An Affordable Way to Add Color to a Room

white walls

White walls. The bane of every renter’s existence. I’m over-exaggerating a bit. But we’ve rented for years. I’ve always felt bound by those plain, white walls that cry out for color.

But painting and repainting once we move out is never an attractive option for this mom with little children constantly under foot. A happy compromise for me and those white walls is colorful window treatments.

Color adds warmth and window treatments soften a room. However, the gorgeous prints from the “fancy” stores can cost around $100 a panel. I needed to find something more in my budget.

I was aiming to spend $10-$15 a drape. I searched the big box stores to no avail. All I could uncover were solid, drab curtains made from cheap material. That just wouldn’t do.

Use a Shower Curtain to Brighten Up a Room:

I strolled down the shower curtain aisle and found several prints I loved. Not only that but the price was right! I brought home 3 shower curtains and set to work.

Trade Rings For Ribbons:


I considered using clip rings to hold my curtains on the rod. But I opted to use ribbons instead. Not only was it cheaper than paying a little over $1 per clip ring but I liked the color and texture it added to the room. 

To emphasize a certain color, reinforce your decorating scheme by choosing ribbon in that color. I measured each strip of ribbon so they’d be of equal length and cut them accordingly. I then slipped each ribbon through the shower curtain slits. I tied each ribbon in a double knot around the rod.

Make an Easy Curtain Tie Back:


I have a large picture window and a smaller window. I chose to put one curtain on the smaller window and have it draped to the side throughout the day. I wanted to showcase my cute floral print rather than hide it behind a creased panel.

There was already a drilled hole in the wall where a former tie back once stood. I twisted a spare hook into the hole. By hand, I sewed the ends of the ribbon so they attached to metal rings I picked up at Home Depot.

The beauty of this project was that it didn’t need to be sewn perfectly. The homemade look was part of the charm. The bright, cheery print I chose helped bring spring indoors!

For under $60, I added stylish window treatments to my living room. The white walls no longer look stark but instead serve as a beautiful contrast to the colors I’ve added to the room!

No one would ever know I have shower curtains hanging in my living room. So let it be our little secret! Shhh….

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  1. Betty-Jo says

    I love this!! Great idea! Thank you! I love the ribbons at the top and the pattern you picked :)

  2. says

    I am so glad you posted this because I recently hung shower curtains in my dining room and am mildly self-conscious about the fact that they are shower curtains, lol! However, everyone who’s seen them has LOVED them and hasn’t even guessed (and I haven’t told, either!). I did go with the clips because once I had used ribbons (a look I love, btw!) to hang a shower curtain (on an actual shower that time, lol), and the ribbons frayed after a while. I think it was the ribbon I used that was the problem; there are ribbons that won’t fray like mine did. Anyway, I was hesitant to try that route again, but I love how you did it! And I also love your cheap tie-backs. Creative and cute!

    • says

      Thank you! True, shower curtains are probably sheerer than drapes. I’m glad to hear you have some hanging in your dining room. We homemakers have to stick together :-)! Thankfully we don’t live back in the 1950s when there were so many rules and regulations to homemaking. Now its more about creativity and effectiveness than tradition. Thanks for the tip about the ribbons. I’ll have to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t fray. Hopefully the stitching on the sides will help.

  3. says

    That is just fabulous! I’m amazed at the prices companies charge for curtains. Some of the cloth decorating shower curtains (as you’ve spoken about here) definitely fit the bill, for a lot less of a bill!

    Blessings to you!

    ~Nicole, Working Kansas Homemaker

  4. says

    This is such a wonderful idea. I had actually done this once before when I was in my first apartment after college and for some reason forgotten about it until I saw this post. My family and I moved into our home 2 years ago and I still don’t have curtains in all of the rooms. I just may have to implement this project and go shower curtain shopping. :)

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