The Curtain Dilemma

Previously, in the guest bedroom:

I painted the walls white to act as a blank canvas for a collection of colorful, coordinating fabrics (alliteration, much?). My pièce de résistance in the guest bedroom would be floor to ceiling curtains made from Robert Allen’s Khanjali Peacock fabric. The rest of the fabrics used would pull colors from it, and I’d reuse as many items as possible, since these curtains would take up the bulk of my budget for the room.

Sounds good, right?

Well, I head to Cynthia East Fabrics one day prepared to buy six yards of of Khanjali Peacock. This fabric isn’t cheap, folks. And floor to ceiling curtains on two windows require a lot of fabric. To be exact, one panel would need to be 3 yards long. And I needed 4 panels. That’s 12 yards of fabric at $28 per yard. Do that math.

So I had this genius idea. If a yard of the fabric was 54 inches wide, I’d cut it in half down the middle. That way, I could get 4 panels from 6 yards instead. My panels would just be 27″ wide instead of 54″.

GENIUS. I have 100% confidence in this plan when I go in to purchase fabric. Then, as I’m telling all this to the girl who is helping me, she dashes all my hopes and dreams (in the nicest way possible, of course).

“Oh, you shouldn’t do that,” she says.

“Why not?”

“I made curtains and did the same thing- cut the fabric in half for the panels. They were way too skinny. They look silly. You’ll want 54″ panels.”

I hemmed and hawed for about an hour in there, she apologized profusely for ruining my plans, but I assured her that it was a truth I needed to hear. How mad would I have been if I’d spent all this money on 6 yards of fabric then COMPLETELY HATED my curtains? Especially if they are supposed to be the dramatic statement in the room?

Image via Young House Love

Remember the Khanjali Peacock curtains at Young House Love (above)? Yeah. These are 54″ wide. I wouldn’t want mine half that skinny! The truth hurt, but I needed to hear it. However, I could not buy 12 yards that day. I went ahead and bought 6 and said I’d maybe come back for the rest or cry myself to sleep for a week or something.

THEN, when I relayed all this to my mom, SHE had a truly genius idea. She recommended I find a solid fabric in a corresponding color (brown? green?) and sew a panel of it on each end of the 27″ panels. This would make them even more dramatic and custom looking and widen them too.

So I have two options. I could do a 10″ band on either side of the ikat fabric, like so:

OR I could do a 20″ band on the inside only, like SO:

I don’t know yet what color I’ll choose. Brown is definitely a contender. But what do you think? Two bands or one? I need your help!

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10 Responses to “The Curtain Dilemma”


  1. 1 Agnes October 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    One wider strip gets my vote. Good luck!

  2. 2 Halley October 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I prefer the 10″ band on either side! Can’t wait to see how the room turns out!

  3. 3 Jo Lynne October 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Any of the options would be fine dressing for your windows. The real question is whether you will be satisfied with anything other than your dream curtain. If it were me, I would stick with Plan A and just practice a little delayed gratification.

  4. 4 Katie Hahn October 14, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I vote for the 10″ band on either side. Great fabric!! Love Robert Allen!

  5. 5 anne s October 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Another thought…leave the fabric in 54″ panels and cut it horizontally through the MIDDLE and insert the color band there. Color block panels are all the rage. It would look like sandwich with the peacock fabric on the top and bottom and the solid inserted in the center. Hmmmm?

  6. 6 Kathryn McMorries Heller October 17, 2011 at 9:13 am

    This is a really great idea and I think you’ll be happier with the result in the end because it will be so custom! i think I vote for the 10″ panels on either side, or, like Anne S said, color blocking somehow. Good luck!

  7. 7 Kerry October 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

    10″ band on either side. More sewing? Yes. But, I think the ikat will really make the statement you’re looking for. Great idea from your mom, by the way!


  1. 1 Budget vs. Cheap : Lesson Learned « rosemary on the tv Trackback on October 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm
  2. 2 The Curtain Consensus « rosemary on the tv Trackback on October 19, 2011 at 7:56 pm
  3. 3 Behind Curtain #2 « rosemary on the tv Trackback on March 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm

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