Embellish Your Curtains for a Custom Look at Home

A designer shares how to personalize your curtains, shades and valances.

Embellishing store-bought curtains can customize your decor and elevate the style of a room, or even an entire house. “I love custom drapery, but not everyone can afford it. It’s a great way to get a high-end, designer look for a lot less,” says Travis Snyder, senior associate interior designer with Atlanta-based Banko Design.

Trimmed drapery is a must in his projects for homeowners. 

Shabby Chic Bedroom Bright Curtains and Roman Shades

Shabby Chic Bedroom Bright Curtains and Roman Shades

Bright and bold patterned curtains combined with roman shades make for a stylish window treatment behind a blue bed in this shabby chic bedroom.

Here are three examples of how he embellishes curtains, valances and shades, and tips for DIY window treatment projects. All projects took less than an hour.

Monogrammed Valance

What he did: For this custom bathroom valance, Snyder bought a shower curtain from Pottery Barn and paid $8 for the monogramming. He had a 1-by-6 board cut to the window length. Then he just folded the curtain in half and stapled it to the board. He took two "L" brackets and screwed it into the wall. The whole project took about 20 minutes, which was faster than steaming the wrinkles out of the curtain, he adds.

Monogrammed White and Blue Valance

Monogrammed White and Blue Valance

This valance started out as a shower curtain. Interior designer Travis Snyder folded the monogrammed curtain in half and attached it to the wall in a 20-minute project.

Photo by: Travis Snyder, Banko Designs

Travis Snyder, Banko Designs

Cost: About $80

Tip: Think beyond the existing length. If you find a style you like, you can adjust the length, even without using scissors.

Bamboo Shade

What he did: He enhanced a bamboo shade by buying trim in a Greek key design. All the project required was the trim and a glue gun. He let the shade all the way down, started at the top and just glued it on. He followed the strings that raise and lower the shade to keep the trim straight.

Bamboo Shade with Greek Key Trim

Bamboo Shade with Greek Key Trim

Trim in a Greek key design enhances a bamboo shade and is an easy DIY project.

Photo by: Travis Snyder, Banko Designs

Travis Snyder, Banko Designs

Cost: About $90

Tip: Watch out for lower-end materials and go slow to create straight lines. “Using an embellishment should elevate the original product, not cheapen it,” he says. 

Drapery With Trim

What he did: The bedroom drapery with the trim was a little trickier. First, he laid the drapes (from JCPenney) on the floor. He lined up the trim band with the leading edge of the drapery. Then he used straight pins to keep it straight. To secure the trim, he added a few drops of fabric glue every half inch or so. It dried pretty quickly, then he hung the drapes back up.

Bedroom Curtains with Patterned Custom Trim

Bedroom Curtains with Patterned Custom Trim

Using straight pins and fabric glue, designer Travis Snyder added a new border to store-bought drapes.

Photo by: Travis Snyder, Banko Designs

Travis Snyder, Banko Designs

Cost: About $125

Tip: Pay attention to the length of the drapery, which should touch the floor, Snyder says. Also, make sure your adhesive materials aren’t visible. These steps will make the store-bought drapery look more expensive, he says.

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