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Easy Breezy Curtains (Budget)

If you’re already planning for a Spring spruce up, consider this…

It’s great how little improvements can make a huge impact on your space, isn’t it? Our decorating goal for 2007 should be to get creative in decorating instead of heading for the easy out – things that are already made and ready to install. I don’t mean we have to go nuts here, but let’s at least try out a few new ideas, okay?

One thing that comes to mind are window treatments. You can use tea towels as cafe curtains – a no sew version is to add clip rings to the tops and put them on a rod. Easy. Linens are pretty, and look for a tea towel that is around 17 x 22″. Two of these are all you’ll need for a single window.

Or, if you need curtains for your bedroom or living room, you can use a twin sheet to create a single panel (or a full if you like more of a gather). Just flip the sheet upside down (depending on the pattern, of course) so the wide hem puddles on the floor and the thin hem is at the top, where you will simply add clip rings to hold it onto a rod. You can also hang the sheet the correct way if your pattern demands it, with the wide hem on top, just open up the hem on each side of the sheet and put a rod through the newly formed pocket. Again, very easy and no sewing machine required.

If you have a good eye for print and pattern, your sheet curtains can add a lot of beauty to your space.

Not a fan of DIY? Well, try to change that. You’ll save a lot of cash and, funny as it may sound, it’s a huge self esteem boast to do things on your own – no matter how simple. Some people are a bit snobby when it comes to doing anything for themselves, others would never admit to using sheets. But think about it, a sheet is a textile right? It wasn’t a sheet until someone made it into one. Before that, it was on a bolt like every other textile out there. So lighten up if you find yourself overthinking things a bit too much. It’s fabric, get over it. :)

This is sheeting from The Company Store, it’s called Hexagon, and it just so happens to be on sale right now…


Can’t find sheets that appeal to you, or perhaps you’re looking to use something different like chenilles, velvets, brocades, or heavy cottons? A quick change for any living space is to add simple tab top or rod pocket curtains. Although this may not be a DIY project, it a budget solution for a tired room. Try to locate some inexpensive $20 panels. Target has some beautiful and inexpensive ones, so do other stores likes Pier 1, even the Martha Stewart brand at Kmart is nice. A simple curtain swap for Spring can breathe life into a tired space without breaking the bank.

Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to give your space a quick facelift. With bed sheets, you can create a cozy grown-up space in a single afternoon.

Good sheet resources:

TJMaxx
Homegoods
Martha Stewart Everyday at Kmart
Thomas O’Brien for Target
Garnet Hill (the GH outlet store in the mountains of New Hampshire is the best if you’re ever up that way.)
Bed, Bath + Beyond
The Company Store
L.L.Bean (they have some of the best colors for solids, pale blues and greens, for instance.)

Tip: Always wash sheets after purchasing them, as this will soften the fabric and help remove the creases. Apply a hot iron before hanging. 200+ thread count cottons work best. Avoid sateens and flannels.

Please measure your windows before purchasing. Some windows are much larger than the standard sizes found in most homes, and others are much smaller. BTW – If your windows are tall, you can always take out the wide hem for extra length or look for extra long sheets.

(images from bhg.com and the company store)

Posted in diy, textiles, tips on January 06, 2007

DIY: IKEA ALANG Table Lamp Transformation


Eric wrote in today to tell me about his IKEA hack DIY project, well at least he called it a hack, I call it genius. Great budget DIY job, Eric. Click here to see how Eric transformed the IKEA ALANG Table Lamp into a perky pendant (or two!).

Thanks for the tip, Eric. Great blog!

psst: If you like the pendants, but LOVE the wall in the background (I did!), then you’ll love what I discovered after digging around Eric’s blog. Check THIS out. It’s another DIY.

(image from modern self)

Posted in diy, lighting on January 03, 2007

Inspiration Over The Bed?


What do you think about an inspiration board over the bed?!?! I can’t quite warm up to this idea. One side of me likes it, the other side isn’t convinced that over the bed is the best place. What do YOU think?

(image via marie claire maison)

Posted in diy, inspiration, small business on January 02, 2007

coffee + cre8tive {nov 29 ’06}


Shadow boxes are making a bit of a comeback, at least at Anthropologie, where I spotted them gracing the walls yesterday in all their 3-D splendor. With roots in Victorian times (just like silhouette art), they can be a nice way to display cherished memories in your beautiful boudoir – giving guests a bit of a peek into who you are. I’m not big on the ornate, so I wouldn’t want to style my own box after these above because they look a little too dated for my taste (the exception being my favorite shown above, top right corner, with the 3 birds inside – that’s quite cute.)

What drew me to these boxes yesterday is my own crazy hoarding issues, which is totally OCD, I know. I have a few shadow boxes that I’ve never touched, but have felt somewhat guilty over saving. They’ve been tucked away in tissue paper for a few years now. Maybe it would be a fun December project to stop saving them and put them to good use, huh? They are in modern uncomplicated wood frames, just like the birdy box shown above, with a white interior and a creamy burlap background. A little magnet keeps them closed. I have two. I just have to come up with a clever showpiece. That’s where I’m stuck.

What would you put inside a shadow box?

I’m leaning away from the traditional (ticket stubs, photos, lace, velvet ribbon) and considering a simple tree branch with a handmade paper bird resting on it. A branch created with pretty wrapping paper or a brightly colored blue road map, something like the Real Simple sections that Happy Mundane wrote about a few months back. (I loved that post, Jon!) Or maybe steer away totally from the map idea and go with something more personal, like a 3-D diary of sorts but that may clutter the box too much and I’d like to keep it simple. Maybe I could take 12 of my favorite little badges or pocket mirrors in bright colors and in a perfectly neat grid, pin or super glue them inside.

TIP: Go learn about the history of the shadow box. A fun read indeed!

Have any clever shadow box ideas? Have you ever used one in your decor?

(images from anthropologie)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, diy, shopping, tips on November 29, 2006

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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