Get the best deal on what you want

Look through home magazines and books and visit designer showcase houses, museums and store showrooms to get ideas before you shop.
Many department and home specialty stores offer “shop-at-home” services that send a professional with samples to your place.
It’s a good idea first to visit the store to make sure its inventory fits your taste and budget. Ask whether there’s a charge for the service.
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, a drill and a screwdriver, consider making your own window treatments.

Sizing things up

Your first step, before anything goes up over your windows, is to measure. Here are a few handy tips:

If you’re custom-ordering window treatments, the company will also do the measuring.
If you plan to install and/or make window treatments yourself, then you’ll take the measurements yourself.
Different types use different measurements. For commercial blinds and shades, take your window measurements to the store and have them select the needed sizes.
For homemade fabric window treatments, install the rods first and then take measurements.
If you’re using a coordinating blind or shade that has an outside mount, install the blind or shade before you measure.

The right window dressings add style to the home, but they can also make your home more efficient. So whether you buy your dressings from a store or make them yourself, make sure you install them correctly for the best look.

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