-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Sunday, September 18, 2005

making your own curtains

This morning I've been trying to catch up on houseblogs reading and I've discovered there are loads more new sites. I can see, very soon, I'm going to have to start limiting myself on the ones I follow.

One of the new members I found was Stately English Manor, which is a cute bungalow in the US. Looking at their floorplan it seems amazingly small for a US house - in that, it looks London-house-sized! I'm so used to all US houses being ginormous mansions, it's refreshing to see it's not all like that.

They've just been making curtains - lovely simple clear sheer panels - and it reminded me about the ceiling curtains I made for our conservatory here in London. Originally, we tried to get away without curtains but even in the English climate we were baking in there. It was too expensive to get custom-made blinds (and I didn't like them much anyway) so we decided to improvise. It's one of the most successful of our improvisations so thought I'd share:

conservatory blinds

I had some gorgeous sheer green silk from a previous project for the lounge-room windows, which we abandoned to go with wooden shutters instead. It was so lovely I couldn't bring myself to throw it away so had kept it... and it turned out to be just perfect for this. It's really light-weight so was simple to hang, I just sewed a hem on the ends, threaded through some bamboo canes (from the garden!) and then we fixed them via strategically placed cup-hooks, screwed into the timber rafters. I like how it hangs enough to give the sense of draping & sails, but not so that it looks sloppy. I also adore the play of the light through the fabric so you see the swirly pattern. Most importantly of all, despite being so sheer, it has really cut back on the heat. Now in summer it still gets hot but not unbearably so.


K said...

Wow, those are pretty and so practical, too! Now I wish I had a conservatory. :)

Anonymous said...

Those sheers are beautiful! I love using silk for windows.
Our little bungalow is actually fairly standard for Urban California. They average anywhere from 800 to 1200 square feet for a two-bedroom. Unfortunately, it also costs half a million bucks in this city!
I'm enjoying reading about your progress!