Favorites Under $50: Patterned Panels

By Kate Riley September 22, 2015

I’m redecorating in the studio above our garage so I went in search of new window panels – 8 in total – 4 to frame the 72” window, a set for the French doors, and 2 for the smaller windows beside the bed. I wanted panels all in the same fabric for a cohesive feel since the living and sleeping spaces in this studio are open to each other.

My approach to dressing windows varies, the first thing that grabs me has to be the fabric, sometimes I’ll design it myself but often it’s a pattern I spy in a fabric store or retail store that I just love at first sight. Over the years, I’ve had curtains custom made, I’ve sewn my own with with designer fabric, but I’ve used simple store bought curtains if the size and price is right and the fabric is good quality. If unlined, I’ll add $4/yard liner if the window can be seen from the outside.

The sale price for these store bought 96” panels caught my eye and to design and print a similar pattern would have cost more than twice as much so instead I ordered 8 of them. I’ll hem them to the proper length and then add rings on top. Funny, the green versions hang in my dining room and now I have the navy versions too, I just love this curvy brushstroke print! I’ll share the redecorated studio space in the upcoming weeks…

I’m drawn to single color or tone on tone patterned curtains which repeat one of the colors in the space, be it a neutral or a colorful hue, it’s one of the simplest way to make a room feel layered and interesting. I rounded up a dozen favorites I spied online, all of them under $50.

Cotton Mosaic – two colors

cotton mosaic


Ogee Jacquard

ogee jaquard





Tie Dye

tie dye



Hex Sheers

hex sheers





Ivy Ankara



Alexander – three colors



Paisley – Washed Blue



Tile – Semi Sheer – Multiple Colors

tile semi


Portinari – Multiple Colors






A word on hanging curtains at the proper length, typically retailers will photograph curtains hung on a rod placed just above the window frame like in all the examples above, but this is a practice I don’t follow.

While the patterns are pretty, the panels should be hung at a minimum halfway between window and ceiling. Any designer will tell you, the closer to the ceiling the better for a more elegant look and to make the space feel taller. I hang my curtain rods just a few inches below the ceiling. In my home where the ceilings are 9 feet I’ll always buy a 108” curtain and hem it to a length between 102 and 104”.

Finally the issue of fullness, most store bought curtains are not wider than 48 – 50” so on a window wider than 5 feet, I’ll double up the panels for adequate fullness.

What luck have you had decorating with store bought curtains?

Weekend Reading

By Kate Riley September 20, 2015

Hello! I’m still in New York City having a grand time with my sister, yesterday morning I took a fitness boxing class at Shadow Box in the Flatiron, it was intense but such a great workout! Later we did some shopping in SoHo, and we also saw a fantastic new show, if you’re in NYC in the next year you must see Something Rotten at the St. James, we laughed through the whole musical, it was so well done! Today we’re headed to Brooklyn, thanks so much to all of you for your tips and suggestions, the weather here is perfect and I’m having such a great time.

Today I’m popping in with just a few favorite links…

rue cottage tour

A light and bright cottage tour.

A tasteful bungalow renovation.

Yet another charming cottage to love.

I’m smitten with the color of this glass tile backsplash.

How to minimize your TV’s presence.

Daily habits to make you smarter.

How to choose a bottle of wine.

The most misread poem in America.

Are you following hipster Barbie on Instagram?

Stephen’s new lifestyle brand – funny!

I’m flying home on Monday so I’ll be back to blogging on Tuesday, enjoy the rest of your weekend!