Hanging Curtains: Professional Tips You Need to Know

Floor Length Sheers Courtesy Restoration Hardware Long, gorgeous curtains may be my single favorite element of any room.  They instantly add drama and warmth to a space.  However, hanging them always seems to be a bigger pain-in-the butt than anticipated.  I was hanging some curtain rods for our guest bedroom this weekend and figured I'd share a few helpful tips I've learned over the years.

  1. Choose the appropriate rod- Make sure the rod is chunky enough to accommodate your window and curtains.  If it's a small kitchen window, go with something dainty.  If it's a living room window with floor to ceiling curtains, you'll want a rod that is physically and visually a bit chunkier.
  2. Make sure the brackets work- If you're hanging curtain panels or a valance over some sort of blind or shade, make sure the bracket sticks out from the wall far enough to accommodate what's already there.
  3. Set aside the level- Normally, I'm a stickler for leveling everything, but not in this case.  A perfectly level curtain rod can look terribly uneven if it's close to an crooked ceiling.  Instead, take measurements from your ceiling or window, whichever is closer.  It may not actually be level, but visually, it will look so much better!
  4. Invest in a variety of drywall anchors- Use your stud finder (or just test with a nail) to see what you're drilling into.  If it's wood, just use the screw.  If it's drywall, you'll need something sturdier.  There are a ton of different drywall anchors on the market.  I find the twist and lock variety that look like a giant, plastic screw work much better than the cheap ones that come with your curtain rod.
  5. Pick the best place for your brackets- Rods are usually mounted 4" above the window and brackets are usually 3" from each side, but don't be afraid to break the rules.  Mounting your rod higher, for example, will add height to your room.

Here's a great video from Pottery Barn with some helpful tips:


From Cookie-Cutter to Custom: Spicing up the Kitchen with Decorative Molding

Decorative Molding Our kitchen cabinets really aren't half bad, but they never quite looked finished, so I wanted to add some decorative molding to spice things up a bit.  I started with a small trim around the bottom, which helps disguise the undermount LED lights I installed a while back.  I then put my compound meitering abilities to the test with some picture frame molding on the ends of the cabinets.  It was a solid B+ result.  I also added a large piece of trim over the sink.

Finally, I tackled the crown molding around the top of the cabinets.  Not easy.  I had to build a pretty elaborate support system, so I'd have something to nail the crown molding into.  While most renovation projects take at least 10 times longer than I plan, I was actually able to knock out the support system in just a couple hours.  Yes, I'm bragging.  My support system is awesome.

My neighbor Deepak helped with the crown molding and voila!  From outdated to renovated... the customized cabinets look great.  Up next... PAINT!

Stealing from the Neighbors

Neighbor's Flowers 02 Just around the corner from my house is an incredible postbellum Victorian mansion.  It was built by famed New Orleans architect James Freret circa 1869.  Sadly, due to a drawn out divorce proceeding and crappy owner, the architectural masterpiece has fallen into disrepair.  It's been dubbed the "leaning tower of Josephine" and may soon lean right into my back yard!  You can read the painfully sad story about it here.

It's hard to believe that in just over a year since that article was written, it's become even more blighted and dilapidated.  The roof is covered in weathered tarps, the windows are boarded up and an intricately woven web of 2x4's supports the front porch.  The only sign of life on the property is a massive rose bush overtaking the front yard.  Every time I walk by it, I'm struck by the lively pink blooms, in contrast with the dying mansion they once adorned.

So today, I said SCREW MY NEIGHBORS and decided to steal some of those beautiful blooms.  They look better in my house anyway...

It's What's Inside That Counts

White paint and new shelves freshen up the cabinets I'm very happy to report the kitchen renovation is finally underway!  The first order of business was a rather thankless, but important one: organize the hell out of that space.  The cabinets were a mishmash of warped, ugly and in some cases, missing shelving.  I purchased all new shelves and painted the inside of my cabinets white to match the outside (when I finally get around to refinishing them).  I also purchased and installed "Rev-A-Shelf" pull-out wire baskets and organizers.  They're not particularly cheap, but they provide so much more storage than you'd ever expect.  In all, I spent roughly $500 on shelving, paint and organizers and I think the outcome is well worth it!

Trend Watch: Emerald Green

Emerald Doors

It’s what gave the capital city of Oz its greenish tint and Elizabeth Taylor her signature sparkle.  Now, thanks to the Pantone Color Institute, emerald is making a comeback.  Each year the color corporation polls designers and brands about color trends and chooses one color of the year.  They must have been feeling green with envy for 2013 as they picked 17-5641 aka emerald green.  It's a tone that Pantone describes as “vivid, verdant” and “promoting balance and harmony.”

As we enter the new year, expect to see the hue popping up everyone from fashion to interior design and there may be a reason we find it so appealing.  The executive director of Pantone says the human eye sees green more than any other color in the spectrum.