Friday, May 20, 2011

Subject: Living Room Curtains, Part 2


Okay, so I'm back. And before I begin, can I just include an editorial comment: there is nothing like seeing pictures of your own house to realize how much you dislike it! Wow. I mean, in looking at the pictures from yesterday, I realize that I really need to condition/moisturize my couch and that the room just looks kind of empty, like I've only lived here a few months instead of four years! I think panels on the windows will really warm the space up and bring in some depth and texture that it's currently lacking. It's not like I'm going to be starring in my own reality show anytime soon (right?) or anything, but still - seeing the way my room looked on film makes me want to make a change. Now that I have that out of the way, on to the curtains!

As I said yesterday, having the "luxury" of time has made me really think through a lot (a lot) about what kind of curtains I want. I definitely want to take down the blinds on those two windows because our house faces south, so we get a lot of indirect natural light that the blinds block. The front blinds don't even have a wand to turn them and the wand on the other is essentially broken, so you have to turn the blinds by hand. Plus they get dusty and cobweb-y and they're an awful off-white. So they have got to go!

You'll notice that the windows are two different heights, so I am planning on hanging the curtain rods at the same height (the height of the taller window, obviously), which will help make the smaller window look larger. Plus, having two separate heights of curtain rods would just look weird. Of course, so far it is causing a problem because the front window needs a much longer rod then the side window and I'm having trouble finding two matching rods that are different lengths. I mean, I haven't look that hard, but so far it has been an unsuccessful search.

My plan is to do panels that reach to the floor - two on the front window (pulled to either side when they're open) and one for the smaller window (pulled to one side). I considered doing two panels for the smaller window, but it will make the window look so much smaller, I think, when the curtains are opened that it just doesn't seem worth it. I am planning to do hooks/clips to attach the curtains to the rods. I will line the curtains with a blackout fabric. I'm estimating I will need about three yards of fabric per window for the panels; the amount of lining might vary if it isn't the same width as the decorative fabric.

When the kitchen was still green, I was thinking about doing a tile print black-and-white fabric to tie in the tile to the living room, but now that the kitchen is nuetral I feel more freedom to venture into some color in the living room. I liked the idea of doing a fabric with a dark background because the walls are so light, I thought the contrast would be nice. I liked the idea of an ink-y blue background, but then I remember the albatross of a blue leather chair and changed my mind. I found this fabric through Joann Fabrics' website and really liked it:

I thought the colors were really nice and I liked the print a lot. I think there were some other things about this fabric that I liked but frankly, I don't remember any of those reasons at this point. Again - time has changed my mind.

So then my friend Holly (yes, the one with the camelias) found this fabric and sent it to me:

It's nice, right? But I almost like it better for a side chair or some throw pillows than the drapes. I know birds are really "in" right now, but in the painting above the mantel there is a blue bird, so I didn't know if this fabric was redundant or matchy-matchy with the painting? But I really like the colors in this one too... a lot.

So basically my love for a print all changed when I watched Secrets from a Stylist on HGTV a few weeks ago. For her second look (have you watched this show? I highly recommend it), she used a blue ticking stripe fabric for the curtains:

Something about it just seemed so crisp and clean and light and airy that I really liked it. I found it online at Joann Fabrics for $7.99/yard, but I'm sure I could find it cheaper if I looked:

This fabric started gaining appeal when I started thinking about the artwook on the walls and the rug and the fabric in the side chair and then whatever else I eventually want to incorporate in the room (new throw pillows, for one) and I wonder if some kind of crazy print would just be too much? Maybe I need something nuetral so you don't feel completely overwhelmed in the room? At first I thought I liked the contrast of dark fabric against my walls, but now I wonder if it will just seem dark. And what about when the curtains are closed at night, on that front window especially? That is a lot of dark fabric, you know?

I think this new line of thinking about the curtains ties in with where my head was at with wanting to paint the kitchen - I love color, but I want to be more deliberate with it instead of just slapping it up on the walls and combining it with other fabrics and accessories without really considering how all of it interacts together. That way the room is more cohesive and looks like I actually thought about what I was doing, instead of having a room with a ton of colors and just looks like I liked everything and couldn't edit or make up my mind :)

Of course, maybe I just really like the room Emily on Secrets from a Stylist put together and I'm just not being realistic about it working for my house? Here is the whole room:

It obviously looks a lot different than my house, but I really like the overall look and feel of the room. My other concern: will it seem too nautical? That is definitely not the direction I am wanting to go in. And will the ticking stripe look good against my walls? I know I also said that I had been hesitant to incorporate certain shades of blue into the room because of the recliner, but this does not bother me for some reason.

Anyway, I would love to know your thoughts on the matter. I'm giving you the weekend to think it over! It will be the end of June before I know it and my six months of concentrating on the downstairs will be over. I hope to have curtains done by then so I can next focus on my upstairs!


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