From Beach Towels To Sheets: Making Due With Your First Apartment's Curtains

Few of us, just starting out, have extra money for fashionable window coverings. First apartments may have mini-blinds, but many times those have seen better days. When you can't abide every passerby looking through your uncovered windows, you can get by using a few pieces of material that you probably have sitting in your closet. If not, you can buy them on the cheap at a second-hand shop or at a rummage sale. What you use depends on your comfort level, and your need for security. Basement and first floor apartments may require more window coverings than a second or third story apartment.

First Floor Abodes

You will want your main windows covered: your living room, bedroom and bathroom windows. Measure the height and width of your windows. Using those measurements as a guide, tack up a gently-used beach towel, a flannel sheet or double up some bed sheets for opacity's sake. Basement apartments don't need much, unless it is a walk-out that you're renting. Then you will need door coverings as well as window coverings. Use the same guiding principles as you would for first floor windows: comfort level, security, and opacity reigns. See what you have, and work with what you have.

If you can sew a straight line, fold the top of your towel or sheet down about an inch or two. Sew it across horizontally like you would while hemming a piece of clothing. You can buy spring rods at your local thrift store and pull them to fit your window space. Thread the rod through your hem and voila! You have an instant (and somewhat fashionable) curtain to hang.

Second And Third Floor Apartments

Again, depending on your comfort level, neighborhood, and all the aspects of life that make you feel secure and safe within your first apartment, you might want to leave some windows uncovered until you can afford the coverings you want. For instance, if your kitchen window is flanked by a large oak tree, and it is tough for someone to see in, you may feel safe enjoying the view of the leaves. Cover main living spaces such as bathroom, bedroom, and living area just like you would for a first floor or basement apartment.

Drapes: Are They Worth The Investment?

If you can afford someone to measure and help you pick out drapes, that is great. Drapes can be expensive, but in some instances, you may want to bite the bullet and invest in a pair if you have a picture or other large window to cover. You might find drapes and panels at the second-hand thrift shop. Or call some relatives. Many are boxed away, unused. They may be glad to part with them and see them get good use! 

Once you've gotten a bit more situated, you can trade up for some high quality, fashionable blinds from a store like Sheila's Drapery.