Our 1954 Home: Windows

I totally meant to do this post before Christmas decorations went up, but I got so swept up in wanting to decorate for Christmas I completely forgot to photograph for this post! Anyway, today I bring you another installment of “Our 1954 House” showcasing our window treatments.

We have several different window treatments throughout the house, including some creative solutions to some problems. I have been hoarding vintage curtains for years now, and I was excited to put them to real use! But I was in for a few unpleasant surprises.

We’ll start in the living room, which features double sliding glass doors, so it is quite a lengthy stretch, thankfully I had a collection of eight matching panels of vintage curtains that actually spanned the entire length! There was just one problem…they were too short! Something we ran into again for the window in the dining room.

I also had a set of curtains that were the perfect width for the dining room window, but once again they were too short! So, what is a girl to do? First I learned the type of system needed for these types of curtains, which are pinch pleat curtains, is called a traverse curtain rod. It involves a series of loops along a track, which are then moved by a pulley system. N shape hooks are used to attach the curtain to the loops, and often the pleat then covers the rod, giving a clean top of fabric. However, as I mentioned, my curtain hoard proved to be just too short! But Patrick came to the rescue with an innovative solution. He made chains using S hooks to lengthen the curtains.

This allowed us to play with the length a great deal until we got it just right. Then, to cover up the curtain system and the length of chain, Patrick built two valances. Yep, those valances are not original to the house, although every one of our guests so far has thought they were! So, I would say that’s a win.

The sliding glass door curtains are not lined, so we bought black out curtains, and opted for a two track system, which allows us to have natural light, but privacy, or no light at all. The curtains for the dining room however were already lined.

We purchased both curtain systems on Amazon. The living room one can be found here, and the one for the dining room here.

In our bedroom I ran into a totally different curtain problem! The curtains were too long and I didn’t have enough to cover the width needed! Here we did something we have done before, we flanked the windows with one panel on either side, using dowels and tea cup hooks. We did this in all of the apartments we lived in, which had those horrid vertical blinds. Patrick was growing impatient with our lack of window treatments in the bedroom, and office and guest room for that matter as well. And as we both hate vertical blinds, we opted instead for large wooden slat blinds, which were also typical of the period, which we purchased from Select Blinds during their Black Friday sale.

Hanging curtains well above your window is acceptable, and often encouraged, to give height to a room. I have two more panels of this amazing mid-century cowboy fabric, and have thought of pulling a color from the print and making solid panels then alternating solid and print curtains along traverse system, having the blinds act as blackout curtains.

In the guest bathroom we opted for a simple valance, which I made of my vintage fabric hoard, and a curtain rod from Target.

Currently the office and the guest room have the same blinds as in our bedroom, and our kitchen and master bathroom are still without any window treatments, although I will likely opt for a valance like I did in the guest bathroom, but I’m trying to decide on what fabric…

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our home. I still intend to do a more overall shoot of the house sometime soon!

6 thoughts on “Our 1954 Home: Windows

    • Sure Kate, I didn’t use any specific plans but after some googling around I pretty much did this https://tombuildsstuff.blogspot.com/2012/10/diy-wood-window-cornice.html just without any extra trim. I used “Common Board” from Home Depot because it was all that came in the widths and lengths I needed and it was cheap, but if you can used the smaller “Select Pine” boards use them because they are smoother, straighter and take paint better.

      The one special tool I used was a Kreg Jig which is used to make pocket holes which are basically concealed screw holes that make it so you can screw everything together from the inside rather then the outside. Here is a really good video that explains pocket holes and how to make them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvO6zaIUO18. You can get slightly older K4 Kreg Jig on Amazon for ~$80 but I got the newer K5 kit with clamps and screws for ~$160. If you do any sort of DIY with wood I would really recommend getting a one. I’ve used it in a few other projects around the house and plan on using it quite a bit more. They also have a website https://www.buildsomething.com/ which has plans for other projects you can build with a Kreg Jig.

      Once I got everything assembled I painted it the same color as our other built-ins (which you will see more of in other posts) and mounted it over the curtain system. You want to paint this a different color then your walls so it stands off the wall a bit rather then blend in.

  1. Thank you for showing me how you treated your windows and giving me a further peek into your fabulous house! Your curtains look great and I also adore the amazing furniture and homewares shown in the photos.

  2. Oh how lovely! I quite often come across vintage curtains but never any that match our home so you’re lucky that they tie in so perfectly! Look forward to seeing some more of your vintage home updates.

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