Curtains for the Dining and Living Rooms
Fall is winding down and winter is well on its way. I finished my outdoor chores for the year (well…sort of…mostly), and I moved myself indoors for some projects that have been waiting for my attention for far too long. Some garden design work still lingers, and I’m still acquiring plants for clients and placing them for the installers, but as far as my little abode goes, I’m finished for the season. So inside I go!
If you’ve followed along, you know that I purchased my little brick bungalow in May 2013 and tore the kitchen out the VERY SAME DAY that I moved in. (see Inside Projects) I typically think that it is best to live in a house for awhile to get acquainted before you make big changes, but in this case the kitchen had to go immediately. So it did. And then I made some changes to the dining and living rooms…mostly paint. (The pink and yellow walls had to go.) By then I had lived with the outdoor space long enough and was experiencing high levels of stress disorder from not having my hands in the dirt, so I started some projects outside. (see Outside Projects) Now it has been almost a year since I tackled any indoor projects and my head is swimming with ideas!
First up…long awaited curtains for the dining room and living room. Not a project that will dazzle anyone, but a good place to start. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference, and fabric is a great way to add some color, pattern, and softness to a room. Last year, almost a year ago (eek!), I started looking at fabric for curtains. I found a light gauzy fabric with wonderful colors and birds on it (appropriately so), but I wasn’t crazy for the price. Within just a few weeks of that find…and it is a find when you finally come across a piece of fabric that speaks to you (or tweets)…I found curtain panels IN THAT SAME FABRIC at Pier 1. (Woo hoo!)
The price of the panels was much better than the price of the fabric by the yard. I wasn’t crazy about the grommets, that just wasn’t the look I wanted, and the panels needed to be lined, but purchasing the panels made sense to me financially. Over the course of the next few weeks, I wound up in Ikea (of all places) and decided to purchase their Ritva panels to use as lining. At $24.99 for a pair of panels, I couldn’t buy the lining fabric for that.
And then one panel of each hung in my window and the remaining packages sat in their sacks for months because low and behold spring arrived.
So last week, I dug out my sewing machine and decided to whip those curtains into shape! Funny thing is…I had entirely too much help. It turns out that my office staff thought they should get into the action. Every scrap of fabric became a place on which to sit their furry bums.
Tackling the bird panels first, I cut the grommet tops off and left the hem in place. Then I cut the Ikea panels for lining, saving the heading tape. One thing you should know if you tackle such a project…**News Flash**…the Ikea panels were not straight. Some of them were sewn a bit wonky. So, don’t think you can just attach all the existing seams and expect the curtains to hang properly.
I will say that Ikea uses this wonderful heading tape. You can actually purchase it separately at Amazon. (Who knew?) As with all things Ikea, it can do several tricks. It is called Kronill Gathering Heading Tape. Use it with the hidden tabs, rings and clips or with rings and pleater hooks.
After trying out each look, I decided I liked the hidden tab look.
A word about length. Like many older homes, I have baseboard heating below each window. Full length curtains were not an option for safety reasons. (And then there is my office staff to consider.) So below the window apron and above the heating source was the length I chose to use. Like many of you, I thought the placement of heating below a window, baseboard or radiator, was the work of a decorating-challenged man. Turns out there was a good reason. Apparently windows have not always been too terribly efficient and were the common source of cold drafts. By placing the heating source under the window, it worked to counterbalance the drafts. Ok, ok…that was pretty smart.
The dining room is starting to show progress and promise.
Now I need to get rid of the red leather chairs…maybe slipcovers or “new” old chairs. Hmmmm…. Your thoughts?
If you would like to know how I transformed the light fixture, check out this post: Dining Room Light Overhaul.
I’m also considering a shade inside of the windows…perhaps bamboo? And this old sideboard needs an overhaul too. So there are many projects all piled up for the winter.
What is on your project list this winter?
Snuggle in and enjoy the last of fall!