Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's Been a While--A Home Improvement Project

I haven't felt the tickle to tackle a big project for quite some time . . . can't even remember the last time, but I'm sure I could find out by looking back through this blog o' mine if I really wanted to know.

I don't.

The project I tackled was the library window seat, since the curtains in there have been bugging me for more than a year. The only picture I could find of them in their original state was this one:
Fully lined, multi-colored stripes.  And this is why they've been bugging me for years now (photo dated February 2010):
Hyrum went through a pretty severe stage of "cut everything in sight" at age three, and my handmade-with-love curtains were one of his casualties.  I knew I'd replace them sometime, but sometime never seemed to arrive . . .

. . . until I discovered I'd have a houseful of guests for Thanksgiving.  That gave me the kickstart I'd been looking for.  I found this fabric online
at It's an indoor/outdoor fabric, which is ideal for my messy sanatorium.  I used these panels from IKEA as a foundation, attached the printed fabric just below the grommets (a process I described in detail in this post), and soon I was ready to hang the new panels on the rod so I could measure the length and hem them.  I was almost done.  So close.  Just a few seams and my beautiful new curtains would be ready for Thanksgiving company.

The old rod, however, mutinied at the weight of the new panels.
Ripped straight out of the wall. Nothing is more deflating than an unforeseen complication to take the air straight out of my sails and bring a project to a screeching halt.

And you know what?  The single panel hung just like that for almost three MONTHS.  Yes, three months.  It got to the point where I didn't notice how crooked it was or even that it could rip the rest of the way out of the wall at any moment (which it almost did when someone who was unaware of the precarious balance achieved between the ceiling and the drape tried to actually shut it--that was almost bad).

I finally decided this last weekend to tackle this incomplete project.
 After I repaired the drywall holes and Brad hung the new rod, I brought down my two trusty sisters--Serger and Sew-er (not sewer).  I measured and cut and hemmed and serged. A handy hint for getting curtains to hang correctly--cut them while they're hanging up so you can see exactly where they fall, then it's easy to cut them to the proportions of the wall and the floor, not what is actually straight.

In the meantime, I also decided to face one of my decorating hang-ups: 

I love pillows, but when you live in a house with 100 kids, they never stay put. They're always on the floor or being swung at someone, so I winnowed them out.  I had new covers for my window seats made out of a neutral geometric fabric, and then brought in a few new pillows while discarding the old ones.

Here's the new window seat:
 I love the fabric on the big pillow--in fact, it's the same fabric I used for my kitchen curtains, and it hides every stain color imaginable (main reason I selected it--duh). The small pillows are actually covered in gunny sacks from a working potato farm in southern Idaho.  When a fellow transplanted Idahoan found these and asked me if I wanted some, I jumped at the chance, especially at this one below:
I grew up going to church in Kimberly, Idaho, and like I always say, "You can take the girl out of Idaho, but you can't take the Idaho out of the girl."  I love having these reminders of home right where I see them every day (and for cozying-up purposes, the other side of the scratchy pillows is cotton).

The room looks so much cleaner now, and I love how it all plays together.

Who knows?  Maybe I'll tackle another project soon.

Or maybe I'm already in the middle of it.  You guess.


  1. What fun to have some Idaho in your library. Looks great!

  2. Love, love love the drapery fabric. Great update.

  3. Gorgeous!
    The big cushion fabric looks a lot like another colour way of my living room drapery fabric. I love it.

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  5. Amazing fabric, you seriously have a skill for picking out fabulous textiles!

  6. You did a wonderful job on this, and I love the nod to your heritage with the potato sack pillows!


  7. looks great! I love that pattern and the pillows are great!

    And yes I only have 3 kids and about 6 pillows in my living room but they are rarely where they belong.

  8. Thanks for sharing your post - also thanks for the pictures. I love seeing blogs with pictures of the project people completed. I personally love DIY home improvement projects because sometimes a msall change like a fresh coat of paint or new curtains can really make a big difference. I recently went the extra mile and had spiral staircases installed in my living room. I admit, I love the big projects too that will help increase the value of my home!