COTE DE TEXAS: Dear Miss Cote de Texas

Dear Miss Cote de Texas

 

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And today, we have a new decorating question!! 

 

Dear Miss Cote de Texas:   We built our dream home a little over a year ago on Clear Lake.  I am in a bit of a conundrum when it comes to curtains for our master bedroom.  During design and construction, I envisioned natural woven wood shades on each door.  I have since changed my mind and would prefer to go with hanging curtains.  I quickly sewed simple muslin panels when we moved in which are currently hanging on tension rods.  Unfortunately, the intersection of the ceiling with the door trim does not leave adequate room to install a curtain rod over the transom windows.  I am perfectly okay with leaving the transom windows uncovered, we are accustomed to the light coming in. 

What is your suggestion for how to hang curtains?  I have thought about an inside mount, similar to what we already have.  Or could we do an outside mount above the door/below the transom?  Help!

 

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Here is the view out the bedroom – over looking a canal in Clear Lake, a suburb of Houston.  The canal actually leads to the Gulf of Mexico.  What a great view!!!

 

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And here is the bedroom with the problem window/French doors.  There is a great, dark hardwood floor and a fabulous vaulted ceiling finished with bead board for cozy texture.  Outside the windows is the balcony overlooking the canal, as shown above.   The ceiling on the balcony mimics the one inside the bedroom.

 

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And another view.  Well, all I can say is WHY??????

Why build the doors SO close to the walls that there isn’t room for a proper rod????  WHY???

This could be such a gorgeous vignette with beautiful curtains hanging from above the transom, but since the space is so tight, I’m really wondering if that is possible.  Hmmm…..

 

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Here you can see how close the windows are the walls – but have no fear!  We will solve this issue.

Here are some ideas.  It’s hard to find a photograph that completely addresses your issues – but I’ll try the best I can:

 

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Here are windows with transoms.  Instead of using textured blinds, they used fabric blinds which are softer and also bring in pattern.  It’s an option BUT your windows/doors seem rather short and I think using this option will only make the doors look even shorter.  Avoid.

 

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And here are textured shades, hung under the transom.  Again, I think this will make your windows/doors look even shorter and I would avoid this window treatment.   IF you do decide you want to do this …. be sure to go with light, airy shades as opposed to dense ones that don’t let any light in. 

 

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Here in a beachy bedroom, they mixed the textured shades with curtains but brought the shades up to the top of the rod, thereby elongating the look.  The problem with this treatment is you lose the transom.  Therefore I wouldn’t do this.  If you feel you DO want this look, again, choose an airy shade that lets light in and lets you see some of the transom.

 

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Now, here is another fabric shade – that is mounted over the transom.  The fabric shade is not lined which lets in light and lets you see the transom behind it.  This also would make the doors/windows look taller.  And notice how close to the walls these curtains are hung.  By using a rod without a finial or a radius rod, you can hang curtains, just like these.   I like this look – if you want a fabric shade.

 

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Here in a blue and white beachy styled room – striped linen curtains look so good against all the white trim.  When using curtains, think about stripes and patterns to add some pop to the room. 

 

 

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Notice how close these windows are the wall – by using a rod without a finial, you can hang curtain just like this.

 

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Here is a close up of a radius rod.  You can get radius rods that will actually attach to the wall behind it instead of sticking out to the side. 

 

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See how these curtains are attached so close to the wall.  By hiring a professional window treatment designer, they will be able to order the proper rod for you.

 

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And here, the rods are again – radius rods.  Look below to see the rods – available at the Antique Drapery Rod Company HERE.

 

Hotel Artistes rod 3 1/4" return

 

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I love this look and think this treatment would look great in your room.  White linen curtains hung to the top of the transom.  I love how these are lined – so the sun does not shine through allowing you to see the fabric.   I always order my curtains with blackout lining.  You can also use “bump” – a kind of flannel lining.  But, I prefer the blackout lining myself. 

I also order my curtains – with no ironed-in pleats.  That way you don’t get a tall column of stationary fabric, but instead, you get a loose, flowing look – like above.

 

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For instance, here are curtains with ironed in pleats.  They look like tall straight, unmoving columns.  I really don’t care for this look.  To avoid it – order “do not iron in pleats.”

 

 

 

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In this bedroom that I designed, we had a huge problem with the windows.  Instead of matching, one was a French door (that was never used) and the other was a short window.  The owner didn’t want total blackout, so the textured shades kept out enough of the light in the morning.    The door on the left had a transom, but the window didn’t.  In order to create a feeling of symmetry, I tried to make the windows look the same size by using the white linen curtains to disguise the disparate sizes.  As you can see, the windows were also very close to the wall.  We used a thin rod with a flat end finial.

 

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Here’s a closeup of how close the window is to the wall.  Same as yours.   Also, if you do want a textured shade – see how these are airy and let the light through?  You can even still see the transom through the shades.

 

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And, in the end, this is what I would recommend.  Hire a professional window treatment person.  I use Custom Creations by Monica HERE and highly recommend her.  I would probably use a radius rod, or a regular rod without a round end finial.  I would hang the rod right at the top of the transom.   I would use panels – 1 1/2 widths of fabric on each side, lined, no ironed-in pleats.   If you need or want a shade, I would use an airy, textured shade, hung from the transom.   But, I would prefer the window without a shade.   Also, I would avoid an inside mount completely.  An inside mount would cut the eye line and make your doors look too short.

I would probably use a plain white linen fabric so as not to take away from the view.    If you want some pattern and color in the room – you could bring it in with a duvet and or pillows.

And finally, I would have an electrician move the light switches from between the window.  Right now, the eye goes right to them, like a focal point.  Once moved, you could put a few prints there, one on top of the other, or a long antique mirror. 

I hope this helps you with your decorating issue!!

If YOU have a decorating question – please send it to me via email, along with a few pictures. 

My NEW email address is:  cotedetexas@aol.com

Don’t use the “Mrballbox” mailbox anymore!!!

 

 

AND, there will be a book signing for Leslie Sinclair’s newest:  Segreto Style on November 4th at Joyce Horn Antiques.    If you can’t attend but would like to buy the book, please go HERE.

 

33 comments :

  1. Another winner of a post. Ask Miss Cote de Texas are always my favorites. You really nailed the problem and fixed it this time.
    Sam

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  2. What a gorgeous bedroom. Your suggestions for window treatments will only enhance its beauty.

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  3. Great suggestions, Joni, Your explanations for what you chose and did not choose is very helpful to the rest of us to solve our own window/door dilemmas.
    Best, Victoria

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  4. Always love the lessons you give. The light switch tip was good, and I would have never thought about it.

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    1. It's easy to give advice without logical alternative solutions and moving the switch is exactly that. What is the alternative placement. Look again at the picture and see if you can figure out how you take out the switches and what location and what route you would take for alternative placement. Depending upon where the wiring comes from you might be able to put it on the headboard wall or its opposite wall. Things always sound easier than the work it takes for the solution. I would suggest living with it. It is not illogical to see it given the fact it probably turns on the porch lights. There is plenty of room for artwork on other walls.

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    2. Funny... the electrical switches are the first thing that caught my eye. Having done some recent remodeling, I've discovered that electricians are almost like magicians!
      Now, they can't always make your dream come true, but they sure work hard to figure out a way, and if they can't, they can often recommend a better alternative. I think it's worth a try!

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  5. By using a ceiling mount bracket on the outer ends, the rods could be mounted above the transoms. Helser Brothers, Inc. www.helserbrothers.com
    makes this type of bracket and can custom-forge whatever you design.
    http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL94/100083/3080512/410294594.jpg

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  6. Charlotte NorthbrookNovember 1, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    Another option would be to change the architrave at the top of the window so that it is squared off rather than V-shaped - although that it IS pretty and matches the door frame beside it (but you wouldn't see it anyway when it is covered in curtains). That would give you the extra wall room for the finials of the curtain rods.

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    1. My thought exactly! It serves no purpose if you're going to hang curtains.

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  7. These excellent tips should help her tremendously! I am keeping all of your ideas in mind for myself as well!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena

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  8. PLEATED DRAPES THAT JUST HANG STRAIGHT? If you already have such drapes, no need to throw them out. Simply add horse hair braid behind the hem. This is a woven stiffener that is used to make heavy fabrics such as velvet and bridal satin flare out. Just about any craft store or good sewing store will carry it - Joann's, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.

    Smiles from Charlotte Des Fleurs

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  9. I have to agree with the person who wrote about moving the light switches. It sounds like a simple idea, but is nearly impossible to do after construction is complete. A floor standing folding screen could be used between the windows and would allow one to reach behind it to flick on lights. A picture or mirror could be mounted on brackets attached to the wall far enough out to allow a hand to slide behind it. There are switches that can be installed with the actual toggle on the sides for such uses. And, with all the electronics in the world, perhaps remote controls could be used. I like taking the drapes to the top of the windows. Using the rods that turn back to the walls also gives the curtains a fuller look than just having flat panels. I've heard of horsehair braid, but didn't think it is available in regular stores, so will look for it. I have my drapes lined, interlined and ironed for a no-pleat look, but unless I puddle them, I can't achieve the full look I like. Maybe the braid is the answer. Love your blog and enjoy reading the comments. It is a great way to learn more about design. JoyceBinAtlanta

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  10. YES!! At the beginning I thought: "radius rod from Antique Drapery Rod Company"!! Another advantage (and why I use them all the time) is that the return allows the curtains to gather on the sides and not block the window or the view. They are a marvelous way to solve a multitude of problems. I personally think that woven shades are unnecessary. Excellent problem-solving and helpful to many!!

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  11. Great ideas on the window treatments! Totally agree about the lights switches and an electrician could determine if they can be moved easily. Maybe to the right of the windows or on the adjacent wall? If they're covered by the curtains, so much the better. Will never understand how these builders and their supposed architects don't think of these things......

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    1. key word in this insightful comment : "supposed architects"!! Exactly!!!

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    2. Yes, perhaps an electrician can move the switches depending upon the route of the wiring. However, you had better have one hell of a drywall guy to patch the hole left. Remember, you now do not have a solid piece of drywall, but one in which you have created two large rectangular openings which will have to be patched. It will forever be a weak spot and will most probably have to be addressed from time to time. To make the paint blend properly, you have to repaint the entire wall corner to corner unless the paint is still fresh enough that it still blends with fresh paint. Frankly, a patch in the wall would annoy me more than the switches.

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    3. I hAVE THE best electricians who leave such tiny holes, they are amazing. Bennett Fan Co. there number is on the left column. they are great!!!

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    4. If you have only tiny holes, Texas building code must not require that the wiring be placed in a metal junction box. The second point, however, is direction. Where would you suggest moving the switches and how would you suggest doing it. Maybe Bennett Fan Co. can give us a clue.

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    5. For those of who worry about drywall patches that are "forever a weak spot", you need to learn how to do a "California patch". 1) Save the drywall piece that was removed. 2) Cut a thin piece of plywood (1/8 to 1/4" thick) that is just a little bit narrower than the hole and 4 to 6 inches longer. If you do not have plywood, use heavy cardboard but be sure NOT to use a water soluble adhesive. 3) Drill two holes 1 inch apart in the middle of the wood (or cardboard) and thread a medium strength wire (the weight you would use to hang a picture) through the hole. 4) Use contractor's adhesive to attach the wood to the inside of the hole and use the wire as a holder while it sets. 5) If you do not want to hold it, wrap the wires around a paint stirrer and tighten. 6) Once the contractor's adhesive has set, remove the paint stick and wire. 7) Apply adhesive to the back of the piece of drywall that was removed and stick it back into the hole. The wood backing will make the patch flush with the wall. 8) Feather the edges a bit with medium sand paper and patch where necessary with water soluble patching compound. Lightly skim over the edges of the patch with a damp sponge. 9) Once dry, prime and repaint. If you are very neat with your feathering and do not overdo the patching compound, the outline will not show.

      Don't forget, for this homeowner, Joni suggested that she hang a painting or a mirror on the wall between the windows. That should cover the patch!

      Smiles from Charlotte Des Fleurs . .

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  12. I forgot! two pair of curtains......one on each set of doors! (radius rods) No need to hide the switches..... they will be covered with the two sides of the two halves of each pair!!! (we do not want light switches to be "focal points"!!!)

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    1. The light switches are not focal points - get real Penny. Hang a painting above them and move on. If covered by curtains, then you always have to pull the curtain away from the wall to use them.

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    2. Penny - not sure the fabric will cover the switch - it so = great. if not = move it!!!

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  13. Plantation shutters mounted to the doors. They come in innumerable colors/finishes, maintain the overall design theme and are chic and timeless.

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  14. Thanks for writing, I very much liked your newest post.

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  15. I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.

    BOYCOTT AMERICAN WOMEN!

    www.boycottamericanwomen.com

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    1. I think American women will thank you for your decision. But please think of non-American women too and save them by deciding to remain a bachelor. Much the best for all concerned!

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  16. Wow!! Does the commenter above really hate only American women, or he is simply mysoginistic prefering women to be inferior, subordinate, etc. I'm sorry Joni, I meant to comment on your amazing as usual post but the comment above threw me off. Your post was amazing however. You are a truly gifted, mature, unselfish, extremely humble, mentally stable, responsible, and chaste American woman. Your blog demonstrates that. Laura Hardy

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  17. I found your blog when I was looking for a different sort of information wonderful Information about Property & I was very happy and glad to read through your blog.

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  18. I love this post! I have read your blog before and I come back often because of your amazing design sense, your attention to detail and the gorgeous photos that illustrate your points. Your posts are pure eye candy and are so inspiring. And thank you so much for being so generous with your knowledge, I always learn something here!

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  19. Can you advise what you think of short drapery rods on each side of a window? Is there a specific reason to use them? Thank you.

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  20. Jonie, i I would love your recommendations for textured shade sources, similar to the ones you have used in homes before.

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