Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Show Me the Progress! Window Treatments Revisited

I'm joining Amanda at Serenity Now, in her Show Me the Progress! party. Head on over to see other blogger's transformations.

I showed you all my window treatment dilemma in January (If you missed it, you can read about it here:

After reading all the wonderful advice, here is what I did:
I decided to take down the bamboo shades and hang the black curtains and cream rods I already had on the smaller windows. I also hung a decorative rod for the black curtains on the picture window.

Here is what I still plan to do:
Purchase curtain clips for the black curtains to hang from the rod above the picture window and move the sheers to hang behind them. I plan to keep the sheers closed when the black curtains are open. Putting them behind will solve the problem of them being sewn unevenly by the manufacturer because that part will be covered and having the sheers closed will create some more privacy when the black curtains are open. I will likely add clips to the new black curtains on the smaller windows as well. I also plan to make tie backs in a colorful, patterned print for all three windows in order to tie them together even more. If you can't tell from my photos, I'm a "matchy-matchy" kinda gal!

Now for the photos...


After (my daughter, of course, thought I was taking a photo of her!):
Ignore the table in the corner by the couch... it is a temporary solution for my husband's "office." He has yet to use it since he prefers sitting on the couch, but it has to stay there until the office has room for it!
I also created a "window seat"/reading nook using an old coffee table, a GW cushion, and a couple garage sale pillows. It is actually quite cozy!

You may be wondering what I did with the bamboo shades, I actually put them up in my daughter's room. She used to have brown curtains that blended in too much with the brown trim. I like these much better and they work much better in her room than the living room!
Ignore the paint, that is a work in progress. We are adding a chair rail and plan to paint over the stripes with a creamy tan color.
The other dilemma I posted about (in October) was my bathroom cabinet (you can read about it here: I have not done anything to fix it yet but I plan to paint the cabinets linen white (leftover from another paint job) and spray paint the handles oil-rubbed bronze. Eventually, I want to also remove the doors from the linen closet and hang fabric over the lower half and put dark brown baskets in the upper half. This will require a lot of work since the inside of the cabinet is currently painted sea foam green and fire-engine red!! Those doors are hiding a lot!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

DaySpring Customizable Signs

In case you haven't heard, The Nester is doing a fabulous giveaway! Check it out here.

You could win a DaySpring customizable sign from here like this one:

How cool is that? The Nester also has a code for 20% off your order!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Window Treatments

I hope you're comfy because I've got a lot of explaining to do so that you can help me with my latest dilemma that is stumping me. Thank you Amanda and Linda for hosting these wonderful parties!

I just want to start by saying that these pictures are not the greatest I've taken. There are lots of reasons for that... I'll skip those and just tell you what to ignore in each photo. =)

I use the phrase "window treatments" as often as I can because it drives my hubby crazy... in a good way. He makes fun of me for not just saying curtains (that's what he calls everything that covers or decorates a window). It makes me smile. I know that you understand the reason for the phrase "window treatments." You know that this is a broad category that includes many different window coverings... mini blinds, roman shades, curtains, valances, etc. He just doesn't get that....

My dilemma (since we moved in 7 months ago) has been : WINDOW TREATMENTS. I have bought so many different ones and returned most of them. I have extra curtain rods tucked behind my buffet and I still have two windows (in my kitchen) with no window treatments on them at all (I recently found a solution for them and can't wait to get them! Check these out from Shabby Chic Cottage).

The biggest hangup for me has been the fact that the front of our house faces South so the five windows in the front let in a lot of sun and it gets VERY hot in the summer. We have single pane wood sash windows and new vinyl ones are not in the budget right now... besides, the wood sash ones are way prettier! Those windows have to have thermal backed curtains in order to block out some of the heat. These curtains help tremendously but there is not a huge selection of them in our price range...

Enter: second biggest hangup. One of those five windows is a picture window (see below). It is nearly 90 inches wide and 77 inches tall! To put that into perspective, we would have to close up the opening some to put in a sliding glass door or French doors... We currently have FOUR black thermal backed curtains on it because two don't cover the whole thing and three doesn't work because of the hook that holds the rod up in the middle.... anyhoo. That's not the point, the point is, I don't know what to do for a valance for this particular window that we have made prettier by adding sheer embroidered curtains on top of the black thermal ones.

Things to ignore in this photo: black curtains sticking up above the top (part of reason for said valance), sheers not covering all of the black and black fence that kept our toddler away from the TV that used to be in that corner...

Most of the time we keep the curtains tied open. We close them at night and when it is sweltering hot outside (read: afternoons/evenings during July, August and September). Here is what they look like closed. Here you may notice the second reason for needing a valance...

The embroidery on these "high quality" Target curtains goes all the way to the top on one side of each curtain (where they meet in the middle) and not on the other side (the outsides), this makes the embroidery lopsided. Unfortunately, these sat around for so long before I hung them that by the time we noticed said imperfection it was way too late to return/exchange them at Target. Anyone else annoyed by their stingy return policy??? Fortunately, it is hardly noticeable in person unless you are looking at the top.

Here is a close up of the detail on the bottom of the curtain:
And the middle:
The other dilemma that has me stumped (and factor to consider in the valance debate) is the adjacent windows in this room. They are both normal sized windows that do not face South and currently have very pale pinkish/off-white wood Roman shades on them (here is the corner that used to house the television)... Please ignore the ratty pink chair that I absolutely love and that is patiently waiting for me to slipcover in black. Her twin sister is also patiently waiting...

Looking a little further to the left, you can see both the windows with my fabulous mantel makeover. You can read about that here, here and here. This picture is from the fall, hence the squash and mini pumpkins on the mantel, you can ignore those too...

And here is a closer view of the window (ignore the balled up string... again, it's there to keep the toddler out of trouble!):
And an even closer view (this is very close to the actual color):

So, my dilemma that has me stumped for these windows is whether I should hang curtains or a valance or both on top of the Roman shades... I do have curtain rods for them. They are cream and I have two extra black curtains. By the way, my living room theme, for those who didn't pick it up, is black and cream with touches of sage and dusty pink. I do not have any more of the sheer embroidered curtains and I think that might be too much of one thing in the room.

Now, that I am done writing this very long post, here is a recap in case you have forgotten the beginning already (or maybe the actual dilemmas got lost in all the other blabbering)!

Dilemmas that have me stumped:
1. Valance for picture window

2. To curtain or not to curtain the two smaller windows

I am looking forward to all your ideas and input! Thank you all in advance!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are you a Blue Cricket Design follower?

I love her stuff! So inspiring and right now she is doing a giveaway for $50 to spend at The Vintage Pearl!

You need to check it out. I've seen these types of necklaces a lot before and every time I do, I am more convinced I want one!