A little privacy, please!

Before he got that Fox game show gig, Jeff Foxworthy got rich off the whole "You just might be a redneck if..." schtick. Well, I don't think I qualify as a redneck but Im sure I'm in some other derogatory camp. Why?

*** insert dramatic evil sounding music here ***

My living room still doesn't have window coverings!! Oh, for shame.
LivingRoomWindows
We've been fully moved in for nearly a year and my neighbors can still see me watching The Bachelor or playing Wii. I'm sure they have had enough. Hell, they probably know the color of all my pajamas by now.
At first, I wasn't concerned. I was working on getting a scrap of furniture in there. We all know how long that took. And then it was other things that had my concentration. But all of a sudden, it dawned on me that my temporary blind eye to the bare windows has gone on far too long.
Parlor Living RoomLiving Room
(Thankfully, my living room is about 10 feet above sidewalk level so its only the neighbors who are on the same floor in their house that can see in. And my windows have some sort of coating that reflects the light during the day so you can only peek in at night. But still, its a little silly at this point.)

At first I thought I'd put up shutters allowing the light to come in while allowing privacy from wandering eyes. That was until I got a few estimates for the shutters I wanted. I just about collapsed from sticker shock. Scratch that idea. (I did look into those internet companies that sell cheaper diy shutters but it seems like you need a doctorate in carpentery to even get a straight answer from any of those companies no less actually order the correct size with the appropriate hardware).


Fabric shades was another consideration but because of the height of the windows, they would need to be custom made. I could probably sell my kidneys on the black market to pay for them but they would create a permanent darkness in the room I'm not too crazy about. The room faces north so the light isn't that strong to begin with and the best quality light comes from the top of the windows. The last thing I want to do is cover the tops of the windows permanently.

Blinds are not an option. I intensely dislike them. Apologies to anyone who loves them - they are just not my thing.

So that leaves me with draperies. They can be opened or closed with ease, sheers can be added to allow privacy without blocking out all the light and they provided a little insulation. And after spending a few winter months here, I wouldn't mind that at all.
But what kind??? Any readers out there expert window dressers?
Do I do something neutral like a gold that doesn't contrast too much? Do I try to find gray draperies to offset all the beiges in here? Do I do black drapes for more drama? Or do an entirely different color as an accent? While I think some colorful drapes might look nice, Im leary of making that sort of investment as I don't plan on buying new everytime I tire of an accent color. But other than that gut instinct, Im a bit at a loss here.
And what about finding something beautiful and budget friendly? I need 6 of them in 108 inch lengths plus sheers and rods. I'm getting woozy just thinking about it. Custom drapes are out of the question and budget entirely. Restoration Hardware has lovely options but the drapes alone would cost me $3000. Really, Restoration Hardware? Really? Are they made of solid gold??? Pottery Barn is slightly better priced but still pricey for a limited selection. JcPenney seems to have a reasonably priced option but Im not sure about their colors or quality. I'd rather not order from a random internet company so that rules out most of my google searches. Gah! Now I see why I've been putting this off for so long!
What do you think about style, color and source? I could use all the help I can get!

35 comments:

  1. I'm not a huge fan of West Elm, but their curtains are good quality, and many of them come in 108" length (and are reasonably priced and/or on sale).

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  2. While I cannot comment on style or color, I can tell you that I have the JCP La Scala drapes in my home and I am really happy with them. Once I ironed them up, they are lovely.

    I don't know if you have a JCP by you, but mine had a display in store with every color (and I live in the middle of nowhere). Their ordering process was also really convenient easy--order online, return to the store if needed. I also bought my sheers there and the hardware, including the corner connecting brackets for my bay-type setup.

    Good luck!

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  3. I 2nd the JCP recommendation, my parents bought drapes plus sheers for all the windows on their first floor and it was very reasonable and they look great. I just ordered roman shades and faux wood blinds for our bedrooms and bathroom and am really pleased with the quality and they were super cheap!

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  4. Drop me an e-mail, I think I can help.

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  5. I buy all of my draperies from and ebay seller, kirtins. I, too, loved restoration draperies, but not the cost. His custom silk draperies aren't cheap, but much cheaper than restoration and just as nice. I have burgundy in my dining room and gold in my living room. They're lined and weighted, and I can't tell you how many compliments I get on them. Check him out - he's great to work with.

    PS - I think he's in Atlanta.

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  6. Oh, and he'll also send you samples.

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  7. The whole area is gorgeous! Have you thought of perhaps using shutters just on the bottom half of the windows? That way you have privacy when you want it. I've also seen shutters used on the bottom half and some sort of curtain on the upper. Just a thought. It's really a beautiful room.
    D~

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  8. Ok...I have your answer. ADO Draperies....they have sheers, as well as drapery weights. The sheers have a weighted hem (so no ugly hem line), and they do not have any seam for your ceiling height. The best part...they are washable....yes, can throw them in the washer, hang to dry. They come in tons of colors, and textures....go to www.ADO-USA.com
    and use the locator to find a dealer near you. Call them up, they will come measure and hang, and you start to enjoy. And oh yeah....great price points! ps..also have fabric that eliminates odor in the room, and will not allow bacteria to grow on the fiber...how is that for good health!

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  9. I have a blog that I follow and she does "window mistreatments" and they are budget friendly and no-sew and the look FAB! I really like her style! Take a look and see what you think. Once you're on her blog, look to the right and you'll see some categories. Click on "Window Mistreatments" and then click "show all posts" and page through, see if anything catches your fancy! Just an idea. :)

    http://nestingplacenc.blogspot.com/

    Good luck!

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  10. i just wanted to thank you for the sweet comment you left for me on my guest post at lil bee yesterday. i am overwhelmed by the kindness of melisa's readers. have a great day. love your blog!!!

    sincerely, jen

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  11. I second the West Elm suggestion. We have similarly tall windows in our Brooklyn apartment and have several different styles of their 108" curtains- and they are really nice for the price. Their silk ones are about $80 a panel I think. Much better than we found anywhere else.

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  12. I just got some decent ones from JCP - and I was completely considering PB or RH until I came to my senses (btw, ebay has some people selling RH curtains for reasonable).

    In any case, the Queens Center mall at Woodhaven has a JCP with a very decent curtain section. Maybe check out what you want first? Than hit retailmenot.com for coupon codes (or just buy in store).

    Good luck!

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  13. OK , Blinds does that include bamboo blinds ? I love those .
    I think black drapes are very Adam's family.
    Consider Ikea , they have very long drapes , linen look , linen , velvet , you can embelish them , and they are so affordable , really .
    I think natural drapes and I love the look layered with bambood blinds , there are so many kinds , I love all the texture.
    I wish I had used more bamboo blings.

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  14. Hi, I'm really enjoying your blog!

    Shutters would be ideal. Simple cafe curtains mounted on the bottom half of the windows would be much more cost effective. You could do a plain linen with a tailored band of ribbon trim and mount them inside the window frames with tension rods. they also make shades that mount from the bottom up.

    I think six curtains will overwhelm this space although I do think tall curtains would be elegant. Why not try one bay window rod a la this site: http://www.campbellironworks.com/drapery_rods_olivia.html

    Then you can hang four curtain panels like in this pic: http://www.idealhomemagazine.co.uk/inspiredecor/decorating/styletricks/Window_dressings__use_four_single_curtains_article_253419.html

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  15. west elm for sheers and ballard designs for panels! done.

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  16. We renovated our kitchen last year which included new windows, and they are still without a covering. I'm sure our neighbor enjoys watching me wash baby bottles at 12 pm and make funny faces at my boys in my pj's. :)

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  17. I would try to match the wall color with a lovely raw silk or as formal as your house is, striped satin. Anything brighly colored would stand out and take away from your other decor.

    You will need them on grommets or on rings so you can open and shut easily. Be sure to mount them to the ceiling

    Melinda in Birmingham

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  18. for what it's worth, I still think roman shades would be pretty. and will you ever really pull them all the way down? if you put shades on the top half and shutters on the bottom you could really have the windows as open or closed as you wanted.

    too bad I have no sources or real experience to back me up! we've only got window treatments in one room and I'm already regretting part of that decision (WHY did I have them hemmed to be hung at the top of the window instead of a few inches above it??)

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  19. I am having the same problem! Can't wait to see what you do.

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  20. I purchased my drapes for the dining room from West Elm and I love them. Also JCP has stepped up their quality. I don't have first hand experience with their drapes but I did order a bench and wall shelf with coat hooks from them because they were half the price of the PB version and it's very sturdy and a decent quality. So you might want to give them a shoot.

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  21. What a beautiful room! Love it. I would also wonder if you really need 6 panels or just 4... Your windows look like they're skinny, so maybe one panel could cover each of the side windows and then just have 2 for the middle window (because it would look silly with only one panel for the middle).

    Also, what about making your own curtains? If you found some fabric that you liked, you could hem the edges (or use that iron-on tape), then pick up wood/metal rings that just clip on to the fabric to hang them from.

    Ohh! So many possibilities... can't wait to see what you come up with!

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  22. I'll address your colour. Depends if you want light and airy, or attention grabbing dramatic. THAT is basically what it comes down to.

    I'd go to a local yokal store, buy a couple panels you like (that you can return) and bring them home to try out. Just nail them up there and stand back.

    Cheap fix! Then you'll be ready to order.

    I'd say a ceiling tone for the lighter, and a wall tone or deeper for the darker. The dark will draw your eye up making the room feel taller, but you don't necessarily require that, so you could go either way.

    Donna

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  23. Another thought... if you find two panels you like that work together, you can always sew one onto the other for added two tone custom height. Or sew two of the same for required length. That would be cheaper IF you had to custom order from elsewhere.

    Donna

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  24. I also had the same exact problem as you, and I'm with everyone else on JCP. I too had to get 108 inches and didnt want to spend an arm and a leg, so I actually got mine from the JCP Outlet site and they were 15 bucks per panel. They obvi were not my first choice but do the job for now. I actually just posted about putting a twill tape border on mine to make them look more custom.

    Because you are crafty, you could go the JCP Outlet route and either add a border like I did, get a few yards of nice fabric and create a border that way. Either on the leading edges of each panel or on the bottoms of each panel. Either way creates a more custom look without the custom price tag.

    I got the sheers at Target, and also used some of that frosting material from Ikea for extra privacy on the bottom half of the windows (I'm on the first floor of a busy street and hated everyone looking in on me at night)

    Good luck, I cant wait to see what you come up with!

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  25. Pottery Barn had Dupioni silk tie top drapes in the 108" length for $119.00, on your window I would only do the outside windows as decorative panels just to dress the wondows, I think it may look really bunched up to have 6 panels, there must be a shade out there that works , a roman would look great layered together I think.

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  26. Just a thought - have you considered a bottom-up/top-down shade? I used to do PR for a window coverings company, and while I know you hate blinds, a pretty fabric custom-made Roman shade with this feature, which allows you to lower the drapes from the top and also raise them up from the bottom, might be a great, although expensive, option. Those are gorgeous windows, I wouldn't hide them behind curtains.

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  27. Eek. Good luck. This is tough. I can't wait to see what you pick. I know it will be wonderful with your taste.

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  28. I don't have anything on my windows in the kitchen or family room. I figure the neighbors must be bored with us by now.

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  29. if you can even remotely sew a straight line you can sew your own drapes! actually it would be worth buying a simple sewing machine it would save you "sew" much! hahahahahahahaha!!!!! xoxo this place is gorg as is btw

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  30. I tell you what...I have the JC Penney pinch pleated "Supreme" drapes in my apartment bedroom...I've had for almost six years and they look good as new. Haven't even had to clean them yet. Got them during an amazing home sale and they really do look custom (they're 108", and I just hung the rod at a height that would make them hit the floor). I'd check out the JCP ones you like in person...or you may be able to order swatches?

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  31. I recently ordered several panels from halfpricedrapes.com and they were fantastic - super cheap but they are really great quality - much better than pottery barn and restoration and they have a great weight to them :)

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  32. Just amazing! looks great even without the curtains.

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  33. WS Home and SilkTradingCompany both have sales on drapes now. I've bought from both and think they're gorgeous (SilkTrading makes the drapes for WS Home, actually...)

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  34. Pottery Barn is having a sale on their curtains now - up to 30% off. I just bought two double wide silk dupioni (in wheat) for a project we've been working on for months now...we installed salvaged windows from an old school floor to ceiling in place of icky cast iron railings that seperated our "sunken" living room. Anyway -- I thought I'd let you know as they weren't as expensive! http://tinyurl.com/aveapa

    PS. Love your blog -- it gives me inspriation and a kick in the pants as we work on our 1 bedroom apartment in Brooklyn Heights.

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  35. oh, and have you considered one curved/ angled curtain rod, especially created for bay windows? I definitely think that bay windows look best with just one large drape on either end, rather than split up with lots of narrower curtains...

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