Tag Archives: curtains

The curtains that nearly weren’t




These curtains. They’ve been a long time a comin’.

So first the pictures, then the story…

0527_1153-(2) 0527_1232-(2) 0527_1241 0527_1244-(2) 0527_1249-(2) 0527_1255 0527_1257 0527_1259 Starting way back when I first eyed up this fabric, in… August 2012. Gulp!


Then we DIY’ed some curtain rods a year later. And they stayed bare for many more months, while I shopped around, and around, and around. Call me thrifty, call me cheapskate… but I didn’t want to spend over $1k on one pair of curtains. One summer passed by and I missed the special deals. Another summer came… and I juuuuust scraped in, with a few lessons learned along the way.


After hosting a few big brand curtain consultants who offered only scary quotes and less than helpful advice, I decided to trust my own judgement on the fabric and style I’d had plenty of time to mull over, and hunted down a smaller scale curtain maker.

They appeared professional, with a simple website, some good reviews, and plenty of helpful advice. Not to mention a 30% lower quote than the cheapest of the big names.

Things were looking rosy and I had high hopes of hanging some curtains before winter began. Deposit paid!

And then… a few weeks later I thought “hmmm, looks like autumn is arriving, I wonder how my curtains are going?”

My emails bounced back, phone numbers were disconnected and a getting desperate phone call to the fabric supplier came up with “oh, they closed their account with us about a year ago”.

I felt pretty scammed. I felt a little silly, and a whole lot disappointed. I felt annoyed and grumpy. I felt like I’d just lost a few hundred dollars.

Then I got mad and hunted down the guilty party. I found an alternative email address in the depths of a business listing website, and my firm but friendly email didn’t bounce back!

But who knew if it had been read…

Then a few days later, a reply! Woohoo! They’re alive! But all it said was the fabric had just been ordered. Not so promising but at least a response and a way of contact was formed.

Days passed before another reply to my “where are my cuuuurtains?!” and apparently there’s trouble in the small-scale curtain maker camp. So my hopes were low.

The next email got a little more threatening and I did feel bad about that but Autumn was well and truly settled in and I just wanted my curtains! Or my deposit back.

I didn’t get a reply to that one. But eventually I got an email to say “your curtains are ready, where shall we send them?”. What? Really? My hopes rose a little but the fingers were still well and truly crossed.

Until a week or so later and just as I was walking out the door one morning, a courier van pulls up with a big box?! Noooo… it can’t be?! I told the kids to stay in the car, and ran back in with my box, grabbed the scissors and opened it just enough to peek in. Hallelujah!!! We have curtains!

I half expected spiders or mice or something to jump out at me too, but no. I just got my curtains, as ordered and as lovely as I hoped! Relieved and a little bit wiser, but I took a few days longer than I would normally to pay the balance. Fair’s fair I say.

And now these are my favourite curtains to pull every night and morning, and we can enjoy dinner without the cold draught through the french doors. All is well!

Especially now I’ve adjusted the hooks and they hang just right. I snapped these photos below before I fixed them up so ignore their bunching at the bottom, and just admire how they look from the living room (I forgot to get more photos from this angle after I’d adjusted them).


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The fabric is Pegasus EMI Imperial, in Duck Egg. My fave!

And the curtain rings come in packs of 10 – Nusa, in pewter (but I sprayed them the same colour as I sprayed the rods) by Windoware, from Bunnings.

I’m not naming the curtain maker because I believe they are/were genuinely in trouble and did their best (the curtains are well made and their advice in the beginning while we sorted the details was appreciated) but in future I will make sure to have a physical address for contact because phone numbers, email addresses and websites can disappear in an instant!



A curtain call


Last week you got a peek of the curtains in the lounge when I got all summery and rearranged it, along with a promise that I’d share the bedroom ones real soon. Is now soon enough?!

I’ve done a bit of less than artful cropping, so my apologies for the substandard photos. I’m just really starting to get irritated by the ugliness slash junkroom-ness of the master and spare bedrooms, so I didn’t even want to see the worst bits through my viewfinder, let alone share them with you all. One day I’ll be excited to show you every little nook and cranny, but not just yet ok?

This is the spare bedroom… all pretty and light with those dreamish curtains over our black out blinds –

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At US$4.99 a pair, these are an absolute bargain, and the smile value for money is huge! Get yours here at Ikea. The only catch is having someone in the US (or Australia or the UK) to help you out with shipping them beyond the edge of the Ikea world to l’il old NZ.

Here’s how they look in the master bedroom:

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Oh I just can’t get over how much of a difference such a flimsy piece of material makes to not just the window, but the whole room. The way they filter the light… oh yes I could get poetic if you let me!

But how about I just show you a couple more close ups instead?

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Gorgeois! (pron. Gorge-wah)

You can see they are quite an open weave, which frightened me a little when I first saw them (like old 80s net curtains) but I’m well over that now, and actually they’ll go perfectly with my macrame plant holder (my eyes are peeled, watch out TradeMe!).

In case you missed the two part story of the DIY curtain rods, you can read it here and here.

By the way, wasn’t it quite the morning with Oracle bringing it to 8-8. I have butterflies and they’re not going anywhere until the final race is over. C’mon boys!

Curtain rods DIY: Hang ’em straight

Last week I got carried away with the boring but necessary details of our DIY curtain rods. So today is light-hearted relief in the form of more images, less words! First, obligatory pictures of the diy process and the loveliest handyman (although that t-shirt might have to bypass the outbox and go straight to the charity bin):

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Now, here are my curtain rods to say hi.





0820_7855 0820_7852 0820_7853Aaah – who knew curtain rods would make me so starry-eyed?! Let me just have another scroll back…

Nice! So happy to have them up and despite the current lack of curtains the rods alone just make the rooms so much more finished looking (to me!).

In saying that though, there is nothing like a photo of a space you are so familiar with you could get around blind-folded, to show you the things you miss when you’re living in it.

Like that dining table that still hasn’t had its base painted white.

But also the things like the view of the lemon tree out the “green bedroom” window – it’s so pretty and full of fruit right now!

And the “temporary” light shade in the master bedroom – reclaimed from the sunroom before it became the kitchen – which we have plans for as a table lamp shade… one day!

And my sincere thanks to you for not even noticing the mess!

Drawing the curtains

With the evenings getting cooler my nightly blind pulling run around is now well before dinnertime and I definitely notice the lack of window furnishings at the french doors off the dining space. Cold shoulders at the dinner table are nothing to do with family relations.

Yesterday involved a visit to Bunnings with all the family in tow. Not ideal for browsing the curtain selection (we did come away with a rug for the play area in the lounge, but alas it just looked too small in the space and is waiting for me to return it… sad) but as you can probably imagine the selection is not great and I managed to rule it out completely in less than 30 seconds. It helped a lot that they had every single option hanging up for a good view.

What I did learn in that short moment of time though, was that while I know what I don’t want, I have no idea what I do want in curtains at the french doors. So as I did with the paint scenario I turned to Photoshop to help me visualise some options.

I love the range of curtains at Anthropologie so I grabbed some of theirs (although they don’t ship to NZ and the price puts them a bit out of my league – a girl can dream!) to hang at my virtual windows.

Straight away I spotted these knobs/finials on the curtain rod:

I quite like them… but as that is something that can be changed out or added to a standard rod I’ll think about that a bit later. One decision at a time!

Here’s the current unfurnished (and unpainted you might notice… hmmm) french doors which lead out to the deck:

As well as retaining heat (or providing some shade when the hot sun streams in in the early afternoon) the curtains will very much be a focal point of the room.

You might remember the splashback in the kitchen, in duck egg blue, and you’ll see that there are also touches of yellow – a yellow painted pendant light (oops!) and vases/flowers on the kitchen bench. I also plan to add some artwork in both these colours sometime soon. So, with that in mind we have a colour scheme of white, wood tones, concrete/stainless greys, and feature colours of duck egg blue and yellow.

To throw something out to start with, I tried white curtains (with the idea that once we develop the back yard, the view will be prettier than the curtains):

Hmmm, definitely not startling, which is either good or bad. Verdict: could be better!

You might also notice the curtain rod I’ve added into these pictures – above it’s in stainless, others it’s white. Take note, and let me know your preference, although it will depend a little on the curtains we go with too.

To follow the colour blocking trend here’s some solid yellow, and duck egg options:

Hmm, not my favourite although the duck egg blue version could grow on me if I stare at it a bit longer. Note that these are just visualisations, and I spent less than two minutes to create each one, so things like lighting are way out, and there’s no shadowing or anything to give them a little more reality. It might help if you squint!

This next one I really don’t like, but I’ll show you anyway – it’s a grey option to tone in with the floor and the stainless touches in the kitchen:

And now to some more interesting patterns:

Aaah, now we’re talking! I definitely like the patterned options best. I was a little worried about having a bold patterned curtain here when our lovely and vibrantly patterned rug is just a hop, skip and a jump away in the lounge, but if I try to find a complementary pattern I think we’ll be fine!

Let me know your favourite style/colour, and whether you think we should choose a white curtain rod so it blends in, or a stainless one to help frame the view.

Oh, and if you have any advice or recommendations on curtain purchasing, please feel free to pass it on. Thanks ever so much!

Note: If you’re going to advise that I make my own, you can keep it to yourself (that’s the polite version of what I said to Andre last night when he made such a suggestion).

On the go

This post was intended for pre-christmas but didn’t quite happen…

While there hasn’t been a whole lot to report, we have been busy as ever chipping away at lots of little things, like new roller blinds throughout (remaining curtains and tracks have now been removed):

Swapping shelves between bedrooms (which involved some sorting of junk along the way):

The smaller shelves are now in the master bedroom temporarily but will likely end up in the 3rd (kids) bedroom again later:

And the large shelves which were in the master bedroom are now in the little one’s current bedroom and will move with him into the new bedroom in a few more weeks. There are some alterations to be made to these shelves yet to allow for hanging clothes and the smaller storage baskets. I also need to purchase some more baskets to keep everything tidy.

Grinding the odd patch of concrete where an old boiler sat in the new bedroom (this photo shows the drop sheet set up intended to keep the dust to a minimum – no photos of the process itself as I wasn’t getting the camera anywhere near it!):

Priming the walls and ceiling in the new bedroom (just getting started here, but it’s finished now):

Crafting up a cushion for a present (here is the letter I marked out on the inside of the cushion cover, which I bought, to use as a guide):

And the finished cushion:

Painting the trim around the lounge to dining, and office nook:

Building a new boat trailer… no pics of this sorry but it’s just to show not everything is house related!

Plus there have been a couple of trips to the hospice shop to dump old curtains and what-not, a trip to the scrapyard with an old trailer, a bunch of present buying trips and some making of goodies for Christmas Crackers:

You can expect another post like this in a few days after we’ve achieved a few more little bits and pieces about the place!