Whether you rent or own, if your space has windows, they will need window treatments. It's always easiest to pick up a phone and call a designer to take care of this for you. However, it's certainly not the cheapest solution.
Maybe I can give you a few ideas that won't break the bank and will look great!
Window treatments act as a necklace to your neck. They bring softness and interest to an otherwise unadorned area. They can add a punch of color, texture or graphic art to the windows. This is especially important if you're a renter and are forbidden to paint your walls. Windows, walls and doors can add sternness to a room because of their rigid lines. Framing them with fabric not only adds color but also softens the feel of the room. Adding fabric to these areas can also aide in insulating your space. In the olden days, many homeowners added heavy drapery to all of their interior doorways just for this reason. Some cities at the turn of the last century based a homeowner's property taxes on the number of doors in their house. For this reason, many homeowners opted to forego the traditional door to their closets and rather substituted curtains.
When it comes to treating your windows, fabric is always the best choice. But what kind of fabric? That depends on which way your window faces, how well your windows are insulated and the view on the other side. Windows that bring in a lot of sunlight and/or heat (such as southern facing windows) will need curtains or drapery constructed of durable material which can withstand the constant heat and light. Tapestry, corduroy, chenille, velvet and some rayon fabrics are best for bright windows. A linen or thin cotton fabric is a perfect choice if all you need is texture, color or a softening element at your window and where direct sunlight or the need for insulation is not an issue.
If you are the type of person who likes to change up their decor every year or so, then you can skimp on lining the curtains but if you are in this for the long haul, lining your drapery will not only provide the protection needed from the sun but also add weight to your curtains which will make them hang well.
Searching for your fabric is a very individual process. Some people have to see the fabric in person. Touch it. Others don't mind basing their decision off a picture on a website. I have done both and have had happy results from both.
Sewing is a huge reason that most people opt to purchase already made draperies or have a professional do them. Good news! You don't have to sew to make window treatments. You can go to any craft store or even big box retailers like Wal-Mart and get a roll of witch tape.
With this approach you will get perfect seams every time. It will even hold up well to the washing machine. However, repeatedly putting this in the dryer will eventually break it down and cause it to turn loose. If the tape does begin to turn loose, simply cut a small amount of unused witches tape, put it in the area that has come loose and hold a hot iron on it. Problem solved. Another upside to using this is the fact that you won't have visible thread lines on the finished product.
Below is an example of easy to make curtains.
To make the above curtains, make a hem on all four sides of the fabric that you have cut for your curtains. Using the witch tape, iron the hems until the tape has melted. It only takes a few seconds for the tape to melt. Then simply clip the curtain holders to the top and thread the clips onto the rod. Done. The entire process takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. No sewing required. Note: If you are going to use clips, be careful not to choose heavy fabric for your curtains or eventually the fabric can slip out of the clips.
I hope you have gotten a few ideas today! Don't be afraid to make your own curtains. It's not hard and not expensive.