One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

November 2, 2010

Home. Improved.

This weekend, I pointed out to Ian that Rachel still needed a curtain hung in her front window (rooms have been renovated for two months now). “There’s an extra curtain rod in the kitchen and you can just move that one to her room for now,” I told him. “Really?” he asked. And I said, “yeah, remember that hideous valance that we pulled down as soon as we moved in? The rod is still up there.”

So we were looking at the kitchen window and we started talking about what we’d like to do with it. What was left after the valance (autumnal coloured harvest-fruit-style horrible country-cottage thing) came down was a plain red blind. And once we were standing there looking at it, I wanted it down. I have been all about red, in the last few years – but not this red, not this blind, not there. And we started talking about how dumb a blind there was anyway – because it blocked all the light at the top of the window, but since we were never likely to let it all the way down, the frequent foot-traffic to the apartment building next door was always unnervingly up-close and personal. We had talked before about putting a cafe-style curtain there and next thing we knew we were pulling down the blind, measuring the window for a shelf across the middle, picking router profiles and flipping through home decorating magazines to find a nice shelf-bracket style.

I do not, unfortunately, have a great before picture. Here’s the best I could do:

This is from the day we made an offer on the house. Knowing from last time we’d bought a house how you spend your time between the sale and the possession date trying to remember the layout when you’re planning, we had brought the camera and snapped some pictures. You’ll have to peer around my head to see what the window looked like when we moved in. I think it looked dark and fussy. The window itself is a boring old steel window – one of the ‘updated’ elements of the house that makes us very, very sad for all the lost character here.

So we had this old paned window with a painted frame that we picked up for $15 at a little vintage shop using a gift certificate that our realtor gave us (how fitting!) and that window fit just perfectly into the top panel of the steel window. Okay not JUUUUUUST perfectly; Ian used a table-saw to shave off about a centimeter from the width. Still.

And so here’s the after:

The image is a little grainy because it’s so dark and I took it with my phone. But next time there’s daylight streaming through that window, I will probably take some nicer pictures. I am totally entranced with this window. Look! character!

The materials for the shelf were all scrounged out of scrap wood in the garage. The white paint had been hanging around the house waiting for us to paint over the last family’s doorway-height-markings. The fabric for the curtains is from my fabric stash. The vintage window – well, you can’t claim that a vintage window was just hanging around your house as spare materials; so we’ll consider its purchase the project cost. Anyway, this is clearly where it belongs. And I’m really, really delighted at how we went from idea to completion in about 36 hours.

I had really wanted some green in the kitchen, so I was pushing a green plaid fabric for the curtains, but when we held up both fabrics under the shelf, we agreed that the blue and white went nicer with the cabinets and all my blue and white bowls.

So when I sat down to sew the curtains this evening, I went and pulled all my green ribbon out of my sewing stash and picked one that I thought went nicely with the blues. Then I waffled – do I really want to trim these curtains with some tiny, fussy ribbon? It will probably double the time it takes me to sew them and I just want to whip them up quickly. But then I thought about how likely I am to go back and add ribbon later (not at all likely) and so I just did it.

And now the ribbon makes me so happy. It’s the tiniest little detail – barely noticeable, but totally the kind of thing my childhood self would have imagined me putting into projects for my fantasy apartment when I grew up. I didn’t get the fantasy apartment, instead I got a family – but this house is really everything I ever wanted out of that apartment (except quiet, I guess). And it delights me that we’re finally somewhere that I love to bits and that I want to settle into. I never would have sewn the ribbon on a curtain at Franklin. Hell, I never sewed curtains at Franklin. The venetian blinds were good enough there.

This is so us.

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4 ResponsesLeave one →

  1. ha, everything you write sometimes I just want to write “I love you” as my comment. I guess I’ll just do that from time to time and you go on and pretend I’ve never said it before.

    coming home on the 16th can you get a bit of minutes before christmas for crafts?? I’ll work around you!

  2. Alison

     /  2010-11-02

    I love it and I love you too.

  3. Hah, Meredith, I can pretend whatever you like in return for “I love you” comments.

    And I love you both too. So much.

    I will definitely make time for Christmas crafts. It might have to be on that weekend before Christmas. I’ve been thinking heavily about whether I could take some time off before Christmas, but I’m still not sure. If we plan for a weekend and then I do take time off, that will just mean more prep/craft time.

  1. One Day I Will Rule the World » Stop me before I thrift again.

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