Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Windows Get A Makeover (Hey! I want one too!)

Have your weekends felt a little too relaxing lately? Well then I suggest you try hanging new curtains. Spend the entirety of your Sunday afternoon on a stepladder!

I don't care for white vertical blinds (really, who does?), but I can usually tolerate them if it means saving the money and time it takes to replace them. But our new house came with floor-length vertical blinds, which were driving me particularly crazy and needed to be removed as soon as possible.

So new window treatments made it to the top of my list of home projects.

The first thing that went wrong is that I only found ONE kind of curtain that I liked. It turns out the world is simply overrun with velour, olive and gold curtains. Bed, Bath and Beyond finally came through with a nice normal taupe linen.

The second thing that went wrong is that I didn't really do the math in my head. You see, each panel is sold separately, and I'd need at least 6 panels to cover all of the windows in the living room. And then I'd need to buy 5 sets of curtain rods. And, well, several hundred dollars later, Devin wasn't speaking to me.

Realizing that we could've treated ourselves to a fun weekend in Vegas for the price of these practical window treatments, I decided to return all of the curtain rods and attempt to find something cheaper. But I simply had to keep the curtains because, as I mentioned, they were the only acceptable ones on the planet.

At the advice of my sister, I went to Big Lots to see what they had to offer. I wound up buying the rods there, and saved $200! Sounds great, right?

Well you haven't seen what I wound up with.

I know, fugly. Of the two, Devin hated the leaf version more. I actually preferred them. They made me think of a hotel room at Caesar's Palace. However, I had no intention of keeping either of these little end pieces.

So I set to work taking down the blinds, a task that involved a great deal of swearing and clanking around, none of which provoked even the slightest response from Devin, who was rendered mute and immobile by season 3 of Lost from Netflix. Next, I opened each of the packages of single-wrapped curtains to discover the contents were severely wrinkled and creased. Having already been at work on the curtain project for nearly 2 hours, I was tempted to just hang them as they were and allow gravity to eventually (maybe) remove the wrinkles. But then I could just hear my mother saying, "Oh come on, give them a quick iron. It'll take 2 minutes and they'll look so much better!" Fine, Mom. You win.

And to snazz up this post I even had Devin take action shots of me ironing. See what I do for you people?

An hour and a half (yes, really) later, the ironing was complete.

And so I hung the curtains, realized I'd put the wall mounts too close to the ceiling, took the curtains down, moved the wall mounts, hung the curtains again and...


Ok, in the interest of full disclosure I should tell you that the curtain rods look a little lame without end thingies and so I still need to solve that problem. But otherwise, much better, no?

One of my domestic dreams is to put an antique round table in the center of a big front window like this. And on that wood table I will put a single vase of fresh cut flowers that I'll change out weekly, and that will be purchased from a local market where the florist knows me by name and says things like "I saved this bouquet of tulips just for you!"

But for now that dream will have to wait because we already plopped the dog bed there and Seamus seems really comfy.


  1. mom WOULD say that! why don't you hot glue like a matching ball to the end or something- something from the craft store?

  2. i had no idea hanging curtains could be such a process, oh goodness. but it looks really cute now! nicely done :)

  3. Ikea has curtain rods that cost $1 each...

    But they look beautiful. And the color is perfect!

  4. Great blog! Well done on the curtains. I wanted to tell you about a book I just came across called Possessed by Elif Batuman. Never heard of her before but she's got a funny voice. Slightly academic (subject matter is Russian novel related) it still elicits a chuckle or two per page (of the roughly 6 I read). I thought you might find it somehow inspiring if you gave it a glance next time you're in Barnes and Noble. Keep up the great work!