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Blogging about gardening in zone 4, marriage, our golden retriever and life in general.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I've been over at the house weekend day today "helping" DJ tile. Well, maybe not so much help. On Saturday first I had brunch with Katie and Shawna, then I brought Katie over to see the house, then I went to get coffee (and stopped at ACE hardware to check out mixers, Macy's to return a pair of jeans and look at registering for wedding stuff, and then Jo-Anne fabrics to look for idea about making my own curtains), and then I actually did really important stuff... Like plug in and unplug the tile saw. And get water. And stand around. And go get lunch. Clearly I'm contributing a lot here : )

While I've been standing around I started really thinking about curtains. As I've said before, this house has a lot of windows, which is awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I'm already thinking about how to cover them. And how the window coverings will probably be our chance to insert some color into the decor.

DJ and I pretty much have the same sense of style. I laughed when I moved in with him and realized that our stuff was the same neutral colors like tans and greens and creams. But this spring I'd look around the house and feel like things were pretty bland. Not in a bad way, but the condo lacked oomph. No pops of color or unexpected texture.

Another thing to think about this fall when considering decorating and window treatments is that the large windows in our bedroom and in the dining room, as well as the french doors in the kitchen, will be big squares seeping cold air all winter. Of course, the windows are double paned, energy efficient, etc, but they'll still let in cold air. So whatever goes on those windows needs to be able to insulate too

Big east facing dining room window and french doors.

Conversely, the large windows are in place where we have great views(master bedroom window, faces north towards the Bridgers) or get great light (kitchen french doors and dining room large window face east), so I don't want these insulated window treatments to totally block the view. But I do want them to offer some privacy.

Yeah, how's that for a request! Oh, let me add that from when we close on the house in early November and when we get our tax returns, we'll be BROKE, so I need these window treatments to be cheap too!

So! In terms of window treatments on windows with great views or light, here's what I'm thinking:

I've mentioned before that our kitchen will be very black and white. And it'll stay that way until after our wedding, when registry gifts come in (hopefully through the generosity of friends and family). We've both been drooling over the kitchen aid mixers at ACE hardware, where they come in practically every color of the rainbow. Appliances like this, which will sit on the counters, would be a good way to add color to the black and white kitchen. As much as I'd like to do something kinda kooky like yellow or turquoise, I'm not that adventurous. I think we'll go with a cherry red; for the mixer, teapot, rugs, hand towels, etc.
Pop! Red accents in the kitchen? We also have an awesome Northern Pacific Railroad poster that has a lot of red in it that I should get framed for the main floor of the house soon...

SO, while we won't add all of those things to our kitchen for nearly a year, I'll still think of them while thinking about curtains downstairs. Since its so open, it should at least coordinate.

I'm not certain that we'll do any sort of window treatment on the window above the sink. Maybe a decorative valance for color someday, but its not a priority. The doors are though, as well as the adjacent dining room window. I'll probably use the curtains as the way to carry the red from the kitchen through the main floor.
Ignore that handsome fellow cutting backerboard for the tile and focus on the small window in the kitchen. It'll probably go un-decorated for a while. Even once a window treatment goes on it, the treatment will probably be pretty minimal. Maybe a valance.

Oh the french doors, I'm not sure. Maybe some sort of bamboo shade? Let me know If you think of an answer for that.

Kitchen french doors covering? Maybe? I want something that'll insulate, but that will also let light through and not be a pain in the rear when we want to go in and out of the door...

BUT, here's what I'm thinking for the dining room: it has wood floors, and we'll want to do an area rug under the table and chairs. I would like to do a natural fiber rug here, but maybe have it edged in red.

Dining Room Rug inspiration.

And now for the window. Again, I want to let light in and be able to see out, while also reducing the heat loss in the winter. So I'm think of some sort of cafe curtain or sheer inset in the window. As much as I like the look of top and bottom rods, we'll also open the bottom of the window for ventilation. So probably just a panel of sheers. Then on the outside, and set on a rod with tie back hardware, I'd like to add (sew myself?) lined curtains that will hang from above the window to pool on the floor. And I've always liked the warm, amber color of whiskey in a glass... So what about a whiskey colored silky fabric with, wait for it.... A red pin stripe?

Big east-facing dining room window.

I can't seem to find a digital fabric swatch of what I want for curtains. I like the look of the ones above, but where those are green I want gold/ amber, and where those have the tan stripes I want red. I think these are going to be a January sewing project after a couple of trips to Jo-Anne Fabrics...

I have a not so small obsession with Restoration Hardware, whose online catalog I glance through frequently for ideas to rip off! Their drapery hardware includes these yummy glass ended ones! Who wants to bet I can find something similar, but cheaper somewhere...

I haven't decided which way to go for the downstairs front windows. I'm kind of leaning towards shutters in the living room; ones that could be open on the top, but closed for privacy on the bottom? I can't seem to find a photo of them...

Master bedroom: great view, faces north, HUGE window, current bedroom decorations are cream, tan and sage green. Need: insulation, light blocking (so DJ can sleep in), some color. But probably won't really have a problem with privacy. The back yard faces the school, and its a ways away. The only time someone could really are in there is at night when the lights are on. I think the solution here is to do either wood blinds in the window or a roman shade that can be pulled up from the bottom, or lowered from the top. Additionally, I'd outside mount the green curtains I sewed this spring for our master bedroom (see earlier blog post from June?). That'll require a new rod and pull back things.

Big window facing north in the master bedroom.
This Roman Shade can be pulled up from the bottom as shown, or let down from the top so you'd be able to see out the top half of the window while still getting privacy. And when it's pulled fully closed it's insulating. I wouldn't necessarily do the shade in brown.

The Master bedroom also has little 27" x27" windows for light and ventilation. While they're high enough to allow for privacy, there is still four of them in the master bedroom; two of which face east and will allow a lot of morning light in. While this is a good thing during the work week as it makes me get out of bed and get going, dude, sometimes I just wanna sleep in! And I think the best, cheapest way to prevent light intrusion while still letting air come through is to go the old fashioned roller shade route. We had them in the sleeping dorms at AOII and they worked perfectly. Blocked a lot of light, but still could move in and out to allow for air to pass through.
Old fashioned roller shades, which makes me think of AOII and elementary school for some reason!

So that covers the windows where I want to conserve heat. But what about the windows in the front of the house that face south and west? Isn't the inverse true in the summer? Won't I need curtains here that will block the sun to keep the heat out? Welp. Yep. Unfortunately, there are no less than five of these windows on the second floor that face south and west and are not shaded at all by the front porch or (what will be) our little trees. Again, in the bedrooms it's important that the shade or window covering be able to let light in, and air through the bottom since the windows pull up from the bottom. I'd like to go with the roman shade option again down here, like in the master bedroom. You'd be able to pull the top down to see the view, and pull the bottom up to get air through. Unfortunately, these are expensive and will likely be a post-wedding purchase.

Standing in the east bedroom looking through the bathroom towards the west front bedroom.

In the bathroom I'd like to do something similar, but more sheer. I love natural light in a bathroom, and it'll be tricky to figure out how to do nautral light as well as privacy. You know, a sheer covering at night + turned on lights ='s everyone can see your business!

So, that's what I'm thinking of for curtains. I'm actually kind of looking forward to sewing a lot of them myself. I have fun making something pretty that I can enjoy every day and will add something to our house.

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