Thursday, February 2, 2012

Thrifty ain't "cheap" if you have taste

Thanks to HGTV and now Pinterest, we all have pretty good taste (well, maybe not all of us), but most of us don't have the cash to back up our good taste. I certainly don't. But I love HGTV and Pinterest and I love to redecorate. If remodeling didn't require money, I would remodel constantly. Sometimes I think I am working just to support my remodeling, crafting, and gardening habits.

In fact, I just finished remodeling the entire first floor of my house. I'll roll out some before and after pictures here from time to time. There are still a couple projects yet to do to complete the kitchen, so I'll share those with you as I complete them.

Today's project is more a solution than a craft and it's for the living room.

I live in a two-story working class home built in the 1920s. It has “good bones” as they they, but not a lot of craftsman detail. One of its main selling points was that it already had brand new siding and all new replacements windows, a must-have for the cold Ohio winters.

There are two square windows flanking the living room fireplace, a pretty typical feature in these working class homes. In a more upscale neighborhood, they might sport some lovely craftsman detail such as stained glass or beveled glass panels or something. By comparison, my replacement windows don't open and they look pretty sad and plain. And as a bonus, when my neighbors are on their second floor, they can look straight down into my living room and see what I'm up to.

So I needed some idea to cover these windows. Curtains are okay but I wanted to somehow at least mimic the detail that would have been there had I lived in a more fancy neighborhood in a real honest-to-goodness craftsman home.

My thrift store trips turned up nothing because I couldn't find two of the same thing. But a thrift store would be a good solution if you are only dressing one window. What I ended up with came from Big Lots, another one of my favorite places for inexpensive decorating solutions.

I bought two of these pieces on clearance for $10 each. They are a nice cream color and have been made to look like distressed pieces from some iron gate.

I also bought two of the smallest tension rods I could find and one sheer curtain panel in a cream color. All in all I spent under $40.

I cut the sheer panel in two. Remember, though I own a sewing machine NO SEW is always my first choice. I used the bottom hem as the rod sleeve for the second panel. There is no hem on the bottom of either of the panels. Who needs it?! They were cut slightly longer than the window so I could make them sit ON the bottom of the window frame.

I put in one good-sized screw in the center (yes, I actually measured to find the center this time) of each window frame.

Simple, neutral, craftsman-like with a cottage feel. And most importantly, it keeps me from getting too intimate with my neighbors.