Thursday, December 15, 2005

Progress on the home front

Before



After



The (unsolicited) Verdict


Robin: It makes our house look, umm, tropical!
Julia: Now our house looks like a hotel!

6 comments:

lisa December 15, 2005 7:37 PM  

Progress indeed. I'm in the process of looking for curtains or drapes for the house. Most urgently to help keep the heat in this winter, but also to make the house look nice. It is unbelievable how much money can be spent on window treatments. Even one sheer panel can be $12 on the cheap end. I've seen up in the mid $20s for one panel. And some of those don't do anything for heat, just looks. Heavier stuff tends to be more expensive. So I'm hitting the thrift stores pretty regularly, with mixed results. I got heavy drapes for the dining room for $7.50, but they were just a wee hair too small, so I took a pleat out. That looks bad. And the material is...well...was once nice, I'm sure. (The color is good. It's the texture, really.) But at least it keeps the heat in. I also found a decent set for one window in my room, but then I paid $10 for one of the cheapest rods at (gasp) Wal-Mart! The standard metal curtain rods don't hold much weight, so heavier curtains require sturdier rods, and they're expensive. Oh, and I even considered making curtains, but if you buy heavy material, I found you really don't save money. So thrift stores are the way to go, but when you finally find a nice set, it's usually only enough for one window. sigh. Wish me luck. Yours look very nice.

Jennifer December 15, 2005 9:20 PM  

Hmmm. I guess I'm luckier than I realized. One thing on the curtain rods: try Lowes, not in the curtain rod department, but metal pipes. That's what people use here. Hollow aluminum pipes anywhere from 1/2 to 1" diameter depending on how heavy your curtains are and how long it needs to reach without bowing. They come really long and you cut them to whatever you need.

Then you get a pair of these cheap, ugly plastic end plates that screw into the wall or window frame and have two cups/pockets for the rods (most people here use both curtains and sheers, so they need two.)

As for the fabric, I had decided that I was just going to have to spend a bit to get something decent...the canary yellow and bubble gum pink semi-sheers that were up when we moved in had finally worn out their welcome. I spent a long time in the fabric store and waffled a bit, and finally went with what you see in the picture, although there were other kinds that were much cheaper.

I've got this idea of going with sort-of-solids in the living room, but finding things with interesting textures. There are bamboo blinds on one window (pictures forthcoming), and this fabric is a solid color, but with a floral design somehow incorporated into it so the floral pattern is more sheer than the background.

The fabric was also pre-wrinkled...you know, like one of those Indian style skirts? I thought I was going to like that, but when I pinned one and hung it up for the first time today it just looked wrinkled. So I ironed them out and I do like it better. That's a lot of ironing, by the way. Like 215 square feet.

Anyway, after I bought the fabric I did the math and I realized that--compared to quilting fabric at least--it was very reasonably priced. Not that you'd use this for quilting, but it's my point of reference. To me, full-priced fabric runs at least> $7 a yard. This stuff is, by anyone's definition, a fairly fancy fabric (although not necessarily a super high-quality one). Plus it's wider than the fabric I'm used to. At about $3.50 a meter, the whole front window area came out to around $50. (Not including, of course, a serious number of Jen-hours.)

And I have enough left over to frame the window with the bamboo shade. I bought the shade knowing it was slightly too narrow, and that I would need to frame it with some faux-drapes. It'll look good once I do that.

I also finally hung the sheers I bought ages ago for my bedroom. I like being able to see clearly out the window, but now that people are living in the houses behind ours, it's time. It's not like they sit there staring, but when I'm sitting on my bed reading I always feel like they're out there going, "there she is again...has she nothing better to do?" And you don't want that.

Anyway, good luck...

Anonymous December 15, 2005 10:32 PM  

I love the color. Good job. To Lisa: I took some muslin type curtains to the Goodwill in Clayton...enough to cover windows in a very big house. You could run by and see if they still have them. They are very pretty and dyable. :-)

Dad December 16, 2005 8:03 AM  

Lisa - Do you want us to stop by the Goodwill in Clayton on our way to your house next Thursday?

sandy December 17, 2005 7:22 PM  

dad,
if you need directions to it, give me a call. I didn't mean to send my comment anonymously. I came to your house for dinner once, remember me? Sandy...anyway I could even go up there and see if the curtains are still there for you if you like. 919-553-0986. Call if you like.

Dick December 18, 2005 12:41 PM  

Sandy -

I knew who you were. The "Clayton" reference gave it away!

It would be 100+ miles each way for Lisa, and I rather doubt that she'd want to take a chance on them sight unseen, but decided to offer on the off chance...

Thanks for thinking of her!

Dick

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