A New Look for My Breakfast Room

Happy Friday friends! No snooping around Blogland for me this week. Nope, I’ve been too busy doing other things. And because I just love to drive myself mad by adding more things to my list, let me show you what I’ve gotten myself into.

I’ve mentioned a couple times since taking the Christmas decorations down that I feel the need for new. New decor. Maybe new color. Just a new look. I did a few minor changes to my family room and so I moved on to my kitchen and breakfast rooms. It all started with my rugs. I have black shag rugs in the kitchen and black and a black and gold rug in the breakfast room with matching runners. These rugs have been driving me insane! No matter how often I vacuumed them, they never looked clean! If I didn’t do something, they would be then end of me! But I hate rug shopping! It is so hard to find a perfect rug, so I just let them drive me crazy. Until one day, about three weeks ago, when I just couldn’t take it anymore. I picked up the shag rugs and threw them in the garbage. Why? Because once I did that, there would be no turning back. They were gone. I would have to get new ones! Sigh. . . three weeks later and I still have no rugs in the kitchen. Actually I’ve purchased two different sets of rugs and returned them both.

However, in the midst of my search for the perfect kitchen rugs, I decided I would do some work on my breakfast room. I found a set of rugs at Target that I thought would be nice for the breakfast room. It matched the wall color perfectly! Unfortunately, it didn’t match the window treatments. But that was okay because right around the corner from the rugs were some really cute drapes. And by golly, they just happened to match!

That trip to Target, in search of kitchen rugs, turned into a new look for the breakfast room.

Unfortunately, this was the only photo I could find of my breakfast room before. It was from Thanksgiving. But you can see the black and caramel window treatments in the background.

I have to say it was amazing how much larger and brighter this room was with the new drapes!

But as much as I loved these new window treatments, I wasn’t sure I liked them with the black furniture. Normally I would just say paint the furniture, but I’m just not up for a project like that right now. I still liked the new look better than the old, so I thought I could deal with it!

Then, the other day, I went to Hobby Lobby to help a friend pick out some fabric and I found this. . .

I tried to walk away, but it was calling my name. I took home 9 yards! What was I thinking? What am I going to do with these brand new window treatments I just purchased from Target? And when am I going to find the time to sew new ones from this fabric? I’m nuts!

But just look at how perfectly it all goes together. I love it! I’m so excited! And even though I won’t have to do any furniture painting, I’m now considering changing the color on the wall. Just a slightly lighter shade. Oh Jen. . .

How I Sew Drapes

I’ve told y’all before, I’m not a professional seamstress! Pretty much the only things I’ve made with my sewing machine are pillows and curtains. I like to figure things out on my own. I do not like to read directions, I do not like to follow patterns, I just don’t have the patience for them. I am the kind of person that just has to try, possibly fail, and try again to figure things out on my own. So my sewing, it’s probably not the “right” way, but I do it my way and it works. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? I had several inquiries asking how I made the drapes for Parker Reese’s nursery. I didn’t have a blog when I made those so I had no reason to photograph the process. However, I did make the new drapes for my new dining room {which, by the way, is just about finished}! So, if you dare continue, here is how I sew drapes. 
For me, the hardest part of this process is measuring and cutting the fabric. Seriously, I started to think maybe there was something wrong with my brain. It took me forever! I had to measure, and re-measure. Ugh! Basically, you want to measure your window and decide how long you want your drapes. I wanted to hang these high above the window and I wanted them to gather on the floor. {total length: 92 inches, width: 30 inches}
After cutting four equal pieces of fabric, I folded and pinned about one inch on each side of the fabric.
I do not iron my fold, I just secure with pins. The total width of the curtains after sewing was 28 inches. I do not add liner to my drapes. It’s an extra step that I don’t feel is necessary. I don’t use them to cover the windows, just to decorate. Plus, this fabric is thick enough that the light won’t shine through it and they won’t fade.
I used a sewing machine to stitch the sides of the panels. After the sides were sewn, I folded, pinned  and stitched the top {2 inches} and and bottom {1 inch} to make a length of 89 inches.

My original rods were in good condition and I really didn’t want to spend the money for new ones but I wanted them to be a little longer. So my genius hubby came up with a solution. He is really good at rigging things like this. He cut an old flag pole we had in the garage {which happened to be the exact thickness of the rod} and used a double-ended screw to fasten it to the existing rod. One problem – the color of the pieces didn’t match.

Two coats of my favorite spray paint, Krylon brushed nickel, and they were good as new. And I found drapery rings {Wal-mart for $6/pack} in the same color! Score!

Initially I wanted to sew pleats in the top of the panels, but I was afraid I would mess them up so I decided against it. Instead I created pleats by folding the fabric and securing with the drapery clips.

Yes, that is a chip clip helping to pleat my drapes! After I “pleated” and hung the drapes, I continued the folds down the fabric {securing with a chip clip} and I then used my steamer to press them.
Before:


After:

I am in love! I was a little worried that this fabric wouldn’t fit with the decor of the rest of my house, but I absolutely love it now that the drapes are up. LOVE it!  I hope to give you the dining room reveal next week!

Nursery Knock-Offs

So when I began searching for decor for Parker’s nursery I had this grand design planned out in my head but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I was very picky about the bedding. I didn’t want the typical boy themes: jungle, transportation, aviation, sailboats. Nothing against them. I just didn’t want them. So after hours and hours of sitting in bed on the internet at night, I finally found it! It was perfect.
And of course, it was expensive. Now with the first child, nothing can cost too much. But once you are on your second, reality kicks in and you start to “budget.” Or at least I did.
So anyways, I found this bedding from Carousel Designs.
I was determined that it would be mine (or his rather). Oh look at these adorable coordinating drapes.
But wait. . . $59 for ONE PANEL. Not even to complete one window, but 1/2 of a window. That’s $236 to decorate the windows in this nursery. Are you kidding me? No, I’m not doing it, no way!
And the pillows, something like $40 per pillow?!
No!

So I did my homework. First I searched Ebay to see if I could find any window treatments made with the fabric. No luck. However, i did find the fabric!

Both the toile and the stripe accent, and it was cheap!! I spent $80 on ebay for all the fabric to make the curtains and pillows and still had enough left over to make a lampshade cover and a Christmas tree skirt!
I am by no means a seamstress. I have had a sewing machine for about 10 years, and I love to use it, but I really can only do the basic, geometric shaped items. Pillows and curtains!
So I did. . .

The only difference (besides some not-so-perfect lines) was that I used ribbon to tie the panels to the rod instead of fabric.
          Theirs $246                                                            Mine less than $80

I was determined to have this nursery.
In then end I found a way to make it happen. The nursery turned out just as I had imagined.

The Bumper and bed skirt are from Carousel. I made the pillows (with the exception of the monogrammed pillow) and the mobile I bought on Ebay (cheap) and re-designed. I wish I had a before/after photo of that.
Parker’s black and white newborn photos now hang on each side of the initial “P.”
Also from Carousel, the diaper hanger ( I added the bow to the front) and the blanket hanging on the chair. I made the pillow, covered the lampshade on the tall dresser and made the mirror out of an old window. To see that tutorial, click here.
I love the way this nursery turned out. I saved boo-coos of money and I did it myself!

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