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Bare Windows

Dec
27

My Oklahoma grandmother sewed draperies. She didn’t always sew draperies–she was a farm mother on a dusty plains farm for most of her life. I wish I’d spent more time with her, but I didn’t see her very often and by the time I was in my 20s, she was in a nursing home. When I was little, she taught me to crochet, but I bet she could have taught me a lot more. (She said, “Do you want to learn to knit or crochet?” And she showed me the implements. I chose crochet because there was only one hook.) One of the few memories I have of my Oklahoma grandfather was him sitting on the curb outside our house in Silver Spring, Maryland, the Christmas I was five and got my first bicycle with training wheels. He watched me ride up and down the street. He died not long after that. We visited my grandmother periodically during my childhood–by then, she lived in a little house in town in Frederick. It was a small town, and I don’t know what it’s like now, but there was still a little department store in town and a short main street with businesses. It was so different from anything I knew. I grew up in the suburbs of big cities. Even more bizarre was when we drove outside the town to visit the old farm. Just tumbled-down fence posts and deserted broken-down barns framed by an endless horizon. I couldn’t imagine my fancy mother could have possibly sprung from such a dusty desolation.

My grandmother’s house in town was the littlest house I’d ever been in. All the rooms opened into each other, no hallways. In the back she had a porch with a bed where you could sleep outside in the summer, and there was a chicken house in the yard so she could wring supper’s neck. You can take a farm mother off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the farm mother.

My grandparents left the farm and moved to town after my brother died in a tractor accident on their farm. This happened before I was born, but I’ve been scared of tractors all my life. Since I live on a farm, this type of lifelong paranoia is super handy. My mother never learned to milk a cow, by the way, despite growing up on a farm. I asked her about this once, after I got BP, and she told me that my grandmother told her that she was not allowed to milk the cow. If she knew how to milk a cow, according to my grandmother, she would end up marrying a farmer. My grandmother wanted “better” for her, so she was not allowed to milk.

My mother did her best, but darn it all, her own daughter left the bright lights and ran off to a farm and got a cow.

Just goes to show ya.

Anyway! After my grandmother moved to town, she set up shop in her little house making draperies for the townies, which surely means I am genetically drapery-oriented.

As if that’s not enough, there are the curtain rods that crossed the prairie. Yes, I have in my possession the iron curtain rods carried across the prairie in a covered wagon by my great-grandmother in 1904.

I come from a long, well, okay, short, line of people who honor window coverings.

And yet I loathe, despise, and abhor curtains. I used to like curtains. Curtains were a huge part of styling any home I lived in. I changed curtains frequently, always seeking the perfect curtains. Never finding them. Eventually, I realized I just didn’t like curtains. OF ANY KIND.

At Stringtown Rising, I gave up curtains completely. There were no curtains in that house. There were wood blinds on the master bedroom and bathroom windows, that’s it. No curtains or blinds elsewhere in the house.

I loved it.

When I came to Sassafras Farm, the first thing I did was start ripping down curtains.

There are shades in the living room and dining room, and so far, I’ve left them. They’re inconspicuous enough to be tolerable.

I was reaching out to rip the curtains down off the kitchen window when “my Debbie” (those of you from the CITR retreat know Debbie our cook) stopped me and implored me to try living with them a while. I’m trying.

We’ll see. I pushed them all the way to the sides as far as I could.

The house at Stringtown Rising was halfway up a hill, so no curtains made sense to most people. No one could possibly see inside. Here, the house is not far from the road, but still I have never lowered the shades in the living room and I never pull closed the curtains in the kitchen. I can only live with them if they are out of the way all the time. Even at night. There are white wood blinds on my bedroom window, and I can take it there, but I can’t take anything covering a window anywhere else in the house.

Possibly it’s a form of dementia. Bare window psychosis.

How about you? What is your psychological window profile? If you have curtains because your house is on the street, would you have curtains if you didn’t feel as if you had to? Are you a curtains person?

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 27, 2011  

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  1. 12-27
    1:38
    am

    :sun: I have had homes without curtains needed so I didn’thave any. Mostly I have them cause I have to. My grandmother made drapes too. I wish my mom would have learned so I could have learned too. My grandma died befor I was 8. I love how you are doing your thing who cares what someone else would do.

  2. 12-27
    1:41
    am

    I am definitely not a curtain person. My windows are bare except for the blinds. My house is very close to the road, so I need the blinds to give some privacy to the bedrooms at night. Don’t want to moon or give a show to the people passing by the house at night. LOL!

  3. 12-27
    1:49
    am

    I’m not a “window treatment” person. I do like the look of plantation shutters, though. I have room darkening curtains in my bedroom,since a streetlight shines through a palm tree into my window. It caused a flickering effect which disturbed my sleep.

    I have blinds up, just to keep people from looking in.

  4. 12-27
    2:04
    am

    I would prefer not have curtains at all.. but we live in a subdivision and hence I made it easy on myself by installing white blinds and simple white sheers on black rods..all through the house..Just enough coverage to keep peeping eyes out and let sunshine in…Easy Peasy to take them all down and throw in washer..hang damp..no ironing!
    ~~HUGS~~

  5. 12-27
    4:32
    am

    I think the ‘no curtains’ bug skips a generation! I love my curtains, but my mother has just as big an aversion as you do. Maybe bigger! Growing up, there was exactly one set of curtains in the house, on the front window, and those were hardly ever closed. There were blinds on exactly one window. The bedrooms had plantation shutters. That was it.

    In their house now, up on a hill, she wouldn’t even have blinds. Not even in the bathroom! …which has full-length windows that look in on the tub. It wasn’t until the county utility guys started climbing around on the hill, (which she discovered while stepping out of the shower), that she finally, reluctantly, put blinds in. Even then, she picked blinds that match the interior paint. 8)

  6. 12-27
    5:56
    am

    My house is a country style house with a steep roof. Front windows divided equally. 2 floor length in the living room and the same on the other side which is my bathroom. French doors across the back 3 sets.I am not a curtain person.The windows have blinds. Been meaning to put a topper or roman shades on top of them but never get around to it. The bedroom french doors have blinds. The kitchen french door has nothing and neither does the living room. I am very high up off the ground and I generally dont go flying thru the house with no clothes on! I just cant make up my mind what to put on them so I just leave them alone. My mother was the curtain person. I am not like my mother in any way shape or fashion.NO CURTAINS! :happyflower:

  7. 12-27
    6:07
    am

    Curtains are good in the winter to keep drafts down. Old house, old windows and not all have been replaced with energy efficient ones because they’re odd shapes. I don’t like fru-fru though, so mine are simple.

    I like to pull them when it’s cold and stormy so the cozy doesn’t leak out too, even the new windows! I do like the shades in your living room because they’re nice and simple, and the kitchen ones are cute, I’d be ok with them in both cases.

  8. 12-27
    6:29
    am

    I like bare windows especially if those windows have a view but we live very near the road, so I do have blinds and curtains but very plain ones; and when the sun goes down, I want those windows covered!

    I feel like we are on display if the windows aren’t covered.

  9. 12-27
    6:29
    am

    I am a curtain person, but I live in an old farmhouse and like to be able to pull the curtains when it is cold and rainy. My bathroom has a window directly in front of the tub, don’t want to “bare it all” right there in front of the window! Even though we live in the country, we never know when there will be someone in the backyard, the neighboring farmer for example, his field is just beyond our backyard. The orchards are worked by someonme else too, and there is always something to do there too.
    Like Miz Carmen said, I think that the no curtain bug skips a generation. My Mom and daughter don’t care for them, but I like to be able to close them at night.

  10. 12-27
    6:30
    am

    I live in town, so curtains are sort of a must, but if I lived in the country, I would probably be curtain-less on most windows, too. Am curious, did your grandmother in Fredericksburg, Texas?

  11. 12-27
    6:41
    am

    Yep, I’m totally with you on this. First thing I did when we moved in here 10 years ago, was to get rid of the curtains. In the front room, there’s floor to ceiling windows. We live off-road, so that helps. When I lived in town, I had curtains, but…. they only covered the lower half of the window. I have to see out, and the larger the window the better.

  12. 12-27
    6:53
    am

    I live in a subdivision in a small town. I like curtains…in a magazine or other people’s houses. Not mine. I have some sheers in the living room that are always pulled back so that we can see outside. My neighbor across the street, Sandy, told me last night that she “sure was glad I took that darned ol’ Christmas Tree down so that she can see what’s going on in our house again”. Oh well. At least I’m somebody’s entertainment! 8)

  13. 12-27
    7:15
    am

    I’m not a curtain person either. We live way out so don’t need them and I prefer my view to be of my goats and barn rather than draperies. A few windows in our house are still single pane so we made curtains from those inexpensive “mexican” serapes and hung them on a few windows on homemade curtain rods. They help with the cozy factor on winter nights in our living area. Mostly they always stay open during the day and in summer.

  14. 12-27
    7:30
    am

    One of my Grandmothers (who was an orphan) made custom slipcovers and drapes for a living before she was married. We live at the very end of a country dirt road, so except during hunting season, or when the line trimmers or electric company men come through there is no one to see what we do. We had a good many years of living in tiny scruffy houses or apartments (reg military) when curtains were a must. Now we do not have curtains. We have roll up fabric blinds at all the windows with a ruffle at the top, a bit boring really. I would not want to do without the blinds as we heat with wood and when the sun goes down in the evening you can feel the cold from the windows. We did buy good windows Anderson and Pella but glass is always cold and after the blinds are down things cosy up quickly. :snoopy:

  15. 12-27
    7:43
    am

    I use curtains as needed. Even with new windows you still leak heat through them so in winter I like to have heavy drapes in the bedrooms.It seems to keep the rooms warmer. And they’re good for privacy at night when the lights are on and people could see in. We also use blinds on the other rooms. They help keep out the sun and heat in the summer.But I like a little valance along the top to soften the starkness of the blinds.

  16. 12-27
    8:07
    am

    I like curtains, it gives me a way to have lace in my rooms. LOL For the most part though, I just have the kind that frames a window…cause I don’t really like it covered either. But if I can look out it, without having to move a curtain, I love having a curtain up. It seems to finish the room better to me. I do have a couple rooms with curtains that cover the window, but they are see through curtains, and I don’t look out those windows to often, so it doesn’t bother me. :)

  17. 12-27
    8:24
    am

    I would rather not have curtains. In the winter I have curtains up to keep the cold dreariness out…it makes it cozy. But in the spring, summer and fall, the only curtains that are up are in the bedrooms and bathroom. Houses are close here in town and to the street…I can watch all 3 of my neighbor’s TV if I wanted.

  18. 12-27
    8:29
    am

    I live in a drafty house and its close to the road. So curtians are necessary in my house. If I could take them down I would. I hate working around them. And 2 of the larger windows have raditors in front of them so it makes it hard to find curtians to fit nicely. One day when I get the money I am putting in blinds. 1 they are neater looking. 2 my hubby can pull them down with out disrupting the whole curtian set up. I have shears and curtians. The curtians I pull back. Hubby likes to close them. I loose the tie backs all the time to the floor and behind the raditor because of this. I am ready for a more simple window solution.

  19. 12-27
    8:45
    am

    Another unfan of curtains here! We have mostly windows with nothing, a few with sort of lacey swags draped over the tops, and only a few with mini-blinds, of necessity. Well, not complete necessity, but after spying the goofy guy from down the road one morning in my back garden before I’d dressed or had my first cuppa…

  20. 12-27
    8:49
    am

    I like sheers hanging and blowing gently with the breeze, but other than that I like blinds, wooden blinds. This year we had new windows put in here at the cabin. Right now I have absolutely nothing up. Once the nice wood gets put up and stained, I will then go get some wooden blinds. I already have them picked out. lol Antique Oak. No sheers for the cabin. Not enough room for them to sway. :)

  21. 12-27
    8:55
    am

    I am a reformed drapery maker.

    So, I highly offended granddaughter this summer when I would not shut the living room wooden blinds or pull curtains at night, and would not let her pull the curtains (purely for decoration) in her bedroom. She did not understand that there is nothing out there to look inside except the dog! And maybe someone about 10 feet tall.

    I do close the blinds in winter at night because of the drafts, not because I want to. This is not an old house, but it sure is drafty.

    Someone said the curtains bug must skip a generation, and it is true. My daughter has so many blinds and drapes and junk, it makes me crazy. You have to spend minutes moving things just to look outside. All the fabric does is collect dust. BUT, her back yard is totally privacy fenced and full of trees, yet she has only one window facing the back. I call her house the cave. She swears she could get sunburned having her morning coffee here. (We are both teasing, of course.)

    Now it is just morning, and I have opened all the blinds, cold drafts be darned. Two windows in the living room are never closed, since the dog alarm tells me if anyone comes up that way, and, my bedroom drapes are never closed since there is a privacy curtain half way up. Dining room drapes are just for punches of color and hang to the sides of the windows, to better show off plants. Those windows are high enough that no one can look in anyway… house is built on a slope.

    When the roofers were here, I had to hide a bit now and then, but that was only for bits of two weeks.

  22. 12-27
    8:56
    am

    :happyflower:
    I like curtains–not drapes, just curtains. We have lived in 3 home in 35 years, and they have all had the same style curtains, white cape cod curtains, and I love them. We also have mini blinds now because of homes being around us, even though we are 2 acres apart, I still like my privacy at night.

  23. 12-27
    9:05
    am

    :sheep: Am so with you on this Suzanne!! Hate curtains! Live in the woods so not necessary! Do have a shade in the bathroom and in winter a heavy blanket over it ~cause window needs replacing-quite drafty! Love big open windows!! prefer looking at the woods-white right now and even the icicles hanging down! and seeing my chickies and deer and bears peering back at me!! One time I decided I should have them in the living room-guess I was giving in to “peer pressure”! and after taking forever to choose the fabric-sew them-hung them-and my little girls said oh how nice-they match the paper cups in the hospital…………they’re gone!! (the curtains-not the girls!!) They had nine surgeries each as children-so really didnt need that reminder! And I still work in the hospital…… :heart: Have a beautiful week with your family Suzanne! Clover’s peeking!!~~Rain

  24. 12-27
    9:08
    am

    *sigh* I rent, so I get to have wonderful plastic miniblinds and do not know if I am curtains or no curtains. I feel like I have not had a chance to know myself.

  25. 12-27
    9:08
    am

    Curtains only in the bedrooms nowhere else in the house. I love the open outdoor feeling of no! curtains.

  26. 12-27
    9:18
    am

    Defintely windows covered here – at night. Ok, maybe I’ve seen too many scary movies where the stalkers are outside at night looking in at the family through the windows. Or, maybe it’s because my mom covered up every single window in our house at night when I was growing up. Maybe a little of both. We live in the country, but on a state road. Seems that every car that breaks down does it in front of our house……at night. Creeps me out. My husband would be completely happy with no window coverings at all in the house – not me. Wooden blinds and valances on all windows except in the kitchen – it’s completely open. Our house was broken into just before Christmas a couple of years ago – very early in the morning, after we had all left. The cops told us they had probably been watching the place for a while to know when was the best time to do it. I just can’t get that thought out of my head I guess. :cry:

  27. 12-27
    9:29
    am

    I have asthma and so does my kidlet. Curtains collect dust, so they are not welcome in my home. I have 2 1/2 inch faux wood blinds that look great and are easy to keep clean.

  28. 12-27
    9:30
    am

    I can completely understand your aversion to window coverings. I crave natural light, all I can get, all the time. I like my windows to let in sunlight, and I don’t want anything to interfere. However, I’ve been “peeked at” as a teen, so coverings on the bedrooms and bath windows are pretty danged important to me.

    My house came with custom made curtains on the living room window, and they’re really nice, so they’re still hanging. All the other windows have blinds. My husband insists on all the blinds being closed most of the time, because he likes it dark. It’s a conflict of the first order, but he’s coming around. The fact that he loves the cats and they crave sunshine helps immensely. I DO have a sheer lace panel on our bedroom window, over the blind, with a swag. It’s my only attempt at decorating a window in our house.

  29. 12-27
    9:35
    am

    Our RV has built in pull down shades and valances. I just left them, but I sure didn’t feel the need to add anything to it! And since we’re surrounded by a whole lot of nothing, we rarely even close those. :)

  30. 12-27
    9:39
    am

    I grew up out in the boonies. Nevermore. I want and use curtains/drapes. They are closed 24/7.
    I, too, was “peeked at” … and more…in the country. In addition to the closed curtains/drapes, add an outdoor light system activated by motion and a security camera. Give me my cave!
    Was in Seattle this past weekend and sorely missed my daily dose of CITR.

  31. 12-27
    9:40
    am

    When we bought our house, built in 1980, every room had venition blinds. The first thing we did was to take them all down. I hate to clean them. We put up some roller shades that have a leaf pattern on them. We only close them on the west side in the summer time. We are back off the road. From sunup to sundown we enjoy our view of valley and mountains. Our house spoke to us when we first saw it. “Come sit a spell!” There are wrap-around porches on all sides of the house. Not a curtain here.

  32. 12-27
    9:41
    am

    Only 2 windows in our house face the street. In the bedroom there are sheer drapes and blinds, but in the kitchen I have hung two matching stained glass pieces that I made. They allow the light and sparkle at night and give all the privacy I need.

  33. 12-27
    9:51
    am

    My first house was in the backyard of another house. I had drapes that came with the house, and I use them. Then I moved to an upstairs apartment out in the country. I had airy drapes in the front, but none in the back that overlooks a field of corn.

    I then moved to a farm house where I made some insulated drapery to keep out the winter cold. Never used them in the summer. I bought a house in town, where my bedroom window faced the neighbor’s back yard. They practically lived in that backyard, so I had drapes in that room. I had drapes in the living room but usually didn’t use them. I don’t remember drapes in the kitchen or on the back porch. Since the spare bedroom faced the road and the neighbor’s backyard I put something up.

    For the last 9 years my husband and I live in the basement of what was my parents house. It has two sliding glass doors. We do have some blinds up, but rarely close them.

    I can’t wait to sell this house and move to a house with real windows. It depends on how close we are to the neighbors as to where some type of window covering will be placed. I hate to cover a window over the kitchen sink. I would not mind some type of shades if they can be hidden when not needed.

  34. 12-27
    10:24
    am

    I had been a dressmaker for about 20 years and doing quite well,,,so I thought!? One day I mat a man who had been an interior decorator all of his adult life. He asked me to hem the new drapes by hand on that hung in the church (they were 2 stories or about 25 ft long). I did that for him and the next thing you knew I was making draperies for a living. No more dressmaking. I also began to do the designing and selling of the jobs. In other words I did the work except the ordering and I even learned the installing from his son. I HATE DRAPES :hissyfit: , CURTAINS :hissyfit: , and WINDOW COVERINGS :hissyfit: not because of making them, but because like you, don’t hem me in. I like to see out. I live about 20 ft from the road and there is a hedge between the road and livingroom. I feel if a house isn’t insulated enough put more insulation and redo the heating system to make up for the loss of heat, even better windows. If I have to maybe sheers and a cornice box, but nothing more. I have new Champion windows all through my house and I love them, don’t put anything on them :snoopy:. BTW, Champion windows are guaranteed for the life of the HOUSE. When we sell and buy another place I will get Champion windows there also.

  35. 12-27
    10:31
    am

    I lived on a farm all of my 66 years. I grew up on the farm. My mother had curtains in a few rooms, for decoration. When I married my husband told me if I covered up the windows, he was going to board them up.lol I had valances for decoration. That husband passed away 4 years ago. I remarried Dec. 3rd. I now live in town, for the first time in my life. There are blinds here, which I pull up during the day. I put 1 valance in the 1 kitchen window. It’s lace so it lets the light in. I feel like I’m in a fish bowl at night, if I don’t pull the blinds down. But, during the day I like everything up to let the light shine in.
    MN MONA

  36. 12-27
    10:38
    am

    No curtains in my old remodeled farmhouse! We moved it back from the road and nobody can see in any windows. I do plan to get cordless shades for a couple of windows where the sun can be blinding at times. I like to feel like I live outside most of the time. The view of the farm is beautiful.

    Tina

  37. 12-27
    10:47
    am

    I grew up with a mother that changed curtains seasonally. She always said “a room doesn’t look like a “room” without curtains.” I have to admit, rooms do seem a little cold to me without them. I don’t like heavy drapes though so I save them (the insulated kind) for the guest bedrooms. Visitors seem to appreciate them. I’m guessing because the windows face east! The rest of the rooms I use lacy, barely there kind of curtains. I think if I had new, bare wood trim windows I would like the no curtain look!

  38. 12-27
    11:28
    am

    I’m with you Suzanne, nix on the curtains. I have stayed at a friend’s house in the deep piney woods and they do not have a curtain on a single window. I like the look. I like the feel. I like the ease of maintenance lack of curtains create. However, I think your curtain rod that came across the prairie is (or could be)spectacular. Get a wire brush, clean it up and put it over your kitchen window. Ditch the curtains and hang ‘stuff’ off the rod. You could hang a jar and start a sweet potato plant or throw some dirt in and grow some herbs. There are many possibilities. I have a pot of basil growing in a hanging planter in my kitchen window right now. Grins, Kathy :D

  39. 12-27
    11:31
    am

    I have window treatments but no drapes!! All my windows have *gasp* vertical blinds! (I hate the dust that collects on the others.) Most have some sort of valance or side panel. However, the only blinds that get closed at night are the ones in our bedroom and if I had my way, that probably wouldn’t happen. But during the day, they all have to be not only open, but pulled all the way back SO I CAN SEE OUTSIDE!! I like to sleep with the moonlight shining in but DH has read this “stuff” that says you sleep better in a dark room. We’ve been round and round…….and I’ll let him win THIS battle.

  40. 12-27
    11:51
    am

    I live in suburbia, so window treatments of some sort are a necessity…unless you prefer to give your neighbors a show! Our house came with honeycomb blinds & some sort of curtain on every window. I know the people before us spent a small fortune on the drapery so I’ve never had the heart to tear it down, but I don’t care for it. If I had my way (& a lot of money) I would have plantation shutters throughout the house.

  41. 12-27
    12:11
    pm

    I’m a city girl, so they are a necessity. I use neutral linen tab-tops from Ikea over white miniblinds, bordered with yellow and blue sari fabric, basically a panel of sari on each outside of the linen panels, so there is a shot of color on the sides but the coverings are neutral. I like them but of course I need the privacy. I am lucky in that now I live down by the river in a townhouse complex and my place faces out onto greenery, but there are lots of about people so….. I also have a wall of cheap and cheerful floor-length opaque white curtains with little green polka dots, again from Ikea (thank you Ikea!) that I put up over two side by side closets – they had those awful folding closet doors with the fake wood finish, which I removed. If I lived in a house like yours, except for the windows facing the street, I wouldn’t have curtains either! I love your new house, Suzanne. Thank you for including us on your journey!

  42. 12-27
    12:15
    pm

    You know how, on those HGTV shows, when they hang (usually) dark brown draperies on the (usually) huge windows? I recoil in horror every time. Hate them. Hate them much. So, now, we do not have curtains on our windows. Blinds, yes — street level house and all — but that’s it. Because a) heavy drapes in a small room make the room appear smaller, b) cats and drapes are not a good mix, c) DUST, blech and d)oh, yeah — I hate them.

  43. 12-27
    12:22
    pm

    Kid interrupted me while I was typing the above post (isn’t that always the way? :no: ) so there was an e) to that list: I want as much light as possible in my house. Curtains are a major impediment to that goal. ;)

  44. 12-27
    1:00
    pm

    No to curtains! Though when we lived with close neighbors – read under 10 feet on either side – we had them on every window. I made most of them and most were made from plain old muslin and cafe rods. We now rent a home with one curtain, is that what I want to say?, throughout the house – every curtain is from the same, brown!, material. Floor to ceiling – gack! Never close them…

  45. 12-27
    1:22
    pm

    not a curtain fan either…except in the den where the tv and computer is. the darker the better in there.

  46. 12-27
    1:24
    pm

    I am a cop (read: extremely paranoid & secretive). Curtains are a must! If I have no rods or drapes, a garbage bag and duct tape will do. So, I suppose to be accurate, I don’t care about curtains/window dressings one way or the other, but no one, and I mean no one, will be allowed to see into my private inner sanctum/nuclear bomb shelter. :D

  47. 12-27
    1:41
    pm

    I am NOT a curtain person. In our living room, bedrooms and bathroom, we have wooden blinds. No window treatments at all in the kitchen.

    At our cabin, I needed something on the windows to keep the heat in so I hung celluar shades.

  48. 12-27
    2:03
    pm

    I love the light, but the bf doesn’t. So, I have drapes that I open and close alot. Also, I use the curtains to help control the temperature. Closed against the scorching sun in the summer, and closed against the cold in the winter. And open to let in the cooler night air in the summer, and open for the sun in the winter. It makes a big difference in controlling your environment naturally.

  49. 12-27
    2:28
    pm

    When I moved into my house, the former owner had treated every window. She was a ruffly kind of person (no offense to ruffly type people, I’m just not) and liked pastels. Each and every room had pastel something ruffly/curly/froofy hanging on the windows. The bedrooms had those balloon valances stuffed with tissue paper. Oh, the dust. When I went to take them down, I should have been wearing breathing apparatus. They are all gone now, and blinds have taken their place, but they are always up and open. They don’t gather dust that way. :) I have roman shades in the bedroom that darken it because I like my bedroom dark (even though I leave a window open year round for the fresh air).

  50. 12-27
    3:08
    pm

    I have curtains from necessity but prefer no window treatments. What I crave are the special shades I have at work. We have a wall of windows facing east and the sun coming in can be brutal so some kind of shade/drape is needed. Thru some miraculous process of weaving I can see out BUT NO ONE CAN SEE IN even at night. (When I look outside I see everything as it with were through a grey sheer.) They also provide insulation against the cold. This isn’t the brand but here’s what the view looks like: http://www.shadesshuttersblinds.com/sunscreen-roller-shades.asp

  51. 12-27
    3:12
    pm

    Put me on the NO Curtains list! When I moved here umpteen years ago, the whole front end of the house was floor-to-ceiling single pane windows covered with sheers AND draperies. But it was so drafty that I needed them.
    When we finally could afford to get new windows in, they completely redid that whole wall and put in smaller energy-efficient ones. So now I only have valances across the top, with miniblinds for privacy if we need it. They are seldom closed.
    I love to be able to see out all the time and look at all the wildlife, gardens and everything that’s here. No close neighbors so that’s a plus.

  52. 12-27
    3:23
    pm

    No curtains for me where I don’t have to have them. We do live in town and the neighbors are close on either side so my compromise is to have just the bottom half of my antique windows covered. They are 6 feet high and the tops of all 29 of them are trimmed in stained glass which I can’t bear to cover up. White, mostly lacy cafe curtains on tension rods are my curtain of choice. Yes, those old windows are drafty, but also very beautiful so I just can’t hide them.

    If you grandparents lived in Frederick OK then they were about an hour and a half from my grandparents who lived in Cement…..

  53. 12-27
    3:48
    pm

    Now that I live in town I have blinds on the bedroom windows. Just short valances on all other windows.

  54. 12-27
    4:56
    pm

    As a Navy wife, I’ve lived in 7 houses in the 10 years we’ve been married. Curtains are not really an option… it would cost a fortune to outfit every new place with them. Even in our current place, where we hope to be for several years, the kids’ rooms are the only ones I bought curtains for. The Master and the Family room have curtains from the previous owners, but I tore down the ones in the Living Room and Dining Room as soon as I could, and I’m not sure how much longer the others will last. I like light.

  55. 12-27
    5:41
    pm

    I have sheer curtains and mini blinds, no heavy drapes. The mini blinds are opened each morning and closed after dark because you never, ever know what freako-maniac may be lurking outside – even in the country! :dancingmonster:

  56. 12-27
    7:04
    pm

    We only have curtains in an east-facing guest room and in my husband’s office (and he sewed those himself!). The master bedroom faces the street, so we have plain roller blinds in there. The kitchen faces the street, too, but I don’t really care if people see me cooking, and I like to look out the window when I work at the sink.
    I tried for years without success to find a window covering I liked for the living room. It’s a rather dark room with windows overlooking the driveway. We finally settled for growing bushes outside the window, which obscures the view both ways but still lets in light.
    We have a sort of a sunroom at the back of the house and that’s where I spend most of my time. The whole east wall is windows and French doors. The windows have white wooden blinds, but I leave them open all the time. I’m like a potted plant: I need sunlight to thrive. If one of the neighbors ever wanted to peek over the brick wall surrounding our little yard, they could see in, but it would be a pretty boring view; I don’t think they’d bother doing it twice.

  57. 12-27
    7:17
    pm

    When we lived in the city, it was definitely privacy blinds and heavy drapes to keep the street lights out at night. Even if I wasn’t living in the country, I at least wanted to feel like it at night and have it dark in the house. But now that we live on a farm out in the middle of nowhere, WV, the drapes are only for looking like they’re functional and frame the windows with a bit of color. I’m not even sure if the ones in the living room actually totally cover the window! Sheer curtains in the bathroom since the windows aren’t frosted (another thing that’s just soooo horrible when there’s so much beauty to see outside in the country!), but even those are pulled aside most of the time.

  58. 12-27
    7:38
    pm

    Curtain person, have drapes with blinds in my bedroom. I have to have it as dark as I can to sleep. In the day time I need to turn on the light in my bedroom to see. The rest of the house has light colored drapes or curtains and are pulled to the side. I think windows look naked without something on the.

  59. 12-27
    8:16
    pm

    Did your grandmother live in Frederick, Maryland? I live in downtown Frederick in a small rowhouse. I despise curtains! They are too fussy. I have shutters on the bottom half of my living room window and that is sufficient for privacy. I have shades or roman blinds on most of my other windows, but usually only use the ones in my bedroom.

  60. 12-27
    8:57
    pm

    I’ve lived many places–in city neighborhoods and way out in the country. In both places-AT NIGHT-I’ve walked to a window to find a stranger (one friendly, one not) standing there looking in! The worst was when I was WAY out in the country, where no one should have been at my window. I want my curtains. They are muslin, bleached or unbleached, with rod pockets…nothing fancy, just functional. They can be thrown in the washer, flipped briefly in the dryer, and hung to finish drying as often as I like.

    My grandmother’s kitchen had lots of windows, including 2 over the kitchen sink, like yours. I remember that room as always FILLED with light because she made simple, white, rod pocket curtains that she could push open when her feet hit the floor in the mornings and pull together as dusk settled each night.

    Suzanne, I encourage you to remember that you and Morgan are out in the country alone. Please consider adding curtains that afford some privacy at night and pulling them closed at night, along with pulling those shades down. And buy a good shotgun; learn to shoot it; keep it loaded in a safe, accessible place. A indoor dog is a great friend and alarm.

    As a single mother, I faced the intruder with a baseball bat–all between him and my small children. Never again.) To you and your readers, bad people don’t just drive by; they come to the windows and porches. The world isn’t what it was in the 1950s, not even in the country.

    Be light and sunny, but be safe!

    Pat in Eastern NC

  61. 12-27
    9:23
    pm

    I feel like the room isn’t finish if it doesn’t have curtains or at least a swag or valance above the windows. We started buying pull down thermal shades to pull down at night in winter and pull down in summer to keep the sun out. It makes a big difference in the tempt if they are down in winter. In the living room I have drapes to cover the 2 sliding glass doors not that I like them they are a need or people can look in while going up the road and sometimes I might be in my undies and don’t want the neighbors to see.

  62. 12-27
    10:02
    pm

    I can’t stand curtains. They just block out the outdoors and cut me off from the earth and the sun.
    I have a house right now that has lovely woodwork surrounding the windows and it seems that curtains just hide that beauty. There are mini-blinds on the bedroom windows because we live in the city, but if the lights are out I can’t resist opening the blinds to let the moonshine in.

  63. 12-27
    10:07
    pm

    I HATE CURTAINS! I do have wooden valances above my windows. I enjoy seeing all the woodwork and open space. I hate feeling closed in! However, I do have air tight windows and don’t have to worry about drafts or NEIGHBORS.

  64. 12-27
    10:57
    pm

    I FEEL YOUR PAIN. WHY HAS NOONE MENTIONS THE LACE CURTAINS. MY MOTHER WAS A SCHOOL TEACHER AND LOVED LACE CURTAINS. THE STRETCHER CONSISTED OF AN ADJUSTABLE WOOD FRAME LINED UP WITH THE SHARPEST PINS OH HOW THEY HURT.

  65. 12-28
    12:21
    am

    Although this is more info then you wanted; as my hubby likes to wander around the house in the nude oh yes we have curtains. My kitchen windows are double hung like your living room is. We have curtains on the lower half leaving the upper half bare. My older windows do leak air so besides being covered with plastic film in the winter they have a heavy lined curtain to go with them.

  66. 12-28
    5:02
    am

    No curtains for me either. The way I see it is they are just dust catchers. I’m for wood blinds. But only where you need um.

  67. 12-28
    5:06
    am

    My rule of thumb is: “Bring the outside in!” My choice is to have no window treatments. When I moved into my home 14 years ago it had (has)blinds on all of the windows. Some I took off completely. Since I live in Michigan and the winters are colder, I left them on the bedroom windows for warmth. They are pulled up to the top unless it is cold at night and I lower them. (reluctantly) I love the moon shining in my bedroom window at night. It is such a beautiful world, I don’t want to miss out on one single moment of that beauty! Your living room treatments are great because you can have them up most of the time and lower for at night for warmth. A valance would be great in your kitchen. I have a beaded valance over my kitchen sink with a birdfeeder at the window. “Don’t delay the happy!” Another rule of thumb: Do what makes you happy!

  68. 12-28
    11:05
    am

    An addendum to my long post: I’m just in favor of some type of window covering–blinds, shutters, shades, something that can be closed at night but opened during the day.

  69. 12-28
    1:36
    pm

    I’m all for the bare windows, I do however have blinds. I think curtains/draperies make a house darker/smaller!

    I’m about a 2-hour drive away from Frederick, Oklahoma right now! I’ve been there many times, used to even work there periodically.

  70. 12-28
    7:02
    pm

    Sans Curtains for me. I do have blinds and I love them when temperatures are extreme hot or cold because my windows leak cool/hot air.

    I am with your debbie though…light, airy curtains, especially pulled back wouldn’t bug me.

    My only neghbors are the goats and they are in rut right now….blinds work here too…

    :happyflower:

  71. 12-28
    8:53
    pm

    Suzanne, I really, really agree with Pat’s comment (#60 I think)… you have to watch out for yourself and that young daughter! :heart:

  72. 12-29
    7:43
    am

    I agree with Pat and Yvonnem- I have blinds or shades but sheers too. I can pull up the shades or the blinds and leave the sheers and light comes in fine. Living alone when someone knocks at my door I dont answer and am glad the big dining room has curtains that I may pull back some for light but not all the way and there is some protection with the other sheers up. It is a shame we have to think about these things but we do.

  73. 12-29
    5:54
    pm

    Put me on the No Curtains list…..not a one in this house! Mini blinds are on the windows only to close to keep sunlight out.

    I’m with the “I want to feel like I’m outside” group. We are waaayyyy out and if an “uninvited guest” shows up, he/she will not be greeted quietly!

  74. 12-29
    6:53
    pm

    Live in the Southwest–land of Light.Love windows! No curtains! shutters, blinds, here and there but mostly I want to be open to the sun!! When I lived back East curtains were a huge issue– my mom in law sewed ‘draperies” with hooks and stuff..
    No more!

    I love the Light!

  75. 12-29
    9:18
    pm

    I like curtains but HATE HATE HATE the frilly, ruffly ones! I had insulated tab-top curtains in my last apartment and loved them–they saved me a fortune in heating and cooling bills in this extreme high desert climate. In our little house now, we have honeycomb blinds in all the windows; when I’m home and it’s light, I open them all up. I need the light! In our bedroom, we put up a curtain rod and put one of my boyfriend’s African kikoys (not sure if I’m spelling that right) on it; it’s from Kenya, is yellow, red, and green, and says something like “coffee is good.” So no frills, no pastels, just a memento of a trip to Africa. Good stuff. :)

  76. 12-30
    7:47
    pm

    We live in a rural area on a dirt road. The front of our home is where the bedrooms are located so for “privacy” I put sheer curtains in the bedrooms. But the back of our home is where the living/dining/kitchen (one big room)is and for 6 yrs we had no window treatments. Recently I did put valances up just for color but the windows have to remain bare to let in natural light (we don’t need to use electic lights during the day). It’s also great to have a wonderful view of what’s going on outside at all times and to be able to see the trees moving with the wind.

  77. 12-31
    1:16
    pm

    We live in the country, sort of, have lots of land around us so we don’t really need window coverings. We do, however, have curtains and drapes for the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer. I agree though, if I didn’t have a big scary dog and my dh here, I would definitely have all windows covered at night.

  78. 12-31
    9:20
    pm

    Curtains cost time energy and money. They block the view. I was given some plain white cotton ones that fit my bedroom windows for true privacy but that is the only curtains in my house.
    Funny you wrote about this as my husband ASKED for a curtain in the lower east living room window. One of my cats, Gray, climbs the fiberglass screen to look at us sitting there and say that he either wants in or wants grub. DH throws a hissy fit. So now HE wants one curtain in a two window room. I told him the obvious: the cat will use the other window. :snowman:

  79. 1-1
    8:18
    pm

    I am with you on “No Curtains”!

    When we bought our house in the woods I told my DH that I did not want curtains on any of the windows. He wanted curtains on ALL the windows.

    Soon I noticed that early every morning when our neighbor drove by on his way to work, he would honk & wave. I decided that maybe I needed to have curtains on the bedroom & bathroom windows after all.

    Turns out my DH asked the neighbor to do that every time he drove past our house. A few years later, after our neighbor passed away, his son continued the tradition.

    My DH got curtains in half of the house. http://chickensintheroad.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_biggrin.gif

  80. 1-3
    8:34
    am

    I don’t live too far from Frederick, Oklahoma and I can tell you the main reason we have curtains is the wind. It can blow red dirt dust in through anything! Frederick hasn’t changed much. Still has a short main street, no department store, but some small businesses. Still out in the middle of nowhere, but they have a great annual oyster fry!

  81. 1-3
    10:16
    am

    We moved to the country 2 1/2 years ago and certainly don’t need curtains or blinds for privacy….but we definitely need something on the windows to keep cool in the summer. Summer here in Kansas is HOT and we have a lot of windows facing every direction including 7 to the south. We’ve got a great whole house air conditioner but it would be impractical for us to leave our windows bare. SO…I have blinds that I leave open (unless it’s a hot summer day or a blizzard)and soften them with some sheer’s softly pulled back.I like to see out my windows! I think you should do what ever you like Suzanne…it’s you who has to feel comfortable. I like those shades I see in your photo…at least they’re out of the way and you can use them if you have to. I look forward to seeing what you decide to do…I know what ever you decide it will be perfect for YOU. :) Happy New Year!

  82. 1-12
    9:01
    pm

    I don’t have much in the way of curtains either. I do have blinds in all the window’s however. Mostly to keep it cool and dark in the summer heat, for sleeping and for migraine days. We don’t need privacy where we live. We have no neighbors on any side.

  83. 1-14
    7:46
    pm

    Not much in the way of curtains here. A little bit of lace on one or two, some interior shutters on the front windows, but nothing much else. I love to see the outside, and I love light.

    I just got home from two weeks away . . . we had a huge sinkhole in our block, destroying half the houses. Ours was spared, and we just moved back in today. It feels kind of good, but half our neighbors are gone because their houses can’t be lived in. It’s very strange – I feel like a homesteader in my own neighborhood.

    It’s good to be home though. And great to be back here. Happy New Year to you all!

  84. 10-16
    2:04
    pm

    Suzanne, we are kindred spirits! I, too, ripped down every curtain I could get my hands on when we bought our farm. Custom treatments, blinds, the works. Why obscure beautiful views and sunshine (even when it’s 5 degrees out). I keep thinking that I really should put something up in case someone wants to peer in after dark, but alas, so far I just can’t do it….. Curtains are mostly unattractive, view blocking, dust collectors! Blech!

  85. 1-28
    12:42
    pm

    I love valances and blinds. I only have curtains on my bedroom window. I do live in the suburbs on a busy street, so we need the blinds and the valance add just a little decor to the window but not too much.

  86. 1-28
    12:45
    pm

    BTW…I live in sunny Florida!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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