May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


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.

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