Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dressing Up the Guest Rooms

When you're married to an architect in a house he designed, you must tread lightly when it comes to "decorating." The architecture should be the only art needed; you shouldn't have to add a bunch of fluff to make something beautiful. So you can imagine that, when I was inspired by my buddy Marie to add curtains to our guestrooms, it took some negotiating. I carefully, clearly stated my case with back-up from Pinterest images and, happily, Scott chose to trust me.
The recipe for elegant curtains is pretty simple:  canvas dropcloths from Home Depot, thread, and pretty trim. Because I wanted to hang the curtains high on the wall and have them touch the floor, the finished panels needed to be 90-inches long. These 6 ft. x 9 ft. dropcloths fit the bill and were only $10.98 each. I purchased one dropcloth for each of the six windows in the two rooms. (There was actual math involved...not my strongest subject but I triple checked everything.)
Having all of the leaves in the dining table was helpful. After running each dropcloth through the laundry (you wouldn't believe the lint they shed), all I had to do was cut each in half lengthwise.
You can imagine the amount of measuring, cutting, folding and ironing before it was finally time to sew hems on the raw edges.
You know you haven't used your sewing machine in a while when you have to take the Windex and a paper towel to it and wipe off all the grime. But once I got it threaded, it ran like a champ. It took me several hours Friday evening and a few hours Saturday morning to create all 12 panels.
The final step was to add the trim. I found this charcoal gray woven braid for only $1.11 per yard at Hobby Lobby. I placed it about 14-inches down from the top of the panel, and adhered it with a layer of iron-on Stitch Witchery.
When it was finally time to begin hanging the curtains in the big guestroom, it was an all-family event. Can you spot all three kitties in this photo? They were such good helpers (as you can imagine.)
Scott took charge of installing the rods. I selected simple, telescoping cafe rods from Target. We decided to place the outer edge of the rod 13 inches from the outside edge of the wood trim. The goal was to cover as little of the woodwork as possible while still allowing full coverage of the window, as needed.
The first window was a bit of a challenge but we got it figured out pretty quickly and the remaining windows were done in a snap (if snaps last four hours on a Saturday night, that is.)
Detail view of the fabric and trim textures. I really am impressed with the final appearance plus the weight of the canvas lets the curtains drape beautifully.
The clips are one of the best elements! I found them on the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby for $2.50/12 marked down from $14.99. Quite a bargain - in fact, all 6 windows were covered for less than $200!
We're really happy with the final result! The windows look larger and the rooms are much more cozy. Can curtains in the master bedroom be next? One can dream...
Stay Tuned for Our Next Adventure!


  1. That Marie sounds like one heck of an awesome gal! Is she some kind of "Jo Jo" from North O?

    1. North O? No. She lives in a beautiful, vintage home in Council Bluffs. But - she is one heck of an awesome gal - fo sho.