September 28, 2012

Dining Room Update: Curtains (Maybe)

Last time we left off here on the blog with the progress of our dining room, we'd painted the space and were looking a little like this...

Pretty much a clean slate! Next on the list was getting in some updated window treatments. When we moved here back in December, my mother gave us 4 amazing green Thai silk 108" window panels that she'd gotten brand new for her own home but didn't end up using. We were thrilled to say the least and couldn't wait to try them out in the dining room space.

I have to admit that upon opening the curtains, I loved the little "congratulations" for my purchase with further instructions, ha:

The panels came with hardware I'd never used in curtains before — you quite literally have to pierce the fabric with hooks in increments where you want them to hang from your curtain rings. So I started out by laying the panel flat on our dining room table and measuring out where each hook would need to be inserted:

After mocking everything in place at equal spaces, I went ahead and began piercing the top of the fabric, careful not to pierce through to the front of the panel. Sorry for the shaky shot — that's what I get for trying to get one left handed (but you get the idea):

Measuring out the first panel was the longest and hardest part (and the only step that involved math). Once I had the one good to go, I simply flattened out the other three panels overtop the first one and used it as a visual guide for placing in the other hooks instead of individually measuring out each panel again:

By the 4th one, I was pretty proud of myself at how quickly it went:

Then I made Tim come back in the room to help me test hanging these guys. We already liked the existing hardware that was left on the windows, so we simply slipped a few rings onto the hanging rod and put them into place exactly where the previous window hardware had been installed:

You can really see the height we are working with in this space in the following pictures (not to mention how great of a guy I have for getting up on the table to put these heavy panels in place):


Tim hiding behind a mess of curtains and Basil trying to get either one of us to play ball with him:

Here's how we looked the day after fussing with them the night before:


It was a big improvement from where we started to say the least!

Side note — that big black appliance to the right is a steamer I used to try to get some wrinkles and folds out of the fabric. I LOVE having a steamer. You needed to know that.

After sitting on it a couple days, we weren't totally satisfied with the height of the rods, especially being below the tops of the window frames. We LOVE the way the curtains perfectly pooled at the floor, but felt like raising the rods might make the room look even taller and just flow a little better in general.

Take a look at these inspiration examples from my Home Pinterest Board:

See how the rods are installed above the window frames and just seem to look great? Plus, after seeing so many templates and guides for hanging curtains "high and wide" outside of the frame, we just felt like we had to give it a go.

Template examples showing the difference hanging higher and wider can make:

So down came the curtains and out came the ladder, screwdriver and drill:

After removing the rod hardware from the wood window frames, we realized there were a ton of holes all along the wood where several pieces of previous hardware used to be, like the mini-blinds and other rods. So Tim used some white colored interior wood filler to fill in each of the holes and later smoothed them out to create the look of seamless wood:

Once it came time to reinstall the window hardware, we used a yard stick as a template to make sure things were level on both sides and drilled 1 inch in from the tops of the window frames since the rod is adjustable enough to create any width outside of the frame we'd be going for:

After getting the curtains up once again, we heard a loud crash later that night and came in the room to find one side of them ripped from the wall. FAIL:

Can you spot the incriminating evidence in the photo above? Hint, it's Basil's red kong toy...

So after a little readjustment, here's what we're looking like on the curtain length right now, from about every angle we could possibly photograph. See if you can spot where Basil's furry little behind makes a cameo:


...and a closeup of our The Steel Fork deer head, since we love it so much:

While we love the new height of the curtain rods, now we're not so sure the curtains aren't too short for the space since we loved the way they looked just barely pooled on the floor. We're still on the fence.

We do have two windows like this in our master bedroom where the ceiling doesn't go quite as high, so we're debating moving them to the bedroom and just making custom drapes for this dining room space or waiting for the perfect 120" pair of panels to come along.

At least we are worlds away from where we first began — remember:

Yes, much better! We've still got a long way to go. As always, we'll keep you posted as we figure it out and definitely stay tuned for the next post since we're not quite finished with the updates we've made recently to this space!!

Hint: if you're not feeling those temporary folding chairs as much as we aren't, then we have a pleasant surprise coming up next.


  1. White wood filler! who knew?!

    Also: I think the curtain trend of curtains pooling on the floor will end, and with pets, it is hard to keep clean. I did enjoy the saga of 'getting it right' as all my projects seem to be this way as well. For curtains I use spring rods, as I hate putting holes in things. But like the look you got with rods.

    1. Karen, spring rods we will have to look into those and yes wood filler amazing stuff!

  2. Those look beautiful, love the color. We have a similar style curtain in our living room and they are about 5 inches off the ground which means they don't pick up the insane amount of dog hair that comes off of our dogs.

    I haven't used a steamer since I worked in retail. I love those things! Although, I did burn myself quite often.

  3. Love the color of those curtain! A room always looks that much closer to complete with a good set. Can't wait to see it progress from here.

    1. Thanks Shannon it really has been fun and I learned with this project Tim really does not enjoy hanging curtains and I think it is one of his least favorite honey do's! HaHa

  4. I just found y'alls blog and LOVE it! Please please please tell me you're on Pinterest?!

    1. So nice to meet you! We both have individual Pinterest accounts and you can find those in the side bar of the blog. I was personally excited to see you as a food blogger myself. Please feel free to check out Please feel free to visit often and stay in touch! Thanks again for stopping by.

  5. Hi, just wondering if you realised the set of photos with the curtains first being put up shows the rods at the original positions and ends with a couple of shots of Tim with the rods above the window frames. I did a triple take before scrolling down further to see you eventually moved the rods and the pictures must have gotten jumbled in trying to tell the story :) Thought for a moment there I had to lay off the 3rd cup of coffee LOL

    1. Thank you SO much for catching this! I obviously hadn't had enough coffee myself when putting this post together! Everything should be back in proper order now thanks to your kind words!

  6. Hi, just thought I'd mention that I found your blog today and love it. I live in Williamsburg, not far down the road from you. Anyway I have a friend who did the same thing you did with her dining room curtains, too short. She bought some patterned material that blended with her curtains and added it to the bottom of each curtain. She also made a valance with the new material. Since a valance is maybe not your style you could add tie backs or add some of the new material elsewhere to tie in if desired. Her dining room looks great. Looking forward to all of your blogs.

    1. Shirley, so great to meet you and thanks for taking the time to comment! Loving the idea of lengthening the curtains with additional matching fabric — thanks so much for the idea!

  7. Love those curtain! They are very nice and beautiful!

  8. Just hanging some curtains and remembered this post! Thanks guys.

    1. Ha, thanks for that and hope yours went well!


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