Sunday, November 27, 2011


image Alicia Chimento

 BuDget Design Challenge
  It's been taking me SO long to figure out what to do with the windows in my living room.  Not to mention that the holidays are coming and I'm getting stressed just saying those words.  But the time had come to actually DO something.  A week before Thanksgiving and uhhmmm, I work better under pressure.  Right off the bat the room is almost ALL windows.  And two of them are transom windows which of course are different heights from the others.  Throw in a french door on one side and a picture window opposite that and well, it's a design challenge.

First of all . . . the rods.  The ones I had were custom made for the windows a few years back, very expensive and very heavy. . . . Which meant that the curtains were also very heavy, drapey, and completely covered all the beautiful woodwork around them.  Now what I want is something lighter,  less formal and lighter in color.  Problem.  Especially when changing them out means changing the curtain rods, always a huge expense with big windows.

I remembered that I had purchased two sconces a few years back for a small window in another room. 

 I think it was at Lowes, or Bed & Bath, and they were relatively cheap,  but I've always loved the way they looked on the trim.  No tiny finials to stick out over the sides of the woodwork, or skinny bar to run across the top of the window.  Just a simple sconce which fits perfectly on the sides of the trim, and a substantial rod (which is a wood dowel pole with some heft), to balance the scale of the woodwork. 

So. . .  My challenge was to find an inexpensive way to create the same effect in this new space, taking into consideration that I could not afford a custom order again on two 10 foot curtain rods. 

I decided to search out something similar in style for the rods, not even knowing if something like what I had was even made anymore, but after not-too-much looking online, I did find a similar sconce.

Darker finish than I wanted, but that could be solved easily with some paint to lighten and shab it up.  Besides the price was so right at $17 each.  Poles are always a problem, again because you can't find off the rack in 10' lengths, unless it's custom.  So, after a trip to my local lumberyard, I came back with two 10' wood poles for the larger windows, and 2 shorter lengths for the narrower ones.  The cost was less than $20 each, so right there I've got 4 rods for less than the price of one ready-made or custom.

Once the poles for the smaller windows were cut to size (thankyoujack), and the sconces installed I was ready to look at my windows in a new light.  Freedom to do whatever I wanted without the constraint of awkward rods sticking out or different heights in the same room.  This time everything was mounted at the same point on each window, despite the difference in the height of the 2 transoms.

The next issue was the window treatments themselves.  Didn't feel like spending upwards of $100 each for 8 panels, or sewing endless lengths of 84" fabric panels  myself, and I wanted something quick to get me by the holidays.  So. . . what I decided to do was something kinda kitschy but . . . 

SHEETS.  Easy to find, especially in white.  Cheap. No sewing. Perfect.

Here they are doubled over the rod, and drawn up with cotton twine.  
Here I used 2 sheets per window, but the great thing about doing them this way is that you can choose your height or width to make them as full and poufy or as flat as you want . . . just by adding another sheet, and/or adjusting the twine higher or lower.

Best thing of all is that they are super easy to wash (instead of dry clean), and come out looking soft and fresh every time.  Now I know this may not be for everyone, but in an economic pinch, and with lots of presents to buy in the next few weeks, I'm happy .

Here's the room almost finished with my new (lol) window sheets. 

What's one of your biggest room challenges?  If you still have not solved it . . . come on into the shop and maybe Mary & I can help.  We love switching things around!  

These gorgeous red mercury candle holders can be lighting up your life for the holidays. 

Because we LOVE all our readers here at SWITCH, we are offering our 2nd FREE giveaway.   No strings. (hardly) All you have to do is post a comment here on the blog, and become a follower.  Easy.  We'll pick a winner at random within the next week or so, and get these to you quickly in time for Christmas.

Some absolutely great pieces new to the shop this week . . .

SWITCH Wine & Cheese Party. . .  
Take a little break before the craziness sets in and join us at SWITCH for some wine and light goodies, (both of which will be amazingly good btw), on Wednesday December 7 between 6-9pm.  We hope you'll come. . . where would we be without all of you?  

Have a peaceful Sunday,