by side). I contemplated adding pleated tops to these store-bought basics, but after trying it, decided I really preferred the clean look of the grommet tops. This look is completely non-DIY: four store-bought panels (2 in each color) hung on a rod. Can’t get much easier than that for some major style oomph!

Navy and white curtains in living room

Navy and white accents in living room

Navy and White Living Room

Navy and White Curtains

My next example is in our dining room. Here’s the room right after we moved in…

Dining Room Before

…and with the addition of some wild floral drapes, the rooms is instantly brighter, more colorful and more complete!

Floral drapes in dining room

These are lined drapes I made myself using my favorite tutorial. I fell in love with this fabric MONTHS ago, and am so excited to have in in our home this time around. While we do have the bright green credenza and some colorful dishware in this space, the main color and style story comes from the drapes. While they took a bit of time to make and cost a little more than off-the-shelf drapes, they were worth it because they are the main decor element in this space. Thanks to their strong pattern, not much else will be needed in here to finish it off!

Floral drapes in dining room

Bright and modern dining room

Thankfully, most of our windows have blinds, so our window treatments can be mainly decorative. However, there are some windows in our house that don’t have blinds, and thanks to some strong evening sun, we really wanted some sort of window covering.

Making the Case for Curtains-11

Even though we mainly added these for function over style, the added textural element in this kitchen space was quite welcome and made a huge different in the feel of the room. I am SUPER excited about these roman shades. They are no-sew and no-hardware and look awesome! The tutorial will be live over on soon!

No-Sew Roman Shade

No-Sew Romand Shade in the Kitchen

Last but not least, let’s take a peek at our master bedroom. While our room is quite generous in size, we only have two windows in one corner of the room. At first I was stumped and not quite sure how to tackle this corner…but the curtain-loving gal that I am was determined!

Making the Case for Curtains-14

I reeeaaally wanted to use the bathroom curtains from our last house somewhere in this room and ultimately decided to see if I could make them work hung in the corner. Thanks to a neat corner curtain rod hack (that I’ll show you later this week!), I was able to hang these simple DIY curtains in a way that didn’t feel too busy but added some much needed color, pattern and warmth to the big blank walls! This corner of our bedroom is one of my favorite spots in the entire house right now…all those yummy fabrics came together so well!

Corner Window Treatments

Making the Case for Curtains - Master Bedroom

Curtains in the Master

Notice how in each of these examples, the walls weren’t painted and no other major changes were made. Just the addition of curtains added a color palette and decor story to each room, dramatically upping the style factor. I still have some more windows to dress, but I hope with these examples, I’ve encouraged you to get some curtains up on your windows. Even if you don’t have the time, budget, or desire to do anything else in your space, they will instantly add major style and color to an otherwise bland and boring room!

I use all sorts of store-bought, DIY, and non-traditional window treatments in our homes. Later this week, I’m going to show you more creative ways to dress your windows, and even share some of my favorite sources and hacks for hanging curtains on the cheap. And lastly, thanks again to all of you who left nice comments and suggestions on my new blog design last week. I am happy to announce that the winner of the $100 Amazon gift card is STACY! Be sure to check your email, girlfriend!

Hope your week is off to a great start! See you back here Wednesday!

Megan Signature

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16 Responses to Making the Case for Hanging Curtains in Your Rental

  1. I love all of your curtains and can’t wait for the hacks. I wanted to know where you got your coverlet for your master bedroom. I’ve been searching for a white matalesse cover for awhile and yours looks great.

  2. Yay! So glad you’re back! Can you share where your master bed coverlet came from? It’s exactly what I’m searching for!

    • The coverlet is from HomeGoods, and I also see them all the time in all sizes at Marshalls and TJMaxx too! Hope that helps!

  3. Great transformations! Curtains really do make a difference and sometimes make a statement you need 🙂 I really love those roman shades it makes a big difference and they look great!

    Lauren Baxter | Lovely Decor

  4. Hi Megan,
    LovEd every bit of your blog and all the curtains look beautiful! You have made that home totally yours even though it is a rental, awesome!

  5. I just found your blog and love “the homes you’ve made”! We recently moved and have so much to do in our new home it is a bit overwhelming. But I cant wait to see your Roman Shade tutorial in your kitchen, I really want to make this. is it available yet?
    Cant wait to look through all your posts!

  6. Just found your blog and I LOVE the floral fabric you used on your curtains. Would you mind sharing where you found it and if you remember who produced it??? Thanks!

    • Hi Stephanie!

      Thank you so much! The fabric is by Swavelle Mill Creek and it is called Audette/Sussex Night Fall.

      You can see it here:

      I found mine at Hancock Fabrics in the clearance section. I feel like I was seeing it for a long time, but I haven’t been in one recently to see if they still have it. It was never one of their main fabrics, but was always in the discount/clearance section.

      Hope that helps and good luck!

      • Thanks so much for the information! Sadly, it looks as if it is discontinued and with Hancock going out of business … 🙁 BUT! I will check the stores and see if I can find some for some pillows. It has all the colors in my home!

  7. I absolutely love your decorating style. I stumbled a tossed your blog via Pinterest and now I’m hooked! I couldn’t find the tutorial but I need to know how the curtain rods are hung in your master bedroom. We just bought a house and have the exact window layout.

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