Design Hints

Window of Opportunity

Take inexpensive cheesecloth and turn it into picture-perfect window treatments throughout your home.

To play up the simple country vibe in her Stony Brook, New York, condominium, Patty Smith frequently uses cheesecloth to dress her run-of-the-mill windows. From framing a large sliding door to pinning up a single sheer layer across a bedroom window, Patty has found multiple ways to add country flair with this gauzy, low-cost material.

1. Enhance a panel. In Patty's spare bedroom, a single tea-stained panel is gathered slightly in the center, which gives it an interesting silhouette. Want to expand on the one-panel idea? Inexpensive, easy-to-find burlap potato or coffee bean sacks offer vintage graphics and are often sized perfectly for a window.

2. Nail down a draped look. Muted-rust curtains soften a distressed black canopy bed in the master bedroom. Instead of matching the window treatment to the bed linens, though, Patty employed an oh-so-simple idea: She nailed a length of cheesecloth into the drywall above the window in five evenly spaced spots, leaving an eye-pleasing drape of fabric in between each nail.

3. Style up a swag. Similar to the master bedroom window, the living room's sliding door gets a draped treatment from cheesecloth. To make it easy to use the door, however, Patty gathered the lengths of material more tightly and draped them across the door in a pair of swags joined by a fabric knot.

4. Gather your ideas together. After hanging cheesecloth on rods in front of her breakfast nook windows, Patty decided that she wanted more light coming into the room. So, she gathered the bottom edge of the fabric, made two small holes in the material several inches in on either side, and then poked twine through and tied the string. For a little extra enhancement, she adorned the top of each treatment with a rusty star ornament.

This home appeared in the article "A New Beginning" in our September 2013 issue.

Written by Nancy Anderson Hedberg
Photographed and styled by Franklin & Esther Schmidt