Walking downtown Wausau at dusk – oh yeah.
It's the perfect time to look inside people's windows in the old houses – the hundred year old houses with the old town flavor.
No, I'm not creepy. I just like to see how other people decorate their homes.
Some of the homes still had the original windows…you know, the ones that when you look through them, they are wavy and distorted? Cool stuff.
Not that I want an old house with wavy windows, uh…no. But the flavor of those old houses when they are expertly decorated with quality furnishings creates such a warm fuzzy feeling inside of me. Connecting with those in our past has always been intriguing to me.
I wish I had some things from my grandparents. Ump-teen years ago I borrowed my grandmother's shawl to wear to my senior prom, but my aunt made me give it back. It was a beautiful silvery rectangular lace shawl. If I had it today it would be somewhere that I could see it. To remember. To cherish. To connect.
Enter Lisa…my new friend at church.
She loves DIY projects and quality pieces from the past like I do. Well, probably more than I do. She freaked when she heard I painted our Aunt Emily's antique night stand. Ok. We're different in a lot of areas, but agree that there is beauty in the past.
She let me photograph some of her home DIY projects. Today I'll tell you about her swag curtains.
She used antique door knobs instead of a traditional curtain rod.
I will let Lisa tell you…
"First of all, I’m not a fan of curtains, especially fussy, heavy, room-darkening ones. However, my husband thinks undressed windows look odd; so I have to come up with some kind of valance, at least, to make him feel at home. In several other rooms, I have straight rectangular valances, but in this room, I wanted to add an organic line, a sort of botanical feel. I find myself drawn to things that look natural, or at least that echo nature.
When we bought the house, the carpet was grey throughout the upstairs. Since the walls were white, the whole place felt cold–frigid, even. I wanted to make it feel “kinder and gentler”, but I didn’t want to lose the bright, open feeling. Sages and warm russets are favorite colors of mine, and fortunately, they both harmonize with grey. Because of all the wood furniture we’ve collected, I wanted to stay away from the brown/russets–that left green. I chose a window scarf in a mid-range green. It was a close-out, online. (Evidently I’m behind the times again–one of my favorite places to be.)
I didn’t want it hung in a boring straight line. The window is quite wide and buying a bar that long would get expensive! I liked the idea of a swag, and my husband and I like funky repurposed old stuff, so we decided to look for antique doorknobs to support the swagged scarf. We thought it would be easy…foolish us…to find the knobs. After a search through several antique stores in a 45 mile radius, we did come up with five dissimilar knobs. They aren’t really obvious, but they add a little whimsy to the swag. I decided to arrange them in an arch to avoid being too formal. I prefer asymmetry. We had to mount screws in each knob using moldable epoxy, (which was a learning experience all its own) in order to attach them to the wall.
When the scarf was up, it still needed a little touch of something. Friends had decorated for a banquet and used a fake grapevine to hang a sign. I thought it was lovely and they sold it to me $5.00. They had cut it into four pieces, and two of them made just that right finishing touch to the scarf. They were wired, so it was easy to drape them over the knobs and attach them to the curtain with discreetly placed straight pins. The “grapes” sparkle just a little and add to that botanical feel. The overall look is relaxed formality. The best part is that it’s not like everyone else’s!"
She told me she doesn't want furnishings that look they bought it from Walmart.
I have to admit, I buy stuff from Walmart for my home. But I understand what she means. She wants substance around her…something that is deeper in value than plain plastic memory-less objects.