The drapery hardware in my new living room? It isn't brass.
It is actually spray painted wood.
It came about as a happy accident as I tried to come up with a solution for the bay window. You see, there are ready made bay window rods available, but the ones I came across didn't have enough "elbows" that we needed for our window. You can also purchase the elbows separately and assemble the rod yourself using adjustable metal rods, but this was adding up to big bucks in my head.
So Chris and I went to Home Depot one morning with only a vague idea of how we were going to make it work. Luckily, it ended up being a pretty easy solution. Home Depot carries wooden drapery hardware under the Martha Stewart brand. We were able to pick up enough wooden elbows for the bay window plus rods, wooden end caps, wooden brackets, and wooden curtain rings for all the windows in the room. It came out to about $150.
Knowing that this was all going to get spray painted, we just went to the lumber section and selected two closet rods. They ended up being almost half the price of the wooden drapery poles available from Martha (just make sure they are the right diameter to fit into the elbows and brackets).
At first, I didn't like the way the paint looked on the wooden poles... it was uneven - some spots took the sheen and color differently.