Thursday, January 12, 2012


FLOODS!!!  Well at least that's what they used to call it.  You know what I mean don't you?  When you were young all those years ago and your pants were too short!  "When's the flood coming?"  I would reply, "What?".  "Because your pants are too short, ha, ha, ha!"  Not very nice, but the point was well taken.  I made sure that my pants fit properly after that!  What has this got to do with design in a room setting?  Well I'm glad you asked.  One thing I can't stand to see is DRAPES that are too short.  You know what I'm talking about?  Drapes that hang 3"-4" above the floor.  YIKES!  Now don't get me wrong, in the scheme of life and all that is wrong with the world today, I think that drapes that are too short might rank as somewhere near the bottom.  Is someone going to die if your drapes are too short? NO!  However, it is one of those things that is in my box of things that drive me crazy!

Now, before you call me out for being insensitive or mean spirited, let me just say that any examples I am going to give isn't being done to be mean.  I am just trying to bring awareness to an epidemic that has been running rampant across the land.  This plague is non other than "Vertically Challenged Drapes".  In fact, this pic below I found on another blog stated  that her drapes were too short.  So here is an example of those drapes that she was kind enough to share and admit to the vertical challenging nature of those drapes!

Serenity Now Blog

Let me first say-I love the trim on the bottom of the drapes.  It would be more effective if the drapes hit the floor- and like I said, she already new they were too short.  I like the rug she picked too.  The banding on the drapes and the binding of the carpet play off each other really nicely.  (Love the dollhouse too, I have always loved dollhouses!). 

The next example is a room that has obviously been decorated and styled by someone who knows a thing or two-mostly!!

I love this room.  Everything chosen is great-well almost!  I love how the Box Shelves frame out the window and it's a great way to showcase your stuff/trinkets/tchotchkes- I love that word TCHOTCHKES!!  Anyways.... I love the colour scheme- Complimentary (blue and orange).  Love the bed.  It's all great.........  EXCEPT....  THE DRAPES ARE TOO SHORT!!!  Having them hit right at the baseboard trim only highlights that THE DRAPES ARE TOO SHORT!!  Now, it is quite obvious that some time and money has gone into this room.  I just feel the room would have been given more justice by getting the drapes right.  They went to all that trouble to style and decorate.  It's like they got close to the finish line in a marathon and "Nope, I'm done, not finishing the race!"  Is this a little overly dramatic? Maybe.  But I am trying to make a point.  You are trying to make a statement in a room when you choose to decorate it.  Don't you want to go all the way with that statement?

Part of the problem is not you.  The main problem is what is available to the average consumer.  You go into Winners, HomeSense (Home Goods for our American friends!), Sears etc..........  and you find the drapes that are available are almost always 84".  Now I don't know about you- but none of us live in houses with only 7' ceilings.  Why do manufacturers do this?  It is beyond me!  The drapes that the everyday person should be buying is a minimum of 96".  I like to hang drapes as high as I can.  In my opinion they look better in relation to the window that way.  So buying a 96" drape is a must, that is if you have 8' ceilings.  But today with the advent of 9' ceilings being the norm that builders are building, even 96' drapes are not enough.

So what is a person to do??  Well first of all, if you have 8' ceilings you have more economical solutions available to you.  A lot of places like Ikea, HomeSense (HomeGoods) and InVu will definitely have drapes for you.  I know that InVu can be more expensive but they do have a lot of options.  Other options are Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and in the States: Calico Corners

One of the all time favourite drapes that many people have used is Marete by Ikea.  They are great drapes that have grommets.

These drapes are very versatile and can be used with many styles of decorating.

When you start to have ceilings 9' or higher that is when more readily, cost effective options begin to dwindle.  The above Marete drape would be too short for a even a 9' ceiling since the drapes are only 96" long.

One option with the Marete drapes would be to add a band of contrasting fabric to the bottom.  This is not a new concept and has been in style for years now.  What I am trying to point out is you do have options out there even if the drapes aren't the right length to begin with.

If you do have high ceilings and you do have a healthy budget then there are many options out there for you.  Many of Restoration Hardwares drapes come in many lengths including 108" and 120".  This is a great option since you can go to the store or buy them online.   The other option of course is Custom Drapes.  If you do go this route, your possibilities are endless.  That being said, if you can sew you have opened up your options even if you are on a tight budget.

Lets just say that I would fall into the category of one on a tight budget.  But my problem is I like really nice things!  But since I can sew, it opens up my options slightly.  In addition if you can be creative this will help you even more.  For example, the curtains I have in my living room (I say curtains since they are unlined) were made by me.  I wanted something custom without paying the custom price.

I made these Curtains some years ago,  I honestly can't remember.  But the point is open up your mind to possibilities.  To me fabric is fabric.  As long as the fabric is appropriate for the given use, go ahead and use it.  To me a Linen Tablecloth from Pottery Barn (Matine Toile)  isn't just that.  It is the opportunity to use a boat load of fabric at a low cost.  I only wish I had more.  But sadly it is unavailable now. I was lucky enough to get the tablecloth for around $30.00 on sale.  Add to that the Sheets- "Southampton" by Tommy Hilfiger, you have a load of fabric to create with.  As long as the sheets you use are a higher quality and that they don't "look" like sheets, I think it is a great fabric to make curtains with.  I was lucky enough that these particular sheets had a great trellis pattern and was a great quality. 

If you can sew, you can save yourself a lot of money.  If you can sew a straight seam, you can sew curtains. You just have to have the courage to do it! 
When trying to figure out if a fabric is appropriate it helps to have some knowledge about fabric.  I am lucky enough that I have my Textile Science degree and over 25 years experience of dealing with fabric.
Since I have that background , it gives me the confidence to think outside the box and use fabric you normally wouldn't think of using for a particular project.  My curtains are a perfect example of that.  I normally wouldn't be able to afford a fabric with a trellis pattern like the one the sheets did but since it was a great quality fabric, who cares that they are sheets. My curtains don't look like sheets hanging up!

So, all you manufacturers out there- LISTEN UP!  Make Drapes and Curtains a MINIMUM 96". 

In doing this post I am not trying to call out all of you that have short curtains and drapes!  Honestly, I'm not.  I am just trying to increase awareness to the plight of VERTICALLY CHALLENGED DRAPERY!  We can all help with this with a little more awareness, shopping around or just being a little bit more creative.  If that doesn't work and you feel like you need help with this dilemma, give me a shout and I would be more than glad to help your windows from being VERTICALLY CHALLENGED.

That's it for now.  Have a great day.

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