Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Live And Let Dine II

I have kept all the mounting hardware in a baggie and rubber banded them to each rod and will donate them to a used building materials store in the area.

Back in spring of 2013, I tackled window treatments in the living and dining rooms. Well, it's just one long rectangle of a room, but you know what I mean. At some point, a guest or sitter or someone just tugged on the curtains to close them instead of using the draw cord on the window behind the sofa and it had been jacked up every since. This meant that the left and right panels were not open the same amount and that we couldn't adjust them really at all. This was a drag and mostly it made me angry at the cheap window hardware which should've been able to tolerate such. I came to loathe the curtain hardware to an intensity that seemed unnatural.

From Spring 2013. Walls re-textured, walls and ceiling painted. Our ceiling fan installed over the living room, but still the awful fan over the dining table. Our art and decorations on the walls.

Last autumn, I took down all the panels to launder them. And I started searching for new options and ideas for window covering hardware. This would also give me an opportunity to hem them, because when I went through all the trouble to line the panels originally I totally forgot to adjust the hem and they puddled a little. That is a fine look, but not really our style AND not really suitable for living in the woods, miles from pavement, and with two dogs (at the time) dropping their fur all over like monsters. And maybe I'd even find the border detail material I didn't find back then! And then they sat haphazardly folded in the auxiliary guest room closet while other projects and adventures took precedence.

Eventually, I settled on these brackets and decided to utilize the 10' lengths of 3/4" PVC pipe (exterior diameter is close to 1") left over from another project for the rods. I just have to cut them to length make them look like wood - since 1" wood dowels longer than 3' seems impossible to find. And let's face it, I love to 1) make a thing look like another thing entirely, 2) use what we have in our stash of stuff, and 3) do something as thriftily as possible. Luckily, there is lots of advice on the internet about making PVC look like wood and I even did my own version for a shower rod in the upstairs bathroom way back when.

Luckily, the weather allowed me to do this part in the wood shed and the wood shed was allllmost empty from our long, long, LONG winter

Had I been able to use a dowel I might have gone sans finials just to keep it that much simpler looking and simpler to just get done. But the hollow end on the pipes needed something. I ended up combining wooden finials with PVC caps that I painted to match the metal brackets.

I did take step-by-step photos and I will post a tutorial later, because I think they turned out pretty cool and one could easily riff on these to achieve their own look and maybe save a bunch of dough!

This photo just reminds me about how much I hate the ceiling texture downstairs, but man it sure is a lot easier to get used to ignoring it than it would/will be to skim it out. Bleh.

Having "undraperied" window dressing hardware up for just us (and a just a few guests) was one thing, but up for all of House Guest Season was something I wanted to avoid. So getting this project done before that and before working outside could realistically commence became a priority.

And "done" they were they were until I stood back and noticed they were still too wrinkly. I did the only logical thing: turned around and focused on something totally different. [lalala - avoids eye contact] A couple weeks later I thought to ask around the neighborhood about borrowing a handheld steamer and found out that Neighbor Pam did have one and yes, I could borrow it when they got home from their trip. YEY! And then I went to their house, loaded it into my car, drove it around with me on my errands, brought in the house and let it sit for two days. Finally, I opened its box and the nozzle bit was broken. D'oh! I could see where it have been glued before and sent a text explaining the situation to Pam and asking if I could glue it. About 2 minutes after I sent that, I realized that I, in fact, own a wallpaper steamer. I have even used it in 3 different rooms in this very house (so far) and many other places. D'oh! So I used that and it worked just fine. Probably a little messier, but the draperies lost their fine lines and wrinkles!

Because the panels were no longer held open by the curtain rod, I thought we would need tiebacks. I searched around for something simple, but not plain or typical - my standard M.O. I decided to riff on a toggle style jewelry "clasp" using wood and a soft-ish jute rope from the home dec section at Jo-Ann.

I used "toss rings" from an online wood findings retailer and a dowel from the hardware store. I cut the dowel with my beloved Milwaukee miter saw & tapered the ends with a pencil sharpener (that's right!), then finished all the pieces with an acrylic "stain" in American Walnut.

I didn't find nice border detail material to add to the panels, but I did get them hemmed. I'll keep looking locally and maybe next time I am somewhere else, I can shop for fabric! Perhaps in meters! Ooooo. Or perhaps I'll just call these done.

Looks totally different than that panorama shot above from Spring 2013, right? Yeah, no. It's subtle:
Chandeleir over dining table, no puddling on the curtains which have tiebacks and are hung on new rods, new reading lamp by the green chair, different Lite Brite on different table, more books and magazines on tables.

Enough with indoor projects for a while! Probably! It does feel good to have checked two projects off my long, long list with this and all the guest room projects: bedside tables, lamps, coasters, switch plate.


  1. Well done! I couldn't get this far and NOT leave a comment! I am a bit jealous of your talent! - Tracei

    1. Thank you! Most of my "talent" is just practice and persistence - building skills over time, which all of can do in some way or another!

  2. Looks awesome! I just hung up some panels on my back porch. I like how outdoor curtains encourage people to enjoy the living space outside. :)

    1. Nice! The outdoors season in Oregon is so great, anything done to improve time out there is soooo worth it! Of course, here in the woods we pretty much only use curtains for appearances! :)


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