It is Valentine’s Day and all…

So, I thought the obvious topic should be…curtains.  What?  Not what you were thinking?  Well, so you all don’t think that I’m heartless, here is a little Valentine’s Day eye candy.

Valentines photography Love Art: When we fell in love 8x8 Fine Art Photography light heart bokeh lovers couple art print

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It's Spelled Love 8x10 Fine Art Photography Print - Ready To Ship For Your Valentines

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And of course, if you read my entry here, you will know why I had to post the giraffe with the heart eyepatch.  Awe…

Love art print - 'Romeo in love' -  Giraffe print, illustration, 8x10, heart art

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Oh, and if you happen to be home with some kiddos, check this out (be sure to look at the most hilarious school picture of Oliver while you are there) if you are trying to come up with something fun and Valentinesy to do today.  They are so easy and you can create cards, gift tags, literally anything.  And really they would work for just about any occasion.  I really hope all of you are having a fantastic Valentine’s Day, but back to the topic at hand.  Curtains…;)

In the past several months we have been making over our living room area.  We are working at a snail’s pace, but with some of the bigger ticket items being in this room, I’m Sam’s totally fine with it.  It is still a work in progress, but I thought I would share our most recent addition.  Curtains!  Check out the photo of the before:

(Cooper, our Golden, cracks me up in this photo)

And now the after, well, maybe we should call it In the Midst:

Yes, so we got a couple of thangs…we bought this rug on sale and new couches (which are duh-vine…) from here.  And can I just tell you that I believe my sweet little Henry thinks that I am superwoman when it comes to sewing and crafting.  He was asleep when they delivered the sofas and when he woke, he came running out of his room wide eyed and said, “Oh Mama!  Did you make these while I was sleeping?!?  Good job, mama!  I’m SO PROOOUD of you!”  Oh, did that make this mama’s heart grow.  As much as I wish that I was that crafty and could whip up a pair of those in an hour, I did have to break the news to him gently that I did not possess magical powers.  He took it well, though, and promptly cozied up next to me on our new little slice of heaven.  These are hands down the most comfortable couches that I have ever owned & if you are in the market for a new couch, go see Dan at Lifestyles, and tell him I sent you.  It may be a bit more expensive, but there are a few things (couches, bed, sheets) that I don’t think you should skimp on.  Save up for however long it takes, because it WILL be worth it.  I promise.

We also got a pharmacy lamp for our lampless room, a beautiful end table and an ottoman.  And yes, I realize it is white.  My neighbor Laura, who I adore, made me laugh when she saw Michael delivering it and texted me “you are brave getting white furniture with two young boys!”  Yes, I was feeling brave indeed and I’m happy to report that so far so good.  It’s made it two weeks in this house.  I figure if we should get a mark or two on it, a nice throw could easily go over the top and no one would be the wiser, right?  If you are a mother of boys or any child, for that matter, and are laughing at me, please let me live in my ignorance for a little bit longer.  We have not quite hit the “destroying everything in sight” phase.

I originally was going to go with a camel color, but then I kept thinking brown was the obvious “safe” choice and I didn’t want to play it safe.  I loved how just by painting the cabinets white in the kitchen, it made it feel brighter, lighter and larger.  With our open floor plan, I just wanted everything to flow so I bit the bullet and changed the ottoman to white at the last minute.  It is leather so the clean up shouldn’t be too terrible…again, all of you with older kids, try to contain your laughter.  My day will come…just like when I said before kids that I would never drive a minivan.  No, I don’t drive a minivan yet, but there sure are days when I thought how nice it would be.  Hey, when someone parks too close to you at the library (in the snow) and the only way you can get your child & the carseat into the car is to climb in through the back, child and baby carrier in arms, mind you, and maneuver to the middle of the vehicle, well, that…that will make you want sliding doors, too.  In that moment, to prevent totally losing it, I just kept thinking to myself, “he/she is probably elderly and cannot see very well and probably so enjoys coming here to the public library…and maybe he or she is sick, too, maybe they don’t have too much longer to live and it’s ok that I’m bent over lifting 20 pounds, feeling as though my head is between my knees trying to inch my baby in this carseat over the chairs all while sweating and wanting to rip every piece of clothing from my body because I am so HOT!?!”  Wait a sec…how in the world did I end up here?  I just wanted to write a simple post about curtains…sorry!

Ok, so I knew the windows needed something, but I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on custom curtains.  Those babies are tall so I had to figure out a plan B.  I love the look of the burlap/linen-ey curtains, but again, didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg.  So, I went with one of my favorite fabrics, unbleached osnaburg.  I always have this stuff on hand.  I’ve used it for everything and what is really cool about this lightweight, almost sheer utility fabric is all the variation in it.  You will see little specks of blue, red, green, black, yellow, orange…I love it.  I have used it a lot when I create fabric mattes and it is fun to see what colors the picture will bring out in the fabric.  And did I mention it is cheap?  Most of the time it is less than $5/yard, but I just happened to go to Joann’s when it was on sale for $3/yard.  This worked out nicely, since I was needing about 17 yards of it.  Yep, if you can’t do the math these curtains cost me around $50.  Add in the hardware for the panels, which was around $25 (again, super cheap) which brought the total to $75 for everything.  I happen to think this was pretty awesome &, not to mention, thrifty seeing as how you cannot even buy a large drape rod and finials for $75 nowadays.

Now, this picture is just a start.  I hadn’t even finished spray painting the EMT pipe that I used as the curtain rod before I threw it all up there.  I just wanted to see what it would look like.  It is amazing what just these two panels do for the room.  Don’t worry, I know they don’t look too “full” right now…I still have to add the other two panels.  Remember how I said this was an “In the Midst” shot.  Yes, this picture is definitely lacking some “stuff”,  but, immediately, these panels made the windows feel ten times larger.  We have 12 foot ceilings in this room, which is wonderful, but it can feel a little cold.  Not with these babies up.  They not only make the room feel larger, but they also cozy it up some, too.  I realize that what I just said sounds like it contradicts itself.  They opened the space up, but made it feel more intimate.  Ok. Maybe I am not doing a great job explaining myself, but they really make the space feel like a separate room now instead of one big area.

Now, I just need to finish spraying the rod and finials, paint the living room the same color as we did the kitchen and eating area, which is Collingwood by Benjamin Moore, hang some art, possibly paint the back door, and refinish and reupholster the two vintage chairs that I scored off Craigslist for $20 that you see in the pictures.  I know, it was a ridiculous Craigslist score.  I’m high fivin you through the computer right now.  This lovely lady, I think I’ve called her that before, but she is exactly that…lovely.  She helped me pick some great fabric for those wonderfully fun chairs.  I cannot wait to see how they will turn out.

Now, I am still deciding about fixing up the console table behind the sofa…I have an idea in mind that might make the workman’s baskets underneath it pop, but I’m still debating.

Now if this were my dreams I would say that I also want to build a beautiful built in next to the fireplace to help create some balance to that wall, with wonderful shelves for storage and a nice lovely place for our T.V.  I would also want to add wood beams to our ceiling and of course crown molding.  Sam, stop having a heart attack right now…I said this was “if I was dreaming”.  😉  My parents have beautiful wood beams throughout their upstairs.  Aren’t they fabulous?  I have always loved houses with wood beams…

 

I was thinking something like this would be perfect.

via Country Living

Or this…I love the added decorative piece at the base of the beams.

love the detail on the ends

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Or even these white beams would be classic.

classic white

via Decor Pad

Ooooh or perhaps the less traditional gray ones

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I’ll stop there so I don’t get too carried away.   I will for sure show you guys how to DIY your own drapes + hardware, too.  No more spending an arm and a leg for drapes and hardware, but, unfortunately, that will have to wait for another post because this one is a looong one!  I know many people probably stopped reading back at my minivan story.  If you are still with me just know that I tend to get a little wordy and I get sidetracked easily…thanks for understanding. 😉  And just because you stuck around, I’ll share this doozy of a picture with ya.  I found it as I was going through photos.  This was taken after Oliver woke up from hims nap.  He sleeps like I sleep…HARD.  This is what I feel like half the time when I wake up…