Calm Breeze

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ta-dah! Curtains!

Sorry it's taken me so long to get pictures of these up! It's been kind of a busy couple of weeks. I've actually had these finished for a while (shhh...I haven't actually hemmed the bottom of one yet), but I had to wait for the stars to align so that the batteries in my camera were recharged, my kitchen was clean, and I remembered to do it all on the same day. But, here you go, here's the finished (or mostly finished product!)

I love how the green really brightens up the room, but the brown makes it not TOO intense! It kind of pulls it together with the dark browns of the cabinets and the table. I got the idea for the color/material combination from this lovely green and white damask tote bag I saw on Etsy that was trimmed with brown silk neckties! I do still plan to pull in some blue somehow, but how and what shade of blue is yet to be seen...

I chose to try out a new kind of curtain this time. They're called "hidden tab" curtains. All you do is sew little strips of fabric or ribbon on the back of your top edge at even intervals, and it makes these lovely soft pleats! The look resembles a grommeted curtain, but without all the hassle of putting in the grommets. I LOVE them! In fact, I am thinking of re-doing these curtains with the hidden tabs. The fabric on the top is less stiff than the fabric on the bottom, so I've never been completely happy with how the pleats always flopped down. The pinched pleat and rings work fairly well if you don't want to sew, but if you're already sewing anyway, I think this method makes for better results. There are a bunch of tutorials out there, but the best one I found was from Shelley at 7LayerStudio. Lots of great pictures and specific tips. She lined hers, and I didn't, I just hemmed the edges because I knew they wouldn't have any light behind them.

Look how gorgeous hers turned out.


I also love how she put the art in between her windows. I had never thought of putting anything there before! It really pulls the wall together. So, when I found a lovely blue and white print on clearance for $7 at Target, it went smack dab in between my two front room curtains, and I love it! I tried taking pictures of it, but thought they just didn't do it justice.

I added the tie-backs to my panels because they are framing a frequently-used glass sliding door. I like the way that they looked hanging loose, but they kept blowing around whenever someone opened the door, and the ends kept flipping back and exposing the unattractive backside of the fabric. I just sewed the brown satiny fabric into two sashes, added the ruffly ribbon (which, by the way, was a pain, since it's really just an elastic with ruffles, and getting it to stay put on the slippery brown fabric was a nightmare), cut them in half and used two pieces for the valance and two for tiebacks. Currently, I just have the tiebacks pinned onto the panel. I may or may not attach them to the wall, I haven't decided yet. Here's a close-up of how cute the annoying ruffly ribbon turned out:

Speaking of the valance, I got the idea and tutorial for it at 7LayerStudio as well (she has so much cute stuff, take a quick look around while you're there). It was really not that hard either. A couple of things to watch out for--I forgot to add a couple of inches onto the width of the window when cutting my fabric, so there was a big gap on the edges. I ended up edging the sides with some more of the brown fabric to make up for it. It turned out pretty cute after all, but if you don't want to edge yours, make sure you leave enough fabric on the sides. Also, be super extra careful when stapling or hot-gluing the valance onto the wood. I stapled mine on crooked the first time, and didn't realize it until I had it up on the wall. I had to redo it completely, and it still looks ever so slightly crooked to me now, but I know I'm a bit of a perfectionist about those sorts of things, so I don't think anyone else would notice it!

So now, what next for the kitchen? It's all in my head...I think the next step will be to replace that terrible light fixture over the table. What do you think of this builder's-cheapest-thing-available beauty? Ugh.

I'm thinking something like this:
Antique Copper 4-light Chandelier

They are "old-fashioned" without looking shabby or out of the middle ages, beautiful and romantic without being too formal. I love the artificial candles!

My dilemma here is the placement of the chandelier. The builder installed it smack dab in the "breakfast nook" corner of our kitchen, which looks great when viewed through the window from the great room:

However, because of the location of the sliding door, the flow of traffic forces us to push the table closer to the half wall and away from the window, like so:

The light can never be centered over the table! It drives me crazy! In order to center the table under it, it would completely block access to the sliding door and not leave enough room for the chair on the door side of the table to actually pull out enough to fit a living human being! But if I move the fixture, it will no longer be centered in the window. Would that look funny? I'm considering getting two of the same fixtures and putting in a new box a couple of feet over from the first. What do you think? Suggestions, anyone?


  1. I LOVE your curtains! They turned out so perfect! Can I commission you to do some for me (as in buy all the supplies and watch your kids while you do it, and maybe make you dinner too.) I love the idea of getting two of the same fixture and spacing them a few feet apart. I think that would look awesome!

  2. Love the curtains! You did a great job. I have the same problem with my light, I wish I could go back in time and follow the electricians around because they put plugs in weird places at my house too. As for a suggestion I was thinking for mine a longer light, Ballard Designs has one I have my eye on but I still think the box may have to be moved.