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Monday, August 6, 2012

Mick Jagger Was Right…

Queue the choir…You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well you might find…You Get What You Need.

Italian Vogue 1966

On occasion I sing this rock classic to my children and they LOVE it. (Insert sarcasm.) Of course there are occasions that I have to sing it to myself and truthfully, I don’t like it much either.

Take my kitchen window. I had dreams of nice Belgian linen café curtains, something like this:

lantern, cafe curtains

Maybe with a band of antique French linen.

cafe curtains

Or perhaps a bit of fan pleating at the top.

But remember when I wrote about listening to your house? Well, thankfully I take my own advice.

I had ripped down the car wash blinds that hung over the sliding glass door in the kitchen because nothing at all was better than that choice in my mind.

new house 005

I also took them down from the window over the kitchen sink. Then I lived with it.

Visions of café curtain covered window grandeur swirled in my mind for approximately two weeks.

window 004

But I discovered that because the contractor built the window so high above the sink that there really was no view at all. What I focused on was the dirty glass. So I cleaned the windows. Much better! But I live in a dusty desert so guess what? By the next day they were dirty again. :( 

Living in the desert also meant that 110 degrees of sunshine streamed into my kitchen for about nine hours a day. It made it so hot that I didn’t want to cook. Now some of you would look at that as a bonus…. :)

So I determined that the window did need a permanent blind of some sort. My dreams were something like this:

Matchstick blinds

You know like you see in Layla’s house….

Window treatments with matchstick blinds.

and featured over at Joni’s?

But here’s the thing ~ in each and every picture I found the blinds were pulled up to look really great and provide good light to work in the kitchen.

Go ahead, take a moment to scroll up and look at all the images and think about when you have seen similar blinds featured in design magazines. They are ALWAYS pulled up, right? So that totally would not work for me. Hmph!

I then considered what I thought was the next best thing. Plantation shutters.

But it was going to be about $500 for the kitchen window and $1,000 for the sliding glass door. Gulp.

This is not our forever home. This is our maybe live here for 5 years home. So plantation shutters were quickly shut down.

A week later I was in one of my favorite consignment stores and I found a pair of Cote Table Belgian linen tie top panels that were a perfect fit for the window. They still had the original price tags on them. Cha ching! But I got them for a “start the car” price. I removed the fabric ties tabs that were attached.


window 003


window 005

We also finally decided on plantation blinds from The Home Depot.

window 025

I love how the sunlight just softly filters through no matter what time of day it is.

window 017

I then started addressing the sliding glass door. I needed a bit of coverage but still wanted the light to show through. I’ve dreamed about smocked linen panels for about three years. They range in price from  $60.00 a panel HERE up to to $280.00 a panel HERE. I would need three panels….GULP again.

Smocked Drape

But practicality paid off and two days later I found matching Belgian linen panels at Tuesday Morning that were a perfect fit for the sliding glass door. I practically stole those too. You can find similar panels here and more budget minded panels here.

You can read about the DIY Drapery Baton I created to help keep the drapes clean HERE.

pictures 048

In the end was it the look I originally dreamed of? No. I didn’t get what I wanted. But I got what I needed and that is infinitely better.





Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

That looks so much better Laura, what great deals too!
My son and dil have those blinds like you did in their home and boy I want to rip them down every time I visit.
Now I have some ideas because they don't like them either.
I think IKEA might have some neat panels too for not a lot of cha-ching!
Hugs friend,

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

Depending on the configuration- location- and visual outside- curtains and blinds choices are always so difficult for me.
I have dressed 17 homes worth of windows and it never got easier:)

I think you choose well and they appear to function well while also looking great.

Auntie Em said...

Sooooo pretty and elegant! I like the blinds in the sink window. The soft light peeking through lets you imagine maybe there is an amazing garden or ocean view just outside...instead of a brick wall. Perfect choice!

Love seeing your home improvements and decorating ideas as you settle into your new home! :)

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

It may not be what you envisioned but it is such a tremendous step up from what you inherited and they look great!!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Love what you decided on!! Looks wonderful!!!! Can't wait to see it Saturday!!!

Shelia said...

HI Laura!

Shelia said...

Oh, that above wass a test! I've been trying for months to comment on your posts and haven't been able to. I don't have a clue what was forbidding me! But, yay!
Now, your home is looking so pretty and I love your solution for your kitchen windows! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Love the curtains, they look wonderful. That window really is high. You are so short I don't know if you can even see over the edge. Love the treatments. Hugs, Marty

Vicki said...

Your window treatments look great, and it's always satisfying to know you got a bargain!

Karena said...


You did great as usual; finding a look that you can live with at a great price.

My last condo in San Diego I put in plantation shutters throughout and then sold in two years ( right before prices skyrocketed) to be back here with my youngest granddaughter Isabella!

I love the smocked and may go that route for my master.

Art by Karena
2012 Artist Series

Lisa said...

So pretty Laura! A perfectly perfect solution.:)

DREAMS ON 34th STREET ~ French Bread & Family said...

I LOVE the Belgian linen! So chic, my friend! Sing it again, Jagger!

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME/Doublewide Decor said...

They look beautiful Laura....I think I pretty much live my life in that song!!

French said...

The drapes all look great! I love that the windows are still very soft and yet the light can come in.


I love that song and I often sing it to MYSELF!! Yes, you have to listen to your house and you did listen right! I love the curtain choise, they looks great in that tall window!
Lots of light and with an ethereal look to it. Hugs,

It's All Connected said...

Ah yes, want and need are two different things. You choice blends style and function perfectly! ~ Maureen

The Boston Lady said...

I think both solutions look great Laura. I'm with you on those vertical blinds, who invented those anyway? Some hotel guy, I'm thinking. Great job. Ann

Debbie said...

I love your taste from start to finish, and I am giving you a standing O for the thrifty solutions you found which are just as high on style as they can be.

I know this move was a big old pain, but haven't we had fun with it?(OK, more fun for me looking through the windows, but fun nonetheless. )

openid said...


Your window dressings look beautiful and not at all that far from what you initially wanted. I'm glad this post didn't end with another Rolling Stones tune: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".

Your Friend,

Christine said...

Your solutions are great and the price even better.

Now I can't get that song out of my head!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Must be a Mom thing...I've sung that song to my daughter many times, too!

You did get what you need & they look great!

Vel Baricuatro-Criste, MD said...

Currently, I have nothing on my kitchen windows, I think you did a great job with what your dealt with, considering you'll be moving in a couple of years, Love what you did. :-)

Sandy said...

Great choices! I like the soft filter of light through the linen panels.

pbrenner said...

Your final configuration looks beautiful - I love that soft filtered light, but with privacy :-) I would like a smocked linen curtain too, and hope to make some. I ordered linen from, and I'm in the process of washing/drying it to get the shrinking out of it and to soften it up.


Liz said...

Love the window over the sink! You did a great job of making due. :)

Love both windows. :)


Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Excellent point made! And they look great.

Linda said...

I think it looks lovely!! :) I had to giggle, because you know me with my curtainless-windows and we do have one of the matchstick blinds - in our sole dining room window. When one doesn't have many windows, I have to take all the light I can get, hee. You've got me thinking of maybe something new for my small kitchen window... we'll see - I have a bunch of ideas for fall decorating running around in my head.

Hope you are having a lovely week,

Mimi said...

I am so glad you GOT what you needed!!It looks Great!!!I agree...sometimes we WANT something that really isn't practical!!I love the linen drapes!!Great job
wish I could come by on Sat.....but will be gone
Next don't forget me!!

Jennifer Watkins-Jones said...

I think it is really looking good. Isn't amazing how shopping can change your perspective on things?! You found some amazing deals and it all looks nice! I'm enjoying seeing the progression of your house. We moved 6 months ago and I'm still not as decorated as you are!!


Jill Flory of Sew a Fine Seam said...

Yes, your original choices were lovely. But you know what? I think what you have is just as lovely and you have the satisfaction of knowing you saved a ton of money!

Bettyann said...

Laura the curtains and blinds look wonderful...great job..that is my motto also...gets me through alot of "I want..I want" stages...have enjoying viewing all your decorating changes.

the language of design said...

I like the look very much, well done.
Also I love the very last photo, it has a great quality to it. K-

Poppy said...

Loved reading about your journey to find the perfect window covering! And I'm loving your beautiful finds! Looks so pretty with the light filtering through and the soft muted elegant and pretty! You have done a wonderful job in your quest! Thanks for sharing with us and for your sweet comment. Have a lovely evening!~Poppy

Designing Domesticity said...

Love the updated look. A great improvement,even if not exactly what you had wanted. Thanks for sharing, liz

black sabeth said...

i just love a good mick!