Installed Curtains (9/366)

“A well-spent day brings happy sleep.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci

I wouldn’t really presume to call myself “handy”, but I can follow instructions and get things done around the house.  Sometimes I enjoy the satisfaction of completing a household project (I usually put all our furniture together – it’s fun), but sometimes I really procrastinate on a task.

I recently read an excerpt from a book stating that sleeping in a completely darkened room helped to refresh the body better and aid in the regeneration process.

Living in the city, our sleeping arrangement is not necessarily conducive to sensory-deprivation quality sleep.  We have the busy Market Street lights and constant waves of traffic (and sometimes honking horns) just outside our window.  Also, since we live only six blocks from The Castro, we hear the occasional drunken rant and/or argument on the street below.

We have blinds that do a decent job of blocking out the sun, but they’re not designed to produce a pitch-black room (there are gaps between the blinds and window, so light seeps in from all sides of the blinds).

I bought some blackout curtains (on sale at Target, so I’m not expecting full blackout) and some curtain rods from IKEA (thanks, Kimmy!) last year, and asked my wonderful husband Nick if he’d like to install the setup (he’d never done that before). He obliged and started hanging curtains in our bay window, but stopped after the first set to check and see if that was what I was envisioning. He also tried putting the curtains on the lightweight window treatments that had been on our windows before. This is what we’ve been sleeping with for about six months (the right set is hung with the new rod [though a bit lower than it should be] and middle on the existing window treatment setup):

As you can imagine, Nick’s year was pretty busy and he didn’t get a chance to put all the curtains up. Although I thought they were in such a sorry state and I really wanted my blackout sleep, I was pretty busy as well, and neither one of us got around to remedying the situation until this year. I’d never actually hung a set of curtains before. Sure, I’d replaced curtains on existing rods (I think?), and like I said, I’ve done household jobs before, but I realized I had never actually hung curtains. What a great excuse to get this chore done!

I’m a pretty precise person (nit-picky is more like it), so I always want everything to be perfect. But I learned from a mentor of mine a while ago that when you’re working in a house (that is, a pre-constructed building that may or may not be perfect), it’s not as important to make things precise or level, as it is to make them match up with what you’ve already got.

With this piece of wisdom at my disposal (and the information from Nick that he had just “eyeballed” his first curtain hanging [the one above at the right]), I decided to just measure from the ceiling down, and to try to center each curtain rod I planned on hanging (each extended to about 39 inches).

I used a yardstick, measured two widths down, and centered the measurement on each side of our bay window (in this picture, the window from each side of the wall was a 6-inch difference), then I marked a spot for the anchoring screw to go.

I then drilled pilot holes for the screws, using a bit that was just slightly smaller than the screws I planned to use.

After the hardware was screwed in, I strung the curtains on the rod and placed the curtain rod over the screws.

Ta-da! It’s FINALLY done!


It’s not perfect (I wasn’t sure exactly what we needed), but it will definitely work for now.

I’m really glad I finished this task. I’d been wanting these for a long time – Nick sleeps with his back to the window so he doesn’t notice the signal light and street lights right outside as much as I do. This was one of those nagging projects that bugs you every time you see it. Now that the blackout curtains are up, when our lights go out, I pretty much won’t see anything at all. Sweet dreams!

Related Items:
Eclipse Suede 42-Inch by 63-Inch Thermaback Blackout Panel
Black & Decker 14-Volt Ni-Cad 3/8-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver with Storage Bag and Stud Sensor

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