Monday, March 4, 2013

Window treatment help

The internet has its ups and downs, but one of my favorite upsides to Facebook, blogging, and other online connections is finding how much you have in common with people you knew during a different time in your life.

Anne and I are both from Lynchburg, but she is six years my junior so we never crossed paths in school.  Instead, we met lifeguarding at the local country club—I was in college and needed a job; she was in high school and needed the same.  Once those summers came and went, we parted ways and I didn’t think much of it until she happened to marry one of my law school friends several years later and moved to Richmond.  Even after all of that, we rarely saw each other and she has since moved to another state (and is moving yet again to California, so we should all now be totally envious), but we both dabble in blogging, motherhood (which I suppose is more than dabbling) and other similar activities that stem from being a full-time mother.

Anne recently started a new blog (found here) inspired by her love of home decorating and which I have been reading with great admiration.  Will and I have lived in our home for nearly nine years and are still working on those nagging little projects that we noticed from our first month of moving in, so I have been so impressed by Anne’s ability to quickly turn an army base home into an elegant, comfortable and simple place to live.  Plus, the girl has style!  So, when Will and I decided to tackle one of those many projects—window treatments—I logically asked Anne where she gets her inspiration.  She kindly volunteered to help me if I sent her pictures of our rooms and examples of our taste in curtains – seriously?!  How amazing!  I really think I am tapping in to some early, escalating talent here and I couldn’t be more willing to be her guinea pig.

And since I’m all about multi-tasking, I thought I would include this process on my blog.  Plus, if any of you other stylish readers have suggestions or critiques (believe me, I can take the criticism), I would love to hear from you.

Here goes.


We love our den, but it’s a very, very dark northern-facing room.  We’ve done a lot to brighten the room (painted the wood paneling, painted the fireplace, removed the navy (yes, navy) curtains that came with the house), but I’ve been very hesitant to add window treatments because of my fear of making the room darker than it already is. 

After briefly searching Pinterest, I found a couple of fabrics and styles that I thought might work.

Call me crazy, but I love these bold stripes in orange (which I know would not work in our house).
But maybe something similar in light blue?

The den’s color scheme is light blue, white and dark wood/black.  One day, we hope to part with the oversized TV cabinet (which we don’t even use anymore) and swap out some of the other borrowed furniture for sleeker pieces.  I like the idea of floor to ceiling curtains with no valance to add height, but not take away from the few hours of sunlight we get in here.

The most predictable den accessory--Marshall.

Living Room

This is our other dark room in the house—again facing north with only two windows for light.  The colors in this room are similar to the den (the walls are more of a Robin’s egg blue), but the room is more traditional—the Victorian sofa, the dark wood piano, the formal fireplace.

While the room is traditional, I am not a frilly, formal girl.  So I envision simple, white, and airy curtains in this room, like these:

I like these without the valance.

Master Bedroom

Please tell me that everyone’s Master bedroom is a constant work-in-progress?  For us it is the last room we work on because we are typically the only souls to lay eyes on it (except for Frances and George; but they are pretty forgiving).  In saying that, there are many things I would like to change about our bedroom, but here it is for now:

Our walls are a little too pink for Will’s taste (I could take them or leave them) and our secondary color is a greenish-blue.  Otherwise, I love a simple white bed and dark wood (just not so much dark wood).

This room is a bit trickier for me to envision successful window treatments.  For one thing, all three windows are different—one is sunken in (because of the Dutch Colonial style of our house) and the other two are different sizes.  

The sunken window makes for very little room to hang a curtain rod.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but the other two windows are different sizes--the left one is longer than the right.

I think I would like floor to ceiling curtains again, but I would be willing to be talked into something different as well.

Master Bathroom

Welcome back to the 70’s, my friends.

Our Master bathroom is tiny and very outdated.  As a temporary fix, we installed a new sink and painted the walls a chocolate brown, which makes the color scheme chocolate, avocado, and white (and I actually kind of love).  

While I would like to renovate and/or expand this bathroom, I don’t see that happening in the near future, so I was thinking a simple valance or Roman shade for the only window.

Guest Room

Another work-in-progress—the story of home ownership, I suppose.  These walls desperately need repainting and the d├ęcor needs updating, but the general concept of this room is blue, yellow, white, and lighter wood furniture.

We inherited the current window treatments and they are okay, but a bit too frilly for my taste.  I like the size of them, though; just a different style and fabric.

And I’ll stop now, although I am far from done (Anne, aren’t you glad you volunteered your already precious time!).  I started a pin board on Pinterest (here) for some more examples of my general style; but I haven't even cracked the surface of what is out there and any other thoughts would be wonderful.

Lastly, Will would want me to ask the most boring of all questions—what kind of budget should we anticipate for window treatments?  I know it depends greatly on fabric choice and style, but a general idea would be great.

Thanks so much to all of you for reading through this massive post and a special thank you to Anne for any help you can throw my way.  I’m sure California doesn’t seem quite far enough away from Virginia now : )  

Happy Monday, everyone! 


  1. All your "befores" are what I hope my "after" will look like!!! I'll be interested to see how this goes. We're moving at the end of March and I'm hiring a friend of a friend who is starting her interior design business. I mostly want help on paint colors--I am SOOOO intimidated by paint colors. But she's apparently going to put together inspiration boards from which I can choose paint colors and get ideas for accessorizing. I never thought I would "have" an interior designer, but I know if we don't paint now, it will NEVER happen. So, good luck on your journey! I will probably repin a bunch of things from you!!

    1. Susan, you are too, too kind. There are a million little things about our house that I would change (and maybe a bunch of big things, too, but we won't get into that), but I guess that's always the case. Good luck with your move - SO EXCITING! I sometimes wish we could start from scratch--same house, new set of eyes. I would love to hear more as your progress continues. You know I'll share mine (I can't help myself : ))

  2. Lucy, this is so great! You are so kind to say such nice things about me. My wheels are already spinning :) I'll shoot you an email soon! xoxo

    1. Anne - you are, again, so nice to do this for me. I got your email and will send you some more info asap. Can't WAIT!

  3. It's really hard to choose a window treatment for dark rooms. It should be as minimal as possible to avoid overdressing it or making it look awkward. A sill-length lace curtain is good to consider because it enhances the light and airy feel of a room or a shutter. Roxie Tenner @

    1. Thank you so much for the recommendations! My den is almost ready for an "after" picture, which I hope to share soon. You'll have to let me know your thoughts. The other rooms are ready for updates as we speak!

  4. I think you should definitely try nude or light colors with simple patterns on your windows if Will is finding it a bit too pinkish. That way, the color of the windows can neutralize the walls. I, for one, find your house beautiful as it is, but I don't really mind that you're going from vintage to modern. Good luck with redesigning! Keep us posted. I would love to see more soon. :)

    Blake Bennett @ Window Pro

  5. Although light pastel paint for your walls might help make it look brighter, installing a larger window might be a good option for you, so that the room can have fair distribution of light. Or if you want to go thrifty, soft pastel article colors like the curtain or upholstery might do the trick.

    Greg Arnett

  6. Summerdale Mills Fabrics provides you worlds best fabrics for curtain and drapery and other home decorating stuff. We have a huge collection of window treatment material which looks your window completely different. All these things comes under in your budget. Please visit once.