Sunday, October 7, 2012

One attempt at winterizing the house - failed.

Our home is big, old, and therefore it only stays about 10 degrees warmer than outside temperature naturally during Winter. On a day like today, with no sun and spitting cold rain, that is noticeable. The thermostat reads 58, and outside it's 48. Burrrr.

So we've been researching heaters for the living area and attic (although right now, the attic still holds heat really nicely.) I've also been thinking about solid curtains for the living room and dining room, so we can form a barrier between the holes in the walls (aka windows) and us. Our windows are new and double pane, so we don't really have to worry about drafts. Still, I want to seal all leaks possible before I cave and turn on the furnace. One thing I really miss about apartment living was when wimps  neighbors above and below me turned on the heat nice and early and kept my house warm for free.

But back to the curtain search: we have perfectly serviceable (albeit faux bronze) pinch pleat drape hardware. The pulls work, so you can open and close the drapes easy. Cool! I'd rather reuse than replace any day. Unfortunately, pinch pleat drapes seem to have gone out of fashion. People who still demand them seem to only buy horrifying, gauchely-patterned maroon monstrosities. I just want something solid in color, preferably a luxurious velvet or unobtrusive cotton, but no.  There is no fabric store in Pittsburgh, or I'd just make them myself. Apparently there is tape you can use to make drapes pinch pleat easily. I don't have a sewing machine, but neither did the pioneers.

Pinch pleat drapes, it seems, are out.

So I decided I could break off the end of the curtain rod, remove the hardware, and just use ready-made window panels with grommets at the top. These ARE in fashion presently, and are overpriced-but-available everywhere from West Elm to Pottery Barn. I have a weakness for eggplant, so I bought four eggplant panels from West Elm, assuaging my sweatshop guilt by reminding myself that I'd be saving energy with these drapes.

They arrived, and these drapes -- so pillowy and vividly aubergine in the pictures online -- are thin, chintzy, and BROWN in real life. They are awful. I hung one just to see, and they are the absolute worst. So I'm back at square one. Anyone want to offer me their old pinch pleat curtains to dye a cool color as a present? It is my birth month soon...

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