One Room Challenge Week 3: Windows + Macrame

One Room Challenge Week 3: Windows + Macrame

One piece of new parent advice I’ve seen over and over is the importance of darkness to help babies/kids sleep. Since this nursery has two windows, I needed to figure out how to block as much light as possible. Here are the solutions I came up with, plus a little upgrade I added to the hanging chair.

Pompom-trimmed curtains

If you’ve just arrived at DIY in PDX via the ORC blog, welcome! I’m Rachel, and I blog about everything DIY, from fixing up my old house, to making accessories and decor, to growing plants and cooking. But I’m currently working on my most ambitious DIY project yet: By the end of the Spring 2019 ORC I’ll have given birth to my first child. So I’ll be creating a nursery for our new little one.

Btw, the future occupant of this room STILL isn’t here (she’s a week past her due date), but I’m getting induced today (4/17), so she’ll definitely be here by next week. We can’t wait to meet her!

Window Treatments

I’ll start with this weird little window. It is about 4 feet off the ground, and looks out onto the backyard. Because it’s west-facing, it can get pretty bright in the room near sunset, so I had previously installed this light-blocking roller shade from Ikea. If you’ve ever priced custom window treatments, you’ll know that they’re EXPENSIVE, so even though this wasn’t the prettiest option, the price and functionality were right. It blends into the window pretty well, but I did want to disguise it a little more.

Ikea blackout roller shade

I didn’t want anything that blocked the light, or the window molding. So my solution was to make a little fabric cover for the roller. I guess you might call it a “pelmet,” in window treatment terminology. It’s just a piece of 3×1/4-inch poplar that I cut to length, primed, and then covered with some white fabric left over from hemming Ikea curtains.

Faux window pelmet

The fabric is stapled to the wood, but then wrapped around it two or three times. It’s attached to the window frame with a few tiny brads nailed beneath the top outer layer of fabric.

Roller blind cover

It’s a pretty subtle touch, but I’m really happy with how it hides the roller blind, and it was very easy and inexpensive to do.

The other window treatment is slightly more involved. Here’s the “before” for the other window. Actually, the true before included a curtain rod mounted to the window frame, but I took that off and filled the holes before I took this picture. If you look carefully you can see my repairs, but I’ve since repainted the window frame so they’re invisible now.

Which brings me to one of the lessons I’ve learned since we moved into this house: Hang your window curtains as high and wide as you can! It makes a huge difference in how big and bright the room looks.

For this window I was limited in how high and wide I could hang the curtains by the curtain length, and the fact that this window is in the corner. But moving the curtains up and out as much as I could was still a huge improvement! I couldn’t believe how much higher it made the ceiling feel.

My default for most rooms is white curtains (these from Ikea are my favorite), but finding affordable white blackout curtains that were long enough proved impossible. So I went with these light gray blackout curtains. The 98-inch length meant I could hang them almost as high as I would have preferred. Halfway between the top of the top of the window frame and the ceiling would be ideal. This is only an inch or two lower than that, so NBD.

The other key choice here was the curtain rod. It might not seem important, but I wanted to get one that allowed the curtain to go all the way to the wall, blocking the most light possible.

French rod

At first I didn’t even know what to call the type of curtain rod I was looking for, but it turns out that they’re known as “French rods.” This one from Target was perfect.

But back to the curtains. Since the curtain length I needed ruled out a lot of options with fun patterns and colors, I wanted to jazz these up a little. I sewed white pompom trim from my craft supply stash to the edges for an easy, fun little accent.

Pompom-trimmed curtains

The rainbows are from one of these prisms I hung in the back window. The rainbows from the vintage beveled glass windows in my living room and dining room are so delightful that I decided I needed rainbows in other rooms in my house, too.

Hanging Chair Macrame

After we got the hanging chair up, I realized that the chain just didn’t work in this room. It looked way too industrial for the look I was going for in here. But the chain is welded to the chair frame, and I didn’t want to cut it off and replace it. So I figured out how to cover it up.

Vintage rattan hanging chair

Macrame to the rescue! I knotted this jute rope around the chain with a simple half-hitch knot. It took longer than I expected, but it was totally worth it.

To keep the chain in place while I worked on it, I hooked the quick link at the top to a doorknob. Then to get started, I looped the end of the rope around the link, and made the first few knots over the rope end of the chain.

Here’s a quick photographic breakdown of how I did the half-hitch knots around the chain.

Half-hitch knot around a chain
Half-hitch knot around a chain
Half-hitch knot around a chain
Half-hitch knot around a chain

Repeat until the whole chain is covered. The knots will naturally spiral around the chain. I used these same knots to make easy friendship bracelets out of embroidery thread as a kid. Anyone else remember the kind I’m talking about?

When I got to the bottom of the chain, I bound off the end of the rope with twine so it wouldn’t unravel, and tucked it back up through the last knot.

Rattan hanging chair with macrame rope

I like the covered chain so much better! What do you think?

Also, spoilers, I hung a shelf. More on that in a week or two.

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