Genie to Aladdin: “Oh, Al, I’m gettin’ kind of fond of ya, kid. Not that I wanna pick out curtains or anything.” (Disney’s Aladdin, 1992)
It may sound crazy, but I have never purchased curtains in my life! Having lived in rentals for a good portion of adulthood, I’ve never needed to! Not only that, but I have always considered curtains (just like the Genie in Aladdin) as the ultimate expression of commitment – as if the mortgage wasn’t enough, the curtains are the final cherry on top. One would think after two years of marriage that I wouldn’t be a stranger to commitment, but after buying a house together, I figured it was time to take the plunge….or draw the curtain??? Ba-dum bump CHING!
I have been told by reading many decor magazines and watching copious amounts of HGTV that the two most impactful ways to update a space are by painting and hanging curtains. Lemme tell ya, I couldn’t agree more!! Our room feels so much more updated and luxurious and for less time and money than painting (which will come later).
Unfortunately, I don’t have a very good before pic on this one, but you can see off to the right in this pic below how large our double sliding glass doors are. They are also East-facing doors, so they let a lot of light stream in during the mornings, especially during our Vitamin-D inducing summers here in the Pacific Northwest. The tree helps shade us a bit, but we needed a little bit of decor help so that our furniture wouldn’t fade and our house would stay a bit cooler during the recent heat spells we’ve been experiencing:
So off I went to Ikea here in PDX to find some affordable window dressings.
(Pause for Commercial break. If you have never been to an Ikea or don’t have one close by, log onto their website and just take a look around. Despite the overtly modern and Swedishly clean sense of style on most of their pieces, they have classic designs in their stores just waiting to be snapped up by “Ballard-Barn-o-philes” like myself. And all for dirt cheap prices that don’t induce guilt upon purchase – bonus! But I would encourage you never to order furniture from Ikea to be delivered if you don’t live within a 50 mile radius of the store. I have a nightmare scenario about a bed that I ordered from Ikea about 4 years ago that I will save for another post. It involved a bedframe that never made it to my house, a gal named Daisy, and about 6 months worth of fights and royal pains-in-my-rear).
Long story short, I picked up one package of curtain rods and a package of Ikea’s Merete Curtains in Bleached. You can see the prices by clicking on the links above and you’ll note that they’re not outrageous, though admittedly they are some of the most expensive curtains you can buy at Ikea (*blushes*). Similar curtains at “Ballard-Barn” can run you anywhere from $50-$100+ and that’s just for one panel! Not to mention the fact that most Ikea curtains are a longer luxury length (98″ to be exact), which is a surefire way to make your rooms look taller and draw the eye up toward the ceiling (hang ’em tall as per Sherry over at Young House Love advises). Ikea also makes it easy by including iron on hemming kits in case 98″ is just too tall for your space and you are sewing challenged like myself. They also sell curtains at 108″ if you live in Jolly Green Giant world, but we’ll be adding crown molding to the ceiling at some point, so we’re happy to hang them just a little shy (about 8-10 inches) of the ceiling. Here is the billowy after:
You can see all of our morning sun streaming through like a laserbeam (and our updated hutch in the background!!), so since we’ll be closing these a great deal for privacy and light control, we’re happy we sprang for the pricier Grommets instead of cloth – they are much easier to open and close! Just a little example about how design can be pretty *and* functional!
Now I will address the other major issue you probably notice with these curtains. They’re white!!! I can hear the Moms of the world screaming in pre-child-unpracticality effigy! Not to worry! I actually picked white for a reason; they are made of cotton, therefore washable, therefore bleach-able! Trust me, I have a 60 pound bull-in-a-china-shop-mutt of a dog, so these will probably be getting a good ol’ bleach down a couple of times per year.
So there ya go! My first taste of homeowner/marriage commitment! What do you think? Was it a good buy? What would you have done with this monstrous door/window combo?