Call the Upholsterer

I think it's safe to say that our new black and white dining room rug has set a whole new tone for our Charlotte home. Wouldn't you agree? While this may not be everyone's favorite direction, I love it and was surprised to learn that this very graphic statement won my mom over, too. 
I have to say, never in a thousand years, would I have thought the dining room would be my first true focus in the house. Of course, I'm working on the hot pink bedroom as well, but let's face it, I'm not really running the ship in that room. If you know what I mean?

Maybe it's because the dining room in our Chicago house was one of the last big projects we completed. Or, maybe it's because I had fully intended to put our harvest table in this room (similar to our Chicago dining room), which would have created a totally different look. By the by, that fell to the wayside as soon as I saw this color on the walls - it's formal and serious in a way that the harvest table isn't. Happily, the cherished harvest table found another home within our home and we had this table in storage, so all ends well for everyone.  
The only unfortunate (or fortunate depending how you look at it) turn of events, is the chairs. The coral plaid just doesn't work with the rug, as I am sure you noticed. 
After hearing about Mary Jo's from a couple of very reliable sources, my mom and I decided to make the trek and boy am I glad we did. Any amazing selection and even better pricing. Bonus.

These were our top 4 contenders. I loved them all and wish I could share more specifics with you, but unfortunately, rolls weren't really marked individually other than with pricing. 

Initially, I had my heart set on an Ikat, like the one shown here in the top left corner. You know I love blues and greens, but the brown just wasn't jiving for me. 
I thought the dark grey background with hints of black on the floral in the upper right corner would play really well with our new rug. Plus, the turquoise and teal tones picked up the color of the walls. But, ultimately, I wasn't sure I really wanted to go floral, again
The animal print inspired fabric in the bottom right corner was really fun. My mom's pick, in fact. But once the sales lady said animal print, I just couldn't let it go. Am I really an animal print girl? Hmmm...
The geometric in the bottom left corner was the exact color of our dining room walls, but I had real concerns over the pattern playing nicely with the foyer wallpaper and the geometric carpet. 
So, which one did I choose?

The floral, of course. I hate to be predictable, put it really did offer the most out of all our selections. It also didn't hurt that it was half the price of some of the others.
Call the upholsterer, these chairs are getting a makeover!

until next time,

Tricky Windows plus a Fabric Decision

By now, you probably know that our home is riddled with tricky windows. 
{Mostly because I am always complaining about them.}
We've got them in the living room, bedrooms, and dining room. Below window radiators are the biggest source of aggravation, but we're also blessed to have windows that open in on the first floor.

{please excuse my dusty floors, we're in the middle of construction around here and I refuse to clean up everyday when the dust is still flying!}

In the living room, we opted for full length curtains. In the summer they hang over the radiators; in the winter, they puddle on top and kind of drape to the side. No, this is not ideal. But it works. And, long panels were definitely the look I wanted!

In the kids bedrooms, we have shorter curtains. They are kids, for crying out loud, they don't care! And neither do I.

In our bedroom, we chose faux, relaxed roman blinds over the radiators. We don't open those windows or even raise the shades really, simply because they face both neighbors homes, which are only a driveway away. Not much for privacy, but this is urban suburban living, after all.

{welcome to the construction zone}

Which brings me to our dining room. The only functioning window {the others have storm windows in place that do not have screens} in this space is over a really long radiator and, of course, opens in. To make matters worse, the new furniture layout features large pieces on either side of the window - virtually ruling out long panels. So, again, we've decided to go with a roman blind. This time of the structured variety. And, it needs to work! The 7' long, non functioning windows will have regular full length panels.

{notice the patch, more on that later this week!}

Now, you know I like to DIY as much as possible, but seeing as these treatments need to function and I've only just learned how to sew...I decided to hire out.
I know, the shock horror of it all. I can barely believe it myself.
But I know we'll be happier, in the long run, with a professional job. And fortunately for us, we were referred, by my cousin, to a wonderful and affordable seamstress in Ohio. 

{these pictures were taken outside to hopefully give a truer reflection of the color}

Mr. DD, my Mom, and I all agreed {another shock!} on this fabric and we can't wait to see the finished product!

So, here's my question to you - do you approve of mixed treatments {one roman blind, and one set of long panels} in one room? 

until next time,

Options, option, options

First of all, I'd just like to say thanks to everyone for all their comments and opinions on the dining room fabric selection. Unfortunately, there was no clear winner. And to be honest, I'm not sure I was really pulling for one anyway. I really wasn't sold on any of them.

So, when a friend told me about a discount fabric warehouse in a nearby suburb, I decided to make the trek to see what they had and hopefully find some new inspiration. 

Loomcraft in Vernon Hills did not disappoint. They literally had hundreds upon hundreds of fabrics all under the $20/yard mark. I found a lot of options, here's a peak at some of the highlights.

This Waverly fabric is the first one I found, but the consensus was that it was too busy and perhaps too much red to go with a dark red wall. Back to the drawing board.

I found this one next and went back and forth on it for awhile. It's much preppier than I would normally go for, but the pineapple motif really had me hooked. But in the end, we decided it might just be too much blue. I don't want a blue and red dining room, after all. 

{my iphone shot}

{online image via}

Then came this wild card. It's totally different from anything I've looked at thus far, but it's really pretty, don't you think? The handful of people that have seen it keep telling me, 'it's so you'. 
It would go really well with the existing rug in our dining room, which is sage, yellow with a hint of rust. We'd have to down play the wall color a bit, but otherwise it could just be a winner. And, at $8/yard this P Kaufman (moon shadow in sage) could be a contender. 

So, what do you think?

until next time, 

Jumping Off

I'm one of those people that needs a serious jumping off point when it comes to designing a room. Usually I find an image of a room that I find inspirational, like this or this. Then I turn to fabric selection to work out the color scheme. 

Kind of like how we handled the living room. Once we found this fabric {above}, the wall color and color scheme as a whole for the first floor really came together. 

So, now I'm on the hunt for new fabric for our dining room. 
Here's what I'm thinking...
I want to carry the color pallet through from my kitchen and living room, but I want to highlight a different color, so not green {kitchen} or yellow {living room}. That leaves me with the reddish rust color, which will hopefully become the wall color. Because we're planning to use a saturated wall color, I need a lighter background to the fabric to keep the room from feeling too dark.

The easiest way for me to bring all these colors together without using another stripe is a floral or paisley. Truth be told, I really, really, really want a paisley, but I just haven't found a lot of options {yet}.
Here's a sampling of fabrics that we're considering for our dining room. 
Clockwise, we have:

Now, here's the part when I ask for your advice. Tell me, which would you choose? 

until next time, 

Mocking Me

The weather has been absolutely beautiful, HOT, but beautiful lately. As a result, the progress on any indoor projects has really been suffering.

But, I finally managed to carve out a spare hour to make a little progress in the master bedroom. Notice anything different?

Yup, it's that big beautiful yellow and white embroidered lumbar pillow. 

The truth is that I've had the fabric {from here} for several weeks now. Then the pillow form came in the mail about a week ago. They both sat in our dining room, mocking me in all my procrastination glory. 

So, I followed my own tutorial on envelope pillow covers and got to work. Of course, in my effort to keep things simple, I decided to have just one big pillow in a bold geometric to balance off the bird/floral theme, but now that it's done - I think it needs more. 

I'm going to live with this as is for awhile before I make any more decisions. {That's code for lazy.}

Speaking of procrastination, here's a wide shot of the other side of the room. Clearly, there's a reason why I haven't been sharing this side. I haven't done anything over here. Still need to paint the matching dresser and move the existing dresser to its new location. {Among other things.}

If you follow me on Facebook, you'll know I scored a couple new window panels from the Restoration Hardware Outlet last week. Officially, ending the one vs. two panel debate I had going on. Now, I just need to fashion something new and exciting out of my new panels. 

I'm sure that will be happening really soon. 

Hope you had a lovely weekend.

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until next time,