Living Room Update – No More Puddled Curtains
I’ve decided that I’m going to go ahead and finish my living room before jumping into the much more extensive hallway and home gym projects. The living room is so close to being finished that it’s ridiculous to keep ignoring it and putting it off.
The first thing on my list of finishing touches for the living room was the curtains. You might remember that I broke all of my own rules with these curtains. My rules are (1) always use appropriate home decor fabric (never use apparel fabric for curtains), (2) always use drapery lining, and (3) always sew them properly with blind hems and hidden stitching.
Well, when I found this beautiful pink stretchy polyester suiting fabric, all of my rules went out the window and I was determined to make it work.
I didn’t line them because sewing lining to a stretchy fabric seemed like a really bad idea to me. And I didn’t use blind stitching because doing that on stretchy fabric was a real nightmare. But when I originally made them, I also didn’t hem them because I was unsure how the stretch of the fabric would affect how the panels hang over time. So instead, I left the bottom edges unfinished and just puddled them. Here’s how they looked originally…
Puddled curtains really aren’t my style, but I decided to live with them for a while. But I also learned pretty early on that puddled curtains and cats don’t mix at all. Almost every day, I’d walk into the living room to see some version of this…
So I took some time over the last two days to hem the curtains. And let me tell you, this seemingly simple project wasn’t simple at all.
It was incredibly frustrating not only because I was dealing with stretchy fabric, but also because measuring and hemming curtains after the header has been pleated is about a hundred times harder than doing things in the right order. When sewing draperies in the correct order, the hem comes first. And now I completely understand why.
But I managed. It’s far from perfect. In addition to the stretchy fabric and panels that wouldn’t lie flat, I also have to deal with a very unlevel floor in this room. (We had our pier-and-beam foundation leveled once. It didn’t last, so now we just live with an unlevel floor.)
And I broke another rule by doing the same hem on the bottom as I had done on the sides — a doubled 1.5-inch hem that I topstitched into place. Since the fabric is stretchy, I didn’t want the weight of a doubled 4-inch hem on the bottom.
I broke pretty much every rule on these curtains, but I still really love how they look. They’re far from perfect, but it’s fine, right? Many of you have told me over the years that perfection is overrated. I’m really trying to embrace that mentality. 😀 Because frankly, there’s no way to get these curtains perfect even if I tried. But I’m so glad to be done with the puddled look and have a much more polished and finished look to the curtains now. That whole puddle look is just not my style.
There are only a few more things to do in the living room for me to be able to call it finished. I still need to:
- Paint the inside of the front door,
- Build a sofa table (I decided that I do want one between the sofa and the windows),
- Sew two pillow covers,
- Touch up the caulk and paint on the walls, baseboards, and crown molding in some areas,
- Hang artwork.
It seems like there may be a couple of other little projects I’m forgetting, but you can see that there’s just not much left to do at all. Hopefully in a few days, I’ll have a finished living room!
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
You’ll feel so fulfilled finally finishing that room. You’re so close!
What about the electrical for the entryway scones? Is that one of the little projects you’re still missing?
Those are done. That electrical wiring was done when the work was being done on the guest bedroom (insulation, new drywall, etc.).
I have hemmed curtains by machine when they are mounted. Plopped the sewing machine on a card table under the curtains and sewed away. And yes, had to undo the side hems before hemming. But it was better than getting the hem length wrong and then redoing it.
Had to laugh at your puddle story. I’ve tried that. It’s a pain with vacuuming and pets. Bet against your rules living room curtains will be around for a long time. And the color is great.
“sewing machine under curtains”…get ‘er done. I found the perfect bedspread material in drapes that were 70% off. Used the tiled floor to measure where to cut the fabric.
Perfection is WAY overrated.
Good for you! What a perfect way to get a really long straight line!
The colors in this room are to die for. Remind me again what the wall paint color is?
It’s a Benjamin Moore color called Classic Gray. It’s pretty much the only neutral, non-white wall color I’ve found that I absolutely love.
I would actually call that room finished as is, as the things you list are “mere” decorative items, but that’s me, I guess 🙂 I like the curtains and think that you have to work with the material you’ve got. So if this fabric defies all your typical ways to sew a curtain – and still look that fabulous!!! – there is not even the need to mention, let alone apologise for the missing details. They belong with different curtains whereas these are the way they are. (did I mention: gorgeous???) What the last year particularly has told me is that perfection is overrated and I’m aiming for being content and happy instead (it’s hard enough to come by in many areas of life rn). You seem to be happy again with what you are doing (I might have neglected the mentioning of frustration over the work on the curtains, which I can vividly imagine) – I’m glad you are getting your power back! It is energising and making you happy all in itself, I’m sure of it!
I love your cat in the pictures – so cute!!!
I don’t care for puddled curtains either. To me they look sloppy. Your newly hemmed curtains look great! Love the pink color.
The curtains look great! I’m sure you will get the restof your projects done and that room will be amazing, as is your guest room.
The artwork over the fireplace really pulls the room together beautifully.
I kept thinking “there’s no way I could do puddled curtains. She must have special pets.” Lol, why do cats love curtains so much? I LOVE the way this room has come together Kristi, and those curtains are fabulous! There is something special about the sheen and drape that just make them work! I would never guess that the curtain hem isn’t perfect—they LOOK perfect!
They look great. Can’t wait to see your other projects and the final look.
Love the curtains, that pink is gorgeous. I don’t like the puddled look either, to me it looks messy. Hemming them makes all the difference. They look great
Your living room looks beautiful. Wish you would have posted a view of the whole room. I would love to see how those colors all work together.
I’ll take wide angle views of the whole room and entryway when it’s all finished. I have to keep a little mystery until the final before and after post. 😀
Maybe lining would have stabilized the fabric enough, but done is always better than perfect! As you rightfully say this is YOUR house, but in mine I would want to get behind the sofa to vacuum and would probably curse a table back there as I was knocking lamps off it to get the dust bunnies that suddenly appear when the sun shines.
I’m also a Lauren and wanted to chime in to say this 100% about the sofa table — don’t bother because everything looks great as is and your sofa looks luxe floating!
Love your low windows that big old houses also have and I think the way it is now enhances them. Don’t sweat the curtains, they’re beautiful!
Your curtains and that color pink are the icing on the cake in this room. So beautiful!
I had forgotten about the purple chairs, but they look fabulous as do the curtains. It’s coming together and you’re so close! Also love the kitty in the pics. Cats are so photogenic.
Once you finish the living room, that’ll be 2 down! (the guest room + living room). Wanted to mention you taking the pics during the day. The room looks warm, sunny and inviting! Can’t wait to see full shot of living room.
I forgot that you still had some additional items to compete your living room. It’s a great idea to knock them out now before you start a larger project. This room is absolutely gorgeous. Looking forward to seeing the pictures of your finished room.
Whatever you do, don’t change that fireplace surround again… it’s so pretty and perfectly put together with that artwork! Such a clean and inviting room, Kristi. You’re doing great.
Yes love that art on the fireplace
Your living room looks beautiful. The fireplace is amazing and looks like it was always there…has a vintage flair to it.
I am also going to answer your question about looking perfect, right? 1. The drapes look beautiful. I recently learned a lesson about wanting things to be perfect or at least acceptable to me. What I learned is I am the only person who knew what wasn’t 100% satisfaction to me. Everyone else thought it was great! 2. You made them yourself and only you know whatever that is that raised the question in your post. 2. We are always hardest on ourselves and what we accomplish. Those looking don’t know any different, what we see looks fabulous to us. The bottom line is if you are happy that is all that matters. 3. We think you are an absolutely amazing and talented woman!
Your room is stunning! I’ve never understood “puddling” curtains….they just look messy to me…like they are too long & nobody bothered to hem them. So I love your FLOOR length curtains. You are making progress.
I want to thank you for your Roman shade tutorial. I just finished 3, imperfect but I am very happy with them. It was a stretch for me , but it felt like you were looking of my shoulder giving encouragement each step of the way! Thank you!
I can’t wait until your Livingroom is all done. You are getting me motivated to get started again as well. I know I probably missed the information. But what did you do with the blue chairs in your photo? I know you ended up getting some purple chairs instead.
Those are in the music room. I’ll eventually reupholster them, but they were always meant to go in the music room. I just borrowed them for the living room temporarily.
This is my first time commenting on your blog since i found it a few months ago. You are so very talented and your projects all look pretty ” perfect” to me! The pink curtains look beautiful! If you hadn’t mentioned they were a stretchy material or weren’t perfectly stitched, I would have never noticed. You are inspiring me to finally hang up my IKEA curtains in my sunroom/den. I still have to cut and jerry rig/connect two french curtain rods to wrap around a corner where the adjacent windows are close together. LOL Then I have to hang the curtains, adhere a trim and finally hem them. I am not a sewer so it’s going to be quite the adventure!
I am glad you found the motivation to finish up your living room projects. I wish I had half the talent, skills and artistic vision you have! I look forward to reading about your future projects!
If I may ask, what was the color and brand of the antique gold spray paint that you love?
My favorite is Rustoleum Universal Pure Gold. I buy it at Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-Universal-11-oz-All-Surface-Metallic-Pure-Gold-Spray-Paint-and-Primer-in-One-342506/307244957?MERCH=REC-_-pipsem-_-307244857-_-307244957-_-N
Gorgeous room and the curtains look great!
Good for you. Curious about a few things, tried to find what drove some changes to this room in your posts, couldn’t find.
o. Why did you remove the wall trim… chair rail, etc.?
o. Will you be reusing the pretty roman shades you removed elsewhere?
You have such incredible energy. I’m always reluctant to redo places when I have areas that haven’t gotten an update & freshening. Seems silly. Yeah for you drilling down into what you like.
I ended up removing all of the trim because it was just the wrong room for it. I think picture frame molding looks much better in a room with more solid walls, and I chose the room in my house that has the most windows, doorways, a fireplace, etc. It ended up looking way too busy. I’d love to use picture frame molding and a chair rail in another room in the future — perhaps our master bedroom after we add on to the house.
I no longer have those Roman shades. I held on to them for a while thinking that I would reuse them, but I ended up giving them away.
Those curtains look lovely and I adore the color! My husband hates puddled curtains, but I probably would never do it anyway – our puppies would have a GOOD time playing in them. I think they would get very dusty and with lots of floating dog hair – AND, in my rush I would probably also vacuum them down! I also have made the mistake a few times with stretchy fabric…what frustration! Those last projects sound like a breeze for you, and you will have ANOTHER room done. I love that idea.
This might be one of those projects where you’re just too close to it so see how well it really turned out. They look great!
Oh I must have missed the change in artwork above the mantle! Love them both😍 Where did the circle artwork get moved to? It was so amazing!
It’s going to hang on the wall between the kitchen doorway and the music room doorway where I’ve had the green mirror hanging for a while now. I like the green mirror, but I think it’s wrong for the room. I much prefer my colorful pinwheel in that area.
Do you ever lower the wood blinds or shades in the living room? I see them in many rooms now and I like the look, I guess I’m just wondering if they are a hassle. Are they a hassle?
Yes, they’re a hassle. 😀 I never lower them. I like having them in case I ever do need to lower them for a specific reason, but for general everyday purposes, I just leave them up.
I went back to look at your drapes once more and then saw the cat looking out the window, which I missed the first time. How fun!
The whole room is so inviting. I love the blend of colors. That rug pulls it all together. I am looking forward to seeing the extra touches coming soon to my computer monitor.
Gorgeous draperies and gorgeous room!! It’s just so welcoming….you have amazing vision and then the talent to finish all of it!!
Such a beautiful room! All of the elements are really coming together nicely!
I love this room, Kristi. As for getting your curtains to lay the way you want, try “training” them. Fold the pleats as you want them from top to bottom. Then tie a ribbon/string about a foot from the floor (just tight enough to keep it from falling off). Add another ribbon in the middle. Do this on each curtain panel. Leave the ribbon/string there for a few weeks. When you remove them, viola! Pleated curtains. I don’t remember where I found this gem of info, but it works fabulously.
Got a chuckle from this – a long while back Kristi posted instructions for “training” new drapes. And no one else in the world will be worrying about the hems in your drapes! LOVE the rear view of kitty looking out the window of this beautiful room. The awesome part is, most of what is left to do in this room are fun decorating things 😀
Wow Kristi! This room looks so sunny, welcoming and fresh! So gorgeous! I love the hemmed curtains. It’s a more crisp look. The artwork above the mantle is fabulous. And I love finding the cat in each picture. 🙂
It doesn’t matter if the fabric is not the right one for curtains or if you broke the rules making them. They look gorgeous! The color is perfect and your living room looks beautiful!
Agree this looks much better with hemmed drapes. I see a new light fixture too. And of course enjoy the pics of Felicity. So glad you’re doing projects and posting again.
Your room looks so stunning with the sun shining in and a kitty enjoying the morning. I remember when my mother bought these custom gold drapes with the wood box valance from J C Penney’s in 1969 or 1970. They were gorgeous drapes—really heavy with a slub texture. When they had a house built in 1971, those curtains perfectly fitted the living room windows. But when she took them down in preparation for the move, she found that our Siamese cat had absolutely shredded the lining from the top to the hem. And this was a big double window! The funny thing is she would always talk about Ching Lee being so good about not scratching on anything!! 🤣🤣 She wound up having to put new lining in it herself. She’s always been an amazing seamstress and made all of mine, my cousin, my sister and her clothes while I was growing up.
Re-loving your fireplace all over again. Of course, having a tiger kitty peering out the adjacent window adds to the charm, but the fireplace surround — the scale, detailing, accessorizing and enduringly beautiful color — really speak happiness and optimism to me.
I’ve hemmed curtains after I hung them as the floor was uneven and they could have looked funny otherwise as the room was really wide. Impossible to measure really, so I measured from the floor. I had hung new curtain rods too, they could have been slightly different too. It all looks great now. I made them slightly shorter as I expected that they would hang longer after a summer. Whatever the hem is, it’s perfect : )
I’ve been following you for a couple of years and looked at many photos BUT I just noticed the crown trim above the crown molding in your living room. I LOVE IT!
Your use of color and the artwork is perfect! Looking forward to the reveal for sure. I am glad you are doing better and are blogging again.
I prefer the more “tailored” look of the hemmed drapes to the puddled ones. Great job!
Also, since I’ve never lived in a house with a pier-and-beam foundation, I’m kind of flabbergasted that they can get “un-level”, is that a common thing? And why did it happen?
Its been awhile since I checked in but I thought you’d gotten acrylic & brass rods??
Did u end up not liking them or am I not remembering correctly?
We’re considering it for the master so if you didn’t like them I’d love to know more before making a (very) expensive mistake :/