Window Treatment Makeover


Wondering if your room needs a change?  Something I do from time to time is just take down my window treatments {or mistreatments}.  Take them down, live with it for two days–48 hours, this is key.  You will experience one of two emotions both starting with “Oh my word”:

1. Oh my word, this room looks so much bigger, better, lighter {insert any positive reaction} maybe I need to rethink how I’m dressing my windows.

2. Oh my word, this room desperately needs pattern, color {or whatever it was that your treatments were adding to the equation} I can’t wait to get those things back up.

You might even experience a third emotion.

3. Hmm, I kind of like it bright and empty but I still want something up there I don’t know what to do

If you find yourself saying the third sentence–like I was last week when I took mine down, then first put your old treatments back up and take note of your first reaction.  When I put mine up I was instantly happy and once again in love with my yellow and red buffalo checks.  I was surprised at how much I liked them when I put them back.  If you put your old stuff back up and love it, then yippie, keep them around for awhile.  If you put them back up and don’t love them, take them down and start looking for other options.



If you are new here, you need to know about window mistretments–if you are old here, you could teach about window mistretments.

There are many many ways to dress a window without spending thousands.  I call them window MIStreatments:

Mistreatment: (n). covering for a window that is quick, cheap and pretty. may or may not need hardware does not require sewing. a real designer’s worst nightmare.

Mistreating: (v). the act of treating a window with dignity and respect without use of the following: hundreds of dollars, sewing, time, crying, divorce, child neglect…

Here are a few I’ve done


5 Minute Topper: Window Mistreatment 101


Using a Premade Drape as a Topper {just hang it on a rod and hike it up with two ribbons.


Ultimate 3 fabric mistreatments–NO SEW!


Mistreatment Tricks


More secrets–please obey.  Even if you love your current window treatments, if your rod is right above the window casing and all your fabric is covering the window, you are missing out on so much light!  The fabric should not be covering light–let it cover the wall and end at the start of the window!!!!


Rodless panels


And of course the famous red check fold and poof no sew window treatment. {tomorrow it will be two years since I post this–and I’ve had these mistreatments for 5 years!}

Please tell me I’m not the only crazy person who takes down my window treatments from time to time to make sure they are still relevant, doing their job, and most importantly still something I love…you do it too, right?

Some of these posts are from two years ago meaning two houses ago, so don’t get too confused when you see all sorts of different rooms!

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  1. So helpful… always needing window inspiration… I’m in a house of windows and need ideas. Thank you! ~ kim

  2. We took our curtains down over a week ago to paint the bedroom. The curtains don’t match the new color so we’ve had bare windows for just over a week…and now have to spend the time finding something we love and will still help our room feel larger! I’m on my way to check out these other sites….I need inspiration!

  3. This is kinda like storing half of your kids toys for a few weeks, so when you open them up they are all new and sparkly again. Works wonders, huh?

    Love me some mistreatments – I’m gonna be doing some next week that I’m really excited about, too!

  4. I always enjoy your pictures and ideas! Thanks for sharing once again!

  5. I took the window treatment in my bedroom down two weeks ago for the very same reasons. What I discovered: I like more light in that room. The window itself needs a molding makeover (especially if I hang anything besides side panels). It’s nearly impossible to decide if you’d like a roman shade better when there are panels already hanging there. And, yes, some sort of loose, floppy roman plus new molding is the answer. More work than your choice to put back the originals, but in my case, the original panels were never really the right thing anyway.

  6. WOW! Never thought of taking them down for a few days. Thanks!! And I love your mistreatments!!

  7. Definitely needed this inspiration right now… my office windows have these lace curtains that really don’t do much for me. They do let in lots of light, which is great, but they’re just a bit fussy for my tastes. This was a great way to jumpstart my creativity… :)

  8. My mbr windows are bare as I type. I know the old ones don’t work…but the real problem I think is that I need to repaint in there before I attempt to redress the windows. I think I’ve found a good fabric, but until I see wall color differently, it’s hard to commit. Ugh. This has definitely been the hardest room to make decisions about. It’s so weird how some rooms just seem to come together, and others are like pulling teeth!

  9. This does sound like a great idea! I adore all of your window treatments.
    They are so light and airy. ~Gorgeous!

  10. I LOVE your mistreatments!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the reminders – there’s a few places in my house where I really need to put these to good use!

    {I already added a mistreatment around a large mirror in a basement bedroom without a window – it’s adorable AND chic!}

  11. I change mine out in our family room at least 3 times a year. Some people think that is sick – I call it fun! The lady at my favorite fabric store thinks I’m certifiable. Love all your tips as per usual.

  12. I did the fold and poof method for the first time this weekend and they came out fabulous! I will post about them this week and send you the link:)

  13. Also, would you mind sharing the blue color you used to paint your armoire in your living room? I am looking for a blue for some furniture and I love it so much! Thanks:)

  14. You may be crazy, but that’s because you’re brilliant. Craziness is the price you pay for genius. Like in A Beautiful Mind. Well, maybe not quite like that, but you get the idea. If you weren’t so brilliantly creative, you wouldn’t be crazy. And we wouldn’t be reading your blog.

    But here we are, so your kind of crazy must be good. :)

  15. I did the same thing in my living room last week. I switched my straw colored linen curtains with some striped curtains I had in another room. Turns out the solid color was much better. I realize that’s a very boring story :) …but my point is I totally get what you’re talking about. Sometimes you need to try something different to reaffirm the fact that you were right the first time.

  16. I know when we took down the blinds in the living room and put drapes up (pre-Nester!) I LOVED them. I still do. They still make me happy every time I open and close them. I will probably take them down and update them (meaning mistreat them with my luscious fringe) in a year or so, but for now, they still make my heart go pitter-patter. : )

  17. LOVE these! : ) I don’t take down the curtains on the front of the house other than to wash and iron them. But when I took down the curtains in Tucker’s room to paint, I ended up leaving them down! The back of our house looks out over a cow pasture so I don’t have to worry about peeping toms and such. ; ) And I decided the curtains were just obstructing the gorgeous view.
    I might have to try this in some other rooms. Thanks for a thought provoking post!

  18. Love the mistreatments…I took a cue from you and did my living room curtains in a similar manner. Thank you so much for your ideas and inspiration!

  19. Well, considering that I don’t have any – I’m still waiting for you to come and help me out! LOL. Seriously, how about a West-coast visit – start here and then up to Melissa’s? Look at all of my pix – no treatments. Sadly.

    Happy Monday, Nester!

  20. It’s funny you mention that. I have been on and off with the treatments in our bedroom since we repainted. I keep bringing some in from different rooms and nothing sings yet, but something will! Oh, and thanks to you I’ve stopped sewing and lining and making myself crazy with perfection. I even heard myself tell my husband last week that the “back of the headboard police” weren’t coming over to inspect. Then I laughed and he didn’t get it.
    : )

  21. I can’t thank you enough for opening my eyes to window mistreatments. I seriously stressed about the (supposed) investment and then did nothing out of fear of making the wrong fabric choice. Then I came across your website and my worries disappeared, my confidence returned and the whole idea of window treatments was FUN again. And I totally used your tacks-and-rings-no-rod approach pictured in this post!!

    • Your beautiful application reminded me of that very option! Well done–yours look so good!

      • Are those tacks? I couldn’t tell for sure from the picture, and I *need* to do something for these windows (I’ve been living with the ‘open’ look for almost two flippin’ years–I NEED SOME CURTAINS!

        (I actually posted a comment on the rodless post, because I’m a goob and forgot it was almost two years old. LOL).

  22. Nester,
    You and your MIStreating ways are SO encouraging and inspiring!

    I propose you hold a MIStreatment linky party so we can share (with you and each other) the beautiousness that you inspired!

  23. I’ve never taken the treatments down for that purpose, but what a good idea! We had our Master BR curtains down all Saturday while we painted the room, and I’m surprised at how much I LOVE them now with the new paint color. I disliked them intensely before, but as the wall color left by the previous tenant was dried-mustard yellow (seriously – photo on my blog to prove it), I guess that’s not surprising.

    I think I’ll go take the drapes in the living room down, too, to see if I like them better when I put them back up.

  24. We always take down the living room mistreatments when we put the Christmas tree up and I am always surprised by how much light comes in even with a huge tree in front of the window. However, without the pretty tree and all its lights and sparkly ornaments, it just feels naked. Maybe that’s because the window pretty much is the wall. I just changed my bedding and so I took down my mistreatments in the bedroom and haven’t decided what to do yet. Swing by and see my new floors (2 most recent posts). I think I need a rug or something but, I don’t want to cover too much. I also don’t know what color or style to go with. Help!

  25. Beautiful mistreatments. I am going to implement some of those mistreatments in my home.

  26. I am currently mistreating all my windows! We moved in our house the end of October, I went on fabric shopping spree (we have a great discount fabric store), and then the holidays, etc. happened. So I am now ironing and tacking up all kinds of stuff! It is so fun! So much less stressful than measuring, sewing, blah, blah, blah. And, since I got some great deals on fabric and I am not spending tons of time or money, I got a little crazy with my fabrics! My family doesn’t know what to think but it makes me so happy every time I look at them. And, when it gets old, I can just take them down and start over. Thanks for the inspirations! I do have one problem window. A huge, huge window in my two-year-old daughters room. I think it should be soft, but it is so big. Way out-of-proprotion for the room. Someone must have gotten a good deal on this window, no other explanation for this atrocity. I would love a custom shutter, but have yet to win the lottery, so that is not going to happen! Do you have any suggestions or posts I have missed on gigantic window treatments that don’t overpower the room? Oh, and it needs to be able to be closed so the light can be shut out of sleeping. Ugh!

  27. I do it, too! Then while they are down I’ll throw them through the dryer on “fluff” to get the dust off them. Although, that only applies to easily removable curtains/drapes. Anything mounted just gets vacuumed. I love the difference fabric can make at a window. I love fabric so that easily transfers to window treatments for me!

  28. If I could live without curtains, I would. I love the sunlight and I love my 5ft tall, 100year old windows. I was just thinking about taking my curtains off and trying something new, but it’s so cold today that I need my curtains for insulation. :) Still trying to find the perfect solution – energy efficient curtains/blinds that are cheap and can disappear during the day so I can have all the sun I need while still being able to cover the windows at night to keep the cold at bay.
    Love your mistreatments. You have such good taste. :)

  29. amanda jones says:

    Hi Nester…dilemma…I have two panels (white, swiss dot, “gauze-y-ish”) on my daughter’s windows on a Shabby Chic rod from Tarjay that I love… BUT want to add some color on top…would “valances” look dumb over the panels if I drop them from the top and then stop at a little past the start of the window?! I dont know, just cant envision it for some reason….

  30. Have you ever used canvas drop cloths? It’s so cheap… I’m just wondering if they could be dyed…

  31. I needed this post today – I CANNOT figure out what to do in my bedroom with a big triple window. I’ve gotten disgusted with the entire thing. I think my problem is that I haven’t found fabric that I love – but I’m getting so tired of looking!

    Thanks for inspiring me once again!

  32. Nester-girl,

    You don’t know this, but your window mistreatments is where I first fell in love with you.

    We had just moved to a new house which had double the windows than the old house. I was in a panic trying to decide how to treat all the extra windows with limited resources and an even limited-er budget! Then, my sister swooped in with the Nester news of window mistreatments. Voila! All my gray skies turned sunny!

    Thank you, Sunshine!

  33. I’d love to change all of my window treatments according to the season, but now I’m lucky just to have curtains in most of my windows. One day I will get to the place where I can change things up for Spring and Fall at least.


  34. I *love* plaid or checked window treatments!!! All of yours are gorg! :)

  35. I’m seriously thinking about taking down my dining room and living room drapes… and possibly swapping them with one another! We’ll see… Thanks for the idea!

  36. I was glad to see this post. I took down a large print from my Kitchen wall to decorate for my two year old’s bday. I stuck it in the downstairs shower b/c no one ever uses it. I actually like the wall better right now with the giant nail sticking out and the two nail holes from where I made T move it around. That says a lot…. :s

    I’ve been wanting to rethink my kitchen: wall color, window treatments, etc. Seeing your mistreatments gives me some ideas. :)

  37. Of course, I do!!! It is called MOVING. I like to mix things up when I get into a new place. Right now, my daughter is enjoying my too-cute Mary Engelbreit panels for my laundry room (3 houses ago). Blessings!

  38. Sarah Ann says:

    Do you know how many curtains I have in my house? ONE. Just one. And how many windows? 8 above ground, 4 below. Pretty sad if you ask me. I may just have to take a note out of your book so I don’t break the bank!

  39. I love all of your mistreatment ideas. I just made one myself. Have you seen the no sew roman shades using faux wood blinds? I tried it and it turned out pretty cute.
    I am going to the Blissdom conference and I am looking forward to hopefully meeting you and my other favorite bloggers. Are you getting excited? I can’t wait!
    I just posted about my Cottage guest house today. I would love for you to check it out.
    Have a blessed day!

  40. I’m giving away a little sumthin’-sumthin’ on my blog, come see me!

  41. Sheila the non-interior-decorator :) says:

    When we lived in an older home, I really missed the light coming in my windows. (They were shadowed by huge old trees. Beautiful, but no light in the house.) We moved to our new home 12 years ago. I never put curtains up in most rooms in the house! I love it! Every time I thought about putting curtains up, I just balked. I didn’t want to go back to “dark.” It’s very open looking. Maybe one day (if we move back into the city), I’ll want to put some up. I love your ideas and will probably try the smaller curtains covering just the wall and tip-top of the windows- with blinds hiding behind the curtains and pull them at night! Great idea! Thanks!

    • Sheila,

      You are so right, most people think curtains are to hide light–that is one use but NO NO NO, you can still bask in 100% of the light of your windows and still dress them–you can have the best of both worlds!!!

  42. I don’t care if you take them down everyday. Just keep on doing it, you add a lot of sunshine to my days as a homeschooling mom/ shut-in (toungue in cheek implied). I’m mistreating my ottoman today, you’ve inspired me once again!

  43. I don’t so it, but I should. Thanks for the inspiration.

  44. Meand3boyz says:

    Love your blog. I’m addicted to it.
    How did you make the (mis)treatments in your kitchen – red toile poufs in the bay window area? I love those, but I’m not sure how to do it.

  45. I have read every single mistreatment post and yet my heart still goes pitter-patter when I see anything new about mistreatments. I have now successfully mistreated every single window of my house thanks to you. No lie. {And mistreated some other people’s windows too.} It’s the gift that keeps on giving. )

  46. Hi Nester!! Love your blog! I just found you a few months ago…but I’ve never commented before…. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I had taken my curtains down the very day before you posted the first time about this…AND I had been to target and the plain white curtains were hanging on the rod! I actually had to giggle a little when I read your post!! It was quite comforting!! Mostly because my husband thinks. i’m. crazy. :) Best wishes! Alayne

  47. Oh my! I can’t thank you enough for this post! My husband and I just bought his parents home so they could retire, and let me tell ya – my MIL lovvvved 80’s wall paper and window treatments! It’s horrific, I tell ya!! Black wallpaper with orange flowers all over it in the bathroom, and pink and burgandy in the dining room. I have my work cut out for me, and this post makes it a lot easier!! Thank you!!!

  48. My house is currently for sale. To get it ready to sell I used mis-treatments on almost all of the rooms! Thanks for your inspiration.

  49. Oh how I need to do this in at least 3 rooms of my house. Today.

  50. Nester,
    This isn’t a window treatment question, but one that I have wanted to ask, “How do you hang plates?” I finally made it to a Homegoods store over Christmas and I bought a couple of plates that I want to hang, but I don’t know how. You have so many, and you move them around. I sure hope there is an easy way to do this!


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