David and Kasey » We're Getting Married!

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I knew from the second we looked at our house that I had no idea what I would do with these built-ins  if we purchased the house.  The box-y character and how deep these shelves were threw me off, and I struggled with what to do for awhile.  (Technically I still don’t know what to do with them).  I’m not a huge fan of “dust collectors” but I have to put something on these shelves. I tried to keep it as minimalist as possible without it looking too bare.

When we moved in, I just threw some stuff on the shelves and that sign and picture on the fireplace mantel, until I decided to tackle it.  I finally attempted a fix this week.  I originally was just going to work on the mantel, but that kind of expanded to the built ins as well.  They’re not perfect, and I’m sure I’ll be tweaking and adding here and there, but it’ll do for now.





And a closeup for the mantel:


I don’t know what it is about curtains, but a home just doesn’t feel like a home or complete without curtains (at least in my opinion).

I’ve been putting off curtains in our downstairs main living space because it wasn’t just going to be an easy peasy job.  Three things were going against us:

  1. We have a 4-part bay window (finding a curtain rod for a 4 part bay window isn’t easy)
  2. We have diagonal ceilings at the edge of these windows making any curtain rod hangover not have room to actually hang over.
  3. Our ceilings are high which means are windows are tall.  We needed curtains 120 inches long.  Not a huge deal as we can find almost anything online, but I wasn’t able to find anything local AND tall curtains like this start to get expensive (especially with the number of panels I needed for just one window area).

I should have taken a “before” photo (apparently this is always an afterthought for me and I’m terrible at making sure I get a nice “before” photo), but this photo from the HAR listing of our house when we bought it will have to suffice (note:  this was pre-paint job and you can see the not so pretty red and yellow curtains in the kitchen background)


And this one from upstairs where you can see the slight angles of the bay window a little better.  Notice that at the top of the outside windows there’s maybe a couple inches before it hits the diagonal ceiling.


After lots and lots of online searching (and not wanting to fork out custom made rods for this window on top of the price of the curtains), I decided to tackle problem one and two by DIY-ing it.   David and I went to Lowe’s and bought two pieces of conduit, and six wall brackets made for curtain rods.  We then bent the rods to the angle of our windows.   David put the brackets up for me and I painted the rods (the only picture I have throughout this process because I was waiting for paint to dry–haha):



We ended up using both rods and connected them between the middle two windows.  Technically there are curtain rod ends you can buy that fit the conduit, but again, there wasn’t much space for us to do that with those darn diagonal ceilings.  I ended up just running it straight to the ceiling wall.  Not the fanciest or most proper way to do it, but until I find another solution, it’ll do.  It’s not like people will be looking super closely at this anyways (I hope).

For the curtains…I love anything and everything Restoration Hardware sells,  but I hate their prices.  So expensive and if I can find another solution that’s almost the same outcome, I’m going to take it.  A FB friend recommended Half Price Drapes to me and I was able to get something with a very similar look for about half the cost.  It was SO worth it to me!  Before I placed my order, I decided to google for any coupons and found one for 20% off!  I’ll take it!

I feel like I need to put a disclaimer in here that states my use for curtains is solely for decor and not function.  Thank goodness our house had wood blinds when we bought it so privacy isn’t an issue.  For me, I rarely close the actual curtains so decor and an overall pleasing look is what I was going for.

Here is the finished look:




I’m not 100% set on the rug we got for this area.  Rugs this size and larger are so hard to purchase online (I don’t want to pay to ship a rug back if I don’t like it), so we were limited on options.  I ended up finding one I like better this week but don’t feel like selling this one and buying a new one within three weeks of purchasing the original.  I’ll wait it out a bit and see if it grows on me.

I did replace the kitchen curtains (you can barely see one side of it in that last picture), but I think I’ll be moving those curtains to my front meeting space (what they were originally purchased for) and getting more curtains from Half Price Drapes that match the living room curtain color.

I have also learned to not ask my parents what they think of my decorating decisions.  It turns out that we have very different tastes and our styles are completely different.  So….don’t ask someone what they think if you don’t want to hear the answer.  😉

Overall, I’m so happy with how this project turned out!  Walking in the door and seeing this nice, cozy living room makes my heart happy.


Next on my list is a dining table for our formal dining room.  I’m hoping and crossing my fingers and toes that we are able to pull that off before the holiday season.  Oh boy do I hope we can make it happen.  I SO want to host Christmas dinner this year!