Master Bedroom Makeover #6: Curtains and Tie Backs

Window Coverings:

One of my favourite elements of this bedroom makeover is the sunshine! I know that seems strange because neither the windows nor the direction of the house have changed, but I’m astounded by the difference the white walls and new curtains make!

In the midst of our bedroom makeover, we had several days/nights without any curtains at all and were surprised that the added light didn’t actually impact our sleep. We previously had room darkening curtains so that Tim could sleep during the day, when he worked nights. In the past, our curtains were often left closed throughout the day, so the newly unshaded windows created a space that was dramatically different than what we were used to. We loved waking up to the natural light each morning and enjoyed how it flooded the room throughout the day. With this in mind, we opted for curtains that would provide the privacy we needed without reducing the natural sunlight. I was able to find some lovely white fabric on clearance for $2.50/meter and bought enough to make curtains for the window and both closet doors. (Having curtains on the closet doors really helped to “clean-up” the room as well.)

BEFORE: Exposed clothing through the French style closet doors.
AFTER: I love how the white curtains now hide the contents of the closets.

Another change we made was the actual height and length of the curtains. Because I made the curtains myself, I wasn’t confined to standard sized curtains. Our ceilings are almost 10 feet high, so I needed to make them extra long to achieve the look I wanted. I also hated how we had previously mounted the rod right on the window frame. I had Tim move it above the frame, so the window is now entirely encompassed by the drapery. I was lucky that the fabric I bought was very wide, so I just opted to use the width of the bolt as my panel length. I really liked the look of the raw “fringed” fabric edge and didn’t bother to make a finished seam on the tops and bottoms of the panels.

Curtain Tie-Backs:

Our windows are an in-swing casement window which basically means that the windows swing like doors on hinges and open inside the bedroom. We sleep with our bedroom window open year round…yes even in 40 below weather – granted it might only be open an inch when it gets that cold!! In addition to this, we have a large radiator that sits under the window (in every room of the house…I might add). The radiators are a huge obstacle for any curtain that extends below the window frame. It looks bunched up and messy when tucked behind and bulky when draped in front. The radiator and open windows both make window treatments a bit tricky. The only solutions that really work are shorter window coverings or tie backs. We decided that we would install some sort of tie-back to keep the drapes out of the way when the window is open. This solves the radiator issue too. Of course, I wanted to find something that suited the farmhouse style we were striving for. I had lots of ideas, but we ended up settling on springs!

We recently took an old sofa chair to the dump, but I removed all of the springs before we got rid of it. Although I didn’t really have a plan for them at the time, I decided to use two of the springs for our curtain tie-backs. The springs had a black coating to prevent rusting. Although the black looked okay (as we do have black in our light fixtures), I really wanted a more rustic look. I sanded the springs to remove the coating and then used white vinegar, salt and peroxide to rust them. I literally just took them outside in a large plastic tub and began drenching them using a spray bottle filled with white vinegar. I then poured small amounts of peroxide over the vinegar and sprinkle the springs with regular table salt. I would then let them sit in the sun for a bit and continued to repeat until I got the desired amount of rust. After the springs were dry and rusty, I gently sanded them again just to remove the salt build-up. I used a clear coat varnish (from spray can) to seal the rust and prevent it from transferring to my new white curtains.

Tim used some small clamps he had on hand to mount them. I love the way they turned out! I’m not sure if I will add any kind of an embellishment to the springs down the road, but for now I love the simple rustic look.