Simple Bedroom Privacy Window Treatment

After inhabiting our rental apartment for over 5 months, I decided to tackle the bedroom window problem: our relatively large window (68″{w} x 72″ {h} approx) faces a fairly busy side street in downtown Toronto. After a quick run to Target, Ikea and a local fabric store, I created a simple solution for a window treatment in the bedroom.


When we moved in, we placed simple thick white cotton curtains in the bedroom as a quick fix for privacy. In my mind, I thought that during the day we would open the curtains and let the natural light in often. Well that never happened. I like to think I am super tidy but the reality is, I do the undress and dumping of my clothes daily. So I have a big heap, as does James, of clothes sitting beside my bed which I don’t really need our neighbours seeing. Further, it just feels weird to fully reveal one of the most intimate parts of your home – to the ‘world’. I know that when I am walking Nan I always peek at the interior of people’s homes. Not in a creepy way, but in a curious to see how others decorate way. And really, I don’t need to advertise to potential thieves that we aren’t home. So I came up with a simple solution as an alternative to custom blinds or placing big holes in the beautiful original wood trim.

The Solution: a simple Tension Rod

Tension rod window treatment

This approach is perfect for those on a budget, living in a rental or in need of a quick fix as it creates privacy and isn’t permanent. It was quick, painless, didn’t involve any tools and I really love the outcome. We now are able to open up our curtains in the day while maintaining privacy. At night, we can pull our larger curtains across to block out street lights.

Row House Nest bedroom simple window treatment

As you can in this image, I still need to hem the curtains (I wanted to see how the tension rod held up before I hemmed the curtains into long cafe curtains). So far so good. It has been two weeks and the rod is able to support the full weight of the curtains. Due to the size of my window, most ready to use cafe curtains are not long enough so I chopped curtains I already owned – these are the curtains I own which are perfect for keeping it clean and crisp while not letting people peep inside my bedroom!

inexpensive tension rod window treatment via row house nest

My solution to this dilemma was a white tension rod I grabbed that cost under $10 (CAD). Make sure you order the right width.


If you would like to use a tension rod but wish to create your own window shade, there is a tutorial available on Martha Stewart’s blog.  In my own research, I also completed doing a lace cornstarch treatment like Annabel Vita. I decided against it as it didn’t really fit my aesthetic for the rest of the room. Great idea though. Kelly Hicks also created a window treatment in this bathroom with a tension rod.

I am so excited to see how it translates to the spring and summer when we have lots and lots of bright natural light. Right now, it’s pretty gray and drab out there but I have already noticed a different in the feeling in the bedroom. Doom and gloom no more!

Want to read more about how to decor your rental space?

Check out these other blog posts I wrote about updating my downtown rental apartment

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