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Jan 31, 2012

No-sew hanging valance tutorial

My kitchen has one window and is boxed in by cabinets on either side. It is the only source of light in my kitchen at this point, so in deciding what I was going to do for a window treatment, I knew I didn't want anything too "heavy." I had fallen in love with this fabric so I started playing around with ideas. I couldn't have an outside mount window treatment because of the cabinets so I came across this one day at the fabric store.

A decorative tension mount curtain rod. Who knew? After some experimenting, here is what I came up with.

Do you want to try it yourself? Here is what you need.

{supplies needed}
iron-on adhesive
curtain rod
clip rings

I basically cut the fabric so it measured exactly the width of the window opening, with about one extra inch on each side for a seam. I made it five inches tall, again with a one inch each seam on the top and bottom. I ironed the fabric at the seam to get a crisp line. Then I placed the iron-on adhesive under the seam and ironed again. 

Take care at the corners. I usually cut the fabric on a angle that so I get a tight corner. 

That is basically it. After that I just clipped some clip on rings spaced out evenly, hung it on my tension rod and put it up.

Just to let you know, the project took about 20 minutes. Getting the pictures for this post did not. Please excuse the toy filled sun room outside and the five year old who thought it would be a great idea to get into one of mommy's shots by moving the trampoline under the window.

Jan 30, 2012

My rug search begins

As our basement project gets closer and closer I want to do a little cybershopping beforehand on some items we'll be needing down there. First on my list is an area rug. I'll be putting white board and batten down there, with a neutral color on the tops of the walls. The floors will be the Allure TrafficMaster dark vinyl plank flooring which looks a lot like real wood. I only have one piece of furniture which is my old green leather sofa, lovingly covered over in a neutral slipcover. I want to get my color from fabrics in the form of pillows, an ottoman project, an extra chair or two and window treatments. In order to not get stuck in any sort of color rut, I want my area rug to be neutral. I'm hoping to use some industrial chic pieces down there as well, so I want the rug to balance all that out. Here are some ideas for the look I'm going for in a rug.

Country Living

House Beautiful

House Beautiful

Martha O'Hara Interiors

After browsing a bit I've come up with these options. Of course this does not include a trip to good old Home Goods! The first two are from Ballard Design, one of my favorite resources. I don't get many things from them, just great ideas. These two rugs are neutral, with a bit of a pattern which I love. They won't overwhelm the room, but are still interesting enough on their own. 

Ballard Design Suzanne Kasler Herringbone Sisal Rug

Ballard Design Trellis Rug

Next up are some rugs I found on Overstock.com. I've purchased a rug from them before and am very happy with it so I'd take the plunge again. The first one is neutral enough, but maybe too bland. I'm realizing more and more I want a bit of a pattern within the neutral, if that isn't too much to ask. The second one is interesting, but a bit too dramatic. I think if the damask had been closer in tone to the background, or in a smaller repetitive pattern, I'd be very intrigued. That one isn't the exact look I'm going for.

Overstock Hand-woven Natural Jute Rug

Overstock Handmade Alexa Modern Damask Wool Rug

I really love the next two rugs from Wayfair. I'm a sucker for anything from Dash and Albert. These rugs have the texture and pattern I'm looking for but in a very subtle way. They would go perfect with the color scheme I'm going for. My wallet might not agree though.

Dash and Albert Woven Diamond Indoor/Outdoor Rug

Dash and Albert Hooked Plain Tin Ivory Wool Rug

The next three are from Pottery Barn. They look great but I worry about texture for these ones. These will be in the family room, so I do want people and children specifically to be able to sit on these. If they are rough or scratchy I will not have happy campers. It might look great but it needs to function as well. 

Pottery Barn Heathered Chenille Jute Rug - Natural

Pottery Barn Chunky Wool and Natural Jute Rug

Pottery Barn Solid Sisal Rug - Linen

So what are your experiences? Jute and Sisal rugs are neutral and attractive, but are they practical?

Jan 27, 2012

Bathroom before and after

I showed you yesterday how to add some wall art with fabric. Today I'll show you where the piece I created ended up. First make sure you are sitting down, I'm going to show you the before. Here is how my half bath looked when we bought the house.

Not a great shot, but whatever picture I had would have been just as bad. It was cold, sterile and reminded me of the bathrooms in my high school. Brown tile on the floor. Old sink mounted on the wall. Builders white on the walls. Ugly.

I found a sink that was small enough, since this is a tight space. We added some paint to the walls, Benjamin Moore Weimaraner on top (the closest I'll get to having a dog), glossy white on the bottom. A new schoolhouse light, new flooring, new fixtures and voila...

Here is yesterday's wall art in its' new home.

So is this what your high school bathroom looked like? I think not.

Jan 26, 2012

Fabric Wall Art Tutorial

One of my favorite things to add to a room is fabric. I love fabric. If I'm not doing it with a window treatment, I'll add fabric with some wall art. I have a small half bath that needed some decorating. I had already purchased some fabric for the windows and wanted something a little different for the wall. I found this fabric on fabric.com and bought one yard. 


I decided to try some wall canvas art on my own. Let me show you how.

{supplies needed}
upholstery staple gun and staples
Mod Podge
brush (I prefer foam)

First stretch your fabric over your canvas. Use any size canvas you want, just make sure you have enough fabric to cover all the sides as well. I chose an 8 inch x 8 inch canvas from my local craft store. 


Line the fabric up and start stapling the four sides. Make sure the fabric is nice and tight. 

Once the sides are done I fold the corners over and staple those down.

You can leave your fabric art like this, or add an extra step to make it look a little more unique. I apply 2 or 3 layers of Mod Podge, drying between each layer. I like the Gloss kind. It adds an extra sheen to the fabric. 

Here is the before Mod Podge and after Mod Podge. You can tell is looks a little shiny. Hard to capture that on camera!


before Mod Podge

after Mod Podge

Here is the finished product. I'll show you where I put it tomorrow. What do you think? 

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