Decorating Dining Room


West Elm Curtains //

I always try to keep negative thoughts off the blog –  goodness knows there’s enough negativity to go around for all of us on the World Wide Web. But truth is, this girl is irritated.

On the hunt for curtains //

Rant #1 // For me, curtains are one of the hardest – if not the hardest – decor items to shop for. I’m normally pretty good at visualizing what something might look like in place and seeing potential, but when it comes to curtains, I just can’t wrap my head around them. I recently started using the mindset of “they’re just like wall art”. That thinking has helped a little bit, but we’re still working on it. Reason #326 I’d be a horrible professional interior designer.

Rant #2 // In my despair, I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. When you type “modern rustic dining room” in the search box, you get huge lofty rooms with two-story windows that need no curtains – because the room is just that awesome on it’s own, and the house sits on a secluded 75-acre wooded lot. Obviously, Pinterest has been of little help. It just gives you a false since of hope for the average brick ranch.

Rant #3 // The more trouble I have finding curtains for any room in the house, the more I become obsessed with the dining room curtains. I guess these are so important in my head because the dining room area is open to the main living area and the kitchen. The kitchen is done, but the living room hasn’t been touched (though we’re planning on buying a dark gray sectional in the nearish future). Basically, these curtains have the potential to set the “stage” for not only the dining room, but the the living room, as well – and maybe even the rest of the house! Okay, simmer down there Ashley. A little dramatic.

After searching high and low for curtains for the dinning room, I finally (finally!) found some I liked and thought would look nice with the new table and light fixture while offering up a touch of color…

West Elm Curtains //

These beauties hail from West Elm. I really loved the modern Ikat design and especially the fact they were navy (I’m always a sucker for navy blue). I was excited when I noticed they went on sale and made plans to pull the trigger and snatch them up. A few days later, I clicked over to the website to look at them again, make sure I still loved them, to get Greg’s opinion, etc and… they were sold out. I emailed West Elm to see if they were planning on bringing them back anytime soon (once in a blue moon that happens). I haven’t heard back from them yet, but my guess is that they’re gone for good. I also checked Ebay (because you never know!) and found them in the 84″ version, but no 96″. Boo. Update: Last night, they magically reappeared online. Without even questioning myself, I put 4 panels in my cart and purchased them. About 30 minutes later, I got an email saying my order had been canceled because they are out of stock. Why, oh why, West Elm must you play with my emotions like that?

So now that those beloved curtains are no longer an option, I’m trying to turn lemons into lemonade and find something even better. Well, let me tell you, these lemons aren’t making good lemonade. I’ve searched every single store I can think of. You name the store and I’ve probably been to their website in the last 72 hours.

Anthroplogie Curtains //

I found these from Anthroplogie and fell in love with them at first click. They’re a really different from the first ones, and they’re actually not something I’d normally pick out. I really adore the embroidery detail (there’s a detail shot here) and the heavy weight of the fabric. They’re modern and fresh, and they look and feel like high-quality curtains. All that awesomeness comes at a price, though: $1,060.51 for two windows. While I’m totally down for a good splurge here and there, I just don’t think curtains for two windows justify a $1k+ price tag. So, sadly, I’m moving on.

Nate Berkus for Target Curtains //

My other thought is to go with something in the dark gray family (maybe these). I know, I know. Gray. Again. Just hear me out. Like I mentioned earlier, we’re planning on purchasing a super simple dark gray sectional (in the nearish future) and then piling it up with loads of colorful and fun pillows. So, what if… we paint the walls a lighter color so there’s a bit more contrast (the walls are a tad darker in person than they appear in photos), hang dark gray curtains (to tie in with the sectional) and make sure we add color to the dining area with art work and a table centerpiece? Or have I completely lost my gray-loving mind? I didn’t really intend for this to be a “brain dump” post, but I think that’s what it just turned into.

To Sew or Not to Sew //

For my last and final thought, I could always make my own curtains. I’m not a sewing guru by any stretch of the imagination (truth be told, Greg is better at sewing than I – oh, he’ll love me for declaring that to the internet), but curtains look pretty easy. I’m going to be checking out the local fabric stores and Spoonflower to see if I find the answer there. We shall see.

So, I’m now turning to you… what are your go-to stops for curtains? Any pro interior designers out there with some tips or suggestions? I’m all ears!

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  • Reply
    Hollie @ I'm Busy Procrastinating
    April 2, 2014 at 1:51 am

    So funny how many people mentioned Jen’s new navy blue ikat curtains.

    I am DYING to put curtains up in my house. I even sew. But my husband is OBSESSED with our Craftsman/Shaker style trim work around our doors and windows. He refuses to let even a smidgen of it be covered with curtains. And we have lived here 6 years. Our house is somewhat secluded, so we don’t NEED curtains. We don’t even have window coverings of any sort in our first floor bedroom. I know. But it faces woods and a ravine, so as long as we don’t get any crazy peeping toms, it’s all good.

    But I feel that curtains bring together a room. It’s especially needed in our living room where both our sofa and our accent chairs are solid colors. I don’t think I’ll feel like that room is put together until I get curtains. I shall keep bugging and bugging my husband about it until he gives in. Someday. Just in time to move, I’m sure.

    And as a side note, I had a yard sale last year and several people remarked that they didn’t even know anyone lived here. When I asked one lady why, she said it’s because there aren’t any curtains in the windows. Our house sits back from the road and behind trees, so she could only tell that during the winter when the leaves are off the trees. But she makes a good point.

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Haha, that’s funny! I think Greg would be the same why if we had awesome trim like that. He also wishes our house was more secluded, haha.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Ok two words… errr… phrases. and hem tape! Or ufab maybe? I make all my curtains this way and they hold up amazingly and then you aren’t restricted by what is in the store. You can do it!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Agree!! I bought some orange fabric from and hem taped them on a pair of curtains I already had but were not our style anymore. Took less then 20 mins for both panels. Now they are fully lined because of the old curtains and have held up well for the past 5 years.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I understand what you’re going through. Actually, it sounded like something I could have written! I have been looking for curtains for over a year. Your Anthro was my Pottery Barn. $900 for I large window and a sliding glass door. No way! Finally, last weekend, I got lucky! I was in TJ Maxx, which I check pretty often. They’ve always just had panels with grommets and even though they’re very inexpensive, that’s just not my style. But this time they had 3 pairs of rod-pocket panels, a very light burlap-ish color with the look of linen and some very subtle leaves in the same color but with a slight sheen to them. And the price: $39.99 for a pair of “50” x “84” beauties. They had 3 pair and I scooped them up as if I had just found a lost treasure. I only have one panel hung so far, but it looks beautiful. So, I would recommend TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. If you like the look of grommets, you’ll be set. If not, just keep checking back. Good luck!

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Wow, that’s a fantastic price!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    I completely agree. For some reason I have curtain commitment issues!!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Oops! Correction–they were only 29.99 per pair. Major bargain 🙂

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I just saw the most beautiful ikat navy curtains last week at She made them and has the order info on her website.

  • Reply
    April 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I have these in grey in my son’s nursery and they’re gorgeous. Chech them out.

    • Reply
      April 2, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Love those!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2014 at 9:56 am

    If West Elm is that sold out that quickly that just means that everyone is going to have them – you’d probably want something more unique anyway – I vote for making your own!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2014 at 10:57 am

    You could always look at Ikea. Their curtains are cheap enough that you could possibly buy 2 or 3 different styles just to try them out in the house and see what works for you. Once you find the type of look you’re going for, then you can start looking elsewhere again (if the Ikea ones aren’t exactly what you’re going for long term). They have an unfinished hem at the bottom, but hem tape can fix that!

  • Reply
    Becky Carl
    April 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Ashley,

    We just moved and I was running into the same problem as you. Then I thought to turn to my good old reliable Etsy and look. I found ShadesUpandCo and am having them custom made. Jen is a sweetheart to work with and she can do anything you ask, not just what is pictured. I am having some made out of painter’s canvas dropcloths and cannot wait to see them – those would probably be really nice and rustic for your dining area. Good luck and cant wait to see what you decide!!

    <3 Becky Carl

    • Reply
      April 3, 2014 at 1:31 pm

      I’ll have to check her out. Thanks for the referral!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    OMG! I always have the same issues over curtains. I read on blogs of people finding amazing ones at discount stores, but me…never. Especially at the length I need. Then when I do find some amazing ones they’re too expensive. I go back and forth with the idea of making my own, but in the end I’m afraid I won’t like them as much, or the craftmanship won’t be as good (im a novice sewer). Eventually, I get so tired of curtain shopping that when something remotely ok crosses my path, I just buy them, even if they’re a little above my price range, just so I can check them off my list. UGH! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 4, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    You can easily make your own curtains – lined and the exact length you need for much less than you’d pay for quality pre-made panels – and in any fabric you want. I use this tutorial and you can’t go wrong with this easy method!

  • Reply
    April 7, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Jacksonville Florida Craigslist has a seller selling the west elm curtains in 96″

  • Reply
    April 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Ikea curtains + stencil and voila…you can create anything your heart desires!

    Ikea curtains are 120 inches, come with hem tape and come in different colors, or standard white if you plan to stencil and incorporate white into the scheme. I stenciled my own curtains with a Cutting Edge Stencil that I got on a flash sale (don’t know if they still run those or not).

    I paid I believe 60.00 for 2 panels with Ikea (though it could be a bit higher, I can’t exactly recall). Pretty affordable.

    • Reply
      April 9, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Great idea!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Ashley,
    what`s the navy and grey ikat curtain called?

    • Reply
      January 4, 2016 at 9:54 am

      I’m sorry, I can’t remember!

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