It might seem daunting settling on the perfect window treatment for your home. Believe it or not, curtains are not the only suitable window covering to show off your sense of style, taste, and complement your home decor. There are plenty of alternatives to curtains that are trendy, timeless, and making decorating your home exciting. Whether you want to use traditional blinds or shutters, or you go try using plants or artwork to cover your windows, there are many alternatives to curtains that will suit your fancy.
Think beyond traditional and accepted window treatments like curtains and have fun decorating your window with the following alternatives. You'll be surprised how quickly you can transform a room in your home in a flash with curtain alternatives by creating an enviable decor, complement your color palette and accessories, or intrigue guests.
- Hanging Beads
- Traditional Blinds
- Window Clings
- Frosting Spray
- Hanging Plants
- Laser Cut-out Panels
- Hang Lace Fabric
- String Lights
- Privacy Screen
- Roman Shade
- Rolling Screen
- Metal Screens
- Decorative Wood Panel
- Wooden Shutters
- Stained Glass
- Washi Tape
Depending on the style of your window, the amount of light it receives, and your privacy needs, various curtain alternatives may be more suitable for your taste and preferences. Have fun discovering the benefits and unique qualities behind each type of curtain alternative. You will never think about window treatments the same way after reading this article and learning about the endless possibilities available. Let your inner decorator spirit run wild!
Highlight Your Window With Alluring Curtain Alternatives
When selecting a window treatment, you will want to consider how it will impact the lighting, whether it aligns with your personality, and how it changes the overall look and feel of each room. A kitchen window might look better with rolling shades or a menagerie of hanging plants, versus installing hanging beads or a laser-cut panel. Living rooms and bedroom windows where more privacy may be desired look chic with window clings installed or wooden shutters.
First, before you decide on what curtain alternatives are the right choice for your home, consider your aesthetic taste, your budget, and how much flexibility your window treatment will offer. Don't feel overwhelmed or discouraged. We have a curated list of curtain alternatives and products to guide your decor options.
Give your art collection a breath of fresh air and double up your precious visual treasures as a window covering. It is best to hang artwork in front of a window, or allow your artworks to lean against a window. Using these methods of display allows for the natural light streaming from your window to highlight your art, but it also provides a modicum of privacy where the artwork blocks the window. Consider using one big wrapped canvas piece, or display lightweight framed works.
- A creative way to show off artwork
- The method allows for natural light to stream through
- The technique doesn't allow for full privacy
2. Hanging Beads
Dress up a window with a more unconventional and artsy-fartsy treatment using hanging beads. Choose from translucent beads which catch the glint of the sun or streetlights from outside, or opt for hanging beads in varying lengths in a solid color. You can string hanging beads into a DIY curtain alternative, or you can purchase hanging beads that are ready to be installed in front of your window.
- Gives a space a more retro or kitschy vibe
- You can turn this into a DIY window treatment
- The method doesn't allow for full privacy
3. Traditional Blinds
Move over curtains and install a set of conventional blinds made from vinyl, wood, or another material. Blinds are an excellent way to quickly change how much light enters a room and offer plenty of privacy from prying eyes. It is essential to consider whether to install cordless blinds, put up with a cord, and maintenance requires looking out for warping, and wiping the shades clean periodically.
- Offers plenty of privacy
- Allows natural light to stream through
- Requires wiping down frequently because of dust buildup
4. Window Clings
Transform your windows from drab to fab by applying an attractive window cling. Choose a window cling that looks like frosted glass, has a repeating pattern, or even mimics stained glass. Depending on the style of the window cling you install, you radically change the mood inside a room, and you can change up clings as you see fit when the season or your decor changes.
- Change the look and feel of your space in minutes
- An inexpensive option that complements most decor
- Window cling quality may degrade over time and require replacing
5. Frosting Spray
If you don't want to struggle with placing window clings perfectly, or you desire a window treatment that doesn't require fabric, consider frosting spray. In a day, you can apply a few layers of frosting spray to a window that provides total privacy, allows light to stream through, and you can touch up the window cover as needed. Be prepared to go through a learning curve to understand which method of application works best when using a frosting spray. Consider applying frosting spray to bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom windows where you want to keep out prying eyes.
- A fast and easy method to cover a window with professional results
- Still allows for some light to pass without sacrificing privacy
- Frosting spray may require multiple applications
6. Hanging Plants
Having green and growing things in your home can be a welcome breath of fresh air for the indoors. Plants are excellent for your home because they help reduce stress, clean up the air, and make a space more inviting. Need some home decor ideas for your window? Hang up a series of plants from colorful containers that are different types and sizes, ranging from air plants, ivy, golden pathos, and other flora and fauna. If you are in a pinch to cover your window, you can also hang up artificial plants to add color, flair, and put some space between you and the outside world.
- Hanging plants are ideal for bohemian decor, country charm, and classic homes
- Plants are an excellent way to use nature to cover window and boost health
- Make sure to water natural plants if not using artificial fauna
7. Laser Cut-out Panels
Choose a laser cut-out panel to cover a window creatively and strikingly. Homes that have modern, classic and industrial decor are best paired with a laser cut-out panel placed in a living room, bedroom, or nook. Opt for a panel made from wood, reclaimed materials, or metal for a window treatment that is sure to become a conversation piece.
- Plenty of opportunities for customization of panel design
- Creates visual interest and design impacts how light streams through
- The panel may be heavy or conflict with a particular decor
8. Hang Lace Fabric
Give your window a touch of softness, comfort, and sophistication by hanging up some lace fabric. Lace is a perfect choice of material that allows natural light to pass through unobstructed without sacrificing privacy. Homes that have a country decor and details, classic homes, and even bohemian style abodes look elegant when you hang up lace over a window. Be prepared to clean the lace routinely and look out for stains, tears, and sun damage.
- Diffuse light beautifully with visually stunning lace fabric
- Lace fabric has a timeless look
- Lace fabric will require routine cleaning and maintenance
9. String Lights
String lights aren't only for romantic restaurant settings or dorm rooms, but you can use them to cover the windows in your apartment or home. During the day, string lights may seem like a strange window treatment and display to some, but at night hanging lights are allowed to take center stage in space. Give a room an ethereal glow and sense of warmth, be ready for entertaining guests, and create plenty of visual interest and a conversation using hanging lights.
- Creates a magical atmosphere for a room at night
- Adds a touch of whimsy and fun for home decor
- Not the best window treatment for daytime and no privacy
Bohemian decor is probably best served with macrame hangings, but even homes that have modern, classic, or country-style decor may look spruced up with an intricate macrame hanging. Macrame makes an excellent window treatment, also if you aren't a fan of retro art and decor because it has visual appeal, and it is suitable for small windows. Venture into a DIY macrame wall hanging project to hover over a window, or consider purchasing a macrame hanging or two from a skilled artist.
- An excellent choice for bohemian decor
- Can be a DIY project or purchased from a store
- Style of macrame is not for everyone
11. Privacy Screen
When you need to cover up a naked window in a flash, consider placing a folding privacy screen to block out prying eyes. Folding privacy screens are a friendly option because they don't take up too much space, are easy to put up and take down, and you don't have to struggle with installing objects or textiles in front of a window. Enhance a space that centers around modern, industrial, or minimalistic decor with a striking folding privacy screen.
- A perfect solution for small spaces
- Easy to set up and install
- Not a sufficiently permanent window treatment
12. Roman Shade
Transform your room into a classy looking place to lounge with a book, enjoy tea with friends, or show off your good taste. Roman shades have plenty of appeal for modern spaces, minimalistic themed homes, and industrial decor. Choose a roman shade in a neutral color like ecru, grey, sand, or eggshell white and watch how quickly your room's vibe changes.
- A sophisticated and chic window treatment option
- Easy to raise and lower without the need for cords
- Style not for everyone
13. Rolling Screen
At first glance, a rolling screen or rolling blind looks so similar to a Roman shade you may think it the same thing. Whereas Roman shades have been in use for a while as a traditional window treatment, rolling screens do have their subtle differences. Rolling blinds are desirable because they are easy to interact with, provide plenty of visual interest, texture, and make a room feel warm. Anyone who wants to create a stylish look, but doesn't want a lot of maintenance, may appreciate how rolling screens don't attract too much dust and require frequent cleaning.
- A low-maintenance window treatment that adds texture and warmth
- Available in materials like bamboo or wood
- Style may lack a heightened sense of drama
14. Metal Screens
Similar to laser cut-out panels, metal screens are a creative way to cover a window but still maintain some drama and visual appeal. Be prepared to pay more than other curtain alternatives, depending on the size and type of metal used for the screen. Choose this option for most types of home decor.
- Intricate designs available
- Option for high-end custom window treatment
- Metal screens may be cumbersome and expensive
Depending on the room, you may want to install floating shelves of glass, wood, or metal to give a modicum of privacy, allow natural light to shine through, and have a practical display for your possessions. Use plants, artwork, or everyday needed objects on your shelves to cover up windows and save space.
- Space-saving option covers windows and offers display space
- Option to customize shelf size and material type
- May leave plenty of open space or look cluttered
16. Decorative Wood Panel
Give a window a covering with plenty of kitschy, country-charm, or show off your love for bohemian vibes. An eclectic way to dress a window is to hang or install a reclaimed wooden panel with a handpainted pattern or slogan in front. Choose this for an entryway or kitchen for added charm.
A smart way to make use of reclaimed wood
Adds plenty of kitschy charm or bohemian vibes
Style option better suited for kitchen
17. Wooden Shutters
Use a classic and timeless choice for a window treatment by installing wooden shutters. You get plenty of privacy, can choose when you want to allow light to stream through, and they complement most home decor.
- A timeless way to dress a window
- Perfect match for country or industrial style decor
- May shut out too much light for some
18. Stained Glass
Splurge on customized stained glass art to cover a window or apply stained glass window clings. Give a room a touch of modern elegance, diffuse natural light, and provide ample privacy depending on how open or closed the design is that you choose
- Elegant and timeless window treatment
- Offers plenty of visual appeal
- May be pricey
19. Washi Tape
Take inspiration from the East and get in touch with your creative side with washi tape. Provide your window with a smart and fun way of treatment, and apply layers of washi tape into a desirable and attractive pattern to alter how much people can see through the glass.
- Plenty of room for a customized look
- Easy to apply and remove
- It's tape and not necessarily a permanent option
How do I make my windows private without blinds?
If you don't want to use blinds or curtains, you can install frosted window film to make your windows more private. This film is available in a variety of designs and can easily be applied directly to glass windows, providing privacy without the need to use blinds or curtains. You can also hang sheer fabrics or screens to limit visibility while still allowing natural light to enter your room.
How can I cover my windows cheaply?
There are several inexpensive ways to cover windows. Here are a few options:
1. Install blackout curtains. These are typically the most affordable option and can be found for as little as $20 per panel. 2. Hang thick blankets or sheets over your windows. This is an excellent option if you already have extra blankets or sheets around the house. 3. Install temporary window tinting film. This can be found online or at most home improvement stores and is relatively easy to install. 4. Use aluminum foil. This quick and easy fix will block out most of the light. 5. Install window shades or blinds. These can be found in various materials and styles, so you can find something that fits your budget and aesthetic.
What can I use instead of curtains or blinds?
You can use shades, shutters, or drapes instead of curtains or blinds. Additionally, you can use bamboo screens, roller shades, or decorative window films for a unique look.
How do I block sunlight on windows DIY?
If you want to block sunlight on windows using DIY methods, here are a few suggestions:
1. Install curtains or blinds. This is the most common way to block sunlight from windows. Curtains and blinds come in various styles and fabrics, including blackout varieties that will completely block sunlight. 2. Install window film. Window film is a thin, adhesive-backed film that you can place directly onto the window glass. It blocks sunlight, adds privacy, and can also help to reduce energy costs. 3. Hang window shades. Window shades are similar to curtains and blinds but are typically made from heavier materials and can be more effective at blocking sunlight. 4. Plant trees or shrubs. Planting trees or shrubs near windows can help to block direct sunlight while adding beauty to your home. 5. Install awnings. Awnings are a great way to block sunlight from windows and can also help to reduce cooling costs. 6. Install exterior shutters. Exterior shutters are an attractive way to block sunlight from windows. 7. Install window frosting. Window frosting is a semi-transparent film that can help to reduce glare and stop some of the sun’s rays.