Hanging Curtains

27 04 2010

For a while, I debated hanging curtains in my dining room and living room.  It doesn’t seem like a major decision, but for some reason, I couldn’t come to a conclusion.

I have these hideous blinds in both rooms.  They’re good for two reasons: 1) I didn’t have to buy them and 2) they cover the entire set of four or five windows I have in each room.  Eventually, I want to replace these with bamboo shades, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.  My thinking was that the shades with the curtains might be too much.

Then I told myself how well it works in my guest room.  Hmm.

But then I thought it might make the rooms too formal.

I’ve been going back and forth on this for a while.  Totally ridiculous, I know, but these are the decorating decisions that run around in my mind.

So on Saturday, I was playing hooky from my ceramics class and easing into the day with breakfast in front of the TV – HGTV, of course.  I saw a commercial for Color Splash, and David Bromstad said that floor to ceiling curtains add drama to a room.  At that moment, I knew – I needed curtains in the dining room.  I made the decision for a few reasons: 1) the moment I heard that, I knew he was right (and I always go with gut instincts), 2) I thought it might be an extra way to block out any peeking from my creepy neighbor, and 3) looking at those danged gross blinds in my pretty living room every day just depressed me.

I took my measurements (about 82 inches across and 96 inches from floor to ceiling) and headed out.  I went first to Target, because I remembered looking for curtain rods with my mom at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and they were both expensive and nothing special.  I found one that I liked – a dark wooden (fake wood) one, with large knobs on each end.  I thought I needed a little bulk in the rod because of the way the rest of the room is decorated – I can’t really explain why that is, but that’s how I felt! 

I checked out the curtains there too – I had it in my head that I wanted something silver, in a silk/taffeta kind of material.  They didn’t have that at Target. So I thought I’d use some of my millions of Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons and pick up some curtains there.

I found the perfect, perfect curtains, on sale, in silver.  I loved them.  They only had one in 95″.  I looked and looked, but could only find another one that was 84″.  I took it as a sign.  Sigh.  Instead, I picked up two champagne curtains, which seemed to be the only two in 95″ and since they were close to the curtains that I love so much in my guest room, I thought I’d be okay with them.

Then it was on to putting them up!

I had three brackets, each with two holes. To hang these up, I needed to first mark my holes, which I did using the bracket.

I wish I had a head mount for my camera - it would be easier.

I used the first bracket and marks to decide at which height I wanted to hang my curtains. I did want to go with floor to ceiling, so I dropped the bracket about two inches from the ceiling and made my marks.  I measured both where the top of the bracket was and the top hole, so that as I marked each subsequent bracket, they would be even (since I wasn’t using a level).

Then, it was time to drill the holes.  The brackets came with wall anchors (those little plastic doo-hickeys that you hammer into the wall and then put a screw into), so I first drilled holes to accommodate them.  The depth of the wall wasn’t great (because of the framing of the house), so I had to shorten the wall anchors a little by cutting the ends off – I’ve found that this works great, and hasn’t affected the strength needed to hold up the thing being anchored.

Time to drill - not the best pic ever, but I was taking this one-handed. With my left hand.


Once the holes were drilled, I hammered in the anchors.

Holes with anchors

Then, I secured each of the brackets.

Brackets up!

Once that was done, I put up the curtain rod.  This was a little bit tough without adding the ends (I know these have a specialized name, I just can’t remember it right now!), because I had to try to stretch the adjustable rod without having it fall out of the brackets.  I finally got that done.

Curtain rod - up!

Then, I ironed the curtains (note, make sure your iron isn’t too hot for the material. Mine ended up heating up too much and tearing the fabric in a spot that’s fortunately not too noticeable!).  I put the curtains up and found out that 95 inches apparently doesn’t really mean 95 inches.  Although the curtain rod is two inches from the ceiling (putting it at 94 inches from the floor), the curtains are still a couple of inches off the floor.  I’m a wee bit irritated about that, but I must say, I LOVE the way the curtains look.

All right, so the champagne curtains look good. I'm still sad about the pewter ones

They’ve formalized the room, true, but it looks so finished and classy.  It does block out some light, because they’re room darkening, but I’m only in that room in the evenings, mostly, anyway and can always open the curtains if I want to.  (I never open the blinds because of my creepy neighbor)

Now this room makes me really happy!

Every time I come downstairs and see the curtains, it makes me happy.  Such a small change, but such a big difference!

Would you like to see the full before & after?

When I moved in...

Interim decorating

And now - can you believe it?



2 responses

27 04 2010
Nancy Myrland

Finials! Those things that are on the ends of your rod…. 😉

Lindsay, that is an amazing transformation! For a change, and to let some light in on dreary days, you can even draw them back to the sides with those pretty ornamental things….now I can’t remember what those are called!:-)

Nice job! It’s fun to see your house!

27 04 2010

Yes! Finials! Thank you, that was bugging me.

Yes, I can always drape the curtains back – it turns out that my mom had four panels of the exact same curtains (but shorter) that she’s not using, so she brought those over. I’m deciding whether to sew an extra panel on the bottom of them to make them longer, and then have four panels in the dining room to give more bulk to the curtains (and then put the other two panels in the living room), or just lower the curtain rod – so we’ll see how it goes!

I’m glad you like following along!

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