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Friday, September 23, 2011

Decorating Around Drapes I Hate

Do you have a big ugly decorating elephant that lives in your house? For me it’s the drapes in our family room. Long mustard drapes. Ugh. Since I have to live with the horror awhile longer I decided to try and pull the focus away from the drapes to other, prettier things in the room.

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Now, there isn’t a big reveal at the moment. I am a one woman show and these things take time.

But,  I  am making progress on the room and thought I would share what I have done so far. I found my inspiration piece in a pillow and decided I loved the apple green shades featured in it. It pairs well with the mustard. Thank goodness that this room is rightnexttothekitchen (right next to the kitchen) with all the mustard and pickle shades going on. :)

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I began by swapping out the furniture with the Ikea Ektorp pieces I had in the living room. I then found two linen pillows at Homegoods in the clearance bin. The shape and size were perfect and I loved the pleated flange.  The color however was an awful shade of murky celery. Thank goodness for Rit dye in apple green.

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Ah, much better.

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The picture below shows that the kitchen is indeed rightnext to the family room. So of course this adds in an extra element that the drapes need to relate to the valances. You can also see a decorator table with a tablecloth that I picked up from Ballard last year. The cloth went into the dye bath too.

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The table looks so much better covered in an apple green cloth. I created a vignette with things I had stored in a bin marked “Fall”.

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You might ask “Why do you have the table placed so close to the entertainment  center?” Well, like most married women I have a “blind to attractive décor” husband. While some of you have to decorate around lazy boy chairs, or perhaps are like Joni who has a  fan loving, slipper sock wearing man, I have a hubby who loves surround sound. I’d rather not look at the huge speaker and Wii equipment.

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I am still working on decorating the shelf right above the tv. In my heart of hearts I would like two smaller confit pots (in green and a lighter yellow) to go with my larger pot. They would help hide, yep, you guessed it, another surround sound speaker.

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I would love to find two reasonably priced (HA!) antique French baskets to hide my design magazines in. Until then  I did locate these two baskets for $12 at Ross. I like the element of texture that they bring into the room.

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I have covered the dog’s bed in a antique linen slipcover, but still have a small ottoman to do. Rudi needs it to climb up on the cream couch.  Sigh, the things we do for love.

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I got rid of the big hulking Tuscan monster chair that used to sit in this room.

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It has been replaced with this chair that is a much better scale for the room.

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It too needs a slipcover made from antique French linen. As you can see I’ve gotten really far on that project.

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The little table beside it adds a bit of texture too and doubles as storage. I found it at Ross for $14.00.

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So for a recap, I’ve gone from this:

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and this:

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To this and stayed under my $100 budget.

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Hmmmm, I think I need an area rug too. Budget? What budget?


Linking to:

Tabletop Tuesday


Debbie said...

Laura, you have made a HUGE difference already! My big old workaround is a sofa and set of chairs in the living room. I want to try a slip cover, but I'm waiting for my sister to perfect the skill first, and then hope she oversees my project.

That looks really wonderful so far!

Kelley said...

Whoa! That made an unbelievably huge difference! I think the room took a "load off" and it feels fresher.

I'm sooooo loving this idea of "fall in love with the house I loathe" (I tweaked your phrase a bit). It's all in the attitude!

Karena said...

Laura I love what you have done. I must use Rit dye more often and the apple green is beautiful!

Art by Karena

Do come and enter my Giveaway from the Jose Esteves Collection at Interieurs!

Linda said...

It all looks lovely, Laura!

Here at our house, I don't have much to work with - very few windows and very few house! :D We live in a tiny 3-bedroom ranch with only one small living room/dining room space. Still, I try to make it as welcoming as I can, but drapes are really non-existent at our place because with so few windows, I like to leave everything opened for sunlight. I actually like the drapes you have - I think it all looks really pretty.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend,
Love Linda

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Looks AMAZING Laura!!!! I don't like the electronics showing either... I feel your pain! LOL! :):):):):):):):):):):)

jeanette from everton terrace said...

All for under $100 - great job. I often wonder what my house would look like it every single thing wasn't done to adapt to a budget.

I never think of dye. Must remember that one :)

Love your dog inclusion!

Auntie Em said...

Your room is so pretty...and it actually looked pretty darn good before but we all need a change once in a while. I too have faded drapes and worn chairs but refuse to replace them while we are still doing renovations...that are taking forever. By then the grandkids will be older and the little nieces and nephews that love to curl up in the saggy old seats to hear a story will be off to school and not have as much time to have milk and cookies with me. BUT I do have two ugly LB chairs that DH wanted so bad and look like a nasty tobacco juice stain in our pretty green family room. (I know! Gives a person the heebie-jeebies just thinking about them, doesn't it?) but he's so proud of them and enjoys sitting in them so I turn a blind eye and let him enjoy them...for now! (Wonder if I could make slipcovers big enough for the 'monsters'? :D )
Thanks for sharing your lovely makeovers! Enjoy your weekend! :) said...


I am sitting here in awe of the transformation a few good choices can make. I love the pillows, especially the detailed one from PB that ties in with the kitchen drapery. I am astounded at the difference a shade can make as you so well demonstrated in dying the celery colored pillow to apple green. {Not sure if you ever noticed but the ENTIRE interior of the Fairfield House consisted of primitive mustard walls (unless wall papered) and sage trim, including my fireplaces. I currently have that yellow bed featured on Cassity's mood board. I want you to know that you have inspired me to finish some projects that were abandoned to tend to structural issues and I will be linking up.

Your Friend,

Sheila said...

Hi Laura. I love the new pillows and the slipcovers make a huge difference in the look. I was thinking, and this is just my opinion as you are the professional here and know what you are doing moreso than I, but I think if you painted the walls a similar shade (slightly ligher) than the drapes they would blend in more and kind of (disappear). That would also make your new lighter, brighter slipcovers and pillows pop more. This may be something you already have planned and just haven't gotten around to it yet(as painting is so labor intensive) anyway, like I said it's just a thought. Have a fabulous day.

Pat said...

You've done a great job. I wonder how many tables are hiding those surround sound components in this country? I have one too! Maybe someone needs to tell the people at Bose that the women of America do not want to look at those big ugly boxes! Could you give us a little more info on how to successfully use Rit dye? For some reason, I am scared it will come out splotchy.

April said...

It looks really really GREAT! I like that color green especially--and I second the request for a Rit how-to. The days of high school make me shudder at the thought of attempting to use it now.
Just a thought, but I have discovered that BASKETS work wonders on smallish(say, not three feet tall)speakers. . . .also,could you use your Rit magic to make some sort of trim that would tie the drapes in further with your other green touches in the room?

ImagiMeri said...

Oh, Laura, it looks ever so much lighter. I have to admit, though, I liked the way your room looked before, too! I felt very comfortable in your family room chatting with you. Your whole house is lovely, just like you!


Charm Bracelet Diva said...

I love it! From the couches to the pillows to the tables...I've always been afraid of RIT dye - perhaps it's time for me to be bold! You crack me up about the speakers, my husband loves surround sound, too, but the largest ones are hidden within the bottom of the armoire and up on the top. The other speakers are small Bose ones that are mounted up in the far corners of the room. Not ideal, but still a pretty fair solution. Love the side basket table, very PBish!


Little Leslie said...

With all that mustard and green, it's a good place to eat a hotdog. seriously, you've done a great job. It looks bright and cozy at the same time!

Miss Sandy said...


Your room looks so much lighter and brighter with the fresh changes and pops of color, perfect for your existing drapes! Have a great weekend!

Lynn said...

I love your new look! I love the fact that you have a stool to help Rudi get up on the couch! We built special steps to help our doxies get onto the bed.

Nezzy said...

Really??? Under a $100.00? Girl, you are my super decoratin' hero!!!

What a bang up job you did her, it looks marvelous!

God bless ya and have a fantastic weekend sweetie!!! :o)

Melissa said...

You have a doxie! What it's name? I have one, her name is Ruthie and she's the best dog ever!

The Boston Lady said...

Laura, I love all your ideas-on-a-budget, especially bringing in the lighter colored furniture and working with the mustard curtains. I say job well done - I have one of those surround-sound-wii men around here too! Ann

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Those pillows are great, Laura, and I love how they tie in with your kitchen window valances!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Laura, you've made some fantastic changes. I love them. The apple green is perfect with the drapes. They don't look near as bad as you think. I think they really look very pretty. Hugs, Marty

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Love the apple green and white together! looks fantastic at your home!

French said...

Cant wait to see you in a few weeks, maybe you can transform my house too!! you are a master, and I love to see M. Rudi~~~

Gail said...

I LOVE the changes you've made! I have the same problem as you do, my kitchen and family room is open to each other and every time I make a change to one room, I'm making change to the other which I'm in the process of working on right now. Curtains has been my most difficult challenge so far.

Have a wonderful weekend,

The Pennington Point said...

I love how you are so honest about how you don't like your drapes. I'm still not 100% sure why you don't just change them or take them down (or maybe just take down the valance), but I am sure you have a good reason. I do love that you are working with what you favorite kind of decorating. Great job! Lisa~

laxsupermom said...

It's looking terrific already! I'm right with you with draped fabric on a chair that needs covering, but I just haven't gotten to it yet. My problem is that the hubs thinks he's helping when he removes my partially finished projects from the living room and dumps them on my office table. Not so much. Can't wait to see what else you have in store for this room.

GARAGE SALE GAL ~ Deb's Earthly Delights said...

Hi Laura,
Looking great! My green sofa needs a coverr. Just haven't had the time to look for one. Love the new shade of green for the pillows.

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

I think there is a huge difference. The green really adds so much to the room.

Jocelyn @

Diann said...

I think all the lovely linens and their colors make all the accessories tie in beautifully! Visiting from Table top Tuesday. Have a wonderful evening!

Lisa said...

I can totally relate to being underwater. It can be very depressing. I've been dealing with it by becoming a DIYer, but it has been getting a bit spendy. I'm new to your blog and love the ideas you're coming up with to DIY AND save money.

mississippi artist said...

What a makeover already. It is amazing what you have done with so few changes!

Gail @ Faithfulness Farm said...

WOW -- great job staying in budget and what a difference already! I love apple green :)


Babs said...

Your room is looking great. Love the green and the pillow turned out great with the Rit dye. Good color. I know what you mean about speakers. At least they're making them smaller now. When I was first married, my hubby's speakers were the size of end tables. :(
Keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to seeing your next project.

Chubby N Chieque said...

OMG... what a big difference in a lil changes, right

I love the way you decor your adorable home. Love it, however, this doesn't work for a simple living in a cold and dark country.
It feels so comfortable, just chillaxing there.

TY for sharing.

Greetings from Stockholm,

Stacey said...

Wow what a difference! You have such a pretty french country look going now. I can't believe how skilled you are at doing things on a budget. Dying things enters my mind every now and then but I'm always afraid it will not work out. Yours is perfect! I love apple green - it's always such a fresh pretty color.