Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quick Curtain Rod Decorating--Making a Rental My Own

We have been renting for almost 9 months now.  There are definite upsides to renting, but there are also some downsides.  One is that I am positively dis-incentivized (is that even a word?) to do anything very permanent decor-wise.  When the things you inherit are ugly, it is sometimes easier to just roll your eyes and try to ignore them.

However, I've been having fun doing some things to make this house my own, even if it is only my own for a little while.

For example, when we moved in, the kitchen window had this curtain up:

I know it's hard to visualize just how ugly this valance is when it is shoved up in the cabinet like this, but picture this: swags of yellow/red/green backed with a nondescript blue that says "Oh how I wish I was French Country."  Not cute.

So I took it down and left the rod hanging there bare for a while.  I like the bamboo shade that was hidden by the valance, and I'd rather look at something I like than cover it with something I don't (crazy, I know :) ).  I debated with hanging some pictures (ribbon hung framed pictures) from the rod, but didn't get to it.

Then I had an "a-ha" moment the first part of December and decided to use this curtain rod as a focal point of seasonal decorating.  Yee-haw!

So here is Christmas:

The wreath came from Trader Joe's and the ribbon came from Costco a few years ago.  And if you look really closely you'll see that this wreath is dead as a doornail (I took the picture after we came home in early January from Christmas away).  I promise it looked better when it was green instead of a sickly gray :).

Below is my nod to Valentine's/Winter.  I actually had the same snowflakes hanging there by themselves with a sheer white and silver ribbon during January, but I either forgot to take a picture or my kids deleted it from the camera.  I probably forgot, but I wouldn't put it past my kiddos, either :).

These snowflakes were cute enough that I recycled them for Valentine's.  I liked the look of them in front of this big shiny heart that I've had for years.  And I'm such a cheater--that is the same Costco ribbon that I used for my Christmas wreath.

I am going to hang something fun for Spring in a few weeks.  I really like having seasonal changes here because I spend so much time at the sink doing dishes.  It is fun to have a pretty focal point, and it helps make a bare curtain rod look like it was meant to be there.

So I'm curious--anybody else have some good tips for making a rental space your own?  Or any thoughts on what to do with a curtain rod besides the obvious?  I'd love to hear any and all decorating suggestions...


  1. I see some changes going on around here... looks good!

    I do like your seasonal effects on the window. I recently saw something a little crazy. A gal used a pillow case as a temporary curtain/valance. There are some seriously cute cases out there (ie: Target!) and its so inexpensive you could change it out with seasons too. I'll try to find the link!

    Also, my mother loves vintage tea towels (or she just picks some up with trendy prints at kitchen stores) and hangs them over her kitchen window on a rod. They actually look like custom curtains, another inexpensive option.

    What are your kitchen colors?

  2. Thanks for your fun ideas, Kate! And thanks for noticing the changes on the site. I am having fun messing around with the tweaks you can make with blogger templates. Someday I'll get a more personalized design, but in the meantime, I'll do what I can with what's free :).

    That is funny you mentioned the whole pillowcase thing--pillowcases are really versatile (fun tutorial coming next week hint hint), and you can even find some cute used ones (wash them in hot with Oxyclean, of course :) ) at Goodwill or whatever for $1. When you find the link you were thinking about, send it over!

    Vintage tea towels would be fun, too. I have a gorgeous red/white French linen one that I love that would match my kitchen, but for the size of my window, I probably would need about 6--doh!

    The rental kitchen has dark cream glazed cabinets and Giallo Vicenza (looked the name up online) granite counters. The backsplash is a very light barely there yellow green. The counters are pretty dominant because I have a huge island (not complaining :) ). I should probably just take some pictures and post about it, since I think this comment is turning into a post :). More to come...

  3. I love the wreaths. Gives me some decorating ideas. Now to find an area that I can do that with for seasonal items... (and yes, this is in face Kalyn, not Bryan)

  4. Hey KK-thanks for all your comments :).


Please feel free to comment. I love to read what other people think!