A Lofty View

Fewer than 24 hours after arriving in Atlanta for our annual Thanksgiving visit with my sister Diane and her husband Ed, my trusty 1975 Elna, stored at their house, was set up and humming away. The project: refashioning a pair of tab curtains into a valance and panels for the loft in their home.

I made the original curtains for our other sister Reigh’s dining room when she and her husband George moved to Idaho in 2008. When they built their retirement home this year, there was no place for the curtains. Diane was only too happy to take them, knowing I could transform them into something when I came to visit in November.

At her last foray to Scott’s Antique Mall in Atlanta, Diane found a beautiful Italian walnut bench from the early 1920s with a cane seat and buttery yellow silk seat cushion. She realized that the curtain fabric would go perfectly with the seat cushion. By the time I arrived, she had a plan.

Here is the loft before:

2013-11, loft before
Before: Loft with Valance

(The bench is deliberately set off center, because it looks better when viewed from below.)

Here is the loft after:

2013-11, loft after
After: Loft with Valance and Panels


Here is the loft viewed from another angle:

2013-11, loft view from stairs


And here is a close-up of the fabric (too gorgeous not to be used again!):

beautiful home dec fabric
Beautiful Home Dec Fabric




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7 Responses to A Lofty View

  1. Yvonne says:

    What a beautiful job you did on the Valance and Panels. Love the fabric.


  2. Lisa Kus says:

    So very lovely!

  3. Chas says:

    The valance actually enhances the already beautiful view through the window from the ground floor. Good work again!

  4. Reigh Hays says:

    Wow! I love it! I always loved that fabric so much, and now I’ll still be able to enjoy it when we come to visit. Beautiful job of repurposing from that talented seamstress/sister of ours.

  5. Ellen in Oregon says:

    First all I have to comment that the bench your sister found is beautiful & perfect for the spot under the window. The difference between the before & after shot is worlds apart. Truthfully, I did not think the original valance added much to the area. The re-purposed curtains you tailored certainly do justice to the space & the furnishings. Now that the window is framed it looks much more expansive & your eye is drawn to the view. The texture of the fabric pattern & the light from the window create shadow & interest where there was little movement. The fabric is beautiful and I think it enhances the dark wood of the bench and the yellow in the fabric relates to the yellow tone found in the bench cushion. Bringing the color through draws your eye through the area rather than just focusing on the dark bench because it was the only spot of contrast to the neutral walls & valance. The simple style is perfect and the pattern of the fabric lends richness & texture without being too fussy. As you can tell I am in love with the entire transformation. It looks like a seating area you might find in an authentic Italian manor. Your sister must be thrilled with how this area looks now. Your sister has a lovely new home and it was nice of you to help her make it more personalized. The best part is that you were able to make a hugh impact for no cost – you can’t beat that.

    • Dawn says:

      Gosh, Ellen, are you a writer for House Beautiful magazine? What a lovely description of the way the new window treatment changed the look of the loft. Thank you so much for your comment!

  6. Colleen says:

    As always you have done a beautiful job, Dawn! Your sisters are so blessed to have you as their reigning Home Dec Queen :)!

    It is a lovely bench and setting. Your drapes set it off beautifully. And you are right, the fabric is much too pretty to not be repurposed. Well done!!!

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