Question: "Draperies can be so expensive. Is there an option besides new custom-made draperies and what's available at department stores?"
Answer: Look no further than your own windows. Many treatments can get a new lease on life with some water-soluble dye (found in most supermarkets) and perhaps a few yards of new trim or tassels.
If your existing curtains are of good quality fabric, consider reworking them by changing the color. Even if they are patterned or floral in design, you can give them a tea-stained antique look with a dye wash of rich brown (check dye packages for specific instructions). Pale solids can have dramatic impact with a new, deep shade.
If you're handy with a sewing machine, consider reworking the overall style of the curtain (for example, cut off the tabs; line with a contrasting fabric; and use as a short, full swag). Try moving the draperies to a different room. Spending a few dollars on some new trim or tassel tiebacks can really breathe life into recycled window dressings.