Rock the Casa

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Archive for the ‘Pet Projects’ Category

Black & White Shower Curtains

Posted by Beth on September 11, 2009

I love shower curtains that add an unexpected design element to the bath. Right now, I have a clear vinyl one covered with cute floral medallions in shades of blue, green, and brown. It’s seen better days. After a couple of years of daily use, it’s got a tear near the top (probably from me being a little too aggressive with it before I’ve had my morning coffee). So I spent a couple hours last night browsing my favorite sites for a replacement. I’ve been planning to paint my bathroom aqua, and accent it with black and white accessories, but I haven’t quite gotten around to it yet. I’m considering Benjamin Moore’s Seagrove or Oceanfront (check them out here, on BM’s cool virtual fandeck tool). I’m a pro at painting—I’ve done my bedroom three times now—but my bathroom walls are super high, which means I have to borrow a ladder from my super, and then climb up and down said ladder with a roller full of paint. So that’s why this project has remained on the to-do list for so long. I swear I will get to it one of these days, but in the meantime I’m going to pick up a new, graphic black-and-white shower curtain. Maybe it will motivate me to get painting. Here are the contenders:

Dwell Studio for Target Baroque Shower Curtain

Dwell Studio for Target Baroque Shower Curtain

I’ve loved almost everything Dwell Studio has done for their inexpensive line at Target, including this curtain with bold, oversized scrollwork. PRO: It’s a cotton/poly blend, which should hold up well over the long haul. CON: Some reviewers mentioned that the color bled when it got wet. Eek. $27.

Urban Outfitters Bird Toile Shower Curtain

Urban Outfitters Bird Toile Shower Curtain

Urban has a number of adorable black and white curtains, but this one is my favorite for layering an aqua blue bird silhouette atop classic toile. PROS: It matches my color scheme perfectly! And I love toile. And birds. And it’s on sale for $15. CONS: It’s 100% cotton, so it may require ironing. I hate ironing. $15.

Black Florafauna Vinyl Shower Curtain

Black Florafauna Vinyl Shower Curtain (at Bed, Bath & Beyond)

My friend Jenny has this clear vinyl curtain running amok with woodland creatures and flowers in her pretty purple bathroom. PROS: There are deer…and owls…and rabbits…and…seahorses? CONS: You can’t throw vinyl into the wash; it’s prone to rips. $20.

CB2 Pictobath Vinyl Shower Curtain

CB2 Pictobath EVA Vinyl Shower Curtain

I dig the whimsical, bathroom-inspired pop art print on this curtain from CB2. PROS: It’s got a sense of humor. CONS: It’s vinyl, so same as above. $15.

Marimekko Tuuli Shower Curtain

Marimekko Tuuli Shower Curtain (at

OK, so this one’s not technically black and white. Sue me. PROS: This tree silhouette is one of my absolute favorite Marimekko prints, and I think the gray and white would look lovely with aqua. CONS: It’s 100% polyester, so I wonder if it would make that annoying whisper-y sound every time I opened and closed the curtain; since it’s 7 inches longer than a normal curtain, I might need to make some alterations. $49.

And the winner is…Bird Toile. I’m ordering it right now.


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Curtain Conundrum

Posted by Beth on September 4, 2009

Why are cute—and affordable—window treatments so hard to find? I just spent nearly half the day scouring online with no luck. It’s almost enough to make me want to learn how to sew, despite the fact that I nearly failed home ec for screwing up the whipstitch on my 7th grade pillow project. Traumatic. Anyway, right now I’m looking for a valance for my bedroom window. Currently I’ve got a cream-colored twill roman shade up that I serendipitously found in the damaged/returns section at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. There are usually some good bargains to be found there, and this time was no exception. My window is super large (nearly 4 feet wide) so I thought for sure I’d have to pony up the cash for an expensive custom shade. Lucky me, someone must have special-ordered this particular style and then changed their mind. It was just the right size and marked down to less than $50, a total steal.

The window still feels a bit bare with just the shade, so I’ve been trying to figure out how to dress it up. I was really into the idea of an upholstered cornice, until I realized how much something like that costs. (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out The Shade Store‘s options, including these glam ones with nailhead trim.) Then I happened across this nicely tailored valance from Tommy Hilfiger Home on The colors are all wrong for my bedroom, but it did inspire me to go looking for more tailored or box-pleated valances, which almost look like cornices. I’d always thought of those window toppers as old-ladyish or country style, like this and this—not exactly my cup of tea. But once I started searching, I did find a few cute ones, including these:

At left is the Sakura Tailored Valance from I like the spare botanical print and tailored style, and it’s on sale for only $30.

On the right is the fun Zebra Window Valance from Animal prints (in small doses) feel a bit whimsical and exotic. This one goes for just under $30, too.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find any that quite worked for my room, although I did discover that Smith + Noble has some nice fabric options. If I had the funds for a custom valance, they’d be my pick, as I could get one tailor-made for my window for under $250. Instead, I think I’ll pick up my own fabric—either at Mood, in NYC’s fashion district, or online at and, both of which carry a range of Marimekko designs—and beg a crafty friend to sew me a straight valance with a rod pocket.

I’ll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about any of your favorite resources for affordable window treatments.

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