Thursday, August 23, 2012

New Curtains in Order, determining Criteria and Design options.

Good morning, it is Thursday morning and I am exhausted, the sky is gray and the traffic is busy outside my windows.

All of my windows in my little house have woven wood blinds on them. I like woven woods, although, they are dark and not necessarily the first choice for myself, I appreciate that they have style and texture and match the natural woodwork quite well.

Woven woods in my bedroom
There are some milk chocolate colored hobbled roman shades in the Living room on the side windows, the problem is the two front big windows have NOTHING on them. So when my housemate, buses and cars get going in the morning often before me (about 4AM) I feel a bit like I am in a fish bowl!

There are many things to take into consideration when designing window treatments.
The first question to ask is: Will these need to function or will the window dressing be purely functional?

In this case: I need them to function, they must provide privacy.

Will they stay permanently closed?
No, I want to be able to open and close them.

Where will I put the hardware?
The wood window trim is ALWAYS the LAST OPTION if there is no place else to mount the hardware! These windows have beautiful original woodwork and I am renting this house, most likely the walls are plaster, so if I don't need to go into the walls either that is preferred.

The hardware will be inside mounted. Because the woodwork is natural and the house was built in 1926, I will use a brass rod with tension mount ends, a very classic material and the brass will be less of a contrast with the wood than white would be.

The green arrows indicate where the drapery will go.

Because I need the treatment to open and close, ROD POCKETS are NOT an option. Many people choose rod pockets because they are easy and often times available ready made. With my background in window treatments and design, ready made does not find its way into my house. So that option is out as well. Another post will sing the praises of custom window treatments and compare them to other options... there are some I would consider... but that IS another post.

Rod pockets are for stationary panels only. For the pocket to fit snugly around a pole and look like a permanent part of the decor of a room, the drapery do NOT easily slide across the pole. If the pocket is made looser, the panels do not stay in place in the open position, they creep to the center and flatten out. Rod pockets in a situation like that tend to look home-made, cheap and easy.

So, what else is available? Rings, pleated drapery on rings. I will do an specialty pleat on small brass rings on a brass rod.
A quick 5 minute sketch of a possible concept.

 A 3/8" brass rod is classic. Because the rod will be inside mounted and temporary for the time we are here, I will use a 3/8" brass rod, with spring tension ends. The rod will need to be custom made, however, they are not terribly expensive and will be perfect for the windows in the Living room and the Bedroom. I will also do a small cafe curtain for the kitchen nook. The window faces east and sometimes bright morning sunlight may need to be filtered.

I may scallop the tops. There will be something different and decorative about each of them, however, they will be consistent in look from the street view.

Because they are inside mount, they will be sill length. This will also require the least amount of fabric.

Now I am excited to start going through fabric... purge and play... get rid of one-third,  one-third for projects in the next 10 months  and the last one-third is stash.
The one-third to keep are projects that I have everything I need to get them completed in the next ten months. The stash needs to be accessible for filler if I run into something I need to substitute, but no new fabric can enter my possession for 10 months. This new rule does not include muslin for fitting, draping or structural requirements. Notions are only allowed on an as needed basis.. oops sorry, getting ahead of myself..

Just one of the many totes filled with fabric, these are silk, most likely not going use  silk, maybe a nice linen....or linen blend.

I will post some fabric options from the stash in a future post. I want these curtains done and hung up no later than the end of September. This is a tentative date and I will need to schedule my plan... next post on this topic will be measure the windows and specify the hardware.

As always, you can count on the process being documented here... often times creativity is born out of necessity...

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