Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Home Projects: Living Room Window Coverings

I hate our office. Our office chair doesn't fit under my super cool desk, I don't care for the color on the walls, and the lighting is horrible. I realize these are all fixable things, but I can't tackle renovating the office until I've painted the basement. That's just how I work. Anyway, my dislike of our office means that I often spend my days working in the dining room, which feels less dungeon-like.

A week ago, I was typing away and something moving past the living room window caught my eye. I looked up and saw "Pete," the self-proclaimed neighborhood watch dog, walking down the middle of the street holding his can of beer. I watched him stop in front of our house and stare at it for what felt like a long time. When I realized he was staring at the house, I slowly backed my chair up so I was hidden behind the wall that divides the living from the kitchen and prayed he hadn't seen me watching him. Pete can talk forever and I didn't want him to see me and feel the need to explain why he was staring at our house. Hiding was necessary. After a few moments had passed, I poked my head around the corner and saw that he had turned around and was staring at the house across the street. It was at that moment that I decided I needed to expedite our search for some curtain rods so we could increase our level of privacy. Neighbor or not, I don't really like people staring into our house. It's a little creepy.

I've been searching for curtain rods since January 28, when we finally finished mounting the hardware for the rods my aunt gave us last fall. Having never mounted curtain hardware, we approached the project with great caution – or what we thought was great caution. We measured the length of the panels, we positioned the brackets so the curtains would hang just right, we brought out the tape measure and level to make sure the spacing between the brackets was perfect and that each individual bracket was positioned straight up and down. Unfortunately, despite our attempt to be perfect, we screwed up. Big Time. How we managed to measure the length and width of the curtain panels but not the length of the actual curtain rod is beyond me. My dad came up to help with the last bit of the installation process and we decided we’d surprise G and have the curtains hung by the time he got home from work. We slipped the sheer curtain onto the rod and I climbed up to slide it into mount. My dad held the middle piece and slid the other end through the openings…only to discover that the parts didn’t meet. There was a foot gap between one of the rod and the middle joining section.

Because the hardware was an absolute pain in the butt to firmly secure on the wall (G insists they are a permanent fixture and will be sold with the house), and because I had just finished painting the room and didn't want to spackle and paint again, we opted to leave them up and search for new rods that had a matching finish. Unfortunately, the PB rods that extend to 120" are pretty pricey, so I offered to look for a less expensive alternative. It took forever. On Monday of this week, I found some on sale at Jo-Ann’s (of all places). They're not great quality, but I couldn’t pass up the price. I only installed one because I wanted to see what other people think of them. The color of the rod matches the scrolled hardware pretty well, but I need help with the finials. I'm going to wait to install the second rod until I know what finials I'm going to use.

Here's the scrolled finial that came with the rod:

And here's the ball from the original PB rods (just to give you an idea as to the difference in quality, this little ball finial weighs about as much as half of the curtain rod from JoAnn's):

Here are my options:

1) All ball finials

2) All scrolled finials

3) Scrolled finials in front and ball finials in the back

I'm so excited to have some privacy back!