Decorating: Covering What You Can’t Fix

My living room window has been a source of aggravation the entire time I’ve lived in this apartment. It is ugly, stained, and you can’t get it clean no matter how hard you scrub.

I have begged them to replace the window. Even said I would pay to have for it myself if they would take it out of my rent. Again and again I ask and every time I get my hopes up and they dash them.

So over the weekend I said “enough is enough.” I’m covering the damned thing. At least the ugliest part.

And during the day I raise the shade so my house plants can get light.

This piece of furniture, where I store my craft supplies, was in my bedroom. I decided it was just about the right size to do the job.

So I dragged it into the living room and positioned it in front of the side of the window that is the most wretched looking. You can see my recliner there on the right side. That’s my favorite sitting spot (as well as Charlie’s) so unfortunately I look at that window much of the day.

Who in their right mind wants to block out natural light? Well, when you have to look at your natural light through a stained messed up window, it isn’t as pleasant. All it did was upset me.

So if I can’t get them to do it, I just decided I’d cover the window and pretend the ugly part isn’t there. That’s worked for me many times over the years.

Particularly when you’re renting and don’t have a lot of say in the matter, you have to find a way to love where you live. And getting creative is the key.

And of course on the plus side is the fact that it gives me another surface to create vignettes, which you all know I love to do.

I started digging around in the closet where everything seems to land. I got my cow out of the plastic bin under the bed. He/she had not seen the light of day in quite some time.

I wanted a backdrop to my vignette, so out came my “Everything For The Garden” wall hanging with the vintage image of a garden scene. I think using a backdrop makes the vignette look complete and cohesive.

I gathered all that I’d chosen and put them into this vintage style red steel basket. Which I thought would look nice with my red and cream curtains on either side of the window.

By the way I have the same curtains on all three windows of this size. In a small apartment I think that is a wise thing to do so things don’t look chaotic.

I’ve been asked more than a few times about these curtains, so here is the listing on

They are called: DriftAway Freda Jacobean Floral Linen Blend Lined Thermal Insulated Room Darkening Blackout Grommet Window Curtains 2 Layers 2 Panels Each 50 Inch by 84 Inch Red Beige. They sell them $38.99 for 2 panels. They also come in navy and taupe.

I always love putting glass objects in front of windows because of the way light shines through them.

And I collect vintage bottles. This is the entirety of my small collection. I’ve looked for the blue ones but they are hard to find.

The blue ones you see here I ordered from an Etsy seller months ago.

I don’t recall where I got the old door knob. But I love the aged patina. It brings out the silver of the galvanized doors.

Some may think it odd that I placed a tall piece of furniture in front of my living room window, but what does it matter? It’s me who has to be content with my apartment. So I don’t care what anyone else thinks, thank you very much.

Which is why, I suppose, my preferred hair style is a shaved head. Every woman tells me: “Oh, I couldn’t do that.” Sure you can. You just have to not care what others think of it.

So I say if you can’t fix something, then find a way to cover it. I’ve done this to a vast array of “uglies” over the years.

It works and it’s free. What’s not to love?


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  1. Love your whole apartment including your outdoor space. Do you happen to remember where you got it?

  2. I LOVE what you’ve done. I especially love the vignette in the wire basket… quite lovely. I also like the blue bottles but I don’t collect them… I’m just drawn to that specific color.

  3. If you live on a ground floor apartment you might try on the outside of the window using a lion away, it takes off deposits on Windows and get some really clean. You just spray it on scrub with a sponge and let it sit and do its work. If there are shrubs below the window you will want to hose them down really well first. Then after the lime away has sat for a few minutes hose it off really well and do more treatments if you need to. If you’re on the second floor please disregard and great way to camouflage your window!

  4. Love your post! Look for them everyday. Would you be allowed to contact a window company yourself? At the very least get an estimate. If it was reasonable , They most likely would have that new baby installed lickity split before the landlords even saw what was happening🤷🏻‍♀️

  5. Your solution works perfectly & looks great. Hair is a personal preference. Shaving my head is.not something I would not want for me. The one thing I will mention is to be sure to wear some sunscreen when you are outside or a cap or hat of some sort for protection. The top of your head when shaved is going to be very vulnerable & needs to be protected.

  6. That looks great! I’m a vignette girl too and am constantly changing mine around. I especially like to do them for different seasons and holidays and am always anticipating what to do next. I do have a request regarding this post, that I have also made to another blogger, could you pull back with your photos, please? Close ups are nice but it seems like you’re looking through a keyhole and it leaves me wanting to see so much more to get the full effect of what you’ve done. Your place is great and I can never get enough!

    1. I can do that. I was using the zoom lens, which is my preferred lens to use particularly in the garden. I can use a regular lens however as well.

  7. I love it, Brenda! We have a window at the lakehouse that used to be on the outside of the house. When a garage was later added, the window opened to the inside of the garage. Over the years someone painted the glass black. I later covered it with a shade like you did, but soon I’m adding a faux brick wall right over the whole darn window and wall. I’m a big believer in covering up what you can’t stand…

  8. Once again you’ve done a great job. That little hutch is perfect. I would love that style for my tv. I don’t want to mount it on the wall. But I can’t do it myself anyway nor do I have someone else it for me so it sits on something. As always your vignette is lovely. Love the mix of colors. You are adorable w your hair shaved. And I love your attitude!

  9. I happen to like tall furniture in front of windows – I think it looks nice. I can’t tell that the window is “yucky” in your photos, but I guess that’s because of the shades you have pulled down. We still have that ugly faux brown “wood” trim around the insides of our windows and I hate it, but I live with it until we can one day have someone pull it all out and install real wood trim that would be painted white. As you know, we’re not DIYers.

    I just got a couple of blue glass bottles from one of my favorite vintage stores that were only $3/each. However, they’re not light blue like yours. They’re the dark blue ones.

    No offense to you at all ~ everyone has to do what they think is best for them ~ but no, I couldn’t shave my head. Or rather, I wouldn’t shave my head. It’s just my personal opinion, but I love hair, especially on women. I’ve had a couple of friends and a relative with breast cancer that when they started to lose their hair, they shaved their heads and they said it was devastating. I would feel the same way. My hair is part of my identity and feels feminine to me.

  10. I just moved to an apartment and am in the process of putting up curtain rods and then white privacy sheers on my living room wall. I will then open the existing window blinds and let whatever light shine through do so without worrying about the privacy factor. I accidentally opened one set of blinds, had to go out to pick up a prescription at night and was horrified that the whole world could see through the blinds all the way into the kitchen! I closed them the second I was in the apartment!! I have a pretty view out my patio so covering those windows won’t be an issue. Working stuff out is a real process.

  11. Looks great Brenda. Have you ever thought of moving. Seems like a lot of things wrong there including the neighbors you dont like. Lifes to short to be aggregated over so many things. Especially about the place we live.

  12. Good idea, Brenda!! Guess we all do what we can to improve things when we rent…which takes some doing seems to me and you certainly have improved your place!! Often if there is really nothing to look out at, seems better to keep the blinds closed. Our blinds do let in some light…and then I have placed some fancy day drapes over the most of it (SUPER tall…so top foot or so is not covered). It helps some…however, when we are eating dinner, to have some other tenant bring their dog beside our window to poop, is most unappetizing…I wish the landlords would designate another place…plenty of unused land right next to the parking lot but closeby. Sigh…people… So as a result, we keep those shades and windows closed for the most part. I would move in a moment, but it is the safest place in the area that we know about so for Hubby’s sake here we are…

  13. The cabinet looks great in front of the window, and of course you always do a wonderful job with the vignette! I like what you did with the door knob! I have gotten so many good decorating ideas from you !

  14. I totally agree with you on all points! Having a home that brings peace and calmness is priceless! I rather a “home” than a showroom!! Great job Brenda…..You Rock!

  15. Brenda,
    you have an intuitive sense of home and style. I love the cabinet where it is; the vignette on top is very attractive. I love those green bottles in your display! Are those antique? And of course, your red curtains are delightful! I have commented on them before; I love your choice of red in this Jacobean patterns.
    Be careful moving furniture, your followers worry about you!
    Have you ever helped your daughter stage her flip homes? I think you would be a natural!
    Be safe

    1. No, I found the green bottle on clearance at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. They were just a few dollars a piece. So no, not antique. Kendra has a staging company she has been using. The staging company actually brings in the furniture, so that is less work for her.

  16. “Natural light” is fine when the sun is not beating in through your windows and turning the inside of your house into an oven, so that your AC unit has to run for hours on end and the house doesn’t cool down past 74 until 7:30 p.m. and you don’t have curious people walking past your house all the time, early morning, day, evening, night. No thanks! I also don’t want people staring into my house through bare windows or sheer curtains that do little to block the view and nothing to block heat from a burning sun facing your living room and bedrooms for 7 hours a day this time of year, or that with lights turned on at night you can see everything right through them on the inside of the house. I like my privacy – and cutting down on my electric bills in the summer and my heating bills in the winter. Like my decor, I rotate my curtains to suit the seasons. Privacy is first, “natural” light is a far second. If I need more light, I’ll turn on a lamp.

    1. I like the way you look at this! Yes, helping to keep the heat out was another reason. These windows are very thin and keep little out.

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