December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sexy Curtains: The Look for Less

Here's a closer look at one of the photograhs from The Wall Street Journal article on "The Comback Curtain" I posted about on March 28, 2012.

"Custom drapery is extremely expensive," says Kim Chapman, whose Chicago firm, Urban Environments, recently designed a bedroom bay window with four roller shades and panels of a sheer polyester for about $4,500. The client could easily have spent twice that much using more-conventional drapery fabric, Ms. Chapman says. "People are staying as minimalist and as cost-effective as they can."

I'm pretty certain I can recreate a similar look for a lot less than $4,500.  So - follow along:

1.  I'm figuring curtains 95 inches long, to rougly fall from near ceiling height to just touching the floor, as in the image above.

2.  I'm shopping for opaque (but not black-out) roller shades.  Since I don't have the sizes of the windows, except that it appears the end window(s) are narrower than the two "center" windows, I'm going to look for standard sizes for the center windows and narrower sizes for the two side windows.

3.  Not shopping for three curtains rods plus round or circular drapery clips (it appears these panels were hung from their rods with clips.)

Going to J.C. Penney online, my "go-to" store for curtains.  Just about every curtain I have in my house is from Penney's. 

After doing a quick scroll through a couple pages of sheer panels at Penney's, I settled on Lisette, a sheer machine washable polyester that comes in several colors, including cream and white.  I chose white because that appears to be the color of the woodwork (trim) in the pictured room above.  Here is an image of the Lisette panels:

Although these sheer panels have a rod pocket top, they could be hung from drapery clips.  They come in lengths to 108".  Five 60" x 95" panels at $15.00 each (incredible price, heh?) -- figure one panel for each side window and three across the two larger windows of the bay, is $75.00. 

Lisette also comes in a pinch-pleaded style:

Two pair of 48" x 95" (only come in sets of two panels) at $33.00 each is $66.00.  It is possible that one pair would be enough, using one panel on each side window, but without knowing the size of the windows better to be safe than sorry.  For the two larger windows, one pair of 120" x 95" is $45.00.  total price is $111.00. 

Next, I priced roller shades at Penney's:

Savannah unfringed thermal roller shades in cool white fits windows up to 66" long -- no way of telling how long the windows are in the top photo.  Shades are cut to the width you specify.  Two shades (15" - 25 1/4") at $22.00 each is $44.00; in the top image, it appears the designer used only one large shade across the two center windows of the bay -- so, one shade of approximately 55" to 73" is $55.00 (I'm assuming the two windows are five to six feet wide).  Total cost $99.00 for three shades cut to size.

Total cost for curtains and shades using Lisette rod pocket top panels:  $174.00

Total cost for curtains and shades using Lisette pinch pleated panels:  $210.00.

Add another extremely generous $200.00 for three rods and drapery clips.

Let's see, $374.00 or $410.00 versus $4,500.00.  Even assuming I had the money to buy the $4,500.00 look, I'd buy the $410.00 look and spend the rest of the money on a 3 week vacation to London and Paris, darlings :)  The look can be achieved for even less by using less expensive rods (I, for instance, would never fork over $200 for three curtain rods and some drapery clips!), and going with a hardware store standard shade rather than a department store "thermal."  Hardware stores such as Ace and Tru Value, and my local go-to store for hardware and home-improvement goods -- Menard's -- will cut shades to size at no extra cost.  The Jaclyn Smith sheer panels At K-Mart have the look of silk and cost less than the popular Lisette panels at Penney's. 


  1. Jan,
    I think that curtains are coming back because style is once again changing and going toward a more romantic look rather than the pared down look that has been in style for some time now.

  2. Hi Deb,

    I never did get the "go without curtains" thing. Even in a very rural area who's to say someone couldn't come by and be peeking in one's windows. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it! Yeah, during the day, let there be light -- you at least have a chance to see someone snooping in your windows (doesn't work if someone is spying with a telescope). At night, I don't want people looking in at me or my house, even inadvertently as they're walking by the house on the street. I like my privacy. I certainly do not want to see naked men scratching themselves as they exit their bathrooms -- and believe me, I have seen that during my years of walking to and from bus stops! As if there are no people who drive and look out their car windows, as if there are no people who walk and look at areas other than straight ahead ten feet! Of course the exhibitionists count on this! They WANT TO BE SEEN! They WANT TO OFFEND! So people who don't use curtains and/or shades/blinds in their houses -- my bet is that they're sickos, even if they don't admit it to themselves.