Ikea Sanela Curtains for the Sunroom and SUPER-KEA Sunday



There’s a lot of unintentional alliteration in my title right there.

Uncrowded periods at Ikea are just about as elusive and valuable as at Disney World. Last year I hit upon the idea of giving Superbowl evening a try and met with great, uncrowded success. So this year we decided to go ahead and call it an annual tradition. Now we just have to be very careful not to start watching football. That picture up there explains why we do this: it’s an actual, unretouched photo of Ikea with no people in the shot. I don’t know about your Ikea, but that just doesn’t happen at ours.

But then you know what they were showing on all the TVs?



Last year we took a picture of all the kids on this crazy sofa:

I wanted to get another picture on the same couch (and then one EVERY YEAR!)….but they don’t have it anymore :(. I can’t imagine why. Anyway, this orange couch was the most obnoxious one we could find to use as a substitute:



Everyone’s hair sure did get long since last year.

Oh, hey, look what Ikea sells for $20, including the bedding:



That one looks a little….straighter than Abe’s.

Also, they sell giant fish pillows:



The primary reason for our visit, though, was to buy Sanela curtains for our sunroom. I had checked the website earlier in the day to make sure they were in stock and had been delighted to discover that they were on sale for $39.99/pair (marked down from $49.99). I had already scoured the whole internet for gray velvet curtains and determined that the Ikea ones were the best deal even at $50/pair, so this was EXTRA exciting.

Then we got to what has been, historically, the curtain section and saw this:




They’re completely rearranging the downstairs part of Ikea, and there are signs everywhere telling you to ask an associate for help if you can’t find something. Dave immediately headed off to find someone to ask, while I ventured a little farther and located the curtains right around the corner. Phew!

Turns out when you ask an associate to help you, they tell you that what you’re looking for is probably around somewhere and you should just keep looking. So, umm, I guess I already knew what to do. I could work at Ikea with no additional training required!

And so, we returned home with our haul of discounted velvet curtains (and one other major purchase that’s going in Abe’s new room, but that’s a surprise).

Our sunroom has lots of giant windows, which makes it almost always either too cold, too hot, or, if we’re lucky, merely too glare-y and bright.

When we first moved in, we ran out and bought a bunch of drop clothes and curtain rods, hung them up haphazardly, and forgot about them for months. They looked like this:

Ah! Our sunroom was so pretty back then!

Then, when we painted, we took them down, intending to do things like hem them and maybe stencil them or something in order to make them more presentable. But we never did. We left the windows bare for months and months instead.

As the rest of the sunroom came together, the style of the drop cloth curtains started to seem like less of a good fit. Also, they really didn’t do anything other than keep people from seeing into our windows. Like those people at the church behind our house:



They didn’t make it any warmer in winter or any cooler in summer, so we kept also thinking about buying some kind of fabric to line the back of them with….and the whole thing started to sound like an awful lot of trouble for not even the curtains we really wanted anyway.

Enter gray velvet. Heavy, should block all the light plus some of the heat and cold. A better fit for the direction the room’s taken lately, with the leather sofa and brass accents and Fancy Lady and all that. Gray picks up the color of the grout in the tile nicely and doesn’t compete with the other, brighter colors we have going on in there.

I’d actually noticed the Sanela curtains last time I was at Ikea and was impressed with their velvety softness. But I looked all over to make sure I couldn’t find a better deal before I committed to them. Ebaying curtains was right out, since we needed so many of them all the same. Target had some that were pretty close to the non-sale price of the Sanelas, but they weren’t quite as wide (and since we pretty much just have a wall of window instead of individual panes that each get a pair of curtains, the width counted). So Ikea won out, even before the sale. If I remember right, there also weren’t enough of the Target ones in stock on the website or at any store nearby.

Because I’m a big dummy, I did the measuring all wrong, and we wound up with nine pairs of these when we only needed five. I’m thinking of using two of the other pairs in the dining room. I’m also thinking of returning all of them and having more money. Still thinking!

Anyway, here is the sunroom with the new curtains! All closed up (which is how we keep them at night, and then we play around with them during the day depending on the weather and if the sun is shining in our eyes and whatnot):



And opened up:



I’m really happy with them. They add another layer of texture to the room without being all obtrusive or in your face about it. They ALMOST don’t need hemming, too. So close. The line between pooling fashionably and dragging messily is such a fine one.

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Ikea Sanela Curtains for the Sunroom and SUPER-KEA Sunday — 50 Comments

  1. You know, I love to explore the meanings of all IKEA products. That’s why I even wrote a blog post about it. But this one makes me a bit crazy… I know Sanela is (very rare) female name, but here in Germany we also have a margarine called Sanella and I can’t stop thinking about curtains in margarine…… Help!

    And also: The curtains look great in your room! And, how much have your kids grown in just one year?! Man!

    Have a great week!
    Love, Midsommarflicka

    • I was hoping you’d chime in about Sanela’s meaning! So funny about the margarine. My 10 year old is named Milo, which is, I hear, a very popular sports drink in…New Zealand and Australia, I think? Fortunately no one much has heard of it here!

  2. That is an amazing before & after. Love, love the space now. And IKEA with no people? That is something I’ve never seen. Usually a trip to IKEA makes me want to burst into tears. And the picture of your boys on crazy sofas every year. That is hysterical. And awesome. Loved this post!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

    • Thanks, Angela! Ikea is SO exhausting normally; it’s still a little bit exhausting even when it’s empty, but it’s WAY better.

  3. they are perfect! and i died at the “spies!” hilarious. emmy has the same bed- i bought it over a year ago when i saw it and painted it and gave it to her for her bday! 🙂 it was a steal, i agree.

    • So many windows! It was making me want to cry how much it was going to cost to do curtains for the whole thing, so sale + my mismeasuring was a lovely surprise 🙂

    • You know, you could actually set up a buffet for said party in the middle of Ikea on Superbowl Sunday; I doubt they’d even notice 😉

  4. I love these curtains and actually considered them for us, too. You are convincing me.

    And darn those spies behind you. They’re everywhere. 😉

  5. Have you considered “waistbands” for the curtains? If they need hemming, why not take 6″ to make a set of belts and you can have that hourglass shape on them. Maybe? I don’t know the real words for what I’m thinking, but maybe you do.

    • I don’t know the words, but I know what you mean :). I’m currently busy trying to convince myself that they’re actually JUST the right length, though 😉

  6. Wow that looks so nice. I have those curtains waiting to go up in the master bedroom. I even matched my bedroom paint to them. That’s how committed I am to the Sanelas :). I have to say I just love this post.IKEA is involved with pictures and all, Loved reading this. LOL at the couches in your annual tradition pictures 😉

    • Thanks, Trina….the couch was actually a hand me down from my mom. She wanted to get rid of it because her dogs kept lying on the cushions and smooshing them. Now our dogs do exactly the same thing, but I guess we’re not as picky 🙂

  7. Hey Gretchen! I am cracking up because I was in Ikea too on Sunday. I went in for curtains. I had a bit of a panic thinking they were sold out. Then I read that you are also in Atlanta. Heck I probably saw you and your family!! Glad you guys enjoyed a quiet shopping trip. Now we’re preparing for more snow. Hopefully it’s nothing like last month.

    • Ha–so funny! not only the same store, but both of us to buy curtains. We probably did see each other–although I’m guessing my boys were the loudest things in the store; we would have been hard to miss 😉 Stay warm!

  8. So, so pretty! I absolutely adore the grey!
    I would love to have you link up at Thursday STYLE tonight. The link goes live at 8 EST at LIfe in Velvet. I’m working on getting some great representation from the fabulous Atlanta Area Home/DIY Bloggers FB Group at my weekly party 🙂 I want to show off to everyone how amazing our group is! So many wonderful ideas!

  9. Looks great! Love the gray velvet curtains. And it is surreal seeing an uncrowded IKEA! I actually just ordered curtains from there online because I would rather pay the $25 shipping than haul myself there to fight the crowds. 🙂 I like your Superbowl Sunday idea!

    • Ha–definitely worth the $25! I find it’s usually not too terrible weekdays in the middle of the day, but then I have to go all by myself with all the kids, so that cancels out any benefits to low crowds 🙂

  10. Ah slap me! I can’t believe you found a time when IKEA is dead!!! I could never get Nick there on Super Bowl Sunday though. I’ll be in search of another magical day. The sunroom looks so great! Those curtains are perfect for the space and to keep the spies away obvs.

  11. Not sure if you hemmed these yet but I would wash them first. I washed mine last night and they shrunk 4″!! I have to readjust my curtain rods 🙁

    • ooh, good to know–thanks! They’re still not hemmed–I almost washed them the other week before my son’s birthday party, but didn’t get around to it. Sorry that happened to yours when you didn’t want it to–what a pain!–but I’d love it if mine did that and I didn’t need to hem them….

  12. I’m so glad I came across your post on these Sanela curtains. We have a large sunroom as well, a rectangle with windows on 3 sides plus french doors on either side of a fireplace going into the living room that I also wanted to have coverings so one can pull them across when it doubles as a guest room. We opted for aqua to give the room some color and brighten it up as the wall spaces in between windows are brick and most of the wood trim is dark mahagony. 14!! panels later they’re still in the packages though because I’ve been obsessing over which finish of curtain rods to purchase. Antique bronze fits with our older home better but I was worried it wouldn’t look right with the Sanela curtains’ brushed nickel grommets. Looking at your sunroom photo they look great with your different finish rods so I’m just going to order the rods and get them up already! Thank you for this post 🙂

  13. I know I’m super late to this post, but I came across it while searching for reviews about these curtains. Do you find that they do a good job of blocking a lot of light? I live in Southern California and keeping out the sun is a bit concern for efficiently keeping the house cool!

    • They block light really well! We still have those other windows in the triangle area by the roof, so it’s never really dark in the room, but I can tell a HUGE difference in how hot the room gets when we keep the curtains closed. The first summer we were here we just couldn’t get the house cool on really hot days (the sun hits the sunroom first in the morning and it just kind of heats the whole house up).

  14. oh…i…neeed..these.. curtains!!
    I wonder if they’re still there!? ! and on sale! lol
    thanks for.the info about thickness. looking to block the sun out! (for now. until.the dark, depressing winter comes and I am smooshed against the window begging for sun)

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