Curtain Call

by Meghan Medford in

It’s happening again.

I’m having nightmares about inanimate objects - namely of the home decor variety. 

This time, the culprit does not involve anything upholstered, which is good, but nonetheless something has found its way into my nightly slumber.

This time its draperies. 

I’ve always loved how finished a room looks to me when you add draperies or curtains. They just always make the room feel complete, ya know? I remember when we finished building our house in Austin, I begged my mom to put in draperies in my bedroom (on all of my five windows - sheesh!). This of course was after my parents had shelled out big bucks for some beautiful white, wood blinds - so you know they were just ecstatic to hear this new request. But Mimi came to the rescue! She and I set out to work on some new balloon shades - choosing fabrics, measuring twice, working out the lining and all the necessary components for the drawstring mechanism. I mostly supervised Mimi in action - but that still counts as me making them too, right? Just roll with it. 

So the first thing I did when I moved into my first solo-apartment was find some draperies. I could have had nothing on the walls, but having those pieces of fabric flanking my two large windows would have made me feel 100% moved in. My brain is weird that way.

However, I had never had to actually go out and purchase curtains before. Mimi and I had always worked on them together and I always grew up with perfectly sized curtains in every room of the house. I guess you could say I was curtain-coddled. 

So much to my surprise when I ventured out to Wold Market on my very first curtain crusade two years ago and lo and behold there are actually several different options with different dimensions?! Is this some sort of a test?! Clearly I hadn’t made it to that class in design school. 

Luckily, there was only one set of curtains remaining in the fabric/color specs of my choice so it was an easy decision for me. I felt like I had just cheated the system - take that, World Market. You can’t fool me! Deep down in my bones, I just knew they would just magically fit. Like the Cinderella slipper of shades, so to speak.

But I ended up with what I can only describe as capri-pant-curtains. Slightly longer than a cafe curtain, but not long enough to grace the floor. Lesson learned. But I had already trashed the packaging (rookie mistake) after assembling, so there was no going back to return. So those awkwardly fitting curtains have lasted me two full years and I think its about time to retire them to the depths of curtain purgatory. It’s been real, guys. 

I was determined not to make another curtain catastrophe in my new house, that I gifted myself a trusty book to answer all of those little decorating questions I was just too embarrassed to ask out loud - like appropriate curtain lengths for example. (side note: I’m really good at gifting myself)

So this is where the Domino: The Book of Decorating came into play. That thing has become my new-homeowner-Bible. When Mimi is miles and miles away, this book will do!

So once I was schooled on appropriate drapery lengths, I began the search for the perfect curtains for my living/dining room. Since there are three large windows on the west wall (two of them are sliding glass doors leading to the balcony), I want to keep the colors/textures consistent. 

I originally thought a light cream color would be nice - maybe a faux suede or something with some texture. So I hopped down the street to Target to purchase some stainless steel, antiqued glass drapery rods and scope out the curtain selection. I forgot that this is prime back-to-school season and tiny 18-year-old girls are going ballistic deciding which pre-packaged polyester bedding set will most closely match their One Direction posters. It was pure madness. Luckily, none of these shoppers were after plain white curtains, so I had my pick of options. And I had measured beforehand! I’m learning!

But once I arrived back at home, and after I spent thirty minutes installing my drapery rods, I got the curtains ready to hang. It was then when I realized that when the light hits this fabric (a simple twill weave) it really looks like I improvised with a cheap, white shower curtain. This wasn’t gonna fly. So back to Target I went - where apparently I wasn’t the only indecisive teenage-looking customer of the day, so they returned all my opened shower curtain-esque drapes without batting an eye. 

Now I knew I needed something with more weight and color - and hopefully not persuading my neighbors that I ran out of money and taste and substituted my old shower curtains.

That’s when I found this website with the most GORGEOUS faux silk taffeta curtains - in emerald green. I thought the green would be a cool punch of color, while coordinating with my green malachite vases on my wobbly, margarita-induced-constructed IKEA television console. Plus, this entire town home complex is filled with bright pops of color and while I’m young and without potential disasters (furry or human), why not? As long as I get the length right.

But my expensive taste wins again, because these bad boys aren’t cheap. I find it humorous that the company is called Half Priced Drapes. Oh really? Half-priced for who - Beyonce? Each panel is going to set me back close to $100. 

So once I get my fabric swatch to ensure the color doesn’t overpower the room, I may resort to begging (sad), crying on the phone to HPD's customer service line (pitiful) or even… babysitting for extra cash (desperate). 

If any of you would like to contribute to my curtain fund, I can set up a GoFundMe page. Just a suggestion.