Sunday, February 28, 2010

Before and After Party! (A drape redo)


Well hello! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! I was busy keeping Kleenex in business with a lovely cold. :)

I did get a bit of work done on the basement – I could actually breathe much better down in the cold! It’s going to take quite a bit more time and a ton more work, but I am SO excited about the changes down there. The amount of crap we had has been a bit overwhelming, and getting it out of this house has been such a fantastic feeling!

So onto this month’s Before and After – I am pretty much done with the family room (mini) redo, and I’ll show you that whole space soon. There was one last part that was bugging me – the drapes.

I get a lot of questions about these drapes and I think many go “ARGH!” when I email them back and tell them I actually made these myself. ;) I started with the brown diamond patterned fabric as drapes, and then decided a few years ago they needed a little sumpin sumpin. So I found a coordinating (and much more expensive) fabric in a tan/wider diamond pattern and added it as a panel to the bottom:

I adore these drapes. Lurve. I was contemplating new window treatments in here though, because there were a couple things that had bothered me about them as I reworked the room. The obvious was the diamond pattern just didn’t look right to me next to the new rug. (As you can see a bit in the pic above.)

The other thing that has bothered me from pretty much the day I put them up is they never seemed to hang right. I always felt like they should look fuller than they did. They also covered a little more of the window than I really wanted.

There are two things I always suggest to folks about drapes – hang ‘em high and hang ‘em wide. High and wide gives the illusion the windows are bigger than they really are. I usually suggest hanging the rod far enough to the side of the window so the window treatment will only cover about four inches of the actual window.

This allows for more light, and again, makes the window seem wider. Which is never a bad thing!

Well, my drapes were covering way more of the window than I wanted. Not sure why I did that, or why I hadn’t fixed it yet? But staring at them the other day, I came up with a solution to all my issues. And it was FREE!

First, I took down the drapes and just shortened the rods by five inches. I used my miter saw to do this, but the first time I cut these to 24 inches each, I used my little miter box and saw and it worked like a charm. 

The finials had a brassy tone that I wanted to get rid of, but I didn’t want to have to replace the whole set. So I just taped the brassy sections off and sprayed them with my ORB paint:


I love them all over again! (Like I did five years ago when I bought them!)

Once I got the hardware rehung, I went ahead with my wild and craaaazy idea and just flipped the drapes and hung them with the panel on top. I stepped back to check it out…


And luuuurved it! UH DUH. Why didn’t I do this from the start??

Flipping these did a few things – it made the bottom of the drapes way less busy, and the brown matches the brown tones in the rug really well.

It also made the gorg diamond fabric the showcase of the drapes, as it should be:


I love, love, LOVE this fabric:


I would totally wrap myself up in it at night, I love it that much. But it’s not cheap. (I think $40 a yard at Joann’s?) So there will be no wrapping in this stuff. ;)

Then I used my usual tried and true drapery tricks to finish up…

I keep the outside drapery rings between the finial and the bracket so when fire trucks and trains are driven under the window treatments by a sweet little three-year-old, they stay put:


And I hung them from behind with the drapery clips, creating the folds like this:


Try that trick – if your fabric is thick enough and long enough, you’ll never go back to hanging the drapes down from the clips again!

I had to use flash in most of these pictures, so I apologize for the poor quality, but this one shows you how much of the window is covered by the drape. I like to use the window panes (if you have them) as a guide:


Half of one pane is what I typically do. Oh, and please ignore the deck furniture that has been stacked and ready to go in the garage for the past four months, umkay?  :) Priorities people.

Shortening the rods made the drapes hang SO much prettier:


They just “pleat” so much better now!

I. love. it! And did I mention? FREEEEE? All of the updates – cutting down the rods, rehanging them, spraying the finials and hanging the drapes again took about an hour. Not bad at all!

So here we go! Here’s the before from years ago – with the white two inch blinds, wider rods, and the panel of fabric on the bottom:

And here’s the after – bamboo roman shades (from last year), shorter (debrassified) hardware and the panels at the top:


You like? I still love them either way, but I love how I made them work with the other changes in the space. I am keeping my beloved drapes! Yippee!

Now it’s your turn! Grab the button if you’d like:


Then make sure to copy the link from your post into the linky (links to your blog address will be deleted). All you need to link up is a before picture – it can be any kind of project you want to share!

Have fun and thanks for joining in!


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