The Story of the Cursed Cornices!

Shaped Cornice

Today I am going to tell a story of what I call the Cursed Cornices and also admit to one of the biggest and worse mistakes I have made in the 18 years that I have been doing this.  It started out just like any other client, in fact I had completed a beautiful job for this client in her kitchen/breakfast room. I even did a post on it. Here

Inverted Box Pleat Valances

After a couple of months the client called me back to work on the main living area.  I took measurements, talked about what she would like, and picked out a fabric.  She liked the idea of cornices so I told her I could do a couple of different designs and she could choose the shape she like.

Valances before

This is the room before.  When I took measurements, I focused on the window and the window above, and missed the verticals.  I wanted to keep everything in line, and when I took the measurements I didn’t realize they had extended the verticals past the window for a stack back of the vertical blinds.  I did take the return measurement and made a notation on my notes.

Fabric sample

The client selected this fabric from RM CoCo.  The colors in it matched the fabrics in her room perfectly.  So I went home and created a few renderings.

Living Room - Scalloped Cornice with Straight Middle

She selected this style, because it had a little of both worlds, straight with some curves. Once she gave the okay I ordered the fabric.  I could not order it on-line, so I call the company and they said it had been recently discontinued, but they could source it out and get it for me.  I was relieved!

I got the fabric a couple of weeks later and finished up the cornices shortly after.  We went to install them and they had the wrong return depth on them!  I noticed this as soon as we started taking the old valances down, I looked at my notes and I had written the right number down, but we got to thinking back when we bought the wood, we bought wood for 7 cornices and a queen headboard and I had written the wrong boards down! We apologized but reassured the client that we could fix it.  Mark was my hero on this one and cut boards to extend the legs and top board and all I had to do was take apart the sides and top and redo.  I had saved the left over scraps and was able to make them look right with the return.  So we returned to install the next weekend and went to hold it up to get the height anddd they didn’t fit!!!  I hadn’t made them wide enough!!!  I just wanted to sink into the carpet and disappear!  But I once again profusely apologized and said we would fix it.  I did explain my reasoning with lining it up with the window above and said we could shorten the vertical blind track, but in the end the client decided to go with the larger cornice.

So now I had to find the fabric again.  I knew I could get it online from an outlet fabric company, but it would cost me more.  So I called RM CoCo back and asked again if they could get the fabric for me.  Yes they could! Yeah!  But it would take a few weeks.  Finally the fabric comes it but it is right before Christmas and the client has put up their tree and says to wait until after the holidays.

So last week we cut the boards and I get busy remaking the cornices.  As I was pre-lining them with interlining my pneumatic stapler slipped and this is what happened.  (if you are squeamish, look away)

Staple in thumb

It didn’t hurt so much going in, but I couldn’t pull it out on my own, so I yelled for my son to come down.  I woke him up but he finally came down and went eww, but before he pulled it out for me he took a picture and shared it on Facebook!  It really hurt coming out!  I had to lay down for a while.


It was only a 1/4″ staple, but we think it hit bone and bent so when it came out it really hurt!!!  It still hurts some and I do think I have had my tetanus shot within the last 10 years, so I will probably live! 🙂

After resting for about an hour I went back to work, but from then on they were known as the Cursed Cornices!

Finally today with all my fingers, toes crossed and many prayers, we went to install them.

Cornices in Living Room

They looked great and I let out a big sigh of relief!  They fit!

Shaped Cornice

Yeah!  So I know that a lot of people would not admit to this many things going wrong, but I feel that a lot of lessons were learned and I finally made it right, I didn’t give up and the client was very understanding.

Now on to a little of what is happening in our lives!  Hannah my middle daughter is going to Barcelona this semester to study abroad.  So here are a few pictures of the event!



Hannah's View in Barcelona

The view from her balcony of her bedroom in the apartment of her host home.

Hannah's Orientation in Barcelona

Where they held orientation!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to look at my post!

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2 Responses to “The Story of the Cursed Cornices!”

  1. Melissa Hammann Says:

    Beautiful! The persistence and attention to detail shows.

  2. Susan Kostelecky Says:

    Worth waiting for! The new treatments complement the room very well; great job!

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