Curtain Catastrophe!

Ok, I know its not really a catastrophe but I'm really annoyed. At myself.
LivingRoomWindows
You might remember my post earlier this year about my bare naked windows. I spent a lot of time thinking it over. A lot! I finally settled on a set of double rods with sheers and silk drapes over them as I mentioned in this post.

Well look what we finally got around to Sunday night.
CurtainFrustration
Sorry for the crap photo - all style goes out the window when I'm pissed.

I usually pride myself on being able to visualize things well. Generally speaking, I'm fairly good at painting a picture in my mind. (Sure, I've had my fobbles before.) Well I screwed the pooch on this one royally because its a total mess.

For starters, I didn't factor the problems with putting the bigger double rod brackets on a bay window. Damn, geometry! That means the brackets are a little too close together to allow a seamless look of fabric. Oh well, I could live with that. But worse, there is just entirely too much fabric in a small space. I can barely move the curtains open enough and it creates a dungeon like light situation in there. It certainly provides privacy but its overkill x 10.

So as you can see, I put the brakes on the installation after finishing 2/3rds of the work. And I'm back to square one. No, that's not accurate - I'm at square negative ten because now I have holes in my woodwork that have to be patched & painted before I get back to square one. And still not a freaking clue what to do here. GAH!!

Thanks for listening to me rant. I'm going back to banging my head against the wall now.

47 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry! I certainly feel your frustration though as hanging curtains with my husband is the only time we want to throw things at each other. I have no idea why.

    I can't recall, have you considered something in the plantation shutter dept?

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  2. Uh, I'm so sorry you're frustrated. I can't wait to see what you come up with, because that room is so kick-a$&! Breathe and re-boot!

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  3. oh no! I hate when stuff like that happens...unaccounted catastrophes are the worst. You feel like a baby bird about to take flight only to be shot down by some teenager with a bb gun. or maybe that is just me.

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  4. oh that sucks... I have the same problem (sort of) we have a great view that we don't want to cover up with heavy drapes but we also don't need our neighbors seeing what we are watching on TV. We decided to add shutters to the bottom half of out window. Could shutters be an option for you?

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  5. It doesn't look that bad to me but your taste in these sort of things far surpass mine =)

    Do you have your heart set on drapes? B/c I do love the idea of plantation shutters like Amy & Sarah mentioned.

    Or ribbon edged roman shades like these? They're a bit less formal but I figured since you have some in the guest room.......

    http://www.raftertales.com/wp-content/uploads/bay-window-roman-shades.jpg

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  6. The room (and your whole house!) look totally gorgeous. If you still like the idea of curtains I feel like you can make a few tweaks...

    One thing I've noticed is that you didn't use rings to hang the curtain and instead hung the curtains straight through the rod.

    First off I want to say I'm totally guilty of doing the same thing myself! I recently realized the error of my ways because my curtains just never looked right and I started researching curtains on the internet. In my opinion curtains with rings look so much better and probably swing open and shut much easier too.

    Also, maybe you can skip the shears and instead do some kind of blind. (so it avoids the double rod problem).

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  7. You know, I seem to remember seeing curtain rods designed for bay windows that allow for uninterrupted fabric all the way around. You may have just gotten the wrong hardware. The curtains are really pretty and there still might be a way to salvage this. I'll look around and see if I can't find some links to bay window curtain hardware.

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  8. oh and I really like the shutters idea too!

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  9. I was thinking plantation shutters, or maybe roman shades in the same silk as the curtains. You mentioned privacy issues. Over here in the Netherlands frosted film gets used a lot for this. Another popular solution is salvaged stained glass panels suspended on chains. I don't really know if that would work for you but I like to give as many suggestions as I can.

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  10. Ok, here are some links I found. Maybe you can find something that will allow you to realize your original vision:

    http://curtainrods.com/cgi-bin/store/agora.cgi?cartlink=flexible-traverse-rod.htm&cart_id=

    http://www.continentalwindowfashions.com/category_GH03_Graber-Bay-and-Bow-Window-Curtain-Rods_4.html

    http://www.countrycurtains.com/jump.jsp?itemType=PRODUCT&itemID=3509&code=SEARCHDEX

    http://www.countrycurtains.com/jump.jsp?itemType=PRODUCT&itemID=3350&code=SEARCHDEX

    http://www.countrycurtains.com/jump.jsp?itemType=PRODUCT&itemID=1377&code=SEARCHDEX

    http://www.smithandnoble.com/sn/product_detail.jsp?sch_cat=Cosmopolitan%20Bay%20Window%20Hardware&prod_oid=232706&nav_cat=-17985&view=swatch

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Hi!
    I just saw this post on the Small Cool Contest - they have similar windows and I like what they did:

    http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/chicago/small-cool-2009/small-cool-2009-william-williams-eclectic-graystonesmall-division-01-080996

    Although, I think your windows are closer together.

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  13. I'm so sorry your frustrated! I know how you feel - went through it with my old home. I have to say though, I really love how your windows look bare!! Maybe you can paint something on the window to still get some privacy but be able to show off the actual architecture the bay window and molding creates. I wish I can be of more help...

    Good Luck!!

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  14. We have the same exact window configuration in our home. We're still using the curtains the previous owner left up (We've only been here one year)since we've had bigger fish to fry so to speak. If you want to take a look:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30673694@N06/

    While the choice of specific curtains,rods and pull backs aren't my favorite and I'm going to be removing the blinds I'm probably going to be doing something similar with the heavier curtains on the outsides only with sheers inset in each section. I'm still debating whether or not I want to strip all the wood trim in this room or leave it painted. For now, it's staying as is.

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  15. I'm so sorry you're frustrated. Is it possible that you would forego the curtains in lieu of a shutter that matches the interior painted window frames (are they black? or dark brown?) Perhaps something like this - you'd still get a lot of light, have privacy and the color of the shutters would keep them from having a cottage-y effect.

    http://www.theinterioritycomplex.com/images/sce/Sunland%20Shutters.bmp

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  16. Flops are never fun, I'm sorry you're so frustrated :o( But lady, I've got to tell you- you have amazing style, you will figure it out- I'm sure! I'm nowhere near the decorator that you are but... would a fancy roman shade in each window do? Then you could hang the silk panels on either side of the bay area with the illusion that they would close?? Okay, I'm sure that was a dumb idea... moving on, lol...

    Have a Happy Day!
    ~Rachel

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  17. I agree with the comment about the rings over the pole. That would allow you to get them to the end of the hardware. And you could clip onto the back of the drape a bit to hide the clip. Like this...

    http://thriftydecorchick.blogspot.com/2009/04/easy-drapery-tricks.html

    Or you could try going with the New Orleans style of drape like this lady.

    http://fabulousfluffstuff.blogspot.com/2007/10/tour-of-my-master-bedroom.html

    It would require pleating the drape more or you could cut the width in half? I had to do that on a few of my tiny windows.

    Or on Cote de Texas today. The designer used grommets.

    http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2009/04/mimmi-oconnell.html

    I'm sure you will come out with a great result on your own. I just hate patching holes/repainting/starting over in general.

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  18. I have a very easy solution for you , drapery rings with clips , you can just hang them from the rings , that will allow you to easily open and close the drapes , the fullness will be perfect , that is why I never use the pocket rods , not a big fan of them at all .
    Give it a try , you can simply fold over the pocket end and clip away , when you get the right length one line of stitching and you will be in buiness.

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  19. You can even use drpaery rings with hidden drapery pins .

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  20. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

    I didn't photograph it but drapery rings won't make a difference. The fabric is so thick that it makes it difficult to fold in such little space.

    I have considered shutters but I dont want louvered ones so that makes it a lot harder to find. I got some quotes for custom made panel shutters but I could never get a straight answer on how to hang them and how to order the correct size so they close nicely.

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  21. Ok, Ms. Brooklyn, I'll put in my two cents worth -- you know I love your house and have been following your reno. You are doing a wonderful job with the house.

    You need a custom rod made for the specific angle of the windows! This will not be as expensive as you might think. An iron fabricator (if you want iron) should be able to fix you right up! Another trick that many decorators use is PVC piping, painted to look like whatever you want it to look like. (Curtain rings can be obtained in any size to fit.) There are also elbow joints etc., available -- just look at Lowe's or even a plumbing supplier. I have seen copper piping used very effectively this way as well. The suggestion about using curtain rings so they slide properly is also a good one. By having only one rod, you eliminate the gap between the windows!

    Also, you might consider using hold-backs to actually keep the main fabric off the windows during the daylight hours when you want the light.

    I am a retired design professional, turned writer, so I have had some experience with this. Hope it helps!

    Scribbler

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  22. You need the rods that "turn the corner", so to speak. You purchase elbow fittings for the angles above the middle window, and then hang the drapes to the sides of the outer windows, pulling them all across when you need privacy at night.

    I don't know if that helps or not, but I have used that technique with clients before, and it worked well.

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  23. I'm so sorry for your frusteration-- it has happened to all of us! I second (third, fourth) the angled rod suggestion. And I think that for the outside two windows, you should extend the rod past the end of the window frames so that the panels, when hung, will be covering the wall on on either side of the window rather than the window itself.

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  24. There are companies that will come into your house and measure the space where the curtains will hang. They create custom curtain rods so that they perfectly fit the space - but I have no idea what they charge.

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  25. I had the same problem in my living room when in lived in park slope.

    i made two panels for each side window so that they could be pulled across at night but swagged to the side during the day.

    for the middle window i made a roman shade of the same fabric.

    so during the day you had a panel at each edge and in the middle and the roman shade up in the middle.

    what i would suggest is cutting the panels in half thus cutting the amount of fabric you have on those windows.

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  26. Could you do sheers on all three windows for privacy (and you could secure them with bars at the top and the bottom, which means you can't open them but it's a more tailored look) and then do silk drapes that cover the bay window as a whole?

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  27. Someone else might have already suggested this, but what about roman shades of some sort?

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  28. You really don't want to hide those beautiful moldings, do you? I'd go for roman shades (actually I'd go for no window coverings at all but I'm a minimalist) or sheers that fit within each window frame.

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  29. If you are thinking it's too much fabric, what about treating the 3 windows as 1 and using only 2 drapery panels? That way when you want to open them up, you would pull those panels open to hang along the outter edge of the 2 side windows. You could still do the sheers on another rod.

    As for the curtain rod, I recently tackled the bay windows in our master bedroom. I made my own rod out of PVC pipe and elbow connectors. Take a look here: http://truthisbetterthanfiction-kim.blogspot.com/2009/03/work-in-progress.html

    Hope that helps! I love following your blog and seeing all of your projects!

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  30. Have you considered embroidered or burnout sheers, perhaps mounted inside the windows, and poofing out onto the floor? Perhaps lined in silk ribbon or fabric?

    Horchow has some amazing selections and beautiful patterns. Take a look at their Palazzo Scroll and Strathacona sheers. Prices range from $50 to $120 each (ouch), but they are lovely.

    No real insulation with sheers of course, but you can't win them all ! Good luck.

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  31. :( that sucks!! very very frustrating!

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  32. I opened the comment section to find that my suggestion has already been suggested :)

    I'd do beautiful rich silk roman shades... the kind that when the light shines through you can see the nubby-ness.

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  33. Geometry does suck! It kicked my ass in HS! It is so frustrating! Why are window treatments so hard?


    I too think roman shades would look fantastic in that space! It would really show off all the beautiful architectural details yet provide privacy!

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  34. We had a similar problem with a similar window---tried double rods on a double window and it just left way too much fabric in the space, and dark fabric at that. Of course, it was after envisioning it looking much cleaner and more elegant. :) In the end we just gave up and left it since it's in our bedroom so no one else really looks at it, and the frustration of patching the woodwork and starting all over again was, well, frustrating. I still keep my eyes open for good solutions, though.

    Our neighbors had custom blinds made for similar windows that are a cream fabric (honeycomb-looking; lets a lot of light in) and can be drawn from top or bottom. They work beautifully if the goal is just to keep people from peeking in, but obviously aren't as classic looking (though they do allow the woodwork to be exposed, which is a nice effect). I think they were pretty pricey, but then again by the time we were done buying rods and panels, that had gotten pretty pricey too, even shopping at the low end of the price range....

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  35. ouch. maybe they can be salvaged? you just need to get rid of about 3/4 of the fabric...

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  36. I think a simple roman shade or something similar that's an inside mount. I had a similar problem and went for a roller shade that is textured like seagrass but that won't work at all for your space...too casual. But maybe something that keeps that beautiful woodwork exposed.

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  37. Everyone I know with a long narrow house/townhouse/brownstone has always done sheers and very simple pull down blinds, or half shades for privacy on the bottom. It isn't fancy, but it does the job and preserves the light.

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  38. but once its done you will be a happy camper.

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  39. I would put the sheers on rings after having embellished the sheers with horizontal strips of the silk fabric sewed on to the bottom third of the curtain.(no privacy) OR make the silk panels fixed between the windows and find some good quality linen blinds for privacy OR put the silk on rings and custom made rods and line the curtains with blackout.

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  40. Candice Olsen sews the sheers right to the curtains and only moves the sheers back and forth.

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  41. I can see some beautiful roman shades on those windows.

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  42. okay, so here's my suggestion. I have a similar situation in my own apartment. I found these great stringy curtains. They allow light to get in but are great for privacy, and plus they look totally chic. I would get ones that fit your window exactly, ie put a small curtain rod in the window frame itself. Its a small space, and big fancy curtains are just going to be overwhelming. Online they dont look so good, but I promise you will love them once you get them in. They look great! Definately go for the white.

    here are some at bed bath and beyond:
    http://www.bedbathstore.com/mafasiplrodp.html

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  43. I had the same dilemma with our home's bay windows. I really wanted curtains, so here's what I did:
    1. We hung 3 curtain rods (long one in the middle, and 2 shorter ones for the side windows.)
    2. We connected the 3 rods with 2corner connectors that matched our rods.
    3. We got regular curtain panels but hung them up with clip rings.
    4. I placed some of the rings in the corners along the connectors and the rest on the rods themselves. When I hung the curtains, this helped us to utilize the space in between the windows, therefore allowing me to open up the curtains without covering most of the windows.

    I know my description is confusing, but it sort of looks like this with the windows open:

    http://img4.southernaccents.com/i/2007/05/window-treatment-1-m.jpg

    Hope this helps.

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  44. This may seem obvious, but what about just doing some nice creamy shears? To me, those living areas aren't really spaces to be concerned about stopping the light, so if the issue is really privacy I think some shears would really do the trick, as well as be less visually bulky. If you're married to that fabric and can't return the curtains, it's actually not hard at all to make roman shades, all you need is a sewing machine. I like roman's because you can use an interesting pattern or fabric that doesn't become overwhelming. Here
    s a good tutorial on how to make the shades, if you're interested-- my first choice would still be shears though.

    http://jenduncan.typepad.com/whats_new/2008/11/roman-blind-tutorial-in-20-pictures-or-less.html

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  45. Since it is such a small space is there any way you could just go with the sheers? I actually think that would look good.

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  46. Waseem2008466:33 AM

    The house is so clean....like all the things.

    window shutters clayton, ca

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  47. Waseem2008461:41 AM

    The curtain look so smart and easy to take care of...like the way it looks.
    window shutters clayton, ca

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