Let's talk curtains

kellienoelleSeptember 22, 2013

I have typically been more of a bare windows gal, but I think I want to add some window treatments in my dining room. I think it will make it much more polished and finished. However, there are some challenges (of course). First, my MIL is quite a seamstress. I am thinking of asking her to make for me (haven't asked yet so she could say no), so would like to select something that isn't too complicated . Having never touched a sewing machine, I don't know what that means. I can assume a triple pinch pleat is a bit labor intensive, but don't know that for sure. Second, the windows on the side wall butt up right against the other walls, and a door on one side. Not a lot of space to work with. Here are some pictures.....and if you have suggestions that go outside of window treatments, I'm all ears. This is a new for us house (well, a few months back) so everything we have came from our old house (except for the Oushak rug, that is new and will be sticking around). I do like the paint color so would like it to stick around too.

First off, the side wall so you can see the placement of the windows (and your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, yes that IS an electric green house about an arms length away)

And one with the blinds (pre-rug) closed since my iphone doesn't like shooting into the light

And the window that looks to the front

For fabric, I want a pattern, but here is where I get stumped. Nothing to formal, the house is old (1920 colonial) but my style is more casual, I guess transitional if you wanted to label it. But then again, I also love toile, so who knows. I browsed curtain fabrics a bit and I like something like this but have a hard time thinking of how they would look as curtains. I also worry that this is my chance to add something spectacular with an awesome print and am wimping out on something simple because I am overwhelmed with choice. As another option, I used to drool over KevinMP's silk striped drapes.

Still with me.....so, ideas for types of curtains for DIY,rods in an awkward space, and fabric please.

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Oh shoot, this was supposed to be in Home Decorating, but if any of you kitchen folks have ideas, I am all ears!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:14AM
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I'm an interior designer, and my specialty is custom window and bedding. As to having your mother in law sew the curtains, being an awesome seamstress is a great start. If you want floor length draperies, the sheer volume of fabric can be very difficult to control as you sew. That being said, she may be able to do it just fine and be happy to help. I recommend you bring her in on the design, she will know what she is comfortable tackling.

On the design, toile is usually cotton and does not necessarily look formal. It's very dependent on the style. Pinch pleat is more formal that rod pocket panels, etc. As you choose fabric, keep in mind the style of your rug. From the photo it looks traditional, and the fabric you're considering is contemporary. Not to say you can't mix styles, but it's very tricky to pull off without the room looking schizophrenic. If you decide against the toile, I'd consider a great stripe or maybe a traditional diamond. Silk draperies are gorgeous, but silk rots in the sun, so it needs to be lined with a good quality fabric, or your draperies will be shot within a few years. The treatment of the edge hem of a silk panel needs to be handkerchiefed, rather that the more common folded edge, because you don't want the silk exposed to the UVA any more than absolutely necessary.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:33AM
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focus on the front facing windows with the view to street first.It is the position to add focus/a bit of drama or that accent you wish. the treatment for two smaller windows facing green home will be complementary and have the issue of the lesser appealling view,[and the artwork on wall is actually going to do more for the wall,really] so you'll be working out something with light and view filtering/a tailored, non accent approach that works with what you do at the front. For the front windows,I'm thinking a long pole that extends beyond windows so the glass is cleared ...then, side panels and perhaps the "puddling" effect....these are stationary panels.....and then a treatment across. You could keep the blinds and raise them with the option to lower when needed. They are not particulary interesting blinds, but they are there...so if you leave them for their function as needed, then perhaps some textural sheers attached to that pole you ran across the top that you can swoosh back and forth a bit, or just leave across the window... you'll get light, the humans will appear as shadows for outside lookers,rather than seeing details of your presence. Sheers and panels are easy to make...I've done many.The outlet/cord and wine fridge might be an issue....can the appliance be placed elsewhere?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:33AM
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One thing to note regarding the blinds, not sure if this changes anything. My husband is crazy crazy about closing the blinds at night, even though we are rarely in the front facing rooms of our house. Guess he is worried about people looking at our empty table. It is a battle that is currently in the truce phase with the compromise being me opening them like they are in the "open" pictures in the morning, he shutting them as in the "closed" picture when the sun goes down. I am not sure why, but they are very hard to get even again if we actually completely raised them. I am not thinking that this will likely change, and sheers would not deter him in his quest to make this house with windows that I love into a cave. Yes, it drives me crazy.

Thank you for the info on the material, while I love the look of silk, I am going to nix it on that information alone! Funny that you say schizophrenic as this is a term that I have mockingly used about my "style" in the past. I do love a strip, but not sure how it would look if not in silk. The rug, (to me) is sort of traditional, but not so much as some Oriental rugs. Maybe the toile or the diamond that you mentioned would suit the rug while not looking to traditional for me.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:47AM
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robo (z6a)

What if you did the heavier fabric just at the front, with some linen semisheers, then just did the semisheers on the two windows at the side? That might avoid 'squishing' the heavier fabric against the walls on the side windows. Then again this photo shows window treaments a bit squished and it looks pretty nice (I would have run the rods a little farther I think). I guess squishing implies fullness, and fullness in curtains implies expensiveness.

I really like the look of pinch pleats on rings, I have that in my living room. Here's a view of one from Maria Killam that I think could work in your room

Edit to add: I had a hard time finding someone locally to sew up my curtains without selling me the fabric (I wanted very colorful, very specific fabric that was impossible to find around here), so I engaged someone from Etsy and was VERY happy with her work. I spent WAY less than custom curtains from around here by getting my fabric online and shipping it to this lady from Etsy. She did pinch pleats and made a few cushions for me as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maria Killam on curtains

This post was edited by robotropolis on Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 10:51

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:48AM
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FWIW, there is pinch pleating tape/special hook setup which makes this pretty darned easy to do. When I was a kid I had pinch pleated drapes made from the sheets that matched my bedspread, and even I could sew those.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:31AM
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robotropolis- interesting to do a different treatment on the side windows. On closer examination, I think that may be the only option. Here is a pic of the lack of clearance between one side window and door to our coat closet that is accessed several times per day. I wonder if any sort of panel would work at all. I'm not a "topper" person typically, but wonder if a topper of some sort in a matching or coordinating fabric would make it look like they belonged. I'll have to peruse houzz.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:32AM
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Oops, sorry, I hit Post before I meant to. Here's the current version of that tape, which doesn't need special hooks anymore. But it's one of the easiest sewing projects there is, truly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinch pleat tape at Joanne

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:35AM
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I don't have any info to offer as I am curtain-free myself. Just wanted to say I LOVE the look on that dog's face as he sits in the bathtub! Hahahahaha

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Are you set on drapes? Another way to get around the narrow stackback on the two side windows is to simply do roman shades on all the windows. They're not too formal and, like drapes, give you the opportunity to introduce a pretty fabric. Just a thought.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 1:22PM
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robotropolis do you mind sharing your source from Etsy? Thanks! I am thinking pinch pleat curtains for our kitchen, but we are about a year from the step......

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 3:21PM
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