Our Fully Dressed (New) Windows + $100 West Elm Giveaway

March 11, 2015

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We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




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Since our very first walk through of this house we are slowly making home, “There should be a big window to the left there” we said. It’s the kind of comment that perked our realtor’s ears up. He knew we were looking for a house in a good neighborhood that needed fixed up. Us already chatting about demo–that was a good sign.


And here we are, 18 months later, and we finally have our window (among other things) and all is right in the world.


Last we showed you, the window was roughed in and in place, but since then we’ve repaired the walls, trimmed it out with simple 3 inch trim like the rest of our windows and doors and added new, coordinating window treatments. This shot (below) was taken shortly after we moved in and got some lighter paint on the walls:


Here’s how the same angle looks today:


There definitely should have always been a window there. It feels so natural to see it now. One more sad, early before shot:



Ta-Da! Having this window has already been a game changer. It is so light in the great room now. We don’t have to turn on lights first thing in the early evening because the sun just pours into the living room. It was the best money we have spent since moving in.

West Elm was really excited about our window project and wanted to be a part of it (and wanted to give something to our readers, too. Wait for it. Wait for itttttt.) We dressed both windows in their 96″ White Linen Grommet drapes hung from West Elm’s Oversized adjustable metal rods in polished nickel. I am such a fan of injecting a variety of metals into a space, and these polished nickel rods are thick, substantial, shiny, yet play a supporting roll instead of the lead–just what we wanted.


I teetered between clipped up curtains or grommets, but in the end the casual grommets mixed with the amazing visual texture of the linen curtains felt like a good middle ground. It felt sophisticated, but not too serious.


We hung woven shades (these) under it all for another layer. It all feels incredibly comfortable and home-y. Soft, textured, layered window treatments add so much to a room.


We have so enjoyed working with West Elm to put the finishing touches on our new window–now, they want to give away a $100 West Elm gift card to one of you! You can enter through the Rafflecopter widget below and we’ll randomly select a winner Friday, March 13th. Take Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What do you think?

  1. Clover says:

    How do you like the roman shades now that you have had them for awhile. Do you roll them up and down? Have they been durable over time? Thank you.

  2. Amanda says:

    Hi! I know it’s been a while since you posted this, but do you mind sharing where you found the area rug in here? I’m having a heck of a time trying to find something along the lines of a navy over-dyed Persian rug (that doesn’t go crazy blue). Thanks!

  3. Lisa says:

    Hi Julia,

    This post was a while ago, so not sure you’ll see or not, but…

    Wondering how those linen curtains are with wrinkling? I bought some (from Ikea) years ago, and I never could keep them looking smooth. But, I love these. Hoping you say that you didn’t/don’t have to worry about it. ;)

  4. Jennifer says:

    Hi! This blog is new to me, so apologies if this info is in a previous post, but I’d love to get more info on that long wooden shelf. Purchased? DIY?

    Thank you!

  5. angi says:

    im sorry for asking this, bc im sure its on the blog, but what color is the family room walls. it looks gorgeous, i love the window

  6. The window really make the room natural and has more light. Love the way you decorate everything.

  7. Margo says:

    that is so fantastic. i love ur decoration.

  8. Heather C says:

    Love this whole room! We are considering similar bamboo blinds and I wondered if there is a reason you didn’t choose the wider option to cover the whole window with one set versus the two. We have double windows and I’d prefer to not have a seam down the middle. Just curious why you went that route. Thanks!

    • Julia says:

      We would need a 70″ wide blind and I couldn’t find them in this color I liked. We don’t mind the seam, but everyone is different. :)

  9. I love the picks you made! We moved into our home several months ago and the mini blinds are horrible…going to show this post to my husband in a few minutes! xo julia

  10. Erin Ellis says:

    How fantastic! I love it! I am dying for some of your artwork.

  11. Michele P says:

    what a difference putting in that window made for you! I love a room filled with natural sunlight, and think this really brightened up the room for you. Our home is shaded by a huge tree (great in the hot summer, no air conditioners needed, but in the winter, brrr….) and while we do get some sunlight, I really would love to have more since winters are so long here in the Northeast. Love those drapes too!

  12. Oh girl, you never cease to amaze me! Job well done!

  13. corine says:

    SO beautiful. We’re (I’m) moderately brave about renovations, but i would be scared out of my mind to bust a hole in the side of my house! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that you went for something so huge and so needed. I just know I would have chickened out and lived with the unbalanced window. Ha! continually inspired by your simple design choices and your bold renovations! You Marcums have no fear when it comes to making a space yours. Give me some of that.

  14. Shelby says:

    Wow!! I totally agree the window addition brings SO much to the room. It just makes sense and the room looks so bright and airy!

  15. Jen says:

    Perfection! This room looks so inviting.

  16. Sherri says:

    The new window, the shades and curtains, the new chair all add up to sheer perfection in this space. Enough said!!!

  17. Ginet says:

    The new window does so much for the space! I’ve been eyeing the antique brass version of that curtain rod. Thanks for the giveaway! I hope I win!

  18. Callie says:

    Wow, absolutely stunning difference. Total game-changer for that whole area! Gorgeous!

    I have to cheerfully disagree with Linda – I think you guys do a great job making solid design choices for your budget and being aware that everyone’s budgets are different (like the recent post on leather chairs for every price range – excellent). I think that Americans are often into low-budget options (not saying Linda is – as a grad student I sure understand a shoestring budget!) but they often don’t realize that lower-quality options wear out faster and then they spend just as much in the long run replacing things more often. And then more ends up in the landfill. You guys are one of my favorite blogs because you don’t make extravagant choices, but you spend your money in ways that will last.

    I’m sounding like a fan girl so maybe I’ll mention something I haven’t agree with just to balance it out – tearing up perfectly good tile last year felt wasteful to my Mennonite background, I wish there could have been a way to reuse that. But in your place I definitely would still have wanted to replace it, soo…that’s why I haven’t mentioned it before :)

  19. linda says:

    You are very fortunate to have the budget to change your minds so frequently and assume so much about what’s affordable for others. I have had much more expendable income in the past and regret some of my extravagances during those periods. I guess that’s my message to my younger self…

  20. I love West Elm! I need a pair of those white linen drapes for my guest room. We moved from Europe last year and none of my window coverings made it as the crates got mold inside. I lost major $$$ of expensive drapes, so the idea of something I could wash at home resonates with me.

    I love how the window turned out!

  21. Nadya says:

    The great room looks fantastic!!!! Loving it. What is the paint color you used in that room?

  22. Alison G says:

    Great vision and outcome. It looks great! Great before and after comparison, so fun to watch the transformation. The other curtains will look good in your bedroom I think, though I have not seen them next to the paint color. Did you take that into consideration when you chose the paint color? How is Chris doing? Good I hope.

  23. Amanda says:

    I had a feeling you were moving the darker curtains to your master bedroom after I saw a preview of the living room curtains the other day on instagram! They will look great in there. Adding the second window made a HUGE difference in this room. You’ll have a beautiful view once spring comes… whenever that happens lol. Seriously, this is the longest/most depressing winter I’ve seen in a while.

  24. Toni says:

    Where, oh WHERE can I find the vase thingy on your kitchen table?

  25. Rebecca W says:

    What happened to the Martha and Ash drapes you bought for that location? If you had plans for the window all along why didn’t you buy two pairs to use the other once the new window would be there? So sad to see them gone after custom ordering them for that specific location since. Do you feel it was a waste of money now for the short term you had them.

    • Julia says:

      Not at all. They are headed for the master bedroom! We got those drapes before we finalized our plans for an all-black kitchen. So adding more dark charcoal to the windows felt like it might get a little heavy. They’ll be perfect in the master.

  26. Jennifer says:

    That light though — so good. What a dramatic transformation!

  27. it looks glorious!!!! love the black doors, the windows… beautiful work!

  28. Britt says:

    This is stunning! Seriously the light spilling in is amazing. You’re right–should have always been there!

  29. Cindy says:

    you too! … in case you ever get to fly some day

    I LOVE how your place is coming together!

  30. Alli says:

    That looks so amazing! I’m also on the hunt for bamboo roman shades. Are those true roman shades or do they roll up?

  31. Kates says:

    Love it! looks so natural like it always should have been there. I would agree that it was an excellent design decision! Most people don’t think of cutting holes in their homes to add windows but you did and it is a major focal point and benefit to have such wonderful natural light!

  32. Tara S says:

    What a transformation!! This room is amazing. I’m so impressed that you had the vision and followed it through. I tend to have visions but they stay as “visions”, hehehe. I need to start executing more. As always, thanks for the inspiration.

  33. Jenn W says:

    I love watching your rooms come together, and the transformation of a house into a home. The new window is so natural there, it seems crazy that it wasn’t there before. Is the gift card giveaway open to Canadians as well??

  34. Lori says:

    All that light!

  35. Meagan Briggs says:

    The curtains are perfect! Good choice!

  36. Allison says:

    I love the window hardware!! I”m also enjoying mixing metal finishes….. so much nicer than feeling like everything has to be the same color/finish/shade! Has the chandelier over the kitchen table always had shades? Or is that a new development to help distribute the light? I’m thinking about a similar fixture currently, and this is something that has me not convinced….

    • Julia says:

      The chandelier came with shades. Initially, we kept the bulbs bare, but a few months ago I put the shades on. I think I posted the update on Instagram only. The filtered light is super nice as the main fixture in the great room, and the shades also add a traditional vibe to the modern fixture–which is kind of where we like to sit. It’s nice this fixture can be appreciated both ways. We just prefer the shades right now.

  37. B says:

    Pretty! Did you find a new home for those custom black and white drapes from the dining side windows?

    • Julia says:

      Yes! With our new black kitchen plans, we thought charcoal drapes on both windows might be too heavy. So now we are leaning toward hanging them in our master, which is curtain–less. They would add so much there.

      • Meggan S. says:

        I was wondering the same thing! Hope they get a great new home because they are amazing. :) I love these white ones though! We just bought some medium-gray velvety ones for our living room and I LOVE them and the warmth they add, but seeing these white ones makes me want to keep it light for the summer and put up the heavy ones in the fall/winter….hmmmm….

        LOVE the addition btw!

      • B says:

        I bet they are going to look great in the bedroom!

      • Julia says:

        We hope! If not, the family room downstairs needs drapes too.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

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