Transform a Rental House to Home: Using Thrift Window Panels

Any new home - even a rental - needs a few new pieces added to its collection. Shopping thrift for a few furnishings like tables and chairs, or accessories such as bowls, platters, and even crosses can help tell a story about you in your home - without busting the budget. Since the assortment at my new local  thrift shops has changed because of our location, I find myself to be thrifting a little less (but that too can also be a money saver!) When I do thrift now, I am a little more specific as to what I need to help transform this rental house to a home.

Some pieces I set out hunting for since moving out here to AZ were a new workspace desk, a chair and longer panels to soften higher windows in our rental. Thankfully, I did find some! Knowing other retailers merchandise helps in this process - so when I spotted these panels, with a tag that said Ikea, I knew I was in luck. Ikeas panels are usually longer than other big-box retailers.

Many big-box retailers sell their extended lengths at 96" or 108" and consumers usually have to pay a higher price for the extra fabric. Ikea panels are most all at 98", with iron on hemming tape to shorten. Since these new windows here are higher, unfortunately several of my panels I already own fail to meet the floor ... And trust me - You do NOT want panels that are "floods" (too short). So when I spotted the one panel (which happened to also be in a very hot trend color for Spring: Yellow) I headed over to the rack to hunt for a match... and found four total for only $5.99 each .  That's a HUGE savings vs. shopping a big box store, let's say like West Elm, who just introduced their Spring line - with yellow printed panels at $89 for 96" and $99 for 108".

single panels & no spring touches of yellow

BEFORE: On move in day November

BEFORE: Move in day: November

BEFORE Week befoe move in day - Painting & Cleaning

We have several windows here, and although I was wanting to try single panels off to the side (for a different look) I went ahead and hung both panel sets at the window wall behind the sofa. The panels helped soften the look of all the hard edges from the new gallery walls I recently pulled together. They also help to diffuse the morning sunlight and look SO pretty when that light shines through (not to mention: it also helps block the view of my back neighbors and their unkept dogs & yard).

single panels & no spring touches

I wrap my bare fall & winter branches with spring blooms
to add height, drama and touch of color.

Before putting up the panels, I did run them through the wash. I had thrifted them back in December, but I knew I would be using them shortly (lol). I just hung them in a closet to help prevent wrinkles. I especially liked the way these panels - although sheer - are layered. In Florida, I used double rods to layer window panels + sheers, but since we have more windows here, I'm using the rods as singles (thankfully, I had saved their original single brackets!!) This is also another way to save some money when transforming a rental house to a new home - I'm doubling the amount of rods by installing as singles. The yellow panels relate to the yellow pillows now on the sofa...

style saving tip:
Shop the bedding section in stores like HomeGoods to find great deals on EURO sham covers - A great way to update larger sofa pillows...

The print of the white sheers overlay on the yellow and also pick up another happening trend: Tribal Trends. Over the weekend, I re-used the more burlap looking panels I had (used previously in our FL dining room) now framing our bedroom window. The play on patterns I've been using in here is less tropical or metropolitan then what I'd do in FL. For our bedroom style here, I'm slowly gathering some Arizona-like details to embrace the place where we're at. A Tribal / Southwest mix will work great in here. Here's a peek at how it's coming along for now...

Layered patterns & textiles...
From patterned pillows and sheets to panels and rugs..

Chevrom pillows and coverlet: ZGallerie (FL)
Chocolate pillows with disc: West Elm (FL)
Stripe throw rug: Ikea (AZ)
Large area rug: Crate & Barrel (FL)
Stripe sheets & stripe pillow: HomeGoods (sheets: AZ - pillow: FL)
The lamp is also a FL HomeGoods find - from 2005, but updated the simple white shade for graphic shades - also from HomeGoods (I believe 2009)

For more inspiration, join me at Pinterest and see my boards:

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. what a great find! I never have such luck at my local goodwill, but you've inspired me to go look tonight!

  2. LOVE all that you are doing! Here in NOLA we typically need 120" long panels with the high ceilings of the old houses.
    You need to put all of this series into a book - Every rental office in the Phoenix area (and there are tons of renters nowadays), should sell it for you.
    Much love...
    xo xo

  3. Amazing finds and I love what you are doing darling....when you get settled, we must meet for a drink now that we are neighbours ....enjoy the AZ spring, it won't last long. Coryanne

  4. Love the addition of the curtain panels and how you've really created a beautiful home. Continued joy with decorating.

  5. I absolutely love the depth and texture in this room that even comes to life on a 2D computer screen. BRAVO!!!

  6. Where did you find your bedding and rugs? I love it!!

  7. Thanks ladies!! The chevron & Ikat-like pillows were from ZGallerie. The stripe sheets are CK from Homegoods. The pillow with disc were from West Elm 'o9. The small stripe rug was from Ikea - the larger rug was from Crate&Barrel back in '08.

    xo Lynda

  8. what color is the living room painted?

  9. Living Room Wall color: (from 2011) Magnitide from Martha Stewart Paint (manufactured by Glidden)



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