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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

FIL ~My Mustard Drapes Are Mocking Me

Remember when I first wrote about trying to fall in love with a house I hate? One of the biggest, evil thought inducing culprits was the mustard colored drapes that hang in our family room.

my house 010

RIGHT after I wrote that post, my mustard curtains started mocking me.

First came Kate who made a super cute tray ~ note the mustard colored Jonathan Adler fabric.

greek key lined lacquer tray

Next, Susie ordered up a side of mustard for her swoon worthy kitchen chairs.

Then Cassity created a beautiful bedroom mood board with enough mustard for several hundred hotdogs.

The common element that ties these three darling designs together is that the yellow used is a true mustard yellow, versus the muted Tuscan yellow of my drapes. It is perfectly paired with a lovely, modern grey. But I am going to let you in on a secret. While I like grey and wear it often, I don’t want to decorate with grey. I’ve tried and truthfully it makes me feel gray.

Now for another secret. This one is really hard. We bought our house at the height of the Phoenix real estate frenzy 7 years ago. I don’t need to tell you what has happened to the real estate market since then. So of course we are totally underwater on our house. Think 200,000 Leagues Under The Sea, drowning tsunami, underwater. I know many people, due to various circumstances, have walked away from such houses, but here we are and will stay for right now.

Underwater Houses

When you are thousands of dollars underwater on your house you really don’t want to add on a frivolous, unnecessary expense of ordering another set of custom made drapes to replace ones that are still perfectly good. (I have 20+foot ceilings in my home, so store bought drapes are not an option as they are too short.)

So I prayed for a solution.

A few days later a Restoration Hardware catalog came in the mail. It showed touches of a mustardy parchment yellow paired with cream couches.

Alt text for My Lifestyle Image

Then I checked the mail again and there was Ballard Designs showing mustard paired with a nice apple green. Hmmm.

Lastly, Pottery Barn graced my mailbox. They showed images that really got me thinking. If I paired my dreaded mustard drapes with cream couches and touches of apple green I might not hate them QUITE so much.

I thought that I could create this look on a very small decorating budget as I had brought back a charming confit pot from France last spring, and apples are pretty inexpensive.

So I moseyed on over to P.B. and spotted this pillow that happened to have liberal doses of mustard yellow, Tuscan yellow and apple green.

Lemon Embroidered Pillow Cover

I studied the pillow and it’s price tag for a good long time to see if there was ANY way it could be knocked off. It featured a design that could absolutely be recreated with fabric paint, but I really loved the richness of the heavy embroidery. I spent several years getting a degree in interior design and one of the rewards was a P.B. designer discount card. So I decided to purchase the pillow and use it as my inspiration piece. An added bonus was that the citrus somewhat coordinated with the fruit featured in the Brunschwig & Fils drapery that hangs in our adjoining kitchen.

birthday 041 

This post is already too long, so I’ll show you the changes I’ve made to the room on Friday. Until then, let’s see what you’ve been working on.




jeanette from everton terrace said...

You know mustard is THE color for fall :)
I painted a support beam on my back porch a bright John Deer Yellow and I love it.
Can't wait to see your reveal!

April said...

ooooh! I'm so excited to see what you've DONE! :)
We had a house with walls painted that "mustard" color of your drapes. I loved red(more maroon than red, I guess)paired with a great dark cornflower(?) blue and light green in there. It was a floral I used for drapes, and SO HOMEY. But you're not cottage style. :)
Update us soon please!!!!!! hugs,

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

I can't wait to see what you will make!! I know you will make this magical! :):):):):):):):):):):)

Gail said...

Love your inspiration pieces and I can't wait until Friday to see the reveal!

Thanks for hosting and enjoy your day,

Melissa said...

Hi Laura- loved coming over here-

I totally understand the situation you are in!

You have found a solution I think!! Greens will work beautifully and you are not going to break the bank....

thank the lord for catalogues & blog inspiration!!

Melissa- Miss Sew & So

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Well, you've got lots of inspiration to work off of, Laura! I can't wait to see what you've done!

The Star Gal said...

Can't wait to see what you come up with. I, too, hate my living room drapes, but I paid $1,800.00 to have them custom designed back in the early 90's and can't imagine replacing them. The color is kinda taupe-y and doesnt go with my current decor at all.

The window is so large the drapes look like they are hiding a stage.

Gloria in Virginia

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I am so glad you decided to keep the drapes...I didn't want to differ with you, but I thought they were kinda nice!! I bet it is all going to come together. We should have an upside down party for all our upside down houses!!

Lisa said...

Looks like you've reached a great compromise! Can't wait to see the finished room!

Amanda said...

You have plenty of ideas and inspiration to really make the most of the drapes, have you considered adding some creamy ruffles to the bottom of the drapes, might break it up a little, looking forward to seeing what you've done!

Hollace said...

The pillow is so luscious I would want to frame it beside the curtains.

martinealison said...

J'ai hâte de voir l'évolution des évènements...
En attendant j'ai beaucoup aimé le coussin jaune de Toscane.
Gros bisous

Sandy said...


I am using a creamy white, apple green, and bright mustard at the farmhouse! I am sure your changes will look fantastic!

Terri said...

I am very intrigued by this post! I cannot wait for the end result. I am so busy with my doctorate that I have ignored blogging land way too long. I have missed you!

Lynn said...

Hi Laura,
Can you please email me your want list for the fall swap? I have tried to send you emails. I have sent one every day since Sunday. I do not why they are not going in your mailbox unless they are going to the spam mail. So, please just email me at and let me know what items you would like for the fall swap. Thank you so much and I am so sorry that my emails are not getting to you.

Privet and Holly said...

I just loved
following your
train of thought.
Know the big reveal
will be wonderful!
xx Suzanne

Stephanie @ henry happened said...

Love that yellow/mustard color! Can't wait to see!

Thanks for stopping by with an invitation to link up!! :)

Debbie said...

What? You're going to leave us hanging? I love the inspiration piece and cant's wait to see how you use it with your "unlovable" drapes.

I also love this party theme and hope you keep it going for a while. Why? Because I'm working on some projects specifically inspired by your charge to fall back in love with my house, and I'm not ready with them.

Of course, I could do a "whet your appetite" post and leave folks hanging, but no...

Who would be a big enough tease to do that? Hmmm? Anyone come to mind?

Really Rainey said...

I almost drooled when I saw that pillow on your post! I LOVE it! I also wanted to stop by and invite you to enter my hammock giveaway.... our weather is going to be perfect soon for a hammock in the yard! Great post...Take care...

Please stop by and enter my Goodbye to Summer~Hammock Giveaway!

Shannah @ Just Us Four said...

I think that the mustard color can really be modernized and used with other colors besides gray. I love the idea of the green!