I’m back with a curtain update, I couldn’t leave you hanging the whole weekend. Thanks so much for all your suggestions, including your tips on dealing with wrinkles in velvet fabric that’s been folded and creased. You are awesome and I always appreciate hearing your excellent ideas and suggestions!
This morning I headed off to the Ballard Designs Outlet. The BD Outlets here in the Atlanta area are known for not accepting any returns. They have signs all around the registers announcing this policy. Still, I felt completely comfortable going back there today with my two, large Ballard Designs shopping bags filled with draperies, since I knew I had a valid reason for possibly having to return them.
It wasn’t be because I had just changed my mind or was suffering buyers remorse. No, I was back because one of the panels had been incorrectly labeled “Sage” on the packaging, and on the panel itself. After I removed it from the packaging and noticed that the panel didn’t match the others, I noticed the other side of the original label on the panel, was stamped: Evergreen. (Ignore the price sticker. Panels were on sale 40% off which came out to $63.50 per panel.)
Since this was obviously a store error, I felt sure I’d have no problem returning them if they didn’t have another sage panel. I headed off to Ballards today with a positive attitude, not expecting a problem. I think sometimes we worry and bring into our lives, that which we most fear. I’m a Class A worrier from way back, I can fret with the best of ’em. But as I’ve gotten older, I try not to anticipate and worry about things that haven’t even happened, yet. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not.
I love this Mark Twain quote.
I don’t think I’ve ever been in this particular Ballard Designs on a Saturday, and it was really busy. You could hear, “Excuse me” and “Can I get by” going on all over the place as shoppers, who were almost all women, attempted to maneuver around each other to see a particular item they had spotted. I made a mental note to myself to avoid shopping there on Saturday whenever possible.
I got in the line for the checkout counter and as the line moved along, I lifted and scooted my two, large, bags along. After I’d been in line for about 10 minutes, one of the two ladies in front of me, turned, looked down at my bags and said “You know they don’t accept returns.”
Ha! I wasn’t even up to the counter yet, and even the other customers were trying to convince me I was wasting my time. In a matter-of-fact voice, I replied, “They’ll accept this one.” She looked surprised and said, “Oh!” I didn’t offer any further explanation and she didn’t ask. 🙂
Another register was opened up since the line had gotten a bit longer and another customer ended up checking out next. She was trying to exchange something and the sales associate who was looking at her computer, reminded her that she had done this 3-4 times during the previous year. She was politely advised that customers are allowed only one return or exchange a year. I had never heard that rule before. Interesting! It’s nice to know they do allow it once in a while. An exception was made but she was gently warned that this would be the last time she could exchange something for a while.
She took it well. I felt kind of bad for her, it was like being told that you had used up all your get-out-of jail-free cards. You would think after witnessing that exchange and just a few minutes before being warned by another shopper that they didn’t take returns, I’d be feeling a bit nervous about my exchange or possible return, but I wasn’t. I knew as long as I didn’t get someone completely unreasonable, everything should go well.
It was finally my time at the register and I politely asked to speak with the manager who I had noticed was nearby. She came over, listened to my dilemma and never once implied that I wouldn’t be allowed to return the curtains. She was great and got right to work attempting to find another sage panel while I headed over to the curtain area of the store to see if there were any left.
I had no luck and though I was disappointed, I had prepared myself for this outcome. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, when you miss out on one thing, often something much better comes along. Then you find yourself thanking your lucky stars that the other thing hadn’t worked out. Have you ever had that happen? I have lots of times.
This day luck was with me. The manager was successful in tracking down one more sage panel and I returned the Evergreen panel. As we were talking, the manager told me something very interesting. She said Ballard Designs had never actually stocked this drapery in the Evergreen color and that this panel was a “sample” panel. She said that they often gets samples in, but may not always decide to stock a particular color.
I commented that it seems like it would be almost impossible to sell just one panel, since not too many folks have a need for a single panel. She told me that I’d be surprised and that they sell them frequently. I wonder if folks buy and use them to make pillows.
Just for grins and giggles, I opened up my shutters in the living room today and draped the three sage curtains over the shutter panels to see how the color looked against the walls and how it looked with the other furnishings in the room. I did this yesterday, too, but was curious to see it again.
I’ll be hanging the panels outside the windows so they won’t be blocking the window/view. The drapery panels are full, but not super wide, so I think they’ll fit comfortably alongside the windows. I’ll also hang them up nice and high like I did with the curtains in the office and those in the dining room.
So what do you think? Can you envision them hanging high on either side of the windows, framing out the windows in this room? Do you like the color? Initially, I thought I liked the Evergreen color better, but it was so dark, it lacked some of the depth/richness I see in the sage panels. I like the way the lamp-light plays off these panels.
I took this picture with the lamp on the table turned off. I’m looking forward to hemming them, or having them hemmed. I may leave it up to a pro since it’s velvet and I’ve never sewn or worked with that fabric.
Looking forward to sharing the final look soon!