When I did the major overhaul on the living room arrangement, I rested from my labors and saw that it was good. Good, but, you know, I saw some room for improvement. My little list of next steps were:
1. A quality rug
2. More expensive-looking and substantial curtains
3. Bigger entryway table

Well the curtains have arrived!
One day I was browsing Ikea to see what was new.  I did my habitual stop by the as-is bin on my way out and found two sets of perfect off-white curtains missing their tiebacks, one set for the living room, and one for our bedroom which needed a similar drapery upgrade.  They look a bit gray in this photo, but they’re not.

Each panel was individually priced, so the total was $16 for the living room pair (RITVA, I think) and $10 for the other (can’t find them on Ikea’s website – tab top cotton canvas with a self pinstripe every 5″).

Before, I had a very cheap pair of curtains up in the LR.  They were better than nothing, and I tried to spruce them up with some bold ribbon trim, but…

So after washing, ironing, and putting up just the first new curtain, I took a comparison shot.  I am still a newbie photographer/digital editor and it is hard photographing a window straight on!  – but you can see the difference.  Old curtain on the right… a bit draggly and cheap looking.  New curtain on the left… much more well behaved, proud of itself, and sleek.

The houndstooth ribbon tieback wasn’t quite working for me because it looked flimsy and thin next to the curtain, and it’s directly next to the front door so you notice that going in and out.  But I liked how its contrast brought the eye to the big picture window view, so I took some deep brown rope trim I had left over from making the drum seats and turned them into tiebacks.  I finger-crocheted loops for the ends out of rickrack trim and hot glued rickrack around the last inch of rope.   You can also see the nice weave in the cloth in this shot.

Now to measure for the tieback hooks.  I played with tape to hold the tiebacks to the wall so I could find the exact right spot that looked proprotionally pleasing.  I like my ties down low for a French look like this (I imagine :) ) rather than a country look or the more modern no-tiebacks straight look.

I could have saved myself some eyeballing by just following the rule of thirds – measuring  1/3 of the way up from the bottom of the panel and simply adjusting the measurement for tieback droop.   Learn from my fail.

Unfortunately I did not look at too many inspiration pictures before drilling holes in my wall for the tieback hooks (just simple white cup hooks) and I put them too far outside the curtains’ outer edges.  You can see in the above photo that the pros place the hooks just outside the fall line of the curtains.  I’ll probably quit noticing it in a few weeks.  If not, I will patch the holes and redo it.  C’est la vie!

The living room curtains are now DONE-ZO.  The final look:


And here is the view they frame so well.

One of our kitties, Ophelia, on the windowsill

Your turn!  What is your favorite curtain (mis)adventure?  What are your preferences when it comes to window treatments?  Do you like dramatic, romantic windows or does a more straightforward look suit you better?