...because home doesn't happen overnight.

lr shade 1

We added woven shades to the picture window in the living room. They are the same bamboo shades we have throughout the house and after linking to them in a post about our bedroom they were out of stock on Overstock for months. They finally became available again so I snatched up two in order to fill the gap between the curtain rod hung at ceiling height and the top of the window. The trick of installing woven blinds high above a window to make the window look larger is nothing new – to the design world or me – but I’m still amazed every time I witness the difference. Instantly, the picture window looked taller and another texture was introduced to the room.

lr shade 2

In a perfect world {is there such a thing?}, I would have one continuous shade spanning the width of the window. But those things are expensive and the budget-friendly Overstock version we have throughout our house isn’t even available in that width. So to keep things cost-efficient and consistent, I ordered two shades and HH hung them side by side. For us, they are purely aesthetic. We don’t raise or lower them but we could if we wanted.

lr pillow 4

A post about two window shades is short and a little boring so let’s discuss pillows, too. Because pillow talk is never boring. It’s taken me a while to find the right pillows for our sofa. I’ve come to the conclusion that a mix of pillows in lighter, earthier colors and varied textures works best against the saddle leather.

lr pillow 1

All of the pillows hail from HomeGoods except for the kilim which was an etsy find. None of the pillows cost more than $20. I kept the two outermost pillows the same and sandwiched three non-matching pillows in between. The arrangement feels balanced but not rigid.

lr pillow 3

There’s a variation of texture amongst the pillows – smooth, embroidered, woven, etc. My favorite is this one with a random pattern of raised squiggly lines. Yes, “squiggly lines” is a technical pillow talk term.

lr pillow 2

All of the pillows have down-filled inserts which is my preference. They hold their shape better and longer and look plusher than polyfill inserts.

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These two new layers – woven shades + pillows – give the room a cozier, homier look and feel. This is probably my favorite part of decorating – layering. Rugs, lighting, window treatments, pillows, blankets, greenery, furniture, accessories…they all contribute to that cozy lived-in vibe that well-layered, inviting rooms put off.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

bedroom window tx1

Since posting updates of the bedroom, I’ve fielded many questions about our window treatments. Many of you have questions! I thought it might help to turn my answers into a bona fide post. But first up…

bedroom window tx2

…I finally got a chance to hem the curtains on the window…

bedroom window tx3

…and on the closet. They are the RITVA 118″ panels. If you look closely, you’ll notice I hemmed the four closet curtains {94″} a few inches shorter than the window curtains {96″}. At the closet, we open and close the curtains daily to gain access to our clothing so it helps that the curtains graze the floor instead of pool onto it. At the window, we never close the curtains so a little pooling action gives a luxe, relaxed look. I prefer to sew my curtain hems versus using the popular hem tape. Sewing is cheaper and I think the curtains fall better with a sewn hem. But that’s just my personal preference.

Our ceiling in the bedroom is 8′. In a room with 8′ ceilings, you might be inclined to buy the 98″ version of the RITVA. However, if your plan is to hang the curtains floor-to-ceiling, once they are pre-washed there’s a good chance you could end up with flood water curtains. In my experience with IKEA curtains {and I’ve had quite a bit}, you lose about 4″-6″ of length after pre-washing and drying. Of course, it depends on the material you choose but either way you are going to lose some length and that needs to be considered – especially when you account for 2″ for your actual hem. I know it sucks to spend more on the longer version but, trust me, buy the longer version if you’re in doubt.

So the curtains are hemmed. Now to address the popular window treatment questions.

bedroom window tx2

Source list: RITVA curtains // black cafe curtain rod // petite rustique bamboo shade // Levolor room darkening shade

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The bamboo shades are functional but we don’t close them. Our windows are wide but relatively short so the 54″W x 74″H stock size woven blinds are a bit heavy and cumbersome to raise and lower daily. If we don’t close the curtains or the bamboo blinds, how do we maintain privacy at night? On all bedroom windows in our house, we use Levolor room darkening shades. Anything to catch a few more zzzz’s!

bedroom window tx5

We bought the inexpensive Levolor shades at Lowe’s right after we moved in last summer. They can be cut in-store to your desired width. Just be sure to measure each individual window opening precisely. Even if all of your bedroom windows are 52″ wide, you need to measure the exact opening where each shade will be installed. The smallest of measurements can throw off the fit and function of the blinds. This is coming from someone who measured one window then had all the bedroom shades cut to the same width. Guess what? They didn’t fit. Luckily, we were able to recoup our cost by selling them on craigslist and then re-measure EACH WINDOW for a proper fit. Now you know.

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When closed, they do a great job of blocking light and providing privacy although they aren’t much to look at. The tension needs to be readjusted sometimes, too. When a shade loses its ability to recoil completely, I just roll the shade all the way up and reset it into the metal holders within the window frame. It’s not difficult but it’s something I thought you should know. If you’re thinking of trying these shades out, expect a good price and great room darkening capabilities but also expect loss of tension over time.

bedroom window tx8

To disguise the roller shades, I don’t pull the bamboo blinds all the way up. The blinds are installed outside of the window frame and close to the curtain rod to make the window look taller than it really is. Lots of window trickery happening in this little brick ranch! When adding woven blinds, typically, I like to see them mounted outside the frame of windows without molding and inside the frame of windows with molding. There are always exceptions though.

I’m still hunting for trim to add to the curtains. I’ve checked out every possible option near me but nothing has really caught my eye. I’m happy to wait it out until I find “the one.”

I think that covers everything pertaining to our bedroom window treatments. If there are still questions, post them in the comments below and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Check back later today for five things I’m doing next week. It’s going to be a fun one!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

06.10.13 / Five Things

What day is it?

Last week was my kids’ first full week of summer break which happened to coincide with one of HH’s business trips. I decided it would also be a good time to sort through the mess that was our attic. After herding the kids and staying up well past 1:00 a.m. every night for the past week to wrestle the attic into submission, my brain is mush. But the attic is looking fantastic! As far as attics go.

Thank goodness the nearest IKEA is only 25 minutes away. I took advantage of IKEA’s kids-eat-free-horse-meat-Tuesdays amidst the chaos and a few things {that cost less than $20!} caught my eye while we were there.

caught my eye

SNIKA boxes // Seriously considering these for storage in my boys’ bedroom.

TOLSBY frame // You guys, these are only 99¢! They are made of plastic {i.e. super kid-friendly} but look ceramic and I think they would look way more grown up with a coat or two of gold spray paint.

KVISSLE steel & cork box // Visible, tangled cords drive me bonkers. This sleek box hides all that. Great for a desk or charging station.

FARKOST wall lamp // I’m loving the new swing arm lamps flanking our bed but they were a splurge. For an inexpensive version, you could spray paint these bad boys gold. I love that they are adjustable so you can direct light where you need it.

SKÄRBLAD pillow cover // It’s a 20″x 20″ pillow cover and it’s $5. Why wouldn’t I love it?! I tried really hard to think up a place in my house for one or two of these pillows but, sadly, could not.

While we were at IKEA, I did grab a few things for mine and HH’s bedroom and the boys’ bedroom. Can’t wait to show you!

Here‘s your Mod MomME winner!

images: IKEA

11.28.12 / Well Hung

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. It was also my birthday. It was also the day HH hung a bunch of stuff in our house. He knows me all too well. I’ll take home decor projects over traditional birthday gifts anytime.

We finally added curtains to the picture window in the family room. It’s an improvement. What hasn’t improved is my ability to shoot directly into a window.

The curtain panels are from West Elm and you can find them here. I bought them over a year ago when they were on sale with free shipping and I had a stash of gift cards. The rod that West Elm suggests using with the panels doesn’t come long enough to work with our large window. Ideally, I was wanting a plain matte black curtain rod with enough thickness to it to hold its own above the big window. I finally found this less expensive simple rod that fits our window but the diameter doesn’t allow for the curtain rings to slide over.

I resorted to buying two $7 packs of metal shower curtains rings from Meijer to hang the curtains. I actually don’t mind the ring on ring action. It feels casual and undone. If I ever tire of the look, there’s enough length to the panels for me to remove the tabs & rings and sew a rod pocket into the top. By then, maybe our kid/guest bathroom will be complete and I can use the shower curtain rings in there??

One day we’ll add some textured woven blinds to fill the gap between the top of the window and the curtain rod. I’m thinking I’ll probably have to buy two or three narrower blinds to extend the full width of the window as a single blind that size would be crazy expensive and might sag. I’m also going to woo HH into building a window seat bench with open cubbies in it for toy and book storage. Or I might go all Ana White and bust it out myself. I keep asking HH to show me where all his tools are and how to use them but he keeps doing everything for me. I think he’s afraid I’ll mess it up. Which is highly possible. But it wouldn’t be the end of the world, would it? I should totally start wielding some power tools.

The curtain panel on the right is doing one of my favorite curtain tricks: hiding the big a$$ subwoofer on the floor. My feelings towards this piece of home entertainment equipment are similar to my feelings towards the surround sound speakers in/on the wall. As long as HH keeps hanging stuff for me, I’ll keep covering up his ugly speakers. Hehe.

Love the narrow ivory frame around the panels. You could DIY something like this with inexpensive gray curtains from IKEA by hot gluing narrow ribbon along the edges or even painting the narrow frame around the panels. In fact, you should do this. Don’t be lazy like me.

HH assembled and installed this shoe cabinet next to the front door months ago. I don’t speak of it because we don’t use it yet. Our original front door is, well, original and still out of order. Once we start accessing the house through the front door, this slim cabinet is going to be all the rage. Last week, I was feeling brave and ventured up into the attic to rescue the capiz mirror. It’s from a Ballard Designs outlet near Cincy and it used to live in the master bedroom of our previous house. It’s found a new home in our new old home. I love seeing the reflection of the kitchen in it.

Eventually, we’ll hang something on the other side of the window to balance out the mirror on the left. Not necessarily a round mirror though. That would be too matchy.

HH also hung a light over the dining table. Surprise! It’s the Hoyne pendant and it’s pretty much the most amazing light ever. We had purchased a really inexpensive FOTO pendant from IKEA and spray painted it matte black. HH had been trying to install it for months with no success due to a missing bracket part that IKEA was refusing to send us and HH was fuming over the idea of having to go buy one. After the snafu, I realized the solid pendant probably wasn’t a great choice for the room. The dining table needs direct light and the FOTO would have provided that but the rest of the room also needs lit. The ceiling light is the main artificial light source in the mudroom. There is a small can light in the laundry nook but it doesn’t provide enough lighting for the rest of the room.

This pricier pendant is the result of a new collaboration in the works {I can’t divulge all the details yet!} and it was my inspiration light. It’s the light I was dreaming would live in our dining room/mudroom and if I’d have had $350 burning a hole in my pocket I would have snatched it up before now. With the open weave of the Hoyne, the rest of the room recevies light – not just the dining table. The shadows that the light casts onto the ceiling at night are beautiful! And I like how the pendant lets natural light from the window and the french doors pass through.

Did you notice a change in the location of the dining table? When we moved, we thought we’d like to have the table over by the sofa for a casual place to eat. But after living with our mudroom/dining room for a while now, we’ve found that placing the table in the center of the room works better. We toss mail on it when we come in. I fold laundry on it sometimes. It’s multipurpose. Of course, we still need chairs around the table but having the table in the middle of the room makes the room flow so much better and keeps all the big furniture from tilting the visual weight of the room to one side. It reminds me of those fancy entries you see in magazines where there’s a big pedestal table gracing the middle of the foyer.

The sofa is staying put but I’m going to make a slipcover for it. And add pillows. Ahhhhh. Pillows.

So stuff is happening here. Slowly but surely. It’s starting to look and feel more like home with each tweak.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking