Posts from the ‘Window treatments’ Category

2011 Resolutions

Is it really possible to leave all that we dislike in 2010 and bring only good things forward? Maybe not. But the point of New Years’ resolutions is to better ourselves over time, right? I like to think that I have the willpower to change bad habits as they occur, but the truth is I like to binge on the unhealthy and inconvenient until I can take no more. So here are my New Years’ resolutions for 2011:

1. Work out more. I am happy to say that I am 4 for 4 in the gym this week. (May be 4 for 5 due to this lazy snow day). You may be thinking “Day 5? Today is January 7th, where is she getting ‘Day 5’ from??” Obviously weekends don’t count when it comes to diet and exercise. This couch sure is looking cozy right about now.

2. Decorate more. As I went through old notebooks, cleaning up my workspace, I came across home plans that I drew up months ago. Some I accomplished halfway and some never got further than the pen hitting the paper.

Among such were dining room drapes. It is true that I bought, hung, and steamed the drapes. However, that is as far as I got. The drapes are still loosely hanging with no drawback. (I taped them back with electrical tape for the photo below. Shame on me). Instead of presenting the dining room like a pretty little package, it resembles the balcony of a beach house with wet, sandy towels drying to a stiff uncomfortableness (only more silky and soft than stiff and uncomfortable). It is also asymmetrical. I’m not encouraging perfect symmetry in every aspect of a home, but the entrance to our dining room is too wide to have only one side dressed.

Also on the list was the dining room bench. With the haste stapling and the lack of foam and batting, I had planned on reupholstering the bench while also adding sides and a back. This will ideally give a more sophisticated-lounge-like feel rather than a playground-picnic-like feel.

Last in the notebook of procrastination was the Master Suite Makeover. I started on my mom’s bedroom a few months back and progressed pretty far during the 2 weekends I spent on it. But with the holidays and my own home plans, the master makeover fell to the back burner. This morning I came across the original plans I had for the room, and while I’ve got to say that the floorplan itself is close to complete, isn’t it really all about accessorizing?

The footboard doesn’t yet exist. The 2 chairs in the ‘seating area’ have become 1 chaise, table yet to be found. The TV is on the opposite wall to the left of the bed. Other than that, this is spot on. But the accessories! The tables need lamps, the seating area needs an area rug, the walls need art, the windows need drapes, etc, etc!

This photo is pre-paint.

3. Take and post photos regardless of progress. In the past, I have hesitated to take photos in the before and during stages. While this may seem shallow and vein, it is really mere forgetfulness (with maybe a dash of vanity). I would clean from top to bottom in preparation of a photo shoot, and regret it later when I am explaining only in words how long and hard I worked on any given project. For example, in 2010 I would have never posted these cringe-worthy photos of our office during laundry day (laundry week).

Stage 1: Wait until clean laundry builds up on the floor and the closets are empty.

Stage 2: Sort laundry into his and mine, foldables and hangables.

Stage 3: Rejoice in clean room

 

4. Be more efficient at doing laundry.

 

I hope everyone’s 2011 is off to a great start and I look forward to jumping back into inexpensive elegance now that the hectic holidays are over.

The VIP lounge gets a little more VI

Let there be light! My dad finally made his way over to fix our dining room light. We have ceiling fans in every room, only 1 has a light. It’s not necessary in the larger rooms because we have lamps but the dining room could not be used without a ceiling light. I tried to install it myself, and was about 95% accurate…just forgot to strip the wire. Now I know.

Since the light installation, I feel as if our condo has grown by about 70 sq. ft. We have a room in which we can dine! Who’d have thought? I was so excited that I had to hang the corbels right away. I came up with a layout and measured accordingly. The installation was very easy. Hammer and hang. I also found a 12 pack of candles..with votives..earlier in the day for $6. Could it be any more perfect?

There are 8 on the back wall and 2 on each side wall.

Still looking for a pullback for the drapes.

Window treatments are such a treat!

I finally finally found affordable drapes!! And what a difference they make in a room. Boscov’s seemingly ongoing curtain sale finally came through for me and my condo. I remember months ago stopping into Boscov’s after seeing a commercial for their amazing kitchen sale. While I drooled over knives and coffee makers, my friend was busy looking at drapes. It was before we moved and I didn’t have measurements nor have I ever had to purchase drapes for previous apartments, so I didn’t give it a second thought. It only took me 5 months to remember how good their prices were. It’s not custom made and you do have to dig through their “self-serve” section to find anything longer than 63″ but it’s oh so worth it. Drapery rods and other accessories are best bought at TJ Maxx for $7-$14, but for the actual curtains…Boscov’s is the place to go.

I started out with Ikea tulle in our bedroom..2 packs for $5 each. But it added no texture, no dimension, no color…it was just boring. Instead of wasting the $10, I added Liquid Gold brand drapes ($10 each) in gold to either side.

My bedroom now feels like a 4-star hotel room (it will get to 5 once we dress the walls up a bit), which is exactly the look I was going for. No dressers or armoires taking up space. All clothes are kept neatly in the closet or in the footboard drawers.These drapes have not yet been steamed 😮

I had no idea my windows were even this large! The living room drapes give off the illusion of a beautiful picture window. I’m still shopping for pillows and also a throw blanket to break up the bland color of our most comfortable couch. The 5 panels above were all $9.99 each. The blue ones are reversible and come in a variety of colors. The ones above are light blue and teal blue, but they also had more contrasting pairs such as cream and amethyst. (Again, these haven’t been steamed).

What a difference!The only undressed windows that remain are in the office, and the color choice for that is proving to be a difficult one.

 

On an unrelated note, my corbels came in the mail Monday for the dining room! I hope to have them painted and hung by this Monday…I’ll remember to take step by step photos.

VIP spot

While writing the last post, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t posted the dining room with all its updates yet. My corbels haven’t arrived yet and I’m still sifting through old photos for the right and left walls. As such, the walls are still bare, but look at what a difference table dressings and accent pillows make!

I experimented with drapes over the entrance, both in my head and dining room. I got funny looks when I told people my idea, and therefore second, third, even fourth-guessed myself. But I stuck with my gut and headed over to Boscov’s (the only affordable drapery!). My 9 foot ceilings require 9 foot drapes that will be seen from both sides. Luckily, I came across 18 foot scarves ($20) that I considered hanging as you would a scarf over a window. But my attempts to get it stay wrapped failed and the scarf pretty much fell over the rod like this, with 9 feet on each side.

This look is 2 different scarves, 1 in bronze-ish red, and 1 in gold. I planned on leaving it only to 1 side like this as to not overwhelm the room. But I love it so much I am going to repeat the look on the other side. I will also install metal drawbacks instead of the current tasseled string so that it doesn’t taper quite as much toward the bottom.

I’ve complained about the price of pillows before, so I usually buy anything that are priced reasonably and fall into the right color scheme (which is hard to come by). The floral one is actually a seat cushion that I cut the tie strings off of. They were $1 at Walmart! I wish I had use for more of them! The rosy textured pillows came in a pair for $12 from Home Goods. The taupe pillow that doesn’t photograph well is from Ikea and was sold as just the pillow case, $7. The pillow form was sold seperately for $2. I’m always shopping for more pillows but I’m happy with the progress so far.

The red place mats are also from Walmart, $4 for the set. I went a little fancy on the napkins after receiving a promotional email from Pier 1. I’m a big believer in individuality. I use wine markers even if there are only 2 of us and 1 of us is drinking from a margarita glass. So of course I’m going to let everyone get their own special napkin ring!

The room is undoubtably premature for dinner parties. The table is deserving of a pretty centerpiece other than this top of the line martini shaker.

But for now, it’s nice to look at on my way out the door.

Inspired

Just as I predicted, whilst decorating my mom’s bedroom, inspiration struck for my own home.

The dining room has come a long way since I last posted photos a month ago. For one, the paint is finished. I also purchased place settings to dress the table nicely, as well as pillows to dress the bench. I just bought window scarves today to try out over the entrance…fingers crossed on that one.

While watching Design on a Dime on HGTV, I saw a beautiful piece of art made from bookends.

The designer turned the bookends upside down and placed tea-light candles on each one. I LOVED this idea, but couldn’t find cheap bookends anywhere! I tried Amazon, Overstock, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, etc etc…all at least $12 each for something this regal looking. I temporarily gave up until recently, while browsing Etsy, I discovered corbels. I had no idea what these were, only saw the picture, the $3 price tag, and knew I had struck gold. The ones I found were very small and the seller didn’t have enough available, so I googled “corbels” and bought 12 from www.crown-molding.com. Total: $60 (plus $20 shipping). I plan on painting them gold before hanging them as shown on the back wall of my dining room.

Now for the real inspiration: A few weeks ago while at my dad’s house, I came across an old spatula box (apparently spatulas came in boxes?) in his garage full of photos from his youth. I took it, deciding to make a few copies and creative wall art for my place. Unfortunately, they’ve sat in a cabinet above my fridge since then.

This weekend while continuing my mom’s bedroom makeover, I happened upon a wedding photo of my grandmother (who passed before I was born). News to me: she had a double wedding and the brides wore identical dresses, unheard of these days. I also took this (with permission), realizing that my vintage photo collection is growing and therefore my opportunities expanding.

I’ve been brainstorming all day about how to display the photos. Our condo is very modern, and I don’t want them to be placed on a shelf out of sight. These deserve attention, they demand it! The dining room popped out as the location. It has broken free from the rest of the condo decor and would host these photos beautifully. Still… how to hang them? On a shelf? The wall? Mismatched frames? Scattered?  I’m 24, I don’t want it looking like my grandmother’s basement.

It was finally suggested to me that I hang the old photos on one wall, all enlarged in a sepia tone, and on the opposite wall hang recent pictures of my friends and I in a pop-art print (sandwiching the corbel wall). I instantly fell in love and am already shopping for frames…gold tone.
I am going to keep a symmetrical pattern and hang my favorite photos in neat columns as shown above. Hopefully I make it to a photo lab this week for copies (have to protect the originals)!

Master Suite Makeover Part 2

I completed most of the groundwork for my mom’s bedroom this past weekend. Headboard, check. Rearrange furniture, check. Acquire seating at a bargain price, check. Paint, che…let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But the colors are picked out and purchased.

The border came down with no problem at all (not photographed yet). The right wall behind the bed will be the taupe color shown in the photos above and below. The rest of the room will be a darker shade of purple.

The colors look a little skewed here, but the headboard and new wall color on the left are almost identical shades of purple. To dress the bed up a little, I plan on replacing the current matching bed skirt with a purple tailored skirt. Some bigger, more prominent pillows in coordinating colors will also be added. In place of the purple afghan will be a darker, plusher throw blanket to add contrast. (The left nightstand is spaced unevenly from the bed because of a vent, but I’ve got a plan for that).

These photos were taken prematurely. The room is still very much “in progress,” but after only a few hours spent over 1 weekend, the heavy labor is done. Only one wall remains to be painted, artwork to be found, lamps be purchased, and new window treatments to be hung. “Final touches,” as I call them.

 

While I originally planned on 2 accent chairs near the window, this chaise jumped out at me at Home Goods. Originally priced at $300 (which is already 20%-60% lower than department and specialty stores), it was marked down to $200. The color will look beautiful in the bedroom and along with a storage chest at the foot of the bed, will provide a perfect seating area for my mom and her sisters.

I’m still thinking about this armoire. The only thing I know is that it is not staying there. With the addition of the chaise that will go under either window, the armoire will be returned to caddy corner or placed against the right wall. Ideally though, I would love for the chaise to go under the right window. If only I could find a new place for that cumbersome armoire.

Stay tuned for a Headboard How-to as well as the “After” photos of the Master Bedroom Makeover.

Master Suite Makeover Part 1

I’ve spent the past 5 months decorating my home and while it’s still needs some finishing touches, I’m taking a break to makeover my mom’s master bedroom. The change of scenery will  likely give me a push of inspiration. Isn’t it always when shopping for others that we find the best things for ourselves?

I don’t want to mislead…my mom isn’t exactly begging me to do this for her. In fact, I’ve been trying to convince her to let me do this for years. The combination of my own home as an example and her last daughter leaving for college was what finally persuaded her that it was time for a change. But it’s not going to be easy.

My mom and I have very different styles. She’s country, I’m rock & roll. She’s traditional, I’m modern. She doesn’t mind clutter as long as it’s sanitized, I prefer storage to be unseen. Decorating for someone else is different, because I don’t want to insult someone’s style or overstep my boundaries. I was forced to step outside the box, and it was a great experience for me.

Client demands:

  • Color must stay in the purple family.
  • Bed spread stays
  • Furniture set stays
  • Carpet stays (eek!)
  • Build a Headboard

Compromises:

  • Furniture can be moved as long as the bed stays in the “large” part of the room
  • Border can (and will!) be removed
  • New lamps
  • Artwork in addition to existing children’s portraits
  • TV stand (handed down from my great grandmother) will go and TV will be wall mounted
  • New window treatments

The white table was moved in here during the living room renovation, and has never left. It doesn’t match the furniture in here at all. In it’s place will be a seating area with a smaller table in dark wood.

(Above: The top photo on the right wall is my baby picture)

 

This arrangement makes the room seem much smaller than it really is. Even though the living room was just renovated, my mom spends most of her time in the bedroom. She has 6 sisters and when they’re over (in singles or pairs), they’re in this room. By putting the bed against the right wall (where the bureau is now), the room will look longer and open up an area for hanging out and sitting other than the bed. The bureau will go where the bed is now. The mirror will be the first thing seen upon entering, another trick to visually increasing size. The armoire must stay in that corner for lack of other options, but I haven’t decided if it will remain caddy-corner yet.

Stay Tuned…

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