Dining Room Addition: French-Pleated Check Draperies

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)

Christmas Tablescape with Mercury-glass Christmas Tree Centerpiece


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.

Check Curtains Draperies with French Pleats and Grosgrain Trim

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.

Check Curtains Draperies with French Pleats and Grosgrain Trim


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.

Check Curtains Draperies with French Pleats and Grosgrain Trim


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.

Check Curtains Draperies with French Pleats and Grosgrain Trim


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!

Check Curtains Draperies with French Pleats and Grosgrain Trim


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.)

Check Curtains Draperies with French Pleats and Grosgrain Trim


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.

Check Curtains with French Pleats


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.

Check Curtains Draperies with French Pleats and Grosgrain Trim


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!

Check Curtains Draperies with French Pleats and Grosgrain Trim


Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

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  1. Susan, I love your new drapes. I think you made a wonderful choice, the ribbon trim is just the right designer touch. Oh, how I would enjoy a Ballard Outlet, the catalog arrives and I have a “dream” shopping list. I also think the rods are perfect. It can be so hard to find nice rods and clips/rings. What a great new look just in time for Thanksgiving. Many blessings, MM

  2. Yeah, I would have bought them too…FOR $50 A PANNEL, GEEEZZZ…HOW COULD YOU GO WRONG!! They are gorgeous dear Susan, you are one lucky lady to have found them and the material looks like such FINE quality! Your dining room looks more stunning than it already is. Great find, wow! Thank you for hosting yet, another great MM. Wishing you and yours a very blessed Thanksgiving.

  3. Phyllis Stanko says

    Love love the new drapes, so fresh and beautiful, black and white would look so perfect also…I would however add another hook on each end so they don’t look kind of dangling there a little unfinished, hope you are following what I am saying…it’s late lol I was trying to see how they did it in the Ballards pic… what a great look and what an incredible bargain, I have that muse as well, it is always following me around….dreadful huh…glad you listened this time…I want those soup terines, just so ya know…phyllis

    • Thanks, Phyllis! I know what you mean but there’s no where to hook another pin in there. They are designed with that flap of fabric on each end. It is supposed to turn back toward the wall or window to give it a finished look so you aren’t looking down behind the curtain from the side. The panels have 9 pleats and came with exactly 9 drapery pins, so you’re not suppose to pin that flap on either end to the rod. So it’s designed that way…with the flap. Maybe I can find a way to straight-pin it in place so it will stay up a bit better.

      • That’s where another type of drapery hook comes in, one with a pointy end that will stick into the material (being sure to penetrate the interfacing in the header)… Where the drapes meet, use one pointy pin on each panel about 1/2 inch from the edge, lined up with the height of the other hooks, this may take a little trial and error. Then do the same on the outside edges. It get tricky here, but you should be able to bring the edge of the drape around the end of the rod and hook it into a little hole in the fixture that supports the rod. This result in a finished look and hides the mechanicals in case anyone happens to be looking at the window sideways.(Ya never know…)
        Often there is a a slight difference at the top of the drapery panels from the last pleat to the edge, The wider space from pleat to edge goes on the outside…
        Talk about TMI!
        Hope this helps…

        Sheila C

  4. Susan the curtains are very pretty. A question though, why are the inner pieces hanging loose?
    Another subject, I have difficulty getting onto your site from my main p.c. I am on my laptop which I do not like. I get the message that it is down. Any answers? Please do not send me to purgatory forever typing on this thing!! 🙂

    • Hi Megan,
      Thanks! They are designed that way…the flap is supposed to hide seeing behind the curtain, I think. There’s no way to pin it to the pole.
      Megan, email me your IP address so I can see if it’s being blocked or something. I can’t imagine why you’re getting that message.

  5. I love the look and I think it looks very professional! Also love the fact that you went with your instincts…errr…Muse and bought them on the spot, can’t go wrong either way because either they work or you sell them on eBay like you said…a women after my own thoughts!
    They turned out beautiful and just truly freshened up the whole room! Job well done!

  6. I love the new look! Hurray for your muse–I love it when I’m indecisive and the universe gives me a shove in the right direction!

  7. Gloria Lawrence says

    Just beautiful Susan..You have always had awesome decorating taste..Many Blessing to you and your family this Thanksgiving..Give your sister my love and best..Hugs and love Gloria

  8. Susan, I have never left a comment before on any of the blog’s I follow but your drapes are just perfect for your room. As I was reading the blog I started to get nervous that you wouldn’t get them ! After reading the other comments you could use your needle and thread and just tack the flaps up with one stitch, or not. Either way just lovely.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  9. Hi, Susan!
    Congrats on your 200th MM!
    I love the new drapes! They make the room cozier.
    And just a few days before Thanksgiving! I’d say good timing! 🙂
    Give your muse (and yourself) a big pat on the back! (Both of) You did a great job! lol
    ~Hugs to you~

  10. Susan,
    Everything looks beautiful! Thanks so much for hosting !
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with those that you love!


  11. I love your new drapes and think they make an excellent addition to your already beautiful dining room. Thanks for hsoitng the party!

  12. New window treatments just in time for the holidays. 🙂 Perfect! They look great. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    I’m sharing a metamorphosis today that’s my favorite kind of all. Please consider this my personal invitation to you and your readers to join me on the Thrive Team. Lots of transforming going on there!

  13. Susan,
    I LOVE your new drapes!!! Lady can you shop and make a decision quickly before an appointment!!! That’s cutting it way to close for me! Glad you were pleased with your purchases!!! They definitely add ambiance to your lovely dining room…and just in time for the holidays! EnJOY!!!

  14. Susan, the drapes are gorgeous! What an awesome find! So glad you bought them, they looks stunning in your dinning room!!!

  15. Perfectly lovely! Clip rings are my favorite, and I always hem with the “bend”, like slacks. You have beautiful taste, Susan, and what an awesome price, too. Now, onto those den draperies…can’t wait to see those when you’re done. 🙂

  16. Susan I love the new drapes, your dining room looks beautiful!! Thanks so much for hosting and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  17. Susan, I have been looking at those same drapes in the Ballards catalog. My SIL has them in the green and white check, and she got hers at the outlet also. Sure wish I could make a quick trip to Atlanta! Yours look fabulous in your room. And you know those curtain rings you were looking for last week? I made Christmas ornaments out of them!

  18. Wow, you scored big time on this sale! Where can you get custom looking panels at that price? You had to jump and purchase them no matter what color! You can always use curtains/drapes in any room and work around the color. Wish there was one of these outlets in NY as I would be there every day! LOL

    The panels look fabulous in your dining room and enjoy all the fruits of your labor.

  19. Your muse knows her curtains! Definitely rushing thru Ballard – they are fabulous!

  20. I really love the new look in your dining room! It looked warm and cozy before and now even more so! After the first of the year I am going to do some redecorating in my home…I hope I have as good as luck as you did finding the right drapes!

  21. Hi, Susan, I love the look for the dining room, even more warm and inviting – great job! I’ve linked to the party and I’m off now to visit the others, so many great posts to see this week! Hugs ~ Mary

  22. You always have such good luck at the Ballard Outlet, Susan! The curtains look fabulous! I can’t puddle mine…the staff finds them waaaay too interesting that way! lol Thanks for hosting!…hugs…Debbie

  23. Very pretty curtains! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  24. Susan thanks again for a great party. Now those drapes ROCK!!! I can’t imagine the time involved and the amount of fabric I would have to buy to make these drapes. How lucky you were to find them at that incredible price. We don’t have Ballards here in Canada let alone an outlet. Buffalo checks are a hard find here as well. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  25. What a great find! I love the curtains! Thanks so much for hosting. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week!

  26. These are wonderful! If you purchase more rings you could hang the center area with rings and, you can put a thumbtack into the wall where the curtains “return” to the wall and hook the “return” onto it to hang properly. If you are concerned about the length you can always adjust the pins on the back to lift the curtain up a little. Just a couple of suggestions from a “drapery lady”! 🙂

    • I was thinking about that last night, raising them up just a tad on the pins. I have them pretty high now…kind of put the pins down low to get them up as high as I could, but there might a smidge more space. 🙂 Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  27. Oh I love these Susan! You chose well and I like how they rest on the floor just enough! I don’t like puddling because all I visualize them collecting dust/dirt. Your trick with the rings looks perfect! We did something very similar when we put up our patio door curtain. I found the clips are not strong enough for curtains that have any weight to them. I love the curtain rods at Lowes. The Allen Roth line of theirs is great!

    • Liz, now that you mention, you’re right! I don’t think these could have been hung with clips anyway. They weigh a ton! I do like the Allen Roth line, too. Lots of pretty choices!

  28. Ooolala!!! So very pretty! You certainly made the right decision. And often those snap decisions are the best!!!

  29. Be still my heart. I love BD and I love these drapes! Lucky you! They look great and warm up the room from the hard lines before!

  30. Susan,
    They look stunning! Just beautiful…and elegence to the room. Loved the way you came upon this fabulous find!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  31. They look stunning.. Love the look. I have the black and white in our bedroom and love them. oh wait.. LOVE them. They hang beautifully and are nicely lines. The checks align across the panels.. Oh yeah. However, you got the better deal. Love the look.. xo marlis

  32. Mary from Virginia says

    These are beautiful Susan! and the perfect touch for your lovely dining room. You are amazing with your attention to detail. Lucky you to have so many great places to shop!

  33. Thank you for a fun link party. According to the news we will all need to make those homemade Twinkies! Who knew twine could work as well as paint! I didn’t know I would be making acorn napkin rings when I woke up this morning! I love your dining room. What time is dinner???

  34. Hi Susan! Oh, you did good with your draperies – they’re beautiful! I love that they are wide and lined. You’re right, you couldn’t have bought the fabric for on panel for $50 and then more money for the lining! They look so nice in your dining room and really do make a difference. I love your red walls too. My kitchen was red for many years then I got that wild hair! 😉
    Your dining room is beautiful and I want to wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

  35. I love your new drapes! Everything looks so fabulous, as always!!! Thank you so much for hosting. Have a wonderful week and a Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  36. Draperies do add a nice elegant touch. I did notice the ones in the BD photo puddle on the floor. Some people like that while others don’t. It’s easier to clean if they don’t, and since most of us don’t have live-in maids that keep our homes up, it’s what I choose also. The old way of thinking is not as popular as it use to be.

    I am sure you will enjoy them for many years and they do add a very nice touch to your dining room.

  37. LUV!!!!! franki

  38. What I love about your home, Susan, is it’s gorgeous traditional, collected over time look. Your new curtains are perfect in your dining room. Beautiful!

    • Awww, thanks, Pat! I love that collected over time look, especially since that’s how my wallet likes me to decorate, too! 😉 That’s one of the reasons I love Bunny Williams home in An Affair with a House. It doesn’t look decorated, just collected. She even keeps a few frayed pieces around so you know you can relax and feel at home when you’re there. Love that and love that book!

  39. I love the new drapes! Look great. Thanks so much for hosting! Have a great Thanksgiving.

  40. Wow! Love the checked draperies – and what a great deal! Your table looks gorgeous.
    Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for hosting!

  41. Congratulations on your 200th MM! Thanks so much for hosting! Your drapes and table are beautiful ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

  42. You certainly got a great deal on those gorgeous drapes…they look fantastic in your dining room!…I say, it was meant to be…it was meant that you had an appt near Ballards and those drapes were just waiting for you to take them home!!
    Love the finials on the rods…thanks for hosting and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

  43. Congratulations on the bicentennial issue of Metamorphaosis Monday! Always enjoy looking at it, great way to start the week! Your new drapes look great, and what a bargain!

  44. Absolutely gorgeous! Sometimes those whim purchases can come back to bite you but I think did well with this one. Wow!

  45. I have those drapes in my bedroom and LOVE them. I also bought them at the Ballard Outlet last summer. They look great in your dining room, you’ll really enjoy them.

  46. OMG I LOVE this look and I may have to copy it! I think it would look fabulous in my dining room and my windows are exactly like yours. Now if I could just find those curtains on sale!! Thanks so much for all the details!!!

  47. I love the new look! They look beautiful against the wall color. I have pillows on my couch in this fabric-wish I could stumble on a deal like this!

  48. They look fantastic and what a great deal.

  49. You lucky woman! That was a great price.

  50. Susan,

    I can’t believe your luck! I’ve torn that page out of the catalogue cause I loved the black ones so much! The math though made me stop – $135 per for 4 panels equals tooooo much money for a seldom used room. If only there were an outlet in my area!!

  51. You don’t know how long I have coveted those drapes! They look gorgeous… in fact, the entire room is beautiful! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  52. Your muse was right – they are gorgeous! I love the colors, the pleats, the rods, everything! Your dining room and Thanksgiving table are beautiful too! Great deal you got – congrats! Hugs, Leena

  53. Are you sure you’re not an interior designer in your real life, Susan?? 🙂 You always know exactly what to buy and how to make it work in your beautiful home! These drapes are just lovely in your stunning dining room and I so appreciate how helpful you are with the extra advice and tips!

    xoxo laurie

  54. Thank you for hosting Susan! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  55. The drapes are so lovely, Susan. ¥our dining room is so pretty. Thanks so much for hosting another great party.

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  56. Thanks so much for hosting! Happy Thanksgiving! Life to the full, Melissa

  57. Wow! What a beautiful difference the drapes make. And I didn’t think the room could look any better than the way you already had it. Your decorating style is fabulous! I’ve already told my husband if we ever buy another house, I’m hiring you to help me decorate.

  58. Susan, after reading the other comments I looked more closely at the photos. I had a similar problem with some silk drapes, how to get the return to stay close to the wall, and what to do at the center. In the center where the first pleat is some distance from the edge, I removed the clip from a ring and just sewed the ring through the little eyelet right to the back edge of the drape top right at the side edge. You can adjust the thread to make sure that the ring holds the drape at just the right height compared to the other rings. In this way the drape does not droop, but hangs evenly across the width. On the wall end of the rod, I handled the return two different ways depending on the brackets. On one set, I was able to once again sew a ring to the very top edge and I was able to thread the ring over the bracket that holds the rod, keeping the side edge up against the wall. On my living room drapes, I actually removed the ring from the little bar and clip, and then clipped the clip to the top corner of the drape, and then bent the little metal piece and “fit” it into a little opening in the bracket. I realize that this is difficult to picture, but the clip was almost unnoticable from most vantage points, and I liked the more finished look when the return was “wrapped” to close the gap. Hope this might help. MM

    • Thanks for the tips! I do need to fix that. I was looking at it again today. Once Thanksgiving is behind me, I’ll get to work on it and see what I can come up with. Appreciate this great advice!

  59. I love Ballards! Great choice! SO pretty!

  60. Susan, your draperies are beautiful! Last year, I finally bit the bullet and had custom draperies made for my dining room. When they were installed, the wonderful lady who made them did a couple of things that you might want to try. She put a small screw in the drywall at the outer edge of the draperies and then attached the side of the drapery to it with a small ring; that made the side edge of the fabric turn toward the wall. On the inner edge of the drapery, she pushed another drapery pin through the fabric (no pleat there) at the leading edge of the drapery and added one more drapery ring. That allows the edge of the drapery to hang flat at the center of the window and not just “dangle.”
    The length of your draperies is similar to mine. The drapery lady used her hands and worked the pleats all the way to the floor. She made the first three pleats fold at the floor toward the center of the window. The rest of the pleats lean toward the outer edge of the window. That makes a uniform look on each side at the floor; I am careful when I vacuum to put them back that way. Your draperies are lovely as they are, but I thought you might like to know what the professional did to mine. There were so many little details that I never noticed before! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!

  61. What a great deal on the drapes! They look beautiful!! I’m with you on the red walls in the dining room. I have the same, I know they aren’t “in fashion”, but every time I think about painting the room a different color, I think about how much I love the red walls. Maybe I will reprint them some day, but not yet.

  62. Gorgeous!!! Absolutely gorgeous!!! You made the right choice buying those!!

  63. Susan – Great drapes. I am so jealous of the shopping sites available to you. So many items are hard to purchase online without actually touching. Just in case you do not have enough ideas on correcting the ends of the panels, I have another one. As mentioned by someone else I have solved the center issue by pushing the pin through the back fabric and lining of the panel and attaching the ring to the rod the same way the other ones are attached. Usually nice panels have a sturdy top interfacing which allows you to do this. For the outside edges of the panels I have also used ribbons (cut to about a foot long) which I folded length width close to the size of the rings. Stitch these in the middle to the back of the drape. You can tie a bow or a knot behind the drape . Because the ribbon may stretch some from the weight of the drape I have found the tying it allows you to retie and adjust for any drooping of the panel. Good luck whatever you method you choose and remember that no one will come into your dining room, stand at a right angle to drape and ask why there is no ring. If they do never invite them back.

  64. Sorry, I forgot to say the ribbon should match the rings.

  65. Susan, they look perfect!! the drapes were the “Eye Candy” your room needed! Send a picture of it to Tradional Home Magazine! I love everything about it! The red is beautiful, but now with you mentioning the lighter color – might look just as good! My muse has moved in full-time now, even leaves a “To Do” list for the husband – thinking of charging her rent! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  66. Meghan Grace says

    They are beautiful! Your muse was right, you couldn’t even purchase the fabric much less the labor for what you bought these for! I so wish I lived near a Ballard outlet! Such wonderful quality!

  67. Susan,
    I felt very special reading ur post….. being the first to see & hear about the new drapes. They look good!!
    I do concur with several of your readers, the lead edge & returns need hooks!! I know it seams odd if they didn’t come w/ hooks for them and yes you do put hooks directly into fabric, but I do it all the time. Trust me they will have a more finished look. Also, as you noted they are a tad long….. best to puddle very long or not at all. You might can alter them with the location of the pins, or my favorite safety pins!
    I look forward to reading your post on ABG…….it was a fun evening!

    • Hey Ginger…you got a sneak preview! Yep, I didn’t do the greatest hem job. lol I’m going to revisit that right after the holidays. I may just raise them a tad with the pins. 🙂

  68. Your new drapes are beautiful…now on to the den with some Blissfield Stripes from Country Curtains!

  69. Susan — THANK YOU for the Levelor clip concept! You just saved me at least $100 as I needed someone to come into my new house and install one of the (exceedingly ugly) pull- curtain gizmos, BRILLIANT! Such a simple concept. Ok, off to purchase today! You rock. And P.S, do NOT change that glorious red into a boring beige paint in DR!

  70. Susan those look fantastic. I have been in love with those curtains since they were introduced to the catalog. I wish we had an outlet here because I would love the green or toffee ones for our living room. Great buy!

  71. Small eye hooks in the wall, at the same level as the ring the pleater hooks run through. Can hang through the eye, or just behind the eye on the “shank” of the eye hook to get it really close to the wall..saw this on another blog; haven’t tried it yet, but will soon.

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