Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dining Room Drapes

Did I already mention the downstairs drapes that came with the house when we bought it?  They were pink, with giant blue and green flowers festooned all over.  Not exactly what we would have chosen, so, we needed to replace these overly-festive panels with something a little more subdued.
My husband found these beautiful panels at Pier 1 that are reminiscent of Indian or Moroccan design.  They're a rich chocolate background with a repeating motif printed in scarlet.  So dramatic!  The panels are a simple back tab with the tabs hidden behind the top of the panel.  The hidden tabs behind the panel act as an intermittent casement for the curtain rod.  These panels don't slide very easily for constant opening and closing, so we decided these curtains would just remain open and we would make do with a sheer panel to obscure our mysterious dining habits from the neighbors. (Because I'm sure everyone wants to know what's for dinner, right?)

We settled on espresso brown sheers, and they are lovely paired with the new panels!
Obviously we have not yet gotten around to painting yet.  We will. Honest. But did I mention that I work full time?  And that large projects intimidate me?  I'm fine with crocheting, but give me a paint brush and I run for the hills!

Again, I had to create my own valences to cover up my less-than-attractive white curtain rods, so I went with a box-style valence.  Completely straight across, the full width of one panel to display the repeating motif I told you about.  Boy can my husband pick curtains or what?

But when it came to the wide front window, I had a bit of a challenge.  One panel width was too narrow to cover the rod, but two widths were too wide and ended up gathering and bunching.  What I did was to create a pleat in the middle in order to take up the extra width, hide the center seam where the two panels are stitched together, and to create mirror images of the motif on both sides of the pleat.

Again, allow me to say "Voila!" with the appropriate amount of flourish!
Below is a closeup of that center pleat.  You can see it's not perfect, but honestly I've never had a person come to my house and inspect my valences for perfection.  If I can do it, any one can!
All I did was purchase an extra panel, cut it into the appropriate number of widths so I can create a valence from each one. Sew on a hem at the top and bottom of each width. Sew little scrap pieces of fabric to the back across the top to act as back tabs for hanging. Then hang them!  Soon you too will be exclaiming "Voila" over your beautiful new window treatments.  Easy Peasey!

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