It's time to deal with those giant windows in the front of my living room! And I think it's going to have to be curtains. Honestly, I'm not really a fan of curtains. Especially with two cats who shed a lot. I prefer cleaner, more minimal window coverings like shades or blinds.
What I really want are those fancy Ikea ENJE shades all the bloggers have. But the nearest Ikea is 7 hours away, and shipping is ridiculous with Ikea. I tried some comparatively priced privacy shades here at Lowe's, but they fell apart in no time. So instead, I have those plain white aluminum blinds all over my house, and I love them. They can be pulled up and you don't even see them against the white trim. They offer complete privacy, and they're cheap. Plus, I actually like the way they look down and open. They break occasionally, but so what? They're $5 to replace.
Except for one problem. They're only cheap up for up to 48" windows. They cost between $3-$7 for most windows, and up to $13 for $48" windows (at Walmart). We have two 52" windows in our living room, and suddenly, the price for the same blinds in a larger size jumps up to $30 per window from some places. That would be ordering from some shady place online. I went to a blinds store in town and was quoted $96 per window. Oy.
So I came back around to the curtain idea, and I reluctantly went to the fabric store to see what fabric would cost to make some curtains myself. The cheapest drapery fabric I could find in plain white would have been nearly $10 per panel, and I need 2 panels per window. Pre-made curtain panels were also too expensive, and they would have been too short for our 9' ceilings.
With every option I was looking at about $80 minimum to cover my three windows (we have a 48" window in our living room, too, but I want it to match the others).
Now, I know $80 for an entire room of window coverings may not sound like much to some, but for me, that was way too much. We're working on some other life goals at the moment, so I can't justify spending very much money on this relatively low priority problem. I say low priority because we already have those broken Lowes shades up there now. They just look awful and don't open. So technically we have window coverings, but I would like some sunshine in my house every now and then. :)
After all that, I'm back to that drop cloth curtain idea I've seen all over Pinterest. At first, I didn't like this idea, because I thought it looked too "shabby chic" or DIY. I like DIY, but not for my house to look DIYed. Does that make sense? And shabby chic/country/cottage charm is just not my style AT ALL. So I started searching around the internetz for some images of modern, minimal homes that can pull off curtains. Here's what I found:
I like those. So what keeps them modern and safely away from country cottage? Well for one, these curtains don't have any frills, ruffles, or addition fabric accents. They're not really supposed to draw too much attention to themselves. And I think it's just what else is in the room. The furniture in all these rooms, although not all to my taste, are still modern and not at all "distressed" or "shabby."
I'm hoping the same thing will happen in my living room, because as you can see above, I bought one panel. It should be big enough to split into two panels and cover one window. I'll be back later to report on my drop cloth curtain success or failure. Stay tuned!