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Nursery News – Window Dressings

March 3, 2010

I know that I have been a little MIA lately…I have no excuse. 

I do, however, have a To-Do list that is growing longer by the nanosecond.  And a baby countdown that ends in less than one month.  Yes.  I am full-term.  Ready Betty.  Fully Baked.  And that’s in a totally non-drug-related way.  So as my belly swells bigger, and my unborn son stretches my lovehandle skin to the point of no return, I attempt to scratch one thing off my list.  And today’s thing is the nursery windows.

You may remember what we had in mind for our nursery windows:           

It was a simple rod from West Elm.  And we actually found them at a Pottery Barn outlet back in the fall for UBER-cheap.  The final price was less than $15 with the rods, finial, curtain rings, support brackets and tiebacks.  After we bought the rods, we started lookin for the perfect curtains. 

My go-to place for curtains is Ikea.  Not only are they affordable but they are extra long  which allows you to hem to the perfect length.  And I had an inkling that the selection available at the Scandanavian superstore would be a little larger because I was shopping for white curtains.  Ikea has like a ridiculous number of white curtain options.  Not just ridiculous….LIKE a ridiculous.  And you know that’s enormous. 

I narrowed that ‘like a ridiculous’ selection down to two…the RITVAs (which sported great texture with a linen feel and had a slightly offwhite color) and the $15 VIVANs (which I already owned…had a slightly less textured feel but had a brighter white color).    

After we put up the curtain rods, the choice on curtains was clear.  The RITVAs (picture below) were just too dingy looking next to the bright white rods and our newly painted trim (which also was brighter than a game show host’s veneers).  The clear winner in the battle of the curtains was VIVAN.   

But as soon as we hung the curtains, we noticed the gap between the rods and top of the window sash.  It was just too awkward looking to look finished.  To fill the awkward expanse, I snagged some bamboo blinds from Lowes.  They cost about $18 for all you people looking for bamboo slat blinds.   

Hanging the blinds was easy because they came equipped with a little metal triangle.  I assume that most people just hang little hooks from the inside of their window sash and then slide on the triangle.  But in our case, we didn’t want the blinds to be so low.  Plus, we already have white blinds on our windows.  So we improvised by taking a little s-hook and attaching the blinds directly to the first curtain ring. 

Then we hung our curtains back up with the curtain rings. 

That’s when we hit another snag.  That snag being my OCD.  My obsessive compulsiveness was screaming “IT LOOKS MESSY!” 

And the OCD was right…it did.  The fact that I could see the clips as they attached to the s-hook as it grabbed the curtain ring made the whole thing look down-right cluttered.  And there is nothing worse than a cluttered curtain, right?

I decided that the problem came down to the clips.  The clips needed to be eliminated.   

To eliminate the clips (and the messiness that came hand-in-hand with the clips), I took some needle nose plyers and removed the little hook from the clip.   

Then I used a needle and thread to attach the little hook directly to the curtain.

Seriously….I should be a seamstress.  This is probably the neatest sewing job ever. 

But the point is not that I am the next Project Runway winner…it’s that I attached each little hook directly where the inside tab of the curtain is located.  I also ensured that the hook wouldn’t be visable from the outside.   

As soon as I was done with the tedious job of attaching each hook, I measured the length to get that perfect curtain that grazes the floor.  After ironing the curtain, I pinned the hem and ran it quickly through my sewing machine.   

Then all I needed to do was hang and admire my handiwork. 

It looks a lot less messy, doesn’t it?

 I know that alot of people are gonna be 110% against the blinds over blinds look.  But for us, it seemed to make more sense.  Now, we can raise the underneath white blinds if we want to just have the decorative blinds showing.  And the window next to the crib (not the window on the accent wall) now has a touch of brown too.  Not only does it bring that accent color up top but it also makes the window look bigger than it actually is and we can have the option to block out more light for our little boy’s nap time. 

So there we have our window dressings…only 15 more things to do including hanging a mirror and frames, changing out the light fixture, creating wall art, including storage solutions, putting a rocker to work and sewing some bedding for the crib to be complete. 

Anyone else tackle curtains recently?  Or maybe you are a double-blind kinda peep too?  Perhaps you think my OCD is just crazy when it comes to messy hooks and such?  You can tell me…I won’t bite.  Unless you are bacon-flavored…   

44 Comments leave one →
  1. Borrowed Abode permalink
    March 3, 2010 3:44 pm

    I’ve been tackling a kitchen window shade for about a week. Not because it’s that hard, but because I’m that freakin’ distractable. Thanks, now you’ve reminded me that I should actually finish that simple project. :)

  2. Lesley permalink
    March 3, 2010 3:59 pm

    Genius with the clips. It definitely does neaten it up. I wish I had your sewing skills.

  3. March 3, 2010 4:03 pm

    My amazing mother-in-law recently sewed curtains for our Alice in Wonderland-themed room (linked in my name), but we worked together on making the pelmet box from little green notebook:

    We have blinds under our curtains, which might also be overkill :)

  4. Gina permalink
    March 3, 2010 4:11 pm

    Looks great!! & you will like the ability to control light in there so use 2 shades, go crazy. Cant wait to meet little baby Bower!!

  5. March 3, 2010 4:27 pm

    That’s so funny about your clip modification – I experienced the same “crap – it looks unkempt” when I put up some new Ikea drapes not too long ago. Great solution!

  6. LauraC permalink
    March 3, 2010 5:24 pm

    I have nursery on the brain too! My little guy is due 19 days after yours, but he’s already dropped and I am WAY ready for him to come. A month seems forever . . . but back to the nursery. Yesterday I just put together the IKEA HEMNES white 6-drawer dresser (the biggest piece I’ve put together yet) and am thrilled with how it looks. Our 2-year-old will share her room with her baby brother, and all her clothes from her old dresser now fit in just two of the drawers of the new one! The bottom two drawers will hold her brother’s clothes (there’s only room in the room for one dresser, hence the size upgrade). We’ll keep out-of-season, and not-yet-fitting clothes in the old dresser in the spare room. Anyway, I’m blabbering and you asked about curtains. We also have the Vivan curtains for their room, but I only have one set up yet. The second pair is washed and waiting to be hemmed. I found perfect 29″ Roman shades to fit the windows (been searching for 6-9 months for the right size) and have cut/sewn/remade two out of three of them. So the room is almost done, and I’m so excited! Of course, it needs a new light fixture, but I have no idea what to put up there (that’s not too girly or too masculine). But Baby Brother will be in a bassinet in our room for the first three months anyway, so Sophia won’t have to share her room quite yet. Excited for your very soon arrival!!!

  7. March 3, 2010 5:33 pm

    I tackled blinds in my nursery recently, and have the same “messy,” feelings about the clip-style curtains, due to my own OCD. I was too lazy to do what you did, though!

  8. queenofdiy permalink
    March 3, 2010 5:42 pm

    Love the final result. Great choices.

  9. March 3, 2010 5:42 pm

    I think it looks great! And anything to block out extra light during nap time rocks. Can’t wait to see the finished look!!

  10. Whitney permalink
    March 3, 2010 5:42 pm

    Looks good! And at first I wasn’t crazy about blinds on blinds, but in the last couple of pictures it looks just great!

  11. A long time fan permalink
    March 3, 2010 5:44 pm

    I hope you don’t take offense, but I don’t think this works at all. I think if you wanted to go with blinds, you should have stuck with the blinds. If you wanted bamboo shades, go with the bamboo shades. But both??? Then again, you already knew this would be a controversial decision, now didn’t you?

    The other thing that doesn’t work for me? The sheerness of the drapery panels. This is where Ikea panels lack, because you wouldn’t see the bamboo blinds underneath on a higher quality panel. Perhaps with that trusty sewing machine, you could line the panels so they aren’t sheer. IMHO, seeing the bamboo blinds behind the white panels is way more distracting than the S hooks were.

  12. March 3, 2010 5:45 pm

    Hi A long time fan,
    I see what you mean about the sheerness….I’ll add ‘line the drapes’ to my to-do list…I think it can be #1027 :) And yeah…I knew some folks would think that the shade-on-shade thing would be ridiculous…but then again, being considered ridiculous is my middle name!
    XO – katie

  13. March 3, 2010 5:58 pm

    Think you made absolutely the right decision about the clips. Although that may be the OCD talking ;) I have clips on my “it’ll do for now” shower curtain and they annoy me every time I look at it!

    I’m going to be sewing multicoloured mini pom poms onto the curtains in our spare room and hopefully finishing off a roller blind for our kitchen window this weekend.

  14. March 3, 2010 6:09 pm

    wow! i love how it looks! although i’m having a hard time getting behind the look of the blinds over blinds, i can see the brilliance of the idea since it will really help w/ room darkening.

    and man, that wood accent wall just keeps looking sexier and sexier!

  15. tammylee permalink
    March 3, 2010 6:24 pm

    I am a double blind kind of girl myself. We have black-out roller shades (which are quite ugly all on their own)so we added pretty wicker roller shades and over that curtains on the outer edges. Just like yours!

  16. Lauren permalink
    March 3, 2010 6:43 pm

    This might be a dumb question…but…your curtains didn’t have a rod pocket? I think I have the same ones and they have a rod pocket (I swear I am not trying to be dirty!) Then you wouldn’t have to mess at all with rings/clips/etc.

  17. March 3, 2010 6:44 pm

    You are right! They do have a pocket…but I had already purchased the rings and loved the look of them so I really wanted to make them work. It probably would have been the smarter and easier to use the pocket but I guess that I am just plain stupid over decor :)
    XO – Katie

  18. March 3, 2010 8:37 pm

    I am so with you on the clips! Sewing takes a whole lot longer but it is so worth it in my opinion. Love seeing all the progress!

  19. March 3, 2010 8:42 pm

    I recently made some drop cloth curtains that turned out really good and I have about 7 windows that need a covering and I’m determined to do them myself! But I’ll give myself a year to finish them. :)

    Interesting solution with your double blind action. I’m adding this to my “I have never seen such in all my life” file. It’s rare to make that list!

  20. Amanda permalink
    March 3, 2010 8:55 pm

    I am a double blind gal too! We have honeycomb blinds under our bamboo blinds in our living room on 2 windows. The bamboo blinds don’t provide any privacy and with a big window in our LR facing the street, I don’t really care to have people seeing in at night while I am being a bum on the couch! :) Loving the nursery.

  21. March 3, 2010 9:19 pm

    I have never thought to do that with the hook from the clip and in a pinch it looks like it works perfectly. But as a non-sew’er I did want to mention to the group that there are curtain hooks available at the store that slide into the back of the fabric at the top hem that do the same thing. So for a buck or two you too could accomplish the same look. Just a suggestion!

  22. Jenny permalink
    March 3, 2010 9:38 pm

    So I get all the way through this post and think ok good… useful. Then I get to the “I won’t bite. Unless you are bacon-flavored…” and I bust out laughing. Seriously, thank you. I LOVE your blog and can’t wait to meet baby Bower! I live “right down the street” from you in Atlanta/Buckhead. If you ever are in town at ikea give me a holla! One of my secret wishes is to hang out with you and Sherry because I just think both of you are awesome! :)

  23. March 3, 2010 9:49 pm

    Hi Katie!
    First of all I just wanted to say how much I love reading your blog and congratulations on your little one! ITS SO WEIRD that you put this post up when you did. My fiance and I moved into a new apartment YESTERDAY. Neither of us have EVER owned curtains, even our last place didn’t have them and I’m embarrassed to admit it. BUT, as soon as we got here yesterday I said the first thing I wanted to do was get curtains for the windows but I hate the cheap standard apartment blinds and I suggested the bamboo blinds!! (I’m still freaking out that we just talked about these blinds less than 24 hours ago!) Anyway, my question is, and I know it might sound dumb but after you hang the bamboo blinds, can you pull the old blinds all the way up to the top so they’re not showing? Would that look weird? Because we didn’t want to go through the hassle of taking the blinds off and holding onto them and putting them back on before we moved out…thanks for the help!!

    Megan (and Lee) :)

  24. March 3, 2010 9:50 pm

    Hi Megan,
    To answer your question, yes, we can still pull the underneath blinds all the way up to the top, outta sight. It helped that the bamboo blinds were hung farther out (from the curtain rod rather than the window sash).
    Hope this helps & congratulations on the new place!
    XO – KB

  25. ErinEvelyn permalink
    March 3, 2010 10:33 pm

    Katie, we too ended up with blinds-over-blinds, in our twins’ room. Blackout cellular shades (to block out the WI winter cold penetrating our 80-year old original single-panes, & the late-day summer sun at bedtime) hidden under decorative white wood horizontal blinds (for light control during the day). You’re going to appreciate all the flexability with the layers of window treatments you’ve chosen. Believe me, you will. :)

  26. Becky permalink
    March 4, 2010 12:00 am

    I have a kitchen window & a 45 inch across basement window that have needed to be tackled since we moved in. I can decide on colors for either room so I don’t want to buy anything. I just need to get something & build the room around the window treatments

  27. mribaro permalink
    March 4, 2010 4:09 am

    The only part I’m bothered with is that the sheer curtains cannot be moved left and right (due to the rod holders which are not fixed wide enough, and the bamboo blind holders), but are only decorative. Personally, I like to pull the sheer drapes over the whole width of the window to soften the harsh (summer) light when the sun rays strike directly into the room, but I guess you would use the venetian blinds instead, or maybe you don’t get direct exposure on that side. And then I like to pull the sheers apart to enjoy the view better when I fancy that. Also, although I adore the down-to-the-floor length of the curtains, I’d still make them an inch shorter – that would make vacuuming easier, and they would still look floor-long enough.

  28. March 4, 2010 8:07 am

    Hi mribaro,
    Yep, these suckers are only decorative…which can drive some people up the wall. But we are glad that we have the double shades so that we can block out some or all of the sun. As for vacuuming…we don’t so we don’t have that issue :)
    XO – Kb

  29. March 4, 2010 8:56 am

    Every day you don’t post I wonder if you’re having baby bower! :) What an exciting time for you + the bf!

    Your curtains look much better with the hooks… I am having a (shower) curtain debacle of my own… maybe you guys can help me with some advice:

  30. March 4, 2010 9:03 am


    I love your style, and your ideas are fantastic! Your little man is going to be in heaven! Thanks for sharing!

  31. Meaghan permalink
    March 4, 2010 9:31 am

    Katie, the wall with the wood is a killer look, I can’t wait to see how the rest of the nursery comes out

  32. Katie permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:53 am

    I totally get the double blind thing! The bamboo blinds look great, but they wouldn’t block out enough light for your baby’s naps. (And, having two girls myself, I have discovered the hard way that you really, really need light-blocking something for good naps!) And, as some have already commented, you can always pull the blinds all the way up to hide them. And sewing the clips on did make it look way better. I agree that the curtains would look better being less sheer. Can’t wait to see it when you’re finished. Love it so far!

  33. March 4, 2010 3:11 pm

    Oh, thank goodness I’m not the only one! I think your whole double blind action, drapes for decor…is perfect! It looks lovely. The bamboo blinds compliment the accent wall and look good! When I did my little girl’s room we just had black out cellular shades. I added Vivan (bacon loving girls think the same) drapes, but just for the soft flowy look. I then didn’t like how it looked with the cellular shades hanging there. My dream was for bamboo shades to go over. But I worked with what I had and hot glued some burlap (that matches the wall color) over some strips of wood and nailed them in. Sounds terrible, but it did what I wanted and covered those other blinds. You can see it here
    Looking forward to seeing the whole room! Great work!

  34. March 4, 2010 4:31 pm

    LOVE what you’ve done here. I am pro-blinds-over-blinds because of exactly what you said: they prevent the weird space between the window and the curtain rod and they also add to the “forest” feel of the wall.

    And your OCD self was right about the curtains looking messy before. I’m so glad you sewed the S-hooks to them. Very creative and resourceful! :)

  35. March 4, 2010 7:27 pm

    Ohhh Katie…even better than your hilarious posts are your responses to criticizing comments.
    I am totally on the double blind band wagon. My husband thought I was crazy the first time I wanted to double blind it in the living room, but now we both love it. We are slowly turning all window treatments into double blinds with purely decorative curtain panels just like that. I love that I can reach up under the bamboo blinds and pull down the roller shade/venetian blinds at night then open them back up in the morning with no one knowing that we don’t actually use the bamboo blinds or curtain panels…yet still get great light blockage. All the beauty and the function- what could be wrong with that?!
    Oh, and I have those RITVA curtains…but now I’m thinking I need to add curtain rings. It looks so much better than using the rod pockets. Great idea!

  36. March 5, 2010 7:42 am

    Oh, and I read this and thought of you…

  37. March 6, 2010 1:35 am

    I love it! Floor length curtains add so much to a room. I can’t wait to see the entire thing come together.:)

  38. elizabeth permalink
    March 7, 2010 8:38 pm

    Your curtain modifications look great! I’m not judging your blind on blind action, but if anyone is looking for privacy bamboo blinds, they have them at Home Depot. They are woven like a privacy fence, so light doesn’t show through and pervs can’t peep in your windows.

  39. March 7, 2010 10:23 pm

    Hi Katie,
    I’m lovin’ the accent wall more and more! Just a thought (and I’m sure you’ve already considered it, but…that doesn’t stop me): are you worried about all of the different cords in a child’s room and also so close to the crib? I’m about to take down the blinds in our munchkin’s room and sew floor length blackout curtains instead so that there aren’t cords around…’cause I’m beyond paranoid.

    Oh, and enjoy these last few weeks waiting for baby. You’ll treasure the excitement/stress/uncertainty when looking back on it.

  40. March 7, 2010 11:35 pm

    Hi Valerie J,
    No, actually I am not worried about the cords. Probably should be…but I guess it’s cause I am more worried right now about a million other things right now :) I do tuck the cords from the bamboo blinds up into the rolled part (so they are hard for me to reach…making it a little more of a challenge for Will) and the cords for the white blinds are slipped behind the blinds and on the top of the lower window panes. I figure that if I can’t find them, our newborn will have a difficult time too.
    XO – Katie

  41. Melissa permalink
    March 9, 2010 12:05 am

    They have cord balls (or whatever they are called) haha in the child safety area. They aren’t really saucy but do the job when that time comes.

  42. March 10, 2010 4:36 pm

    I love IKEA curtains, too! I like the natural white against the textured wall (just saw the post on how y’all put it up–wow). I had the same issue with the gap between rod and curtains, but I wanted the curtain to cover the rod–it took some stiff header strip and some sewing machine time. A couple photos of the finished project are here:
    I’m looking forward to seeing what else you have up your sleeve for the nursery!

  43. June 6, 2010 5:55 am

    Always remember with blinds & curtains, if you have small children to tie cords well out of reach. Use a cleat to keep dangerous cords away from children.

  44. June 16, 2010 12:15 pm

    I had the same issue with the gap between rod and curtains, but I wanted the curtain to cover the rod–it took some stiff header strip and some sewing machine time

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