Window Dress your World

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Cowboy was busy this week, folks. It was window week in our world and you know what that means? Curtains, curtains and more curtains!

The drill was drilling, the measuring tape measuring, and all the while I was the dutiful assistant handing him what he needed as he perched atop a ladder to bring life to my vision. (A swear word or two may have spewed forth but ladies, a word of wisdom here: I don’t care if your husband is the gentlest of the gentleman, men swear when they do projects. “Mother F’er! Are you F’ing kidding me?” is just par for the course when a man has a power tool and is trying to help you decorate.) Oh, and don’t be offended if he curses the Chinese while he’s at it. We’ve had to MacGyver more than our share of Made in China items that were either backward, missing a part completely, or oddly assembled.

Smile and nod, just smile and nod . . .

Now then, why curtains? What if you already have blinds? Well, the slickest move you can make to transform a house into a home is to add curtain panels. Far too often people stop at adding blinds. And then they wonder why their house feels so lifeless? Curtain panels do not block amazing views if you never close them. They simply add color, texture and interest to a room. (Use your blinds for privacy, leave the panels where they are.)

Two rooms I’d like to show you this week are our two dining spaces, the formal and the informal. I’ll show you the formal first as this is a tricky window type to dress and many people would just stop at the blinds and call it good as the window is a box bay style with a window seat.

How the heck to you add curtains to this thing?

Dining Before

This is how:

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If you have an eagle eye for design you’ll also note that the sun room beyond the dining area also has curtains in this after picture. We’re still waiting for furniture we ordered for that room to arrive so when it gets here I’ll be sure to showcase it! But you can see how that space is also warmed up by the sheer curtain panels that have been added already. 
Ta da!

Doesn’t it just feel better? Look more finished? Yes, it does. Curtain panels are design magic, people.

I chose 96 inch panels in complimentary neutrals and draped the panels on either side of the window box. Mounting the rods near the ceiling also compliments the height of the space and make the window appear even larger. (Incorporate this design trick whenever you can! Windows really become focal points when you utilize this method.)

Here are a few more after pics for your oohing and ahhing pleasure . . .

FullSizeRender (4)FullSizeRender (5)

Although the room is coming along it is not yet finished. Elements I still plan to add are a custom cushion for the window seat, a rustic style chandelier and a knobby braided rug for under the table. (Rugs in formal dining spaces are fine if they are only used sporadically on holidays. I wouldn’t put a rug under the dining table we used daily – but this one? Heck yeah! It will warm up the room considerably.)

Which is a nice segue to now illustrate the curtains I used in our informal kitchen dining space. Here’s a before snapshot of the naked patio doors . . .

No Curtains Kitchen

Here is the space now with its four linen Pottery Barn 84 inch panels . . .

Kitchen AfterKitchen After 2Kitchen After 3

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Once again, the wonderment of window dressings finishes off the room!

So if you’re afraid of curtain panels, don’t be. They’re awesome! If your style is vibrant and bold, this can be the place where you express that. Go crazy and pick out colors that bring you joy and make a statement. And if you prefer a more neutral pallet, like I do, use your curtain panels to simply provide texture and warmth to the space.

Design Tip

One of the reasons people are afraid of curtains is they believe they are super expensive. And they can be – but they don’t have to be. My Pottery Barn panels in the kitchen dining area fall into the “that was ridiculous” over priced bucket. I bought them four years ago and although I love them, I did spend too much money. I now shop at our local Tuesday Morning store for all of my curtains. The Pottery Barn panels were $100 each. Gulp. But ever since I have never paid more than, wait for it  . . . $10 to $15 a panel! I kid you not. Run, don’t walk, to Tuesday Morning if you want to add curtain panels to your home. Their designs are high end and drastically reduced. This is where I purchased the formal dining panels – they were two for $30. And the curtain rods are also extremely reasonable there, too. My formal dining room curtains, rod and all, were under $100. And they will be up there for years. (Cleaning Tip: Shake off the dust quarterly and have them dry cleaned every 2 to 3 years. Spray them with FeBreze every two weeks when you deep clean your house so cooking smells don’t linger.)

Design Tip

Always mount the curtain rods as high as possible – so buy long panels every time. It is perfectly acceptable for them to puddle onto the floor if you like that look! And mount the outside of them as far out at possible so the window appears wide. You have the ability to create an optical illusion of a larger window every time you incorporate curtain panels into your design.

Design Tip

No Cowboy to the rescue at your house with a drill in his holster? Or your Cowboy isn’t the handy kind? No problem. I was single for several years and afraid of power tools. And I have a best friend whose husband has many talents but home projects aren’t in his arsenal. Many local handymen will hang curtains for you for a reasonable charge. I had a great contractor I utilized for these types of projects during that chapter in my life. Find a good one and call him (or her!) up when you’re in need of some assistance.

Thank you for stopping by our Lighthouse! Happy Curtaining!

Peace, Joy and Blessings, 

~Audra

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