Welcome back to Primitive Star Quilt Shop’s Bedroom Makeover Challenge. Congratulations on making it to day 3!
Today, we are going to talk about windows and curtains. This a is topic that is going to be hard for me to narrow down and fine tune when speaking to a group. There are two reasons for that. First, when it comes to curtains, I think there are probably as many opinions as there are people. I spend a lot of time talking to our customers about window sizes, curtain fullness and what styles of curtains they prefer. How you choose to dress up your windows is really very much up to your personal preference and there are so many variables to consider. I would almost go as far as to say there is no wrong way to choose and hang curtains - but that is probably an exaggeration and definitely goes against popular opinion.
Secondly there are hundreds of window sizes! It always makes me laugh inside when I ask a customer what size window they are working with and they reply with “well I’m not sure exactly, but it is a normal size window. You know what I mean?” The only way to really know what size your window is, is to actually measure it.
So that is where you need to start. How many windows do you have and what size are they? Measure each of your windows and write the measurements on your worksheet. I added a few possible window shapes so if it helpful for you maybe you can circle which shape your windows are most like or draw your own.
Next you need to think about what style of window covering you prefer. Do you like curtains or blinds and shades? There are several styles of blinds and shades available: mini blinds, vertical blinds, roman shades, pleated shades and the list goes on.
In my experience, from working with our customers at Primitive Star Quilt Shop, the majority of people want to use some type of curtain in the bedroom, so I am going to assume at this point that each or you are going to want to put curtains into your makeover plan.
For the most part the size of your window will help to dictate what type of curtain you choose. By type I am referring to either panel curtains, valances, tiers, prairie curtains or swags. Typically, you will choose the type of curtain based on window size. For example, if you have a shorter window that is only 36” tall, you can choose to use swags or a valance and tiers.
But another option that is popular, especially in small spaces where you want to create the illusion of a taller window, is to add length to the window by mounting the curtain rod 4-6 inches above the window and using longer panels. This method covers much of the side trim on the windows focusing mainly on how much light can be let in. Now, there are some designers who would say this is the only way to hang a curtain.
Well, I have to respectfully disagree. But then I have never really been one to seek out what is popular or proper and then make my decisions based on that. I am more likely to go with what I like, even if it that goes against the standard. Our home is much older, aside from a “great room” we added on back in 2003, most of our home is over 125 years old with 10 ½ foot ceilings. So the majority of the woodwork and window trim is cherry and very unique. I already mentioned that my husband and I love antiques, and so I guess I see our wide decorative window trim and unusually tall baseboards as a cherished antique. It is something that I want to accentuate and enjoy. I think it would be so fun if that wide wood trim could tell me stories of years gone by. If somehow the baseboards could recount how previous families have been able to enjoy our home in the past. I just would love to know that history.
So, since I like my woodwork to show, what I usually do is hang my curtains inside the windows using little tension rods. For me, the last thing I want to do is cover up our woodwork – even if that is considered an interior design faux pas.
Now… all of that being said, at Primitive Star Quilt Shop, we service a very niche primitive country market. Our customers are probably not the norm. They tend to love prairie curtains in plaids and checks. They really like to use swags or valances for smaller windows. The majority of the curtains we sell have been especially designed for our primitive country lovers and those who enjoy rustic lodge and the farmhouse look.
For those of you who want to plan to hang your curtains high above your trim, we do carry several styles of extra long panel curtains. Ours come in 96” and 108” long sizes so you should be able to hang them above your windows to bring more depth and height to your room. When measuring, you should plan on leaving about an inch or less of space next to the floor.
The bottom line is that you have to decide what style and look you are going for and what you are comfortable with. In my opinion you have a lot of freedom to choose not only panel curtains but also prairie curtains, swags and valances.
Jot down some of your favorite type of curtains style on your worksheet.
So, moving on, when it comes to curtains, the number one question that I get asked is in regards to how many curtains are needed to achieve a desired fullness. A good rule of thumb to follow is at least 2 times the width of the window. So, if your window is 36” wide then curtains that are at least 72” or even 80” would work great. Many people prefer even more fullness and choose to fill in with valances or an extra set of panels.
Since you already wrote down the measurements for your windows, go ahead and calculate what 2 times the width of your window is. If you know you might like a fuller option you can also calculate 2 ½ times your width and write those numbers down. This will come in handy when you get ready to get new curtains
So, you might be wondering -- what type of curtains do most of our customers choose to use in their bedroom? Survey says? Panel curtains! When our customers purchase a quilt collection, panel curtains are the number one curtains added to the order. Second would probably be valances and then prairie curtains.
Something else to consider is your hardware. There are various types of finishes. Brass, silver, or antiqued. What rod thickness do you want? Most of our curtains have a 3 ¼ rod pocket but that doesn’t mean that you have to have a large rod for it to look ok. I have found that smaller rods work well too. Make a note of what hardware you have and what you might need to replace.
Besides a rod pocket, some of our curtains have tabs at the top and some now come with a rod pocket and hidden tabs in the back. What that means is that you will have the option to gather the curtain on the rod in the traditional way or you can also choose to use the tabs to loop the curtains on the rod. The affect of using the loops on the back is a look that is a little more folded rather than gathered. It would be similar to the way a curtain with grommets would hang.
Again, you can check out the photo albums in our Facebook group for some pictures. We did not include every option we carry as we have a huge selection of over 90 different curtain fabrics. Most of those collections have at least 6 different types of curtains. So many fun choices!
I want to take just a minute to talk about a master bath. You might want to at least put some ideas for the bathroom down on paper. Especially if your bedroom and bath are all connected you’ll want to consider those window sizes too and what other textiles you might need. Many of our bedding collections do have matching shower curtains so that could work out great for those of you with a master bath to take care of.
That is all for today. Keep posting pictures of your worksheets! Tomorrow will be fun as we are going to talk about colors and I am excited because I have a really fun tip to show you! Goodbye for now!