House Tour: Studio

As I slowly get around to doing a full house tour – I thought I’d start with a small, simple room.  For now, I call this space the studio.  This room is off the kitchen/dining area.  It’s a tiny room – 10ft. by 11ft, with three windows and a tray ceiling.  It currently houses a large shelf full of food stuffs and paper goods, a c.1960s Anco easel,  a table, lights, and tripod for photo shoots, and some random boxes.  It’s a bit messy now, and driving me crazy.

So here’s the shot of the studio when we did the second walk through of the house:

Studio before

Studio before

I decided to paint this room a soothing green:

Painted studio

Painted studio

Freshly painted trim and caulking really brought the room together to feel finished.  The two southwest facing windows get full sun in the afternoon, so I bought solid, cordless shades for those windows which help cut down the heat.  I wanted a bold, graphic design for the curtains, and bought a Waverly fabric, and made them.  I re-purposed the hardware from other rooms (that didn’t have curtains), and this is how it came together:

Studio progress

Studio Progress

Some future things I would love to do to this space:  put in hardwood floors; buy better blinds; add french doors.  At this point, I’m not totally sold on the curtains.  If I put the sleek black glass desk in there, it could work.  Otherwise, I may want to go with a softer look.

It’s pretty much always a work in progress :)


Who would’ve thought….these used to be curtains

I wanted a quick and simple update to my eat-in kitchen and family room and I was itching to bring in some fabric.  There aren’t many options for trimming out your kitchen in fabric, and I felt that I could use a really beautiful fabric as the showpiece on the windows.  I debated and pined and scouted and waited for sales, and finally decided on a Better Homes and Gardens fabric.  I waited until there was a 50% off sale at JoAnn’s, and I had a 10% off everything coupon, so my total for this project (four curtain panels) ended up being about $115.  Not bad for super thermal, super beautiful curtains.

Unfortunately, this was the only before shot I had of the previous curtains in the kitchen:

Summer Dining Table

Eat-In Kitchen Before

I hoisted the curtains up for maximum light for the shot.  But you can see there’s not much to them, just a gold silk-like fabric.  I believe they were by Chris Madden at JCPenney’s. I needed to keep a thermal barrier at this window because it gets full south-western exposure.  In the summer, it can get very hot here in Virginia, and I want to keep my house as naturally cool as possible (and keep those cooling bills low).  I had no other plans for these curtains, and so decided to reuse them, and just sew directly over top of them.

The fabric I chose is called “Wicklow Indigo” by Better Homes and Gardens.  I love this fabric.

Detail close up of fabric, Wicklow Indigo by Better Homes and Gardens

Detail of Wicklow Indigo

I had already purchased the rings, and decided not to worry about keeping a fancy top.  Instead, just a simple single pocket (just in case). I also wanted to sew these together for added strength, durability (we open and close the curtains daily), and looks.

First I laid the fabric out, and cut the appropriate amounts.  Ideally, you want about 2.75 yards for 84″ curtain panels.  At this point, Peanut wanted to help.

Peanut my furry little helper

Peanut, my furry helper

After cutting and lining up the fabric, I pinned the edges over.

Edges of fabric pinned

Side of fabric pinned down to old curtain panel.

Next I ironed the folded and pinned edge for a nice crease.  This helps the fabric lay flat (and stay in line) while sewing.

Ironing fabric flat

Ironing the edges flat

Sew a straight line with you sewing machine!  I sewed right over top the old pockets because I did not feel up to taking the whole curtain panel apart first.

side of one edge sewed

Side of fabric sewed onto old curtain panel

Getting close!  I then folded and pinned the top and bottom.  I used the original curtain as the guide to keep a straight, even line.

Bottom edge of fabric pinned

Bottom edge of fabric pinned.

At this point, you can iron again, and then sew.  And voila!  New, thermal curtains!

Eat-in kitchen drapes

New thermal curtains in the kitchen.

I then did the exact same treatment on the curtain in the living room.  No before shot, but they were exactly the same as the kitchen drapes except they were a ruby red color.

family room curtain

New family room thermal curtain.

This fabric is called “Indian Grass Batik- Red” by Lauren Ralph Lauren.  I’m especially proud of this fabric because it was in the clearance bin, marked at $15 a yard, but with the sale I got it for $6.75 a yard!  Sweet.  Detail for you:

Indian Grass Batik- in red, by Lauren Ralph Lauren

Indian Grass Batik- in red, by Lauren Ralph Lauren

I’m so glad I updated my curtains.  I like them so much more- as they provide more interest to the rooms they are in.  I even like my dining set better in the kitchen now with the new drapes.  (Although I’m still debating whether or not I would like to milk paint the chairs).  They also feel awesome- super heavy and rich.  Slowly turning this place into something that will sell.  :)

New thermal drapes in the eat-in kitchen.

New thermal drapes in the eat-in kitchen