Ideas and suggestions for window treatments, slipcovers, nursery decor and bedding...and other thoughts and inspirations for your home and garden...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dining Room Drama

Dining rooms make the perfect backdrop for a dramatic window treatment...usually one of the most formal rooms of a house-it makes sense to play "dress-up." These dining room windows turned out to be just the right ones to treat with a more formal style. The clients chose a beautiful cranberry silk fabric...and wanted to pull the drapery panels back to showcase the tassel trim. I added detail with goblet style pleats that are shown attached to the drapery rings. The drapery hardware that the clients chose included an eight foot rod, carved finials, fluted brackets, and smooth wood rings all finished in antique black with gold highlights...which shone against the tan wall color and picked up the other black and gold accents in the room.

These panels were lined and interlined, giving the fabric more body and protection from the sun. The clients and I also chose to add extra length for a beautiful puddle, again adding more drama.

As my client expressed, she could use the panels to make a dress like the one Scarlett O'Hara made from drapes in Gone with the Wind... now that's dramatic!!! It was truly my pleasure working with clients as nice as this couple.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ode to a Very Interesting Lady

So there is much hype out there now about down-sizing, simplifying, cleaning out, organizing...and, I agree, there comes a time when we all just completely run out of space. It is truly so easy to accumulate things (especially if you tend to have any interest in the arts). I know only too well that after living in the same house since 1979 and raising three wonderful children, you are bound to have tons of clutter. But, if you have any life at all, why, oh why, would you or how could you, possibly find the extra time necessary to de-clutter your closets or drawers. What with ball practice, piano lessons, school, ball games, science projects, church, choir practice, meal preparation (sometimes), and work (including late night painting and sewing projects)---who has the time to clean out drawers??? Not least, not right now....especially not right now with new baby grandson...I already feel there is not enough time to spread around to my family. I have a grandmother and an aunt who have recently moved into assisted living spaces....both whom I would love to visit-but there is no time between work and responsibilities. I think I haven't visited my parents in over a month...and, then there is Allie in St. Louis (Happy Birthday Allie!!! We love You!) Now, that is a trip--a very long trip to St. Louis.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand...clutter...and, what to do about it.
I have a dear friend who helped me see through all the worry of "too much stuff." We met at her house to discuss a project, and as we carefully entered her garage (you would not have believed it!), I realized it was not just me. We literally had to weave through the tables, chairs, armoires, fabric, old clothes, get to her door-and guess what she said? "Excuse all the stuff, but I see art projects in all of this." I felt as if I had met someone with a kindred spirit of sorts. Because I could see the art projects, too....the pieces of furniture were beautiful, but had missing parts or were damaged in some way. But, she knew that the repair and, or re-do would result in something much more beautiful. It was so obvious-only artistic people could understand!! And, from that point on, I decided that I was truly artistic-maybe a little different, but artistic, none-the-less.
I still have an "almost nervous breakdown" when a client wants to come to my house-you see, right now, I live in my workshop...and I work in my home. Bobby is trying to remedy that for us...and I believe, all in good time, he will. I want to have a separate space for all my "art projects" so I can have family get-togethers in my home. That is my "dream life". But even then, please don't look in my drawers or closets-unless you, too, can understand my potential "art projects".
To me, this photo showcases a lady whose life was full and busy and interesting and symbolizes a complete life-maybe a bit messy, but interesting. And, whose life isn't a bit messy now and then...

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Perfect Complement ...The Perfect Compliment

The installation is complete for this cute breakfast room! Bobby helped me finish this project this afternoon. And, the clients are so excited!! The window treatments and accessories totally complement the decor of this room. The kitchen/breakfast room is painted a warm sagey green and is accented with black tile, appliances, and furniture.

The clients chose a tailored board mounted valance style for the windows. The valances feature black and white toile paired with black and white check. Accents of a sage green fabric cording and covered buttons add detail. We mixed the fabrics again for reversible placemats with tiny cording and reversible napkins. To complete the breakfast room, I made chair cushions with double knot ties of black and white check and accented the covers with the sage green cording.

The photos of the clients' kitchen/breakfast room showcase the existing decor. I think the clients' choice of fabrics and window treatment style add to their room's classic look. And, the window treatments seem to have been there always. To me, this is the perfect "compliment".

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vintage Cupboard Re-Make

I love vintage furniture...and could not resist this piece with the hammered strap hinges. I purchased this bottom kitchen cabinet and enlisted Bobby to attach the upper portion with cubbies to add height. A distressed mustard finish with black flecks and " Ta-Dah" ...a great cupboard for a French Country Kitchen or storage for a mudroom or office.

This cupboard is now for sale at Old South Antique Mall in Dothan, Alabama.

The Other Side of the Tracks

So before my son Brantley finished his one year music technology course in Nashville last year, he phoned home to let me know his plans for the next year. These plans included attending Troy University, which I thought would probably be a good idea. Brantley also told me that he and Jim, a friend and lead guitarist in The Park Band, would be looking for a place to rent. Well, I know all about places to rent-Bobby (my husband) has these places. Anyway, I started thinking about a way that... 1) Brantley could move out, and 2) it would not cost us a fortune.

Bobby seems to be a terrific landlord. I sort of "stay out of it" and things run smoothly. He always keeps his houses rented, and for this I am thankful. But I did know at this particular time we had this particular house that was not rented...and, it had not been rented for a few months. We were actually in the process of thinking about what we could do with this big, old was in desperate need of a re-do. But a re-do on a house this big would cost lots and lots of time, not to mention the money that anyone would need to spend, even "do-it-yourselfers" like us.

That night at supper, I shared with Bobby about the telephone call from Brantley. And I casually mentioned the big house...Bobby thought it was an ok idea, but we both agreed that Brantley and Jim probably would not go for it. We laughed at the thoughts of mentioning the old house to them...and at what we thought their reaction might be. You see, this big, grand house is not so close to the university, nor is it in the best of areas of town. But it is beautiful and big and kind of conjures up memories of watching Animal House-the living room would host the perfect Toga Party!!

Surprisingly, Brantley and Jim liked the idea! As a matter of fact, they agreed to help with the basic re-do...

which included lots of cleaning, painting, tiling, cabinet making, sanding and staining hardwood floors, wiring and installing ceiling fans, ordering and installing blinds, and mowing. The boys have moved in....and the house is not even totally finished, but it has come a long, long way.

As a matter of fact, when they moved in...the main bath (clawfoot tub) was not functional. So no problem-they showered at the neighbor's house. Isn't it amazing how young people figure out ways to work things out...I love this.

We have spent the last couple of week-ends working on the kitchen. Tonight we moved the refrigerator from the dining room to its proper place in the newly tiled kitchen. We also hung a couple of wall cabinets. Bobby has to finish the plumbing for the sink, hopefully tomorrow. I really believe the kitchen is going to be the best room in the house-if only I had taken "before" pictures. And, we have not spent a fortune...the kitchen cabinets, for example, came from a demo job at the lake (the owner thought they smelled like fish). So Bobby installed new cabinets at the lake and brought the "fishy" ones home where we cleaned and painted with a fun, faux antiqued treatment.

There is still, and will be I am sure, lots to do to bring this grand house back to its proper place...after the inside is complete, I hope Brantley will move on to the outside. The big wrap-around porch could use some help. But for now, at least, the house is in much better shape and the boys have a place to live that is affordable, even if it is "on the other side of the tracks."

Be sure to check out The Park Band...their debut album, Peace of Mind, comes out September 18...