Sep 20, 2015

New Curtains for the Kitchen

When we moved to our current home (late 1940's, post WW II ranch) about 14 years ago it had been empty for some time and was in great need of attention and TLC. Fortunately, the price reflected that fact. The electric needed to be upgraded, it needed a new roof, the carpet needed to go, every room needed painting, and the windows were begging to be replaced. We reasoned it would be better to make those necessary repairs and upgrades ourselves gradually over time rather than buy a house in move-in condition that came with a much higher mortgage. And fortunately for us, my husband can do just about anything!

The window replacement has been happening slowly, one room at a time, often with several years in between the renovations. Most of the replacements have entailed major structural changes like reducing the opening size or eliminating a window altogether, which is why it is taking so long. We're still not done, but we're getting there!

Finally, it was the kitchen's turn for new windows. And in early June Bob took on the project. This was one of the easier replacements since it was a simple "out with the old and in with the new" type of undertaking. 

How lovely! I can actually open them with one hand; they glide so nicely. And no more holding up the storm window with a stick during the summer. Does anyone else have any experience with windows like that?

After Bob installed the windows it was my turn to "dress" them. I had purchased fabric to make new curtains for the kitchen 4 or 5 years ago (procrastination maybe?) But now with the new windows in place it was time to get moving.

"Sew kitchen curtains" was on my to-do list all summer, but finally, towards the end of August I pulled out my "how to make curtains book" and my sewing machine and finished them in a weekend.

I bought my first copy of this book back in the 1980's and made curtains for a number of rooms in my house. That book fell apart from so much use. The current edition I have is from 1993. I found it at a thrift store for next to nothing in the late 1990's and was thrilled to be able to replace my original copy. Eventually I had to have the second copy spiral bound when the binding fell apart and I was in danger of losing some pages. Some of the pictures and fabrics in the book are very dated but the instructions are timeless! It covers every aspect of making window treatments. If you can sew a straight line and know how to use a ruler you can make your own curtains!

I kept the design of the curtains very simple, a tension rod with lined cafes and clip on rings. Whether or not I'll add a valence at the top is still up for grabs. I did see an idea online for adding a shelf above the cafes which is something I'm still considering. Of course it would be a little tricky due to my corner windows, but like I said, my husband can do just about anything and this is well within his expertise.

Please excuse the quality of the pictures below. The color is off due to the bright light and they're a little grainy but I think you can get the general idea.

If you haven't tried making curtains definitely consider giving it a go. And if you're interested in picking up my all time tried and true curtain book Amazon has multiple copies as low as one cent.


  1. The curtains look really nice! How nice to be able to look outside when doing the dishes. We don't have windows over our kitchen sink. But I do have my desk sitting in front of windows, and that is really nice. I love that I can sit at my desk and look outside. :)

  2. Yes, it is very nice to look outside while doing dishes. Lately I've been enjoying the finches eating the sunflower seeds off the flowers and the hummingbirds at the feeder. Every house I've lived in has had the kitchen sink situated underneath windows.

    Do you ever get distracted looking outside while sitting at your desk? I know I do! My desk is situated beside windows and I get to enjoy the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks as they go about their day!

  3. Wow, Linda, I also love your view, and the fabric is very nice.
    Those are nice distractions, if you ask me, lol.

  4. Yes, I do get distracted sometimes. It's usually if I see some sort of creature running about like you mentioned Linda. Sometimes bunny rabbits hop through our yard and when that happens, I always announce it and we look out the window and watch it. :) Our youngest also used to love to see blue jay birds and several years ago, she named a blue jay she saw "Go Big Blue." Ever since then, whenever I look out my window and see a blue jay, I tell her "Go Big Blue is outside." And she always comes running to see it. We've watched birds searching for worms, cats darting back and forth, snowflakes fall, rain clouds building in the sky, leaves changing colors...

    I agree with Silvia, I think these are nice distractions. They are nature study! ;)

    1. Notice I didn't mention rabbits! I see them every single day, sometimes 4-6 in my yard at a time! I don't appreciate the pesky rodents and the damage they've done to my garden and flowers. I am on the same page as Mr.Macgregor when it comes to rabbits!

      But I suppose observing them does qualify for nature study!

  5. Yes, they are nice distractions, I agree!


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