Anyways, I ordered some custom drapes for the formal rooms from this interior design/fabric store here in Richmond called Williams & Sherrill. These will probably be the only rooms I order nice drapes for because sheesh they are expensive but sheesh they sure do make a room feel fancy pants. It's like adding an interesting handbag or shoes to an otherwise standard outfit.
Here are the dining room drapes - a coral print natural linen with velvet pleats up top. I had been drooling over this fabric for about a year and a half, not knowing where to use it. The designer at the store talked me into using it for the drapes. I probably would not have done that if not assured it would be really fun when finished. It definitely adds a funky twist to our fairly boring dining room.
I also got some roman shades made for the french doors in the dining room, which are also boring. I would love to get some beautiful multi-paned doors to go here eventually. The shades are stationary, as are all of the curtains. We don't really need them for privacy because our yard is so wooded. We have blinds on the other windows if we need privacy or to block the sunlight.
Also coming soon to the dining room - recovered chair seats. This dining room set was a wedding gift from Brad's dad and stepmom and we've never gotten around to recovering the boring cream seats. I'm going to use the stripe horizontally, which the seats were worried would make them look fat. I assured them they can pull it off.
My sister-in-law Clare has some experience now recovering basic seats like this and she's going to help me get them all fixed up. In other words, she's going to recover them while I sit there, watch and talk to her.
I also ordered drapes in the living room, however they haven't been 'styled' yet by the installer because the order had the wrong size brackets. He'll come back in a couple of weeks and get the correct brackets on there and get them set up. Right now they're just kind of hanging there.
The fabric is a yellow linen with a green raw silk trim up top. It's kind of a tone-on-tone look, actually inspired by Brad's grandmother's (Mama Hartz) yellow drapes in the living room of her Little Rock house. Yellow drapes against a yellow wall - subtle but sumptuous because of the fabric. I have a lot of other patterns going on in that room so I didn't want to fight them with yet another pattern on the drapes. I'm just a copycat and I don't care who knows it!
This picture doesn't really do it justice. I need to take a photo when the sun isn't coming through that window - the flash just washed everything out.
I learned some valuable lessons throughout this experience:
- Try to persuade Brad to just let me take care of the decor for a room. These things seem to take at least twice as long when he gets involved because we have 'peruse every option' and 'look around'. I knew what I wanted, I just needed him to get out of my way.
- Always work with a decorator on a major expense like this. In the process of selling me the drapes she gave me loads of free design advice in the store. I took in pictures of the room and she did a drawing of how to place the furniture and what additional pieces I still need to finish it out.
- I don't think I'm going to mess with drapes in the rest of the houses. Valances on some perhaps. We have these two rooms blocked off with a baby gate but Charlie has full access to the rest of the house. I'm sure he would love to put his full weight on some drapes, color on them or wipe some jellied or ketchuped fingers on them. Besides the expense of full length drapes, I just can't be bothered with defending them all the time from toddlerhood.
- Stationary is the way to go - at least for these rooms. Just seeing how sloppy the living room ones look before they've been made stationary makes me realize I would always be primping them if we counted on them for privacy and they were moved a lot. Like I have time for that.
Other projects going on right now: making over the finished attic space into a playroom for Charlie, furnishing the deck and sunroom, and decorating our master bedroom. I also completely re-did our laundry room and have one more set of shelves to organize and a couple of pictures to hang. the before and after pics will be striking! Fun! More to come...