May 30, 2014

My Spring Curtains and DIY Curtain Rod


Each spring and fall I change the curtains in our family room.

  We have a wall of windows with a door leading out onto our deck from our family room, and we love the view of our little backyard and the mountains beyond.

 The window faces east, and during fall and winter we welcome the sun that shines into the family room on chilly mornings. I especially like to have my coffee here in the mornings and look out at the glistening snow while the sunlight streams through the windows.

 Our fall and winter curtains are from Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and are made of unlined linen that filters the sunlight softly. I chose naturally textured linen for the neutral warmth it adds to our family room when it's cold outside. I also love the way it looks as a backdrop to the rich colors of our fall and winter holiday decor.

 In the last two photos, you can see that our winter curtains are hung too high, and there's too much space between the bottom of the curtains and the floor. Our flood-pants curtains bugged me all winter long, so I started hunting for the new curtain rod I've been wanting.

 These curtains can be hung from either the rod pocket, as they are here, or from curtain rings. Unfortunately, the curtains are too short hanging from the rod pockets and too  long hanging from rings. I used to sew all my curtains to whatever length worked for me, but store-bought curtains aren't so accommodating.
So I decided to buy a new curtain rod and raise it up to a proper height, so I could hang both my winter and summer curtains on rings. The old rod isn't actually a rod at all anyway; it's two white metal shower curtain rods that fit up against each wall on the ends and meet at this big clunky support in the middle. Sliding the curtains on their rod pockets over these big shower curtain rods was a real pain, and the fabric bunched up so much at each end I had to use tie backs to keep them out of the way.

I can hear you asking why on earth we used shower curtain rods to hang our curtains. We actually used to use wood closet rods, and I had the bright idea that the curtain rod pockets would slide easier over the metal shower curtain rods than they did over the wood. 

They didn't. 

Still, why not just buy a regular skinny curtain rod? Because our wall of windows is over thirteen feet long, and I've just never been able to find a curtain rod that long, or any other kind of rod for that matter that didn't sag. 

So we improvised. 

(I don't know why I have this compulsion to tell you all the silly ways we improvise at our house. It's not like I'm proud of our white metal shower curtain rods.)

 One of the things I just love about blogging is that there are lots of other women out there who, out of necessity, have also spent their lives improvising.  I honestly thought in this day and age I'd be able to find a skinny black curtain rod long enough to span thirteen feet with only one support in the middle. 


Pinterest to the rescue!

So here's what we did this time around to get the real curtain rod look we wanted: we bought two 10 foot long pieces of electrical conduit, and my husband cut them to our exact dimensions. (If you take your dimensions with you to Home Depot, they'll make your cuts for you.) Because I could imagine myself knocking over all the lamps in the room trying to maneuver one thirteen foot long rod, we went with two six and-a-half foot pieces that join in the middle at the bracket and are held in place by the walls on either side. We sanded the cut ends, and I sprayed the rods with matte black primer and paint all-in-one, and let the paint cure for a few days. The two pieces of conduit were around $3.00 each, and the paint was around $6.00 We also bought two packages of brackets for about $5.00 each, so the entire rod was around $22.

 You'd never know it's electrical conduit would you? I love how our new curtain rod looks with our summer curtains!

The same sunlight we love during the cooler months of fall and winter needs to be blocked completely during the heat of spring and summer, so these curtains are fully lined and really help keep the family room cool. I love the Ikat pattern and pretty colors of these curtains. I bought them on sale last year at Cost Plus World Market and love the way they transform our family room, like a breath of fresh air. The best part of all is that the curtain rings slide on the new rod so easily now since we open and close these curtains multiple times each day and to let the dog in and out. No more fighting with those tight rod pockets. 

 And look! No more flood-pants curtains!

I look forward to changing our curtains to fit the seasons now, especially with our new curtain rod. It's an easy switch that has a big impact on our family room decor. 

How about you? How are you welcoming spring and summer at your house? 


  1. Gorgeous fabric! I like the way your new "curtain rod" looks, too.

  2. A perfect solution! Don't you just love hardware upcycling?

  3. Brilliant!! Want to come help me with some curtains??? ;)

  4. Love it and your curtains too. And don't you dare stop sharing your little tips and tricks either!!!


  5. Oh what fun to make a switch for the seasons! And gosh, that print is so pretty! Love your solution for an extra long rod. Necessity is definitely the mother of invention! ... And wow, just look at that beautiful sunshine streaming through the windows!

  6. It looks great, Laurel! I like how you improvised. I've had to do that on more that one occasion at our old house. Funny how it always seems to be a curtain rod issue, too. : ) Love the drapes. They are so pretty and look like they suit your family room perfectly. Love the wall of windows with the door to your deck. Such a nice view!

  7. Absolutely brilliant - looks fantastic!!! I love your room - it's decorated beautifully. Well done, you two!!!! Bravo!

  8. Hi Laurel, Your window looks fabulous with the new rod and curtains. What a gorgeous room. Yes, improvising is a way of life finding what will work using elements for other purposes. This was a fantastic idea. Look at your sweet pooch enjoying the sunshine!!
    Have a nice weekend.

  9. Beautiful, Laurel! Improvising is my middle name! LOL We have done the same thing numerous times. BTW, this is the same way put up our outdoor curtains on the back porch. I sprayed mine with oil rubbed bronze. Anyway, your curtains look gorgeous!!! Enjoy your weekend! Hugs, Maria

  10. Beautiful curtains Laurel!! I too had to use the old noggin to come up with a cost effective rod. Infused copper :) It tarnished beautifully.
    Happy weekend.

  11. Perfect! Your new rod and summer curtains look fantastic!

  12. ok...this is genius! I can't wait to do it in my master bedroom. thanks for this great tip.

  13. They look beautiful Laurel - and what a great idea! We have a large row of windows in our family room and I could never find a long enough rod so we only have blinds in there! Love your solution!

  14. Hi Laurel, Thanks so much for sharing this. We have a set of windows 135" wide and I am having such a hard time finding drapes and hardware. Love the winter and summer look.

  15. I really love your new curtains and how you were able to figure out a way to get the right size rod for your space. That was a good idea!

  16. Laurel, I love your new curtain rod and the design of your summer curtains is so pretty! The flood-pants curtains comment made me laugh! Good one. :) I just posted about my organic garden and my little flower pots. That's what I'm doing for this summer. :) The ants in our garden are not fire ants, luckily. A friend up north (3 and a 1/2 hrs. away) is having the same issue and it's almost a different climate (Much cooler) up there and the soil is a lot different from downstate as well. Must be a Michigan thing. She said they're not eating anything though. Maybe they haven't eaten anything in my garden as well. Anyway, hope you're having a great week! ~ Jamie

  17. Your curtains are perfect! Thanks for linking with Home Sweet Home!

  18. Hi Laurel,

    So nice to meet you! Your featured spring curtains caught my eye over at Maria Elena's and I just had to come and see them UP CLOSE!! They're stunning, understated and a perfect complement to their surroundings. What a pretty and playful way to welcome the new season!

    Have a wonderful week!


Thank you for your comments. I love reading your thoughts! If you would like an answer to a specific question, please email me via the link on my sidebar. Thank you!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.