A Procrastinator’s Guide to Design {New Curtains}

Procrastinators guideDesign is hard.
Change is hard.
Decisions are hard.
Perfection is hard.

75% of those statements are false but I’m guilty of believing all of them. I have great ideas and the best intentions but I wait until I’m sure, confident and know it’s going to work out perfect.

That is 100% stupid, 100% of the time.

If you’re not familiar with The Nesting Place, you should be. “The Nester” is my muse to overcome my procrastination paralysis. Not only is she brilliant but her designs are breathtaking. She is completely inspiring but a perfectionist she is not. She has built her entire blog empire and even written a book to teach us that “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” Can I get an amen?DSC_0417

Read her blog. Read her book. You will start getting stuff done.

I wanted new curtains. I found the fabric and procrastinated to buy it. Sometimes there are consequences to procrastination and this time my consequence was the store was out. Thankfully, it is 2014, so I ordered it online after taking days to get over the devastation.fabric curtains home sweet here

As soon as that box arrived do you know what I did? Did I overcomplicate things and start sketches of what the panels would look like? Did I spend hours researching the best lining for that type of the fabric and the morning light we get? And then more hours trying to find the best price? Did I measure 47 times to plan the best proportions and flow of the pattern?

That’s what I wanted to do. But I seriously thought about the Nester’s famous words. “It doesn’t have to be perfect…”

curtains how to living room home sweet hereI surprised myself.

I opened the box, unrolled the fabric and folded it in half. I cut it down the middle. I didn’t even take the time to dig out my fancy fabric cutting scissors. I clipped it up on top of the old curtains and hid the edges as best as I could.

And just like that, I had brand new curtains.curtains how to living room home sweet here

Progress is better than perfection.curtains how to living room home sweet here

I will hem them and line them and make them prettier someday, but for now, I have new curtains and I love them with all my heart. I did something and it felt great! And you know what? It is pretty!curtains how to living room home sweet here

There are plenty of times to wait and weigh all your options. If you need a new couch- sit on every one your buns can find before making that investment. If you want to pretend you are Joanna Gaines and knock out a wall- by all means, make sure your house won’t fall down. If you don’t like your name, think it over before becoming Princess Consuela Banana Hammock. ;)

But, curtains- those are EASY. You don’t even have to sew them. You can change your whole room with a few yards of fabric, a pair of scissors and some drapery clips.

How do you want to change your home? Are you waiting to (gasp) put nail holes in the wall? Are you afraid of that new paint color? Are you just not sure if your furniture really works best there? Do you just not know what to do with that space?curtains how to

I’m the worst procrastination offender out there so if I can make some “faux curtains,” in about 2 minutes and be oh so happy with them, there are no limits to what you can accomplish.

You won’t hear me say this very often but put down that to do list, stop making plans and do something. What are you going to accomplish today?

love b

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fabric Lined Bookcase

The first time I walked into this house, I saw exactly what the little area at the top of the stairs was destined to be: a cute little reading nook. Faux built-ins, a comfy chair and fun lamp were all I needed for hours of reading fun.

It was one of the first spaces I “finished,” meaning put in some cheap Big Lots shelves, styled them to the best of my ability, added a flea market comfy chair and pretty lamp and really enjoyed it.

For awhile. Then I started to crave more. Those wow details that were missing. While my shelves were styled ok these were still plain old Big Lots shelves that needed some love. I made lofty plans to cover the backs. I bought (and returned) gift wrap, searched fabric after fabric, and even decided to paint it the same color as my office hutch. I changed my mind every single time. It was paralysis. Nothing was “the one” so it remained plain.

Until I found this lovely fabric at Joann.

You might remember that from my little casual Fall tablescape and while orange was not what I was thinking, it just so happens they had it in black. You know what is even better? This was quilting fabric that was on sale and I had a coupon taking it down to just over $2.50 a yard. Yep, you read that right just over $2.50 per yard. Nothing better than cheap graphic fabric.

So I recovered it. I actually did it! I made up my mind and I made it happen. This takes some time, but it’s a really easy process.The result: it was worth the wait and paralysis. 

Seriously, this cost less than $20, took a couple of hours and it is one my most favorite results ever. A few things about the details…

  • I heart graphic black and white- always have and always will. I have phased it out in some areas of the house in favor of more muted geometrics and greys, but when in doubt that’s where I need to go. All those fabrics and papers considered, returned or doubted were florals, too colorful or too “much.  They were not me. This is me.
  • But it’s not too bold. The small scale of the pattern keeps if from being too much. It doesn’t get too crazy with all the books and goodies on the shelves. Graphic and dramatic up close, muted and calm from a distance- perfect!
  • Bonus points for anyone who noticed I haven’t finished the middle shelf yet. It took a trip to two Joanns to get enough fabric and I haven’t finished it yet.
  • Double bonus points for anyone who is super crazy observant and noticed the shelves are NOT in the same place. I got crazy a rearranged the entire room, but that’s a story for another day.

Once I pulled the trigger, this was an easy project. I could not get to Joann fast enough to use that coupon; however, the process was long and taught me a lot:

  1. If you don’t feel it- wait it out. It really is ok. Look around, test your options and the waters but if you don’t love it, don’t do it.
  2. When you finally make up your mind- just do it! Go all Nike on it.
  3. Go back to what feels like you. For me it’s black and white graphics, for you it may be pastel florals but that’s what makes style so personal.
  4. If you love it, walk by it daily and tell it. This means people, pets and fabric lined bookshelves.

Baby, It’s Chili Weather Outside {Casual Fall Tablescape}

Happy Monday to you! I realize that I run the risk of sounding like a broken record but I am sooooo ready for Christmas decorating! The trees, the lights, the candles, the candy canes. I.cannot.wait.

But, I kind of have to. That process takes time and we just haven’t had a chance to get the stuff out of the attic and make the pumpkins turn into a coach tree. So how about we make some pumpkin spice lemonade out of this?

By hosting a little Autumn inspired mid-week dinner party. There is no better time than now for chili and what’s better than chili? Chili x2- chicken and traditional. And what is better than 2 types of chili? A really fun, super casual table.

It all started with some dishtowels from Ikea that were really meant to be so much more: Napkins! While it’s not traditional, the mixed blue patterns were the perfect jumping off point for fall festivities. (West Elm also had some napkins in similar patterns for a not similar price- I saw them AFTER purchasing the Ikea cheapies- I’ll take that pat on the back now, thank you :)) 

Throw in a piece of fun zig-zag fabric in a burnt orange, a centerpiece of chili fixins…

teeny treats at each place setting…

Add plain white bowls, light a few candles and you got yourself a casual chili feast- perfect for a cool fall night (while we countdown the days till Christmas)

Summer Pinterest Challenge: Wipe Your Mouth

It’s that time again…

This time it’s being hosted by four of my absolute favorite blogs: Young House Love, Bower Power, Centsational Girl and Ten June. Hello, all star cast!

I heart Pinterest. Maybe too much. Maybe I’ve even lost interest in Facebook because Pinterest is soooo much more fun. I love pinning, repining and sometimes re-repinning. It happens.

I have a bajillion more pins than I will ever make, but I do occasionally follow through with some and those tend to be the ones that I pin from my favorite blogs or sites so that’s what I’m going to do for today’s challenge.

I LOVE Mini-Manor Blog! Ashli is just the kind of housewife Martha wishes she was and she totally inspired me to try to make my own napkins. She made it look super easy and beautiful (as she does everything in her house. Can I move in? Pretty please?) Her instructions were so easy to follow for even an imperfect sewer, er, seamstress such as myself.

I made a trip to Joann, got quilting fabric, washed it, ironed it and cut a yard into quarters. Because Ashli said so. I actually ironed it in quarters to make a crisp line that was very easy to cut.

I learned the instructions were perfect, my execution was not. “Perfect” is not my middle name. It may be closer to “Eh, that’s not too bad. I like it” but that’s kind of a long middle name. Let’s get back to napkins.

I sewed and sewed. I even made a fun little stripe on one set.

Did you notice that I even used the same fabric as my Pinspiration? That was a total accident. After staring at all the choices at Joann for longer than socially acceptable, this is the one that jumped out at me. It’s just a great print.

And now I have my very own set of pretty napkins.

I loved them so much I made another set. This could get addictive. It was a lenghty process, but just as easy as the original post suggested. The biggest time consumer is ironing but that’s what makes the sewing go so fast so it’s completely worth it. I even timed the full floral set and they took me right at 42 minutes start to finish. Not the speediest of projects, but faster than you could search 52 stores for napkins this cute and still come up empty handed. #iwin

They are no where near as perfect as the original pin, but I got better with every one and I love that I can have my own napkins way cheaper and prettier than anything I could get in a store. Thanks, Ashli for the pinspiration and instruction!