From the beginning of this renovation, I always planned on making curtains for the kitchen and eating area. The red and green color pallet was a tricky one. I wanted to make sure my kitchen didn't look like Christmas at all. The best way to do this was to introduce some colors other than red and green. I also wanted to use a fabric design that was vintage or vintage inspired, but not too country or one that could possibly be interpreted as Christmas. I have large stash of fabric and always planned to use something from that. The problem was finding exactly the right design. Of the fabric I had, either the design or the color wasn't quite right. So, I decided to design my own fabric.
I have a collection of ice-cream and cherry-themed items, so I started there for my inspiration. Focusing on the cherry theme, I filled my design with cherry-related items treats including pie, cookies, ice-cream and even a lollipop. (The lollipop was inspired by our finish carpenter Norm, who often had a lollipop as his mid-morning snack.)
I wanted there to be some kitchen elements in the design, so added some small details like the vintage mixer and pie server and coffee cup. The mixer was designed after my fabulous vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster. A friend had given me a vintage glass that had a wonderful mid-century starbursts on it, so I added that to the design as well. Finally, inspired by my boomerang-patterned countertops, I added a subtle grey boomerang pattern to the background.
The design still included red and mint green, but I added in yellow, pink and brown as well. Once I had a design I was happy with, I uploaded it to Spoonflower.com, where I had some test swatches printed. After a few color-adjustments, I had them print my design on their Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra fabric. I was quite pleased with the way the fabric came out. The lines of my design were crisp and the colors were very accurate.
Once I had the fabric, it was time to make the window treatments. For the eating area, I decided to make a valance. We had already purchased wooden blinds for that window, so I felt that full curtains weren't needed. My initial idea was to do a structured box valance, but ultimately decided to do a softer valance that would just hang on a curtain rod. Chris came with me to the fabric store and helped pick out some contrasting fabric. We chose a dark, grey fabric, that had a subtle silver textured pattern.
The valance went together relatively easily. Because the window is wider than the fabric itself, I had to piece it together. To cover the resulting seam, I added box-pleats to my valance. I used the contrast fabric for the top edge of the valance where I added a channel for the curtain rod.
The window in the kitchen is much smaller, so I felt that both curtains and blinds would be too busy. So, instead I made a roman shade. I made a big panel, with my main fabric and the contrasting fabric. I then used a roman shade kit by a company called Conso, to create the shade. This shade kit took a while to put together. Some of the instructions were difficult to understand and the drawings were vague. Initially my shade had a lining, as instructed in the kit. However, when I first finished the shade and tested it, the shade didn't fold up properly and instead puckered and wrinkled like crazy. After looking it over, I realized the problem was with the lining and the way it was added. Once I pulled off the lining, the shade worked much better. After doing a little research, I learned that this shade kit was originally distributed under a different name and had been recalled because children were getting caught up in the exposed strings in the back. The company slapped on the instructions for the lining, to cover the strings, and repackaged the kit. The result was a safer shade but one that didn't work very well. Since our shade is covering a window that is higher up and we don't have kids, I figured it was safe enough. I may try to figure out how to add a lining that works better but for now, I'm leaving it as is.
To go along with my cherry theme, I made a shade pull with a pair of bakelite beads and a glass leaf. I'm pretty happy with both window treatments and love having a unique fabric design that exactly matches our kitchen.