Thursday, April 30, 2015

One Room Challenge, Week Five: better stop procrastinating

The One Room Challenge is in Week Five already!

Time flies when you don't even start till Week Three.  (See Week Three and Four.)

This week I did three things.

Thing one: paint the bombe side tables from black to Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy.

Thing two: yarn-bomb George the longhorn steer.  George has been through a few moves, and cardboard is not the most sturdy of materials.  I had to get very creative with a stapler, some shims and tape.  I feel that George could probably use one more stripe of color but I am afraid to disassemble him.

Thing three: I hung the curtains.  There is still a bit of work left to be done on that project.

I still need to make pillows.  This entails using my sewing machine for the first time.  I think I can, I think I can....

See all the other linking participants here

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Navy accent tables

I bought two navy accent tables from Target for the either end of the sofa in the living room.

As much as I love the table--navy and brass, yes!--they are too big for the spot they are in.  I think I am going to have to give up on finding skinny end tables and just buy some floor lamps.

I really like these tables, though, and don't want to return them.  The only other place I can think of to put them is in the guest bedroom.  (This could impact the curtain decision!)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Curtains for the guest bedroom

We have a fourth bedroom downstairs. It currently serves as a guest bedroom.  As you might guess from the below pictures, I haven't gotten around to decorating it much.  

The horse painting will stay.  I have a million curtains out in the garage, there has to be at least one pair that will look good with the painting.  

Here are all of my options:

The guest room is on the dark side, so I'm leaning towards lighter curtains.  I loved when I had the painting in the guest room in the old house with the dark navy curtains, but that room was painted white and had the Nate Berkus bedding to lighten it up, but here the room is darker and the Nate Berkus bedding is being used in my master bedroom at the moment.  (Sometimes I kick myself that I didn't buy that Nate Berkus bedding in the orange color too, even though I had nowhere to put it.) 

Side tangent: I'm also thinking of trying to sell those white lamps on craigslist.  They need 18 inch shades, which I can't find for less than $80 per shade. I've looked for two years for lampshades for those lamps.  I could buy two lamps with lamp shades from Target for cheaper than replacing the shades. 

Your curtain vote, please.  The orange trellis?  The green bleeding eyeballs?  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

One Room Challenge, Week 4: what to do with these windows

The One Room Challenge continues, and I am working like crazy to catch up.  (You can see last week's entrance into the challenge here.)

Today I have a moodboard and a design dilemma.  The moodboard for my master bedroom centers around a 10x13 rug I found on Craigslist for super cheap.  Nearly everything else is stuff I already own and am repainting/repurposing.

The floral pillow in the board is a Pottery Barn print from years ago.  I have a shower curtain in that print and my plan is to attempt to use my sewing machine for the first time to make Euro shams.  It will be an adventure.

I own two small bombe chests that I will paint blue for night stands; the round mirror and the curtains are in my garage.  The longhorn cow may get yarn-bombed, we'll see how it goes.  I'd like to get some monogrammed shams if time permits.

And now for the design dilemma.  I have a large fan window and a corner window in my master bedroom, like so:

 Dilemma: how to hang the curtains? The giant fan window makes the room a sauna in the late afternoons and needs a cover.

Option 1:  hang curtains at 84 inches on both sets of windows.  This means the curtains are hung right above the corner windows, and on the middle between the fan window and the window below it.  In this scenario the fan window gets a fan pleated accordian paper shade.

It is hard to find pictures of curtains below a fan window, but it would look something like this, with longer curtains:

image via northern nesting

Option 2: hang curtains unequally.  One set above the fan window, which is 120 inches from the floor, so I'd probably have to lengthen a set of curtains by adding a contrasting fabric at the bottom.  The corner window would have curtains hung at about 100 inches, because that is the height of the curtains I have.

It would look something like this:

image via
Your thoughts on the window situation, please.

Check out all the other linking participants here

Friday, April 17, 2015

One Room Challenge: playing catchup

The One Room Challenge started three weeks ago.  In the past three weeks I gave myself a concussion, packed up  our house, moved (all while the Mister was traveling), unpacked, and sprained my neck/back again (one head injury is not enough for this girl, I like a challenge).  I decided that I had enough on my plate and I'd catch the ORC next time around.

But then yesterday this rug fell in my lap and I decided, well, why not?

I'm going to be decorating my new bedroom.  It currently looks like this:

The walls are an inoffensive beige that I'm not excited about but am not allowed to paint (actually, they were just painted from heinously offensive beige to inoffensive beige, so they are actually a step up), so I will work around them.  Almost all the furniture and lamps are staying.  This project is really just a zhushing of fabrics and textiles.

Now I just need the Mister to get home and get this giant heavy 10x13 rug out of the trunk of my car so I can get started.

See the other (more timely posting) linking participants here.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

windows of defeat

I've been trying very hard to not buy new stuff for this house.  Despite two years of decluttering, I still have a ton of decor (curtains and art, we are drowning in them), and my brilliant plan was to simply toss up what I already own, perhaps in new and different combinations.  So far the only things I have bought for this house have been three rugs (needed and not already owned), eight curtain rods (had to leave all our rods at the old house as per the sale contract), and new toilet brushes.

Soon after moving in we installed curtain rods in the family room and eat-in area. My plan was to put some of our already owned curtains up, depending on what worked with the rug.  Irksomely, this is not working out according to plan.

As you can see in the below picture, up in the corner is a motion sensor wired to the house alarm.  This motion sensor foiled any attempt at hanging 96 inch curtains, as anything run in front of it would cause false alarms.  (Note: every curtain we own is 96 inches. There is much hemming in my future.) Also, the windows themselves are 66 inches, also precluding hanging 63 inch curtains. (Note the floods on the right.)

Also irritating: our table is too big for the space.  It is shoved in there anyways, but you can see in the above picture that the chair is only about 10 inches from the wall.  Any child attempting to squeeze behind the chair drags the curtains with them.  Any adult attempting to sit on this side of the table inevitably sits on/drags the curtains.  If I can find a smaller cheap table and chairs on craigslist I am open to a smaller table, but lets assume for now that this is the table we are stuck with.

Turning to the other side of the room, the windows on that side also have issues.

That little red cushion chair is where the kids sit when reading or building Legos.  It also inevitably pulls on the curtain, regardless of how long/short the curtain is.

I hate to admit defeat, especially when I have spent a lot of money buying and installing non-returnable curtain rods (I no longer have the packaging), but I fear that these windows need a non-drape treatment.

How does one make a corner pelmet?  Are valances too 1985?

Your thoughts are welcome.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Persian rugs: my heriz obsession

Two years ago, when we bought our last house, I started searching craigslist for a persian rug.  I didn't have a particular style in mind, only that I wanted something pretty with bright colors.  I saw this rug listed for $1500.  (Excuse the blurry, overexposed shot; I saved the pic from craigslist.)

This is a heriz style persian rug, and this rug started my obsession with this style.  I am no expert on persian rugs, but the things I like about the heriz style is that they usually have a pointed medallion in the middle and intricately patterned details in the field and borders.  They are also usually made with bright, vibrant colors.  Even the vintage, faded rugs that I've seen are still very bright and colorful.

Sadly, $1500 was way more than I wanted to spend on a rug, and it is also a 6x9 size, which was not useful for me in any room in my house.  Over the next two years I would see that rug on CL constantly. After a while it disappeared off CL and I figured it had sold.

About six months ago, it came back on CL again, this time at $1200.  Still too much money, and still no real place for it in my house.  I wrote the seller and offered $500 anyways, noting that he had been trying to sell the rug for over a year without success, and that I would give it a happy home.  He rejected me anyways.   The ad disappeared after a while.

This week it came back on, this time for $1000.  In a tidy narrative this is where I would say "and I finally got my rug!"  But no.  I still don't have a place for a 6x9 rug, although I'm willing to layer it over another rug in my bedroom or the guest room.  But $1000 is still too much money for a rug I have no real use for.

I know that this rug is still on CL because we moved into a house with all laminate floors, including the bedrooms, and I have been shopping for four 8x11 rugs.  The average new 8x11 wool rug runs $1000+, and I need four of them, and no way in hell am I spending $4g on rugs for a rental house, so.....back to dealing with the craigslist crazies.

I did find two very cheap rugs for the kids rooms, so I was willing to spend up $1000 on a rug for the family room if I could find a heriz that I liked on craigslist, or at a rug dealer.  I spent an afternoon bargaining with a rug dealer over this amazing rug:

I could only get them to $2600 (down from $6000), and that was still too much.  (I think a hand-made rug is worth that much, I'm just not willing to spend that much at this moment in time.)

Still obsessed with the possibility of a persian, I broadened my CL search to LA and San Diego.  This morning I drove really far to get this:

It is not a real heriz, it is simply a heriz-ish style, at 1/10th the price.  It is a plush wool machine made rug with lots of pinks and blues.  YAY ME!!!

The other two (not heriz, but still persian) 8x11 rugs I found on craigslist from a little old lady, and she sold them to me at $45 a piece. There is a pink and blue one for Princess's room:

And a red one for the boys' room.  This is admittedly not the rug I would like to have in there (Peter said "there's a little too much green and brown in this rug, it doesn't really match"), but for $45 I will count it a success.

I'm still hunting a 10x13 for my bedroom.  That may take a while.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

New house #12

We found a house, 7 days before we were supposed to move out.  It is a nice house, just a few blocks away from the house that we lived in when we first moved to California.  We are within walking distance of nearly all the friends we hang out with on a regular basis.  

I took pictures of the inside before we moved in, but apparently that SD card was packed.  Where it is now is anyone's guess.  I have a few grainy iphone pics.

Pretty new laminate floors were installed throughout the house right before we moved in.  From the front door there is a formal living and dining room, and behind the wall to the left in the picture, there is the kitchen, a family room and a small eat-in area.

There are a few design challenges.  I have  no idea what to do with this giant fan window in the master bedroom. The house is full of awkward windows that defy normal window treatments for the entire room.

The house is exceptionally....beige.  I am not allowed to paint over it, although the landlord agreed that I could paint the heinously ugly dark mustard beige bedrooms to the lighter/somewhat less offensive beige as the rest of the house.

We are unpacked, although "unpacked" does not mean "things have been put away."

More to come, if I can find a camera and some sd cards.