Curtain Alternatives – 20 Ideas to Spruce Up Your Windows

Looking for curtain alternatives? Search online for “window treatments” and you'll be inundated with curtain suggestions of all kinds. But, what if you don't want to go with plain old curtains?

Whether you have a different style, want to avoid the “cluttered” feeling of curtains, or you're big on DIY projects, curtain alternatives are for you! In this article, you'll see all sorts of different ideas for curtain alternatives, from the sleek to the rustic, to the boho-chic! Let's get started!

Curtain Alternatives – 20 Ways to Spruce up Your Windows

1. Roller Blinds

Roller blinds are a super-stylish, space-saving way to shade your windows if you're looking for curtain alternatives. They have a great uniformity to them, and it makes your windows feel smooth and relaxing.

They roll up very easily, and you'll never have to deal with them blowing around and feeling bulky. If you live in a smaller home, or just want to have a minimal aesthetic, these understated blinds are for you!

2. String Light Curtains

String lights are a great way to create a casual, relaxing lighting effect in any room. When you use them as a curtain, you get a nice, glowing window that still provides a solid amount of privacy.

I wouldn't personally suggest using string lights as a curtain in your bedroom or bathroom, but, hey, I'm old-school. For a family room, game room, or other shared space, they're a perfect way to casually cover your windows!

3. Shabby Chic Fabric Strips

For the true bohemian, this eclectic window treatment has everything. It's laid-back, full of visual texture, and 100% not something you could find in a store. If you like to live a thrifty, artsy life, this curtain alternative could be for you!

It will cast a nice, reddish glow in the room which will help you channel your inner hippie!

4. Macrame Window Treatment

Macrame is quintessential boho; it's handmade, simple, and very fun to look at. If curtains sound boring to you, or you have macrame in other parts of your home, consider getting a chic macrame hanging for your windows!

They do a great job of covering up the window without feeling too bulky or overpowering the rest of the room.

5. Decorative Beads

This intricate, colorful bead curtain feels like a mosaic or kaleidoscope, and it's super fun to look at! Plus, it'll cast a ton of fun multicolored light across the room, making the whole aesthetic of your house a little bit different, more eclectic, and whimsical.

If you love the fun side of life and don't take your decorating too seriously, this could be a perfect idea for you! From the outside, people won't be able to see too much of what's happening in your house because the beads will take up all their attention.

So, even though it's a slim minimal window treatment, you get all the privacy you need!

6. Translucent Sticky Tiles

You can find little tiles like these at most home improvement stores- they're commonly used for things like kitchen backsplashes. Find the right ones, and you can create a wonderful Mediterranean- style window treatment.

It looks like a mosaic and casts a delightful rainbow across the room! Working with tile takes a lot of work and planning, but it's also a ton of fun! If you're a DIY lover, and you're looking for curtain alternatives with a lot of liveliness, this could be the one for you!

7. Burlap Window Panels

Burlap is a cheap, trendy fabric that has almost limitless uses. These thin burlap panels let just enough light in to keep your home bright during the day and are dark enough to give you privacy at night.

If you love the farmhouse or rustic modern decorating styles, these simple burlap panels could work very well in your home! They're very easy to find at craft stores, and you can buy tons of them for a very low price!

They're easy to work with, too, so you can trust yourself in a DIY project even if you aren't a total expert!

8. Cascading Silk Panels

This is one of my all-time favorite ideas for window treatments! They remind me of the way raindrops cascade down a windowpane or watching water flow gently over a small waterfall.

The layered, cascading silk panels create a textured, sophisticated curtain alternative that will guarantee your home gets tons of compliments from everyone who visits! Plus, it's a pretty simple DIY project because all it takes is some educated guesses to get the panels in the right configuration!

Simply create the panels and mess around with different layouts until you find the one that's right for you! Anyone can do it!

9. Modern, Artistic Blinds

These blinds feel more like a modern sculpture you'd find outside a museum than they do a window treatment! They have that same layered “cascading” feeling as the silk panels we just saw, but with rounded corners and a lot of artistic thought put into them.

It would be possible to create this yourself, but these particular blinds were designed by an expert craftsperson. If you're a modern, sophisticated person who is intensely bored with traditional window coverings, these intense blinds are perfect for you!

10. Minimalist Window Panels

These simple panels have a framework that resembles tree branches. They're pretty minimalist, and the tree branch design feels connected to nature. They'll do a pretty terrible job of blocking out curious eyes, so it's probably best to keep them in a window that doesn't face the street.

But, if you're looking for a sleek window treatment that adds some style to your home, this is a great idea you should consider!

11. Contemporary Panels

These window panels have lots of contemporary style to them. They're simple, they use neutral colors, and they have uncomplicated geometric shapes that help you feel comfortable. I really like that they're floor-to-ceiling size and that they all slide on the same track.

You can create limitless lighting setups just by rearranging the panels on the track! It's the sort of effortless and stylish window treatment that would fit in any upscale, modern person's home.

12. Rustic Farmhouse Shutters

These wooden shutters are a great, classic way to cover your windows. They protect from weather, block out light efficiently, and make a wonderful accent on the outside of your home!

I really enjoy the blue color of these shutters; it's much more appealing than black or white shutters and the “X” pattern has a great rustic charm. If you're creating a farmhouse vibe in your home, wooden shutters are simply the best way to have window treatments that are on theme!

13. Plant-Filled Shelves

This is a fun and unique way to cover a window! Put up a few shelves and cover them all with succulents and tiny houseplants! The end result is something of a living wall that blocks out the sun and gives you privacy (and oxygen).

If you're a plant lover, chances are you're running out of room in your home to fit your leafy friends. So, you might as well go all-in on plant craziness and fill every inch of your window with greenery!

It's fun, lively, and easy to create! Just make sure you're committed to your watering routine!

14. Contemporary Motorized Roller Shades

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Image: Pinterest

Roller shades are great, but when you add a motor to them, you've got yourself a luxurious, contemporary window treatment you'll always love! Each of the tall windows in this image has a matching shade, attached to a motor that can flood the room with light or make it dark as night- all at the touch of a button!

Plus, if you're a “smart home” junkie like me, you can connect the roller shades to your Amazon, Apple, or Google devices and activate them with your voice! That kind of convenience makes every moment at home that much more relaxing!

15. Coffee Sack DIY Blinds

Burlap coffee sacks are a popular form of vintage decor; they're actually not very hard to come by, and they have a nice, earthy, and warm texture. It's very simple to make window treatments out of coffee sacks, and they don't really need much styling, either!

Since they already have unique logos on them from the coffee producer, the decor is already there! If you're a coffee lover, or just a young, hip kid – this is a great DIY project you should consider!

16. Real Wood Blinds

I grew up in a home that had wood blinds, and even as a child, I loved them! They look so much better than plastic blinds- the 2-inch wood pieces have more weight and texture to them, and they have a purpose beyond just being cheap like normal plastic blinds.

The best part is the way they slightly change the tint of sunlight- they cast a slight brown into the room, making things feel relaxed and peaceful. It's a lot like the lighting you see in movies set on the beach- the light indoors is soft, pleasant, and warm.

If you're looking at boring blinds and wondering how they could be improved, start here!

17. Stained Glass-Style Window Film

This is a really fun way to spruce up a window- it's very unique and can make for a cool vintage look! Stained glass leaves really cool shadows in the room, making this a great idea for a window that gets lots of sun.

If you're looking for completely unique curtain alternatives, this is definitely something to think about!

18. Patterned Frosted Glass

This window treatment is a film that lays over the glass and makes it look much more interesting. It's perfect for a window where you want to stop people from seeing inside, but not stop sunlight from getting through.

The frosted glass with this interesting geometric pattern keeps things fresh! It's a very easy afternoon project that adds a lot of privacy and value to a window.

19. Sleek Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are common on sliding glass doors, but they can be used practically anywhere! They take up very little space and if you get a high-quality blind, can really upgrade the look of a room!

The sleek black blinds stand in contrast against the bright colors of the room, creating a nice balance of light and dark. Plus, black blinds do a great job of blocking out light when you need them to!

20. Sliding Barn Shutters

These shutters are on the inside of the house, and they slide on a track. They have a great rustic quality to them, perfect for that homey cabin feel. They stay pretty close to the wall, so they won't be getting in your way as big, billowy curtains do.

If you like that laid-back, country house feeling, get some awesome barn door shutters like these – you'll love the style and efficiency!