OK, I finally caved - gave up - surrendered - threw in the towel - sent up the white flag. I guess once you've put 12 screw holes in your bedroom window trim, you might as well put 8 more in the window trim in the dining area. Yep, we purchased more drapery panels.
Because we normally have dinner at 6:00 p.m., the sun often shines directly in my eyes when we're eating in the summer months - blinding me so badly some days that it's difficult to see what's on the table in front of me. Yes, I could move to the opposite side of the table, but having the sun burn a hole in the back of my head is almost as annoying. Plus, that doesn't solve the problem when we have company. I suppose we could adjust our dinner time at that time of year so as not to correspond to the eyeball-searing rays of the sun, but we're both way too routine oriented to be happy with that solution.
If you remember, I was resisting the whole window covering thang for our first year in the new house. We have no human neighbors or traffic we need to shield ourselves from, so we can walk around in our PJ's day or night without fear of being seen by anyone. I eventually decided the best solution in the dining area would be to hang one of those temporary paper adhesive accordion shades in that window - again, just during the summer. I would take it down at the end of the summer, clean up any leftover sticky residue with Goo Gone and enjoy my bare windows all fall, winter and spring. I convinced myself I could live with that. Turns out - no matter how hard I tried - I'm just not a paper shade kind of girl. I could kind of ignore the fact that the shade was paper. . . but, those double-ugly plastic clips used to hold the shade in the UP position did not agree with me at all. Maybe if we were talking about the window on a seldom used enclosed porch - but not on the window right smack dab in front of our dining table. I briefly (like 10 seconds) entertained the notion of gluing something "cutsie" to the clips - perhaps a stone, flower or butterfly - but that would have drawn even more attention to the paper shade. Uh, uh. Not gonna work.
I started weighing my design options. What could I buy that would resolve our problem attractively and be most agreeable to my frugal nature. OK, it had to be floor-length drapery panels with grommets, and the color had to be light - preferably just off white - some texture - no flowers or graphic design. They had to be sun-blocking, but not blackout panels like I needed in the bedroom for my migraines. We made a trip to Menards in Marquette on Labor Day for some lumber Mr. Cut Off needed, and I spotted my solution. Yes, another screamin' deal! How does 4 window panels meeting everything on my wish list at $6.99 each grab ya?
That comes to $27.96 for 2 windows. Yes, please! (You've heard the song. Help me sing it now. "Save big money - save big money - when you shop Menards!")
I was also able to get the same bronze curtain rods I used in the bedroom while we were there. They're so simple (not fussy) that you almost don't notice them. They're also very sturdy - no center support is needed - so they won't interfere with my Christmas window wreaths. Yeah, I thought ahead. Mr. Cut Off was amused.
I was amused because one of the options I had been considering to get the look I wanted was to purchase cotton drop cloths (like a painter would use), hem them to the desired length and hang them from rods using drapery clips. (Stop laughing now and do a Google search; you'll find plenty of examples on the Internet.) These drapery panels from Menards came in under budget - without dragging out my sewing machine - without purchasing drapery clips - and I get a very similar look. I know! Fist Bump!
Now that the drapery panels are hanging in the dining area, we're really loving 'em. They give our windows a little more personality. Grommets allow curtains to take up very little space when they're pushed all the way open, so the panels aren't blocking our view, they're framing it.
I don't know why we were so resistant to putting screw holes in our window trim (and, no, hanging them higher and drilling holes in the pine walls was not an option for us). Maybe it's because we do have such a personal relationship with the wood. This pine window trim and all the tongue & groove boards covering our walls and ceilings came from our own trees - trees that had to come down anyway to clear the path for our driveway and home site. It was milled, stacked, restacked, dried for years and cut to the proper dimensions before going up on the inside of our home. Mr. Cut Off's hands have been on every single board many, many times. It's very special to us. In the long run, we've decided that we're not really destroying or covering up our wood by hanging a few curtains. We're just enhancing it. Don't be surprised if we enhance it a little more the next time we go to Marquette. The patio doors are feeling a bit neglected. (Update: We did end up using the same panels at the patio doors in the great room.)
All is well in the Keweenaw.