A Room with a View – or – How I Avoided Miz Ellen’s Portieres, Part 2

I was either too miserly or too picky to find something manufactured out there to meet our needs in the living room – take your pick. I was torn over how to provide a little somethin-somethin around the windows without taking away from the lovely architectural features.

A close-up of our window trim; you can see the bracket that used to hold the old valances.

And it kept me stumped for quite a while, until a fateful progressive tea party last December that gave attendees access to a handful of historic (Victorian!) Bed and Breakfasts near home.  My eyes drank in more than my body did tea, I’ll tell you that. And my poor husband will probably be cursing my attendance at that event well past our silver wedding anniversary as I whip out idea after idea for making our home all the homier. But one key takeaway from that event was how to mount curtains on a similar window trim without hiding the beauty that is the window.

Pretty. And on sale! (At Hancock Fabrics)

Then I found the fabric. A pattern that would compliment the other colors and finishes in the room without, say, drowning in a sea of beige. I’ve seen too many people lock into one color and not deviate. We’re not like that as a people, so why should we be that way as decorators?

Loved the fabric, but did not love the price. So I settled in for a long spell

of watching and waiting. And waiting. And watching. And waiting. Until last week, when the local retailer who carries that fabric announced a sale that made the price much more bearable.

Then I had to face the final hurdle: what style of drapery would work best? I had two ideas in mind: one was definitely more modern, the other actually trended towards the midcentury modern but would probably be called a “classic” by today’s standards.  I sent my ideas in an email to the long-suffering husband for his thoughts and feedback.

After taking a little time to review, he had just a couple of points that he held as pretty important to the design solution: 1. Keep the look classic, not modern or trendy that may disappear in just a few years and leave a nasty date stamp on our curtains. 2. Make them as functional as possible, so we could draw the curtains across the windows if we wanted a little more insulation in the cold weather months, while not so full of fabric as to block that natural light we love so much. 3. The whole darn thing should be done by the time we host Thanksgiving.

Easy enough. Or is it?


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