Thursday, 8 March 2012

Round Two: Curtains for the exercise room

Sorry for the long silence.  After ordering the curtains I posted about previously (along with a few others for the pantry and the guest bathroom shower), I went out of town.  On my return there was an enormous pile of boxes.  I unpacked excitedly, but felt worse and worse with every box I cut open.  Nothing looked exciting, even while still folded up in plastic.  I dutifully took a panel out of each wrapper, unfolded them and draped them on surfaces in the relevant rooms.  Then I looked at everything again the following day.  No dice.  The reds and blues were utterly boring - straight ahead preppy.  The most basic color you'd think of when you think "red" or "dark blue".  The weight of the silk curtains from West Elm was flimsy and pathetic. 

Anyway, I spent hours running around to the various stores, making returns and time on the phone with Ballard trying to figure out their return system (which, by the way, is a complete rip-off cost-wise).  I still have all the Ballard stuff in a stack, looming by the door two weeks later, waiting for me to bring the car around, load it up, make the excursion to the UPS terminal and pay the pricey shipping.  Will. Not. Be. Ordering. From. Them. Again.

Realizing that I'm really in need of a not-boring color and thinking about some of the lovely fabrics I have stockpiled, I rummaged around and pulled out this bolt of antique silk velvet:

As you can see, it's still in that blue-and-orange color scheme I was considering in the last post.  I like the fabric a lot - the texture, the sheen, the way the color shifts with the light.  And I like that the coppery color echoes the copper in the kitchen and helps tie the rooms together.  But the velvet feels maybe a bit heavy to me to use for window treatments in the space.  When I'm working out, I want the space to feel light and bright - like standing outside under a blue sky on a warm day and I worry that shrouding the windows in wintry velvet might be stifling.  (Though ideal for the rare days when the workout room converts to a second guest bedroom.)

Around that time, I scored a fabric that I love on eBay.  It's this extremely lightweight cotton Clarence House print:

The scale is absolutely tiny (that's the whole width of the bolt in the second photo) and the background is a natural beige color, not white.  I propped it up in the exercise room and it looks pretty good.  But I think maybe I want to go with the dark blue color scheme instead (more somber and masculine) and the sprigs make it maybe a touch too feminine.

Then I came across an image of this Japanese paper that I've bought before for wrapping gifts on a design blog (click image to supersize):

That's pretty much as geometric as my taste gets.  My first thought about the image was "exercise room"!  My second thought was "roller shades".  With this paper glued onto cheapo Home Depot white opaque roller shades, there would be the smallest strip of blue at the top of each window when I want to let in maximum light during my morning routine, but when a guest stays overnight in the room, the shades could be pulled down to provide the cozy and masculine look I want for the sleeping space. Plus it's extremely economical!  And fast!

Yesterday I made a special trip to an out-of-the-way Paper Source and bought a sample sheet.  Taped it up and was disappointed.  I was worried the pattern would be too small when seen from a distance and it does: it just looks like a solid but interesting midnight blue.  So in a sense back to square one (still don't have a fabric/paper/style for the exercise room windows and don't know how to find those things).  In another sense, I feel like my thoughts about the window treatments for that room are getting clearer and clearer.  We'll see where this goes next....

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