Welcome to the 200th Metamorphosis Monday! We’ve officially been celebrating your fabulous Before and Afters for 200 weeks now! Wowza! Thank you so much for joining the party each week and sharing your amazing creativity and talent! I’m looking forward to 200 more!
The Accidental Decorator:
Well, the Accidental Decorator has been at it again. As I’ve mentioned before, I seem to fall into some of the choices I make for the rooms in my home. Sometimes I know exactly where I’m going with a room and how I want to furnish/decorate it. Other times, I don’t have a clue and do nothing until my decorating muse places something in my path.
Apparently, my muse was tired of looking at these drapery-less windows in my dining room. Doesn’t she know I just took down the curtains in my family room and that’s where I really need new draperies the most?
Since I forgot to take a “Before” pic of the windows, I snagged a couple of pics from some past Christmas tablescapes. (Christmas tablescape below can be viewed here: Christmas Tablescape with Cedar and Mercury-Glass Christmas Tree Centepiece)
I have a very fickle decorating muse, one that definitely has a mind of her own. Over the years I’ve learned to just roll with her chocies and let her have her way. I had a doctor’s appointment Wednesday in the same complex as one of the Ballard Designs Outlets. I was running a few minutes early and arrived at 2:12. The appointment was at 2:30.
I almost always cruise through BD since I’m rarely in that area. I usually go to my appointment first, then check out BD afterwards, but I was due to be at a friend’s home in Atlanta by 5:00 PM and that was 30 minutes away in good traffic. We would be attending the first night of the Garden Light Show at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and I didn’t want to be late.
So, I hurried across the parking lot and up the three flights of stairs to Ballard Designs, planning on just a quick run-through. Much more fun to take a quick run through Ballard Designs than to sit for 15 minutes in a waiting room. (Tablescape below can be viewed here: Christmas Tablescape with Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree Centerpiece)
I started down the right side of the store heading toward the back. Then I circled through the back and made the turn to head back to the front. Just before reaching the front I spotted the area where they keep all the curtains. It was buzzing with ladies so I knew something was up. Turned out, there was a big sale going on. I wasn’t optimistic I’d find anything because in the past if I found curtains I liked, they were always the wrong size or there would be just one panel on the shelf.
This time was different. They had quite a few panels and some check draperies caught my eye. They were available in three color combinations: Green/White, Black/White and Toffee/White. At Ballard Designs online, and in their current catalog, you’ll find the 96″ length available for $135 a panel. In the outlet that were reduced to $100.99 a panel and on this particular day they were 50% off, making them just $50.50 a panel! Not bad!
I opened one up and pulled it out of the package for a closer look. I couldn’t get over how custom it felt and looked. They were lined and so heavy! An employee was working nearby straightening up the shelves. I was pretty sure I knew the answer but I went ahead and asked if their policy was no returns. Yep…no returns.
Ummm, I pondered some more. I loved the look of the curtains They had French pleats along the top and were accented with a pretty grosgrain ribbon trim. I was pretty sure I had a room in my home where they would work.
As I was standing there thinking it all over, a voice nearby said, “You should buy them.” Now my muse had taken the form of another customer. She said she had just bought some for her lake home in the green/white color combination and loved them!
My muse poked me in the ribs and asked when I was ever going to find panels this full, this heavy, this well made for $50 a panel. She pointed out that I couldn’t even buy the fabric for that price.
Then my muse whispered, “If they don’t work out, you can always sell them on eBay.” Umm, good point! Since they are $135 a panel online, I could probably at least come close to recouping my cost if I ended up not liking them. I carried 4 heavy panels up to the front counter, hurriedly paid, threw them in the car and just made it to my doctor’s appointment on time.
Photo from Ballard Designs online
So here they are, in their new home. This was quite the project! Since I’ve never had curtains with pinch pleats before, I spent much of Thursday researching how to hang them. I also spent much of the day in search of curtains rods and curtains rings designed to work with pinch pleat draperies.
The following day I continued my search for curtain rods and rings. Finally finding rods I liked at Lowes, I spent Friday evening hemming all the panels by hand. I purchased the panels in the 96 inch length because I wanted to hang them up high near the ceiling. I love that look and I like how it pulls the eye upward making the windows feel a bit taller.
They were about 6 inches too long. I didn’t want to cut the panels because I sometimes dream of living in an historic home or a “new” old house with high ceilings. Hey, ya never know! So, I just hemmed them with a long basting stitch. It took FOREVER because they are so full! I did it while listening to several podcasts and watching a movie, so that made the process go a bit faster.
I spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning ironing all the panels. I probably left them a tad long but I was so worried about hemming them too short, I decided it was okay if they bunched a bit on the floor. I just didn’t want them to puddle because my dining room is too small to have puddled drapes. Once I remove the leaf out of the table after Thanksgiving, there will be more space.
Here’s how they look when entering into the dining room from the entry. The black/white check curtains would have looked good in here with the red walls, too, but I’m just not that big a fan of black and red together, despite being a GA Bulldog fan!
I’ve developed a love for brown and white over the years, especially brown and white buffalo checks and brown and white transferware. Again, if I ever move, I could see these ending up in a room with that color scheme. Just thinking ahead.
One HUGE change these drapes made that I never anticipated: the room is much quieter. It “sounds” so different when you talk and walk in here now. It’s amazing how fabric absorbs sound!
The Curtains Rods:
Choosing a rod took me quite a while. I didn’t want to go with a fat, wood rod because I wanted all the focus to be on the curtains. Plus, I wanted to hang them as high as I could get them and all the wood rods required large, wood rings that would make the curtains hang a bit lower. That just wasn’t the look I wanted for this smallish dining room with 8 foot ceilings.
I loved this Allen and Roth rod with the avocado-looking finials when I spotted it at Lowes. At first I purchased it in a 36-72 inch length. My windows are 32 inches wide (inside measurement) and I wanted the curtains to hang well beyond the window so I could keep my light and view through the shutters. I don’t plan on ever closing them since the shutters provide plenty of privacy. The 36-72″ rod was fine except for one thing. (There’s always one thing.)
When I hung the curtains, I ended up with this in the middle…a pieced together look. To get the full width I wanted, it required using the extension piece that came with the rod, which made it look even worse. This was going to be very visible in the center of the window and I really wanted the rod to appear as one solid piece across the center.
I went back to Lowes and purchased the next size up which started at 72 inches. I think it went up to 144 inches with the extension. I almost didn’t buy it because 72 inches (the smallest size the box indicated it could be on the box) was way too large for my needs. But I could tell by looking at it in the box, it was a lot shorter with the two pieces pushed together.
An employee helped me measure and sure enough, it was perfect with them pushed together. Once they were up, I only had to pull them apart about an inch or two to get the width I wanted and the part where they met ended up way over at the edge underneath the rings so it didn’t show. Perfect! That’s just what I was hoping for! So I ended up with the rod at about 64-65 inches. I don’t know why the box indicated the smallest it could be was 72 inches.
Finding the Correct Curtain Rings:
The other battle I had was all the places I shopped only had clip rings. I didn’t want to clip on the curtains. Instead, I wanted to use the drapery pins that came with them. You won’t believe how many places I searched for rings with an “eyelet” or ring through which the drapery pin would hook. When I did find them, they were always on the big wood rings, the kind that fit over the fat, wood rods. Again, not the look I wanted. Frustrating!
While in Home Depot, I happened to notice these Levolor clip rings also had an eyelet of sorts. (see arrow) So they were pinch pleat rings camouflaged as clip rings…sneaky things. I bought them in black so the rings would disappear on the black rod. I hung the drapery pin through that eyelet, leaving the clips in place.
At first I thought I’d need to remove the clips. Once home I realized it worked find with them still there so there was no need to remove them. If you’re looking for rings that will work with drapery pins and pinch pleat draperies, and you don’t want to use big wood rings, check out the Levolor clip rings at Home Depot.
I may just get a wild hair one day and paint my dining room the color in the pic below or maybe even a little lighter. Love how the toffee-colored check curtains look with the lighter sections of the walls below. I’m not quite ready to give up my red walls, though.
I first fell in love with having a red room when I saw one on a Christmas home tour years ago. The room was a cozy den with a roaring fireplace. Everyone on the tour stopped in that room and would NOT leave. It grabbed you and would not let you go. There were so many people in that room, admiring it. It was wonderful! I came home determined to paint a room red.
Before I hemmed my curtains, they puddled pretty much the amount you see below. Since my dining room isn’t very big and I didn’t want to have to vacuum around them, I decided against the puddled look. Plus, I have way too much kitty fur floating around here for this look.
If you like how this looks, I’ll take the credit. If you don’t, I know a muse you can talk to and it’s all her fault!
Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters for this Met Monday!
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