Let there be light!

As I said in the previous post, while Tim was demoing the couch I was taking photos of him working hard and also removing the curtains. Removing the curtains was hands down, the easier job but that is not why I am glad I took on the curtains. The curtains became my job, because while Tim is great at muscling out a couch quickly, the curtains needed to be done slowly and carefully in order to save the track system.

I have been researching on different ways to take on the curtains and it seems like there are a few different approaches.

Keep the original track in tact, wash curtains or sew new curtains and use the track system again. (Photo Credit) These definitely feel the most vintage and true to the original.

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Remove the track system and replace it with IKEA Kvartal track system which is a method that has been used by many successfully. (Photo Credit) I love the bold fabric choices on these curtains.

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Completely disregard all things track, put up a curtain rod and hang your fabric. (Photo Credit) I like the fun and natural look of these branches.

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Because we are still at the very beginning of the demo process and have not started anything even remotely reno-ish I wanted to keep my options open.

At this point, one thing I know I feel strongly about is that I do not want dangling curtains. I really like having a bottom track so the curtains form to the curve of the Airstream walls. I think this will help not only keep the curtains from being a nuisance but also help keep them clean.

Another thing we know is that because Tim and I will be sleeping in the main area we also need curtains that will block out as much light as possible. Same with the kids in the back. If blackout curtains mean the kids get an extra 15 minutes of sleep every morning it is well worth whatever the extra cost is to line the curtains or even add black out roller shades.

Keeping my options open meant that I needed to demo our water stained, stinky, pilled curtains carefully in order to possibly use the track system again.

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This is in no way rocket science but it does take a bit of patience, some finesse and a screw driver.

First you need to remove the endcap of the track system on both the top and bottom. In my case I had a variety of DIY fixes like this screw, a couple of paper clips jammed into the end of the track and one or two original plastic end caps. All were easy to remove.

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I wasn’t joking when I said this was easy. Here is where you have to be careful. It is easy to bend the old tracks and even easier to snap the old plastic G-Slides. I am not saying that you need to move at a snail’s pace but you do need to be aware of going too fast or flexing too much muscle.

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Slowly we went from this: stinky, water stained, dated curtains.

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To this. It was 4pm by the time we were at this point of demoing, so the sun was already setting and lighting was bad so you will just have to trust me, not only does it look so much better and brighter but it smells so much better too!

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The track system is still in place and besides a few areas where the track needs to bent back into place so the G-Slides don’t come loose, the track is in great condition.

On impulse, I threw the curtains into the Bagster on top of the demoed couch with a fanfare that only an excited lady with a BA in Theatre can muster in 19 degree weather.

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Only now am I regretting doing that. I will be spending the next hour of my day dumpster diving in my own garage in an effort to salvage as many G-Slide clips as possible because at $7.99 for a 25 pack the price tag will add up quick.  Our Airstream has a lot of windows and I am thinking slightly off colored G-Slide clips are just fine. Especially since they are free and cost me nothing more than cold fingers while I dig out the curtains and cut all the tabs. I will buy new elastic if we go the original  track route, but for now I am happy with the thought that with all the money saved on G-Slide clips I could spend a little more money on some great new fabric for the curtains or any of the other unplanned for costs that are sure to pop up as we renovate Alice!

What kind of curtains did you install? Did you have a wood or upholstered valance above your windows? Did you keep the valance? I don’t think I am a fan of the valance but I do like the idea of hiding all the curtain hardware. As for fabric… Did you go with a pattern? Big or small pattern? Neutral or bold? I would love to see photos! Add a link in the comments if you have photos!

Then again, maybe curtains are not the answer. Maybe roller shades, or blinds or roman shades?!

Please sound off in the comments below, especially those of you who have been living with a certain window treatment for a while. What are the pros and con’s of your window treatments?

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