Suzi’s decorating a new one-bedroom home and has been sharing her ideas & inspirations (& many fails… ahem) throughout the process. Read her blog posts on this: Suzi’s House Project.
Alas, our curtains are up! This past weekend we finally had a few open days to focus on the task at hand… It was kind of daunting and I wouldn’t let myself get too hopeful until I actually saw them up with my own eyes. This is the shot of the curtains as we were hoisting a test rod up. I made Charlie pause in his tracks while balancing on a ladder just so I could get this shot. So credit goes to him on this one
And this. A fun, blank canvas. Just so this post isn’t pure frivolity, I think I will try to impart some knowledge that we gained from the process, in case others are planning to install their own drapes too.
The very first step if you have drywall is to use a nifty stud detector to locate where in your walls you have wooden studs. Studs are basically a fancy term for wooden structural beams. However, in the lefthand picture below, there are two studs pictured — the wooden stud being detected by the stud detector, and the stud standing on the ladder. Ahoy hoy. But that’s beside the point. You can get a stud detector at your local hardware store (Old School Hardware for us!). Ideally you will want to screw the drapery rod brackets into an actual wooden stud because this will ensure the strongest hold. If you don’t find any studs in the areas where you want to place your brackets, you can still screw into the drywall, but you will need to use anchors to ensure a stronger hold.
A key thing to remember — and it would have saved us a couple hours of heartache and frustration — if you’re drilling into a wooden stud, you don’t need an anchor! Heck, you don’t even need a frickin power drill. All you need is a handyman, his beefy arms and a screwdriver. Unfortunately, suckers that we are, we started out by following the instructions that came with our rods, which said to use a power drill with a 1/4″ drill bit and drill pilot holes into the wall before screwing the brackets in. What ended up happening was that the holes were too large for the screws, and because of that we assumed we needed to use the anchors that the rods came with. When we tried to insert the plastic anchors, it was so hard to get them in that all the hammering basically busted them up and you could no longer insert a screw in there — congratulations, you now have a useless hole in your wall with ugly plastic stuffed in it. And the nature of anchors is that you can’t really pull them out! Grr!
About mid-afternoon we were feeling so defeated that we had ruined our wall and that we failed at installing our own drapes. In the throes of my feelings of failure I started requesting online quotes for a local handyman to install them for us haha. It wasn’t until Chops tried calling Old School Hardware to ask whether they sold metal anchors that the old, reliable man on the other line said, “No man, if you’re drillin’ into wood, you don’t need no anchors. You just screw it in wid yo hand brutha’.” Ha! And thus began the much smoother part of the journey toward a home with curtains.
It was over the course of two days that we finally got all the panels up. Partly because I had to iron eight curtain panels on my mini iron board! Linen is so lovely but it wrinkles so quickly. Even if you just pinch it by accident it will leave an indentation until you iron it again.