Window Dressing

Something that’s always stumped me is window treatments. From blinds to curtains to everything else to consider, it’s all sort of a mystery to me and I’ve never been able to pull together a look that makes sense. That’s why I always need to look for inspiration, and why it was particularly important for our latest project: a trio of windows in our living room, where we spend the majority of our free time and which is highly visible from almost every vantage point of the first floor.

Here are the windows in their naked state:

When we first moved in last October, roman shades covered the windows, but unfortunately were broken and stained in some spots. I don’t have pictures of that dreary memory. This was also back during the honey oak era, before we painted our trim white and walls light gray.

Once we took the shades off, we installed the white faux-wood horizontal blinds above, found and cut-to-length at Menard’s. Love ya, Menard’s. ❤

This gave us privacy (except it’s just trees behind us, but you never know who’s creepin around), but they didn’t bring the room any warmth or a finished look. Lo and behold, out of laziness / fear of curtain shopping and being disappointed, we allowed this wall to remain bare for about 10 months.

With winter on it’s way, though, enough was enough. We needed a bit of coziness in the living room. Enter Target: My favorite store for simple, affordable home goods at the moment. Target is great because I don’t have thousands of dollars lying around to buy the number of curtains I’d need for this wall, which is four panels. And we also needed a couple of additional seats in here, and Target’s accent chairs run relatively cheap in the world of furniture. As always, Target #FTW.

Considering how the rest of the room is shaping up, I went looking for a soft pattern or color-block style on the curtains and I knew I wanted four panels – one for the far right and one for the far left (not talking politics here) and two to cover the two spaces between the three windows. A lot of Pinterest browsing helped me understand the visual balance that four panels would bring to the three windows.

With this plan, I dove into some shopping at a few stores, but ultimately fell back to Target. Here’s where I made my first mistake – I ordered a great set of curtains online without measuring first. Rookie mistake. When I really took the measuring tape to the height of the wall, I realized 95″ curtains would literally go floor-to-ceiling. Once they arrived, I went over to my local store to exchange them and did some last-minute in-store shopping for a set. In this regard, Target completely pulled through for me with so many awesome patterns. I landed on a blue diamond-weave pattern for $25 per panel. The beauty of this experiment? I looked right past these and plenty of others while I was browsing their website, because you can’t see how great they would be in-person, and I’m so glad I had to come to the store to exchange. These have great fabric weight to them and the subtle pattern layers in well with the whole room. During that same trip, I grabbed an extra long curtain rod – one that could stretch 120-170″. For this, I did measure the space.


Moving on – seating. The living room needs some color. We made some very safe choices in the early transformation of our first floor, because it’s an open floor plan, and we had inherited quite a bit of furniture, so we were working within a pretty constrained color palette. With that in mind, we installed new dark wood-grain laminate floors across this level, painted all the trim white, and almost all of the walls Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. I landed on this color after a lot of other Pinterest browsing sessions, learning that it’s a classic open floor plan choice of pro designers – so who was I to question it? Ultimately, these choices led to a great canvas to layer in other furniture and decor due to it’s simplicity and neutral tone. You can kind of see that here post-flooring-install.


Color in mind, I was on the hunt for navy. I already knew navy would play well with everything else, having added a few throw pillows with navy accents into this room and painting the inside of our front door navy, and it’s also a pretty common color for accent chairs.

It’s important to note that I shopped around online for a few weekends before pulling the trigger on a chair. I searched AllModern, West Elm (a personal favorite), Overstock, World Market, Pier 1, Crate & Barrel, and probably others. Based on what I was looking for – a mid-century modern OR an industrial/rustic look, navy in color, tweed/linen/thick fabric, and dark wood legs, and CHEAP – this narrowed my search considerably. Here’s the snapshot of chairs I was considering:

Wayfair Swoop Arm Chair – $110.99

Target Threshold Barrel Chair – $143.99

Target Threshold Modified Wingback Chair – $152.99

Target Threshold Monroe Mid-Century Arm Chair – $160.99

Overstock Camilla Mid-Century Accent Chair – $189.99

Overstock Grayson Accent Chair – $237.99

Overstock Holly & Martin Supra Chair – $260.99

Wayfair Allenport Studded Arm Chair – $292.99

In the end, the Threshold Barrel Chair from Target won out for a few reasons. First, this was my favorite shade of navy and the fabric looked perfect. Second, the legs looked like a perfect color-match to our dark wood floors, so they would blend seamlessly with the room. Third, they’re affordable when considering the fact that I needed two, not just one, to complete this space. (But isn’t that Allenport Studded Armchair at the end freaking awesome? And why are there apples in a bowl on the floor???)

The chairs arrived about a week later for pick-up at my Gurnee store, so I swung by to get them and we put them together that night. After a quick panic attack since the chair legs weren’t visible in the boxes, Chris realized they were tucked up into the bottom of the chair behind a velcro flap. #CatastropheAverted. Each leg had a couple screws, and we were done!

Photo Nov 20, 5 35 38 PM.jpg

The last thing I wanted to find for the space was a tall-ish floor lamp and, unsurprisingly, Target again came in for the win on this one. I ordered the Crosby Schoolhouse Floor Lamp in black and it’s just what I wanted. Not too tall – it hovers a couple feet above the tops of the chairs, and adjustable. It also brings a nice industrial vibe. Can’t beat that price either. The other fun part is this is a collection, so there’s a desk lamp, a white version of this floor lamp, pendant shades, and wall sconces. You could really trick out a whole room or two with coordinating lighting from Target.


Now, for the grand reveal. I love GIFs, so allow me to show you how we put it all together, complete with some husband video gaming at the end to show you this is a totally real space where real shit happens. 🙂

Curtains GIF.gif

I’m so glad I convinced Chris to let me drop a bit of dough on finishing this space. Thanks to the curtains and chairs, the room finally looks complete!


Also, just a quick note that I learned I’m subconsciously obsessed with diamond/triangle/sharp patterns. Probably unfortunate with this might say about my personality…

Photo Nov 20, 5 33 41 PM.jpg


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