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Eco-freak Curtains Dilemna

(11 Posts)
lljkk Wed 24-Jun-09 13:40:00

I don't like to replace anything unless the old one has worn out or is no longer fit for purpose.

I am also crud at decorating, there's no theme to DC's bedrooms, lol.

DD7 and DS5 are asking for "dinosaur" curtains. Their current curtains were 2nd hand, and I've had 5+ years use out of them already. Plus DS's don't have blackout liners, which would be handy right now in these bright evenings when I'm trying to get him to sleep. But otherwise the current curtains are fine, not worn out.

Still, I could get DS extra thick (dark) new curtains, and treat DD to new curtains as a nice thing. But it goes against my eco-principles, when they don't really need new curtains. I could revert to current curtains until DC are much older and tired of Dino motif.

Oh, and I am mean with money and HATE to spend any unnecessarily. But we can easily afford new curtains, I can't deny that.

So, how often do normal people change curtains just because they fancy a change? And if you're a fellow eco-freak / penny pincher, WWYD?

AMumInScotland Wed 24-Jun-09 14:17:01

I've never changed curtains just for the sake of it, but we moved into a larger house when DS was 4 so he got new ones then.

But I think it would be a reasonable thing to get them new ones, specially when you have a need for thicker curtains/linings anyway - and that will be good from the point of view of insulation, so you can "justify" it that way if you feel the need. Put their current ones away and go back to them when they're older, and pass on the kiddy ones to someone else at that stage. That way nothing has been wasted.

Or hand on the old ones to someone else now, and get a "new" set of secondhand ones when they outgrow the dinosaurs.

TartanKnickers Wed 24-Jun-09 14:19:32

Are the current curtains plain? If so you could get some scrap felt and cut dino motifs and stick them on.

WowOoo Wed 24-Jun-09 14:23:08

I justifed spending the money I did on nice curtains as they'll be there for a while.

If my son ever asks for new curtains will say 'no sorry, but you can choose a new duvet/cushion or picture'...

His are plain colour with blackouts, I dread to think what he would choose!

Fennel Wed 24-Jun-09 14:25:40

oh, this is my sort of dilemma!

I would get them the curtains they ask for, but I wouldn't keep getting them new ones on demand. I would like my dc to grow up into ecofreaktypes like me who tends towards old furniture and doesn't mind the scruffy look, but I think you risk putting children off if you overdo it for their clothes and belongings - a new pair of curtains isn't that unreasonable a request, once in a while.

However, I did paint one dd's room and buy her new curtains and duvet sets, at 5, pink. And a few months later, she grew out of liking pink. Sigh. The only time I ever did redecorate a bedroom to suit a dc. dd3 still likes pink but has green stripey walls, and dd2 dislikes pink but has a pink room, and no they can't swap, dd2 would not consider it.

lljkk Wed 24-Jun-09 14:44:50

OOh, scrap felt Dinos sound good but I am not very arty, I fear I'd botch it blush.
Yeah, that's the thing Fennell, how often is reasonable to let dc have new curtains/decor?

Fennel Wed 24-Jun-09 15:23:56

Maybe every 5 years for children? They do change in tastes very quickly.

You could look on ebay for 2nd hand curtains etc, better in eco-terms and I imagine there would be lots of dinosaur prints on there. And you can give or sell on the older curtains to younger children. So there are ways of changing things without buying everything new or throwing everything away.

Painting rooms is cheap and quick, I think I might try and redo the pink room this summer for dd2, but am heartened that all the dds like to paint and to help with decorating so we might do it as a Summer Holiday Project or something. (I bought blue paint for dd1 2 years ago when we painted dd2's room pink, but haven't yet painted it. lost motivation. but at least she's unlikely to grow out of blue, I suppose, it doesn't have the little-girly-princessy factor which dd2 is reacting against in pink).

WowOoo Wed 24-Jun-09 15:43:19

Every 5 years! I feel really horrible now as I intend to keep these until he's old enough to move out. shock

But they are nice enough -deep darkish red -to put in another room if he really does get sick of them. So, I'm not really a stinge bag...

Fennel Wed 24-Jun-09 16:13:53

I meant every 5 years if the child really wants it. not just for the sake of it. Am just remembering how long 5 years was as a child.

I do think with environmental issues that the odd set of new curtains for a child's bedroom if they really want it won't be a major addition to the household carbon footprint.

AMumInScotland Wed 24-Jun-09 16:20:52

I think if you go for something that is "childish" like dinosaurs, cowboys, tons of pink, etc then you will have to change it when they get to an age where that is just too socially embarassing when they have friends round to play, as I think it would be unkind not to change it then. So, by about 10 their tastes will have changed. But if it's just a pair of curtains which need changed, I don't think that's dreadful, any more than it is to buy them new toys as they get older and have different interests. Specially if you can hand them on to another family.

Fennel Wed 24-Jun-09 16:20:56

Though saying that, I have only bought one set of curtains in total for 3 dc, the pink ones for dd2, off ebay for £10. But if they asked for a change, I would.

In terms of how often normal people change curtains, I think we bought 2 sets for the living room, about 8 years ago. And moved house since and brought all the curtains. So we don't buy many.

But they have each had new duvet sets about every 3 years. As they grow out of the old themes/colours.

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