Saturday, January 17, 2009

Naked Windows No More


{This is an old post with a good picture of my mantle for The Nester's linky party. Scroll down and you'll see the mantle pic. I still like my mantle so it's looked this way for over a year.}

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I've lived in this house 3 years. We bought it brand new because we can't fix stuff and low-maintenance sounded nice.

I love this sweet house. It is nothing fancy. Just a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom white vinyl-sided home in a small neighborhood of similarly-sized vinyl-sided homes. But it's our home (well, in 27 years it will be ours.)

One thing I love about this home is the giant great room. It's a monstrous room that takes up most of the home's square footage. You know the type: kitchen, dining room, and living room all in one. And our family manages to squeeze even more uses out of this gracious space: media room, schoolhouse, skating rink, library, laundromat and indoor playground.

And because this house was brand new, I envisioned jumping right in and prettying it all up. Fabulous paint, lovely window treatments with bamboo shades, lots and lots of flowers in the Spring...

But life did not allow for much pretty stuff at that point. Life in general was not pretty for quite some time. Between my career and two young children and a family crisis, all the prettying-up never happened.

A year later I quit my job to be home. Two months later I was pregnant with our 3rd child who is now 13 months old.

I have been craving some long-overdue beauty.

This past summer, my best girlfriend referred me to Nesting Place, which totally inspired me. I loved this blog because it's for real people. People who cannot sew. People who have children. People who are not rich. And people who do not want to spend all the livelong day fretting over just the right window treatment.

My fellow Americans, I have thrown off the shackles of perfectionism, excuses, and cluelessness. For the last couple of months, I have been a decorating freak.

My great room has lived with naked windows for 3 years! I had the perfect design in mind. Beautiful bamboo shades with raw silk panels hung high on a big chunky rod with big chunky rings...with a big chunky price-tag. It would have cost hundreds. And I could afford about 1/5 of a hundred...$20 to be exact. For the whole room. Five whole windows.

AND I DID IT!!! IN ONE DAY!!! WITHOUT A SEWING MACHINE!!!

I forgot to take "Before" pictures. But just imagine plain, sad, naked, clear boxes on the wall...

Naked No More. Look at these beauties:

Here's a little peek at the fabric. It's very fancy, isn't it? A lovely taupe botanical print on a cream background. You can get it for $3.77 a yard at Wal-Mart. I used just 3 yards and still had some left over.


(I'm also easing into Spring with my mantle. I live down South so it will be here before too long. I had the vases left over from my sister's wedding several years ago. I filled it with potpourri from a $1 bag of potpourri I bought after Christmas at Target. Then I just put sprigs of green berries down in there (purchased from the Dollar Tree and with the fakey green leaves removed.)

Here's the rest of the window. The fabric wasn't quite wide enough to go the length of these two windows so I matched up the pattern in order to stay cheap and work with the width I had. And you totally can't tell!




By now, you know this method. It's a rod-less wonder, I tell you. Tap in your upholstery tacks (94 cents for about 30 at Wal-Mart.) Clip your fabric with drapery clips and hang them on the tacks. The trim is just some plain canvas trim also from WM for $1.13 a yard. I already had the drapery clips. Purchased those several months ago at a thrift store. A whole coffee can of them for $4!!!

Here's my big bay window. I did not straighten things up for you or even tell my kiddo to get out of the way.



The beauty of these mistreatments? I can still add to it. If I can ever afford beautiful bamboo shades, I'll just mount them underneath these valances.

My kitchen window turned out so pretty I couldn't stop staring at it. Once again, I'm keepin' it real. See those dishes in the dish drainer and that messy counter? Actually that counter is pretty clean compared to right now. Blogging is such blissful avoidance.


This is another mistreatment idea ripped straight from the Nester's site. You just pinch up the fabric from the back on either side and put a safety pin through it. I hung it on a tension rod because I had one. You could also just tack it up.

And here's a close-up. (Do you like my thrift store plates for 25 cents each? I've always loved the cheapness and laziness and elegance of plates on a wall.)

Oh, and I just hot-glued some $1.37 a yard canvas rope trim...also from WM.

The moral of the story?

If you have naked windows, cover them up. Valances. Panels. Fake Roman shades. It doesn't matter. Just do something.

You know that recurring dream you have where you show up at school or work in the morning and you're naked? Don't you hate that dream? Well, that's how your naked windows feel every day of their lives! It's a nightmare. And it's wrong.

Don't let them live in shame and humiliation another day.

62 comments:

  1. You go girl!!! Your windows look great!

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  2. These turned out beautiful! Good for you...and thanks for sharing. Now I'm inspired! We're HOPEFULLY going to be moving into a new home that has TONSof windows, many of them naked. I may just have to hit my local WM!

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  3. Great job!! I am decorating challenged and just reading how you did these simple things makes my head spin, so if you ever come to our area, you MUST come to my house and assist me. :o) The sun room windows are probably begging to be dressed, but hey, a first step would be to just get the wood trim around them!! At least we finally have carpet in there!
    Heather

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  4. Umm . . . it's MOM. Love the blog design; especially the semi-hidden Eiffel Tower at the top! And I also love the mistreatments. As I've already told you, the fabric is absolutely fabulous; can't believe it's WM. Your insatiable quest to dress everything now reminds me of your Barbie days (not to mention your manipulation of your younger siblings into becoming life-sized figures for your creative urges!) Keep it up, dear one.
    Love,
    MOM

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  5. You are such an inspiration to work with what you have!! God has also blessed you with the ability to share in words we can put to use in our own lives. I am so blessed to have you in my life. Love, Debbi

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  6. Just found your blog from Aubrey's, and I love it! We're in temporary housing right now but you've got me brainstorming fun things to glue and tack when we get home...

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  7. Thanks for the blog template info. I just changed mine tonight and love it.
    I can't believe you did not sew any of your window treatments! They look awesome. Pretty soon you'll have me sayin' "I think I can, I think I can..." all the way up my decorating mountain!

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  8. http://designformula.blogspot.com/2008/01/making-picture-wall-collage.html

    Have you checked out this blog yet???
    It's so cool.
    julie
    www.homeschoolblogger.com/juliestew

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  9. STOP. THE. WORLD.

    these are amazing!

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  10. First of all, LOVE THE NEW BLOG DESIGN! Love. it.

    Second, when I saw your mantel? I gasped out loud. That is the prettiest thing I ever saw. I have no visual skills and I am sad.

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  11. You are hilarious! I love your blog. Your mistreatments are super fab. I absolutely agree about striking while the iron is hot. If I don't do it when the urge strikes, it just won't happen. I live in military housing so decorating is often a HUGE challenge.
    Hey, I'm a homeschooler and I live 5 hours from Paris. Want to be BFF's? You can come visit and we'll go to Paris.

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  12. I love it! I'm in a similar situation, except we've lived in this house for 6 years. I am tired of waiting until we have enough $$ to have the "perfect" whatever. Thank you for your post!

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  13. Love the mistreatments! I have MANY naked windows right now and need some inspiration!

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  14. I love the windows and the adorable material that you choose. They do look very elegant.
    They fit your house perfect!

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  15. Came over from the Nester. Your home looks fabulous. Love your colors and all of your mistreatments!

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  16. Stopped by to see what Nester was raving about & now I see why. They're beautiful.
    Congrats to you on getting such a great look on such little money - I love it.

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  17. Your mistreatments turned out really cute!

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  18. found you via nester. love your mistreatments. i'm going to run right to w-mart and find some of that fabric...as soon as the snow melts. it's gorgeous! great job!

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  19. Very cool valances! Love the fabric, too. I also had that vision if chunky everything, but still nothing chunky around here. Yes, in all of my client's home, but not mine. Grrrr...., I will just have to dress those naked dining room windows, dust off my own sewing machine and skip the seamstress. SOON! It's been almost 4 years for our naked windows... Great blog, love it!
    ~Misti

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  20. Yep, me too, over from the Nester, but I must say, GREAT JOB!!!! I LOVE that canvas/picture you have over your mantle!! LOVE. IT! Where did you get that? Second, your window treatments are Fabulous! LOVE that fabric....our WalMart stopped carrying fabric. SAD. And I love your blog; you're witty and fun, and REAL. Keep it up. I don't know what your old blog dress looked like, but this one is very nice.
    Suzanne

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  21. Another Nester friend...so fun to find a fellow homeschool mom...yea. I am sitting at my computer with my mouth dropped open - amazing job!! Don't worry - my windows have been naked since we built the house -11 years ago...I know, I know. Must. Do.It.Now!! (this summer. :)

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  22. Oh, and I forgot to tell you that I read your entire unabridged profile...you are now my new BFF homeschooling mom. :)Isn't it funny how I'd never say that in real life, but in blog world, it communicates tons. :)

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  23. It looks great!! I love the plates too.

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  24. My first time by here, love what you did! It really looks amazing. Drop by my blog sometime!

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  25. Your home looks like a model...your taste is gorgeous! Hi, Im Meme from Screaming Meme! I want to personally invite you to a blog I created for all of us to share...Yes, a community blog! :) It is a place to be inspired and to create more happiness and beauty in your home and your life...I hope you take a chance to stop in and visit! I have a personal blog, Screaming Meme...I teach DIY ideas! I look forward to getting to know you in 2009! Meme

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  26. Hi there! I came over from The Nesting Place. Your house is ADORABLE! Your fabric idea over the mantle is great and fabric itself is gorgeous.

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  27. Lovely!!! you did an amazing job! I have 3 little ones too and I know how hard it is to play decoartor AND be mommy. I also have that same floor lamp you have-too funny!

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  28. I have a few naked windows, I've got to learn how to do this - soon and very soon!

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  29. Oh my, am I glad I found you. I've re-read this post about 4 times! I'm in a nesting mode - but not pregnant - and just like the ideas I get from you. I'm also on a strict budget. Thanks
    laurel

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  30. Those are beautiful curtains. My great room has been naked for 4 years. I just can't figure out what to do with all the windows in there. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

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  31. Way to go, Scooper! I just saw your curtains on the Nesting Place blog.

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  32. the windows look wonderful. I am so inpsired by what you have done. thanks for sharing!

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  33. I love your windows! I do have a question about them, though. So, how did you get around the raw edges? Did you hot glue on some sort of edging or another fabric? They look fantastic! Also, I couldn't find out from nester...where do you buy those lovely hooks and clips? Fabric section at Wal-Mart I am guessing? Thanks for posting...you really have great ideas!
    carrie.hardin@leesummit.k12.mo.us

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  34. Beautiful job! How do you do the two "gathers" in the kitchen curtain? I just love that! The fabric is so beautiful. Love the yellow walls too.

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  35. You seriously got that fabric at Wally World? I guess I know what I'm doing before AWANA tonight......

    The kids can eat cold cereal, right??

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  36. I am sith southerninspiration...Where did you get that amazing canvas print. I would love that in my bedroom!

    Love the rooms and treatments, gorgeous.

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  37. Your home is GORGEOUS! I am going to have to run to WM...I loooove the fabric you used in the family room.

    Awesome job! I'll definitely be back. :o)

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  38. I also need more information. You said these are done without sewing? How do I finish the edges? They don't look raw. I can cut and nail and add the clips.... Also the kitchen curtain you added to a rod. Was it sewn? Or the whole thing safety pinned??? Also love the canvas over the fireplace. Did you make it as well? Do tell... where did it come from??

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  39. In response to the comment right above mine...

    I got the painting at ROSS. I don't know if they have ROSS where you live but they have wonderful home accents that are affordable. I bought the painting last summer with my b-day money. It was $50. A deal for such a large canvas. Last time I was there they had lots of similarly-sized and styled paintings for that price.

    The edges are simply folded under and hot-glued. If you want you ca fold it over, press it with the iron (I usually don't though), and then just glue it. That's it!

    For the kitchen curtain, I just folded the top of the fabric over a tension rod I already had and then hot-glued a small strip. Easy.

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  40. I am in love with your living room. Everything about it is just perfect. It's never too early to start looking forward to Spring. :)

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  41. Love your blog, and absolutely love your mistreatments! Hugs from Maine. http://sophie4me.blogspot.com/2009/01/changing-times.html

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  42. These are lovely! Heading to WM tomorrow to try to find that fabric. ;)

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  43. Hi, I don't know if you're reading this far down in your comments, but I'd love to know what color/brand your living room paint is, it's beautiful!
    Julie @ ohsweetchaos

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  44. Well, I have much to comment about. First of all, Lily is a friend of mine from flight attendant days. She has always been so talented and crafty and beautiful on the inside and out to boot. Please tell her hello. Secondly, I came here from the Nester who has become a bloggie buddy since early on in her blog. I'm an avid reader of most of the people who I've seen comment or who are followers of your blog. The third thing I would like to say is that I love your blog and your writing style and will be adding you to my blogroll. I'm looking forward to reading more of what you have to say!! By the way, what a small world!!

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  45. I came over via the nester and have so enjoyed your blog. You did a great job on those windows!!!

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  46. In response to Julie (3 comments up)...

    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. The paint is Montgomery White from Benjamin Moore. It is the most wonderful, warm, understated yellow you’ve ever seen. If you see a sample, it will not look yellow. It will look off-white and you’ll think you’re crazy. But once you get it on the wall, it’s fantastic.

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  47. I've been back three times because I am gaga over your art over your mantle. Is that something you would share your source for?

    I'll come back to see if you've answered, or you could email me if it is not too much to ask. calicocatpress(at)mac(dot)com

    I think your home is lovely!

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  48. Please, please tell me what that beautiful paint color is in your living room (the room in first picture with the beautiful mantle) and in your room is in the room with the bay window. It's gorgeous!! What brand/color is it. I would love to use it. My email is pwmorgan@zoominternet.net Thanks!
    Stacey

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  49. girl, I need you to add your email address on your profile so when you leave a comment and I get the email of it, I can easily email you back!

    I am so bossy!

    Anyhow, i totally forget what I was gonna say!

    wish you could come to blissdom!

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  50. Just found your blog through the nester, and you are adorable. Loved your last post and your honesty:-) (Your window mistreatments look great, too, by the way. Love that fabric!)

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  51. PAINT COLOR EVERYONE: Benjamin Moore Montgomery White. It looks cream but is really a warm soft yellow on the walls. It's beautiful. You'll want to lick your walls.

    ART: Go to ROSS. I got it last summer with my b-day money for $50. They constantly have stuff like this.

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  52. Both of these are just stunning! Love the curtains, love the plates, love it all!!

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  53. Wow. I love this room! That painting makes it. I was just going to ask where you got it, then I read the comments. I should have known it came from Ross...that is my favorite store E.V.E.R. Just recently stumbled upon your blog and I'm loving it!

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  54. I'm so happy to have found this blog, especially this post! We are hoping to buy our first home soon. I've just started dreading that the "still high even in a terrible market" mortgage payment means that we won't have anything let over for decorating. Thanks to your site, I've got more confidence in my home "making" abilities. Thanks!

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  55. Love, love your curtains! Thanks for the inspiration. We have lived in our home almost 4 years and I have procrastinated on this project. Have a blessed week!
    In Christ,
    Kara Shriver-John 3:30
    karamy3sons.blogspot.com

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  56. Love the curtains! They look great! After we first moved in I had grand ideas about curtains in our living room. I made curtains for the kitchen, but still not for the living room. Maybe this will inspire me. But since I'm not a type-A personality either, more likely I'll just think about how nice it would be to get some curtains hung. :) Then put it off some more.

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  57. Your mistreatments are fantastic!!! Nester would be proud! :) Love your Spring mantel too. The cherry blossom print is lovely!

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  58. Beautiful job Scooper!

    We have a nekked back door. I have lovely linen mistreatments on my kitchen window from a clearance rack at Hancock. BUT, we just moved and my door. Poor little guy.

    This morning I got to go Yard Sale-ing and I found a Gingham Roman Shade that coordinates PERFECT with my other mistreatments. I was doing the Happy Dance as the Hallelujah chorus played! And the even neater part is that it was at a girl's house who goes to church with us and the proceeds are going to support her mission trip this summer.

    Great work on your mistreatments, they are lovely!

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