When you’re a Northwesterner, you wear earthquake experience as a badge of honor. The funny thing is that all (minor) earthquake stories go the same way: “Yep,” you say, “I remember the quake of ’01! I was (fill in the blank with random activity) and suddenly the ground started shaking. I thought it was a (train, big truck, etc), but then I realized it was an earthquake!”
My mom has lived through her share of earthquakes, and is (understandably!) quite afraid of them. When I was a kid, she decreed that that my siblings and I couldn’t hang anything heavy above our beds.
If there was an earthquake in the night, how stupid would it be to get killed (or maimed or bruised or lacerated) by falling art?! In my room, I had a bulletin board bolted (yes, bolted!) above my bed with two screws that went all the way through the corkboard. There was no way I was going to be a casualty of falling art!
Tease though I may, Mom had a point, and her rule has followed me into adulthood. The first thing I do when I stay in a hotel or in a friend’s guest room is remove art from above the bed. Chris thinks I’m crazy. He’ll thank me when I save his life from a plummeting Picasso someday.
At any rate, there is no WAY I would ever decorate with something heavy over a bed. Ever.
In my home tour, I mentioned that our master bedroom has vaulted ceilings. I wanted to draw attention to the high ceilings by creating a feature wall that wouldn’t decapitate me in case of an earthquake, so I decided to make a feature wall with curtains.
Here’s a picture of what it looked like before:
Here’s what it looks like now:
Here’s how we got the look:
Chris and I hung a really long curtain rod (108+ inches) across the peak of the ceiling. I strung three 96″ curtains that corresponded with our color palette on the rod. The two gray curtains on the ends were actually the “doors” to our bedroom in the lake shack we lived in a couple of years ago. I had them in storage without a place to use them, so that part of the project cost me $0. Free is my favorite price! I’m not really sure what the piece of fabric in the center section is. I found it at Value Village, already hemmed but without a pocket for a curtain rod. After putting it through the wash, I sewed a quick pocket, and made it the center section of the curtain feature wall.
After we hung the curtain, we ran into a problem. Because we had to use such a long curtain rod, it needed a center support hook. However, the middle curtain got in the way of the center support hook, which made the curtain look wonky. (If that wasn’t a real word, it is now!) So, I snipped the tiniest of holes through the curtain so the support hook could peek through unobstructed.
Here’s what that looks like up close:
Once the hole was snipped, I screwed down the screws that hold the rod in place really tight. I don’t want that curtain rod moving even an inch in case of a quake!
When I stood back to admire our handiwork, I liked the result, but it seemed like it was missing something, so I hung a wreath I made from old sheet music last winter in the middle. Suddenly, it was just right…just like Goldilocks!
There you have it! Feature wall complete! Total time: 30 minutes (tops!) Total cost: $3.99 (Remember: I already had the gray curtains and the rod). The only thing that might (might!) fall down on me in an earthquake is the wreath, which is virtually weightless. I’m sure Mom would approve!
If you want to create your own feature wall with curtains, a couple of my favorite places to find inexpensive extra-long curtains (96″ or more) are IKEA (basic colors; very inexpensive) and Marshalls (trendier; still relatively inexpensive).
If you attempt this project, I’d love to see the results! Please share!
PS — Obviously, this post is not intended to be earthquake survival advice! 🙂 Decorate at your own risk!