Thursday, May 26, 2011

Re: Re: Re: Living Room Curtains, Parts 1 + 2

I made you something...

Knowing that you want a cottage-y, but not country house, this image that I came across earlier in the week, while actually hunting for a dining room table...still, was actually my inspiration.
Triangle Honeymoon via Lonny Magazine
If you are going to do the ticking stripe curtains, I think the rug will be the room's statement piece, so my advice is to pick a WOW rug.  I bought the rug in my foyer from Rugs USA.  They are reasonably priced and always have discounts.  You should definitely check there, too.  I picked the one above in the storyboard just because I liked all the colors and it has blue to tie in the with chair and artwork.

Here are some other rugs I found on Rugs USA with the cottage-y, but not country feel:

For the other accents pictured, here's where they are from:

1.  Target, Room Essentials Curtain Rod - I know you said you were having trouble finding rods, but I always get mine from here.
2.  Pottery Barn, Bee Pillow Covers
4.  Pottery Barn, Circle Frame Pillow Cover - Love how you can monogram this one

Well, I cannot wait to see what you come up with!!  I know the readers in cyberspace can't wait to see your new family room either.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Re: Re: Living Room Curtains, Parts 1+2


Thanks for your feedback and your honesty. I think mapping out everything on a board makes a lot of sense and would help with ensuring the entire room is cohesive. I guess I get easily overwhelmed with all the options and decisions, that focusing on one thing at a time is easier for me, mentally. But it doesn't make a lot of sense if I want everything to to work together.

One thing happened over the weekend that kind of changed everything for the better: my father-in-law suggested trying out the living room rug under my new table in the dining area of the kitchen. So we tried it and it fits perfectly (some of the chairs hang over if you're sitting in them, but other than that it's fine) and he pointed out it gives some much-needed color to that area of the kitchen and breaks up all the black and white between the tile, table and chairs. Just to prove it to you, here you go:

Nice, right? I really like it and so far it's worked great. I do think the colors work well without being overly match-y. Plus, I like how the blue in the rug ties in with the blue in the China cabinet. I don't think I told you about that yet... That cabinet used to belong to my mom and then she got a new one and passed this one down to me. It was stained brown - very 80s - and I painted it black and put on new hardware. It was one of my first furniture painting/re-finishing projects ever and it turned out pretty good...considering I had no idea what i was doing! Originally, when the kitchen walls were green, I had the back of the cabinet lined in this wallpaper:

I think it's a really fun scheme and would love to use it again in a powder room or entry/hallway. The colors have a washed-out feel to them so they aren't too shocking, which I like. With painting my kitchen, though, and wanting to work toward a more deliberate use of color, I took down the wallpaper. When I stepped back and objectively looked at the China cabinet with all the dishes and accessories, I realized how much white was in there and decided a nice gray/blue would really make all the white "pop," so to speak. I used a sample container (just the right size) of Covington Blue by Benjamin Moore. (Side note: I used a Home Depot sample container, which is actually a substantial amount of paint for a small project. The actual sample sizes at BM are way too small for a project of this size.) Here is the end result (I especially love how it looks alongside the striped walls):

Okay, so all this means I need a new rug for the living room now! Hooray! If you think back to my last post where I was talking about the Secrets from a Stylist room that inspired my curtain options, you'll remember there is a gray zebra-striped rug. Just to save you time, here it is again (not the best picture of it, but trust me - it's there):

It's from West Elm and is $249 for a 5'x8'. Not terrible, but I always like a bargain. There's something about it that seems unexpected but still refined. In my search for the best deal possible, I found it here on It's almost identical:

And for the same size, it's only $168! You seriously cannot beat that price. I'm sure there is a difference in the quality or something, but the reviews were all positive and with the couch and coffee table both taking up a large chunk of the rug's area, I don't need something that will hold up to a ton of foot traffic. But then I started thinking about how blah that would look to have a two-tone rug with two-tone curtains (if I ended up going with the ticking stripe curtains). I mean, I do still like color and pattern and texture, even if I'm trying to show some restraint and refinement.

So then I found this little number on Overstock:

It's 6'x9' and costs $182. This piece is both within my space and financial budget. I like that the background is black because it ties in with the tile in the kitchen, but it also is really colorful. Plus, the tone of the colors is more in line with other colors in the living room, whereas the previous rug was not. In some ways it's kind of like the Anthropologie rug you suggested sent me. (I actually really love that rug, but not the $400 price tag!)

At this point, this rug is the front runner. Which, if I did a print with this much color, then the ticking stripe might be a really nice compliment. There is something about the ticking stripe that seems really classic and makes a subtle statement. I also like the fact there's something sort of masculine about it, which would help balance out all the florals in the room. Then I could still do that bird fabric for pillows and I have some yellow buffalo check fabric from a previous project that might be nice for a pillow or two...

Yes, Mr. Lass's recline is wing back and, until you suggested it, the thought of recovering it had never occurred to me! When I take a step back and look at it as a piece that just needs some rehabilitation, I don't hate it as much. It has a nice shape and the nail head trim on the arms is nice. I cannot even imagine what my life would be like if that chair was no longer blue leather! Of course, I wonder if what makes it such a daddy/man chair is the fact that it is leather? I will definitely broach the subject one day when I've made a delicious dinner and just told him I signed a big contract for freelance work :)

What are your thoughts now...with the idea of a new rug coming onto the scene?


P.S. I totally agree with you about hanging the curtain rod high, which is especially crucial in this room because the windows are two different heights. Also, I love how your mom is in my corner with the ticking stripe!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Re: Living Room Curtains, Parts 1 + 2

Hi Kara,

I just sat and read posts 1 and 2 back to back.  Having the pictures of the living room to reference was great.  So, while I know the month of May is almost over and that you would like to get started on updating the upstairs of your house, I think it's really important that you step back from just focusing on the curtains and try story boarding out the entire room.  The really graphic patterned curtains could be great, but I want to know what is going on in the rest of the room.  But then again if you decide to do the ticking stripe pattern, you can bring in more colors and patterns with the pillows and accessories.  I don't think it has to be a crazy actual boarded plan, but let's discuss what else is going on in the room. 

My two random comments about the fabric you included samples of...
1.  The fabric Holly suggested, well, Anthropologie totally makes a rug that looks just like it!  Random, but I knew that because I have always LOVED the rug!
Mantadia Rug - Anthropologie

2.  I have to confess something, because my mom - a loyal reader of Peach and Lass - totally called me out on it.  I don't really love ticking.  Not that there is anything wrong with it at all, but it's never been for me.  That being said, my mom's bedding includes shams and a bed skirt with ticking and she happens to love it and she used to decorate model homes for a living.  So my opinion is mine alone.  And I don't hate it, I think it's probably just not graphic enough for me.  But it could totally be the winner for your living room.  And I will love it when it's all done!  (I just had to be honest.)

Okay, so back to my original plan of story boarding.  It seems like everything is staying furniture wise as well as all pictures, right?  The rug is staying, too, right?  And then definitely all the pictures.  So basically the room is being spruced up with new curtains, pillows and figuring out something to replace the ladder thing with?  Would you ever consider moving the tv stand and tv to that wall centered?  The wall with the ladder thing.

And regarding Mr. Lass's favorite piece, is it a wing back recliner?  A little hard to tell from the pictures, but looked to have a different shape for a recliner.  Anyway it can be recovered?  :)

Last comment/question and then I'll patiently wait for responses.  Regarding the hanging of curtains, my recommendation is that you hang the rod as high as possible.  The illusion will help make the room taller, and that totally solves the problem with the tops of the windows being different heights.  Even when I don't have the window problem, I love hanging curtains high.  

House of Peach Guest Room

Can't wait to hear from you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Subject: Living Room Curtains, Part 2


Okay, so I'm back. And before I begin, can I just include an editorial comment: there is nothing like seeing pictures of your own house to realize how much you dislike it! Wow. I mean, in looking at the pictures from yesterday, I realize that I really need to condition/moisturize my couch and that the room just looks kind of empty, like I've only lived here a few months instead of four years! I think panels on the windows will really warm the space up and bring in some depth and texture that it's currently lacking. It's not like I'm going to be starring in my own reality show anytime soon (right?) or anything, but still - seeing the way my room looked on film makes me want to make a change. Now that I have that out of the way, on to the curtains!

As I said yesterday, having the "luxury" of time has made me really think through a lot (a lot) about what kind of curtains I want. I definitely want to take down the blinds on those two windows because our house faces south, so we get a lot of indirect natural light that the blinds block. The front blinds don't even have a wand to turn them and the wand on the other is essentially broken, so you have to turn the blinds by hand. Plus they get dusty and cobweb-y and they're an awful off-white. So they have got to go!

You'll notice that the windows are two different heights, so I am planning on hanging the curtain rods at the same height (the height of the taller window, obviously), which will help make the smaller window look larger. Plus, having two separate heights of curtain rods would just look weird. Of course, so far it is causing a problem because the front window needs a much longer rod then the side window and I'm having trouble finding two matching rods that are different lengths. I mean, I haven't look that hard, but so far it has been an unsuccessful search.

My plan is to do panels that reach to the floor - two on the front window (pulled to either side when they're open) and one for the smaller window (pulled to one side). I considered doing two panels for the smaller window, but it will make the window look so much smaller, I think, when the curtains are opened that it just doesn't seem worth it. I am planning to do hooks/clips to attach the curtains to the rods. I will line the curtains with a blackout fabric. I'm estimating I will need about three yards of fabric per window for the panels; the amount of lining might vary if it isn't the same width as the decorative fabric.

When the kitchen was still green, I was thinking about doing a tile print black-and-white fabric to tie in the tile to the living room, but now that the kitchen is nuetral I feel more freedom to venture into some color in the living room. I liked the idea of doing a fabric with a dark background because the walls are so light, I thought the contrast would be nice. I liked the idea of an ink-y blue background, but then I remember the albatross of a blue leather chair and changed my mind. I found this fabric through Joann Fabrics' website and really liked it:

I thought the colors were really nice and I liked the print a lot. I think there were some other things about this fabric that I liked but frankly, I don't remember any of those reasons at this point. Again - time has changed my mind.

So then my friend Holly (yes, the one with the camelias) found this fabric and sent it to me:

It's nice, right? But I almost like it better for a side chair or some throw pillows than the drapes. I know birds are really "in" right now, but in the painting above the mantel there is a blue bird, so I didn't know if this fabric was redundant or matchy-matchy with the painting? But I really like the colors in this one too... a lot.

So basically my love for a print all changed when I watched Secrets from a Stylist on HGTV a few weeks ago. For her second look (have you watched this show? I highly recommend it), she used a blue ticking stripe fabric for the curtains:

Something about it just seemed so crisp and clean and light and airy that I really liked it. I found it online at Joann Fabrics for $7.99/yard, but I'm sure I could find it cheaper if I looked:

This fabric started gaining appeal when I started thinking about the artwook on the walls and the rug and the fabric in the side chair and then whatever else I eventually want to incorporate in the room (new throw pillows, for one) and I wonder if some kind of crazy print would just be too much? Maybe I need something nuetral so you don't feel completely overwhelmed in the room? At first I thought I liked the contrast of dark fabric against my walls, but now I wonder if it will just seem dark. And what about when the curtains are closed at night, on that front window especially? That is a lot of dark fabric, you know?

I think this new line of thinking about the curtains ties in with where my head was at with wanting to paint the kitchen - I love color, but I want to be more deliberate with it instead of just slapping it up on the walls and combining it with other fabrics and accessories without really considering how all of it interacts together. That way the room is more cohesive and looks like I actually thought about what I was doing, instead of having a room with a ton of colors and just looks like I liked everything and couldn't edit or make up my mind :)

Of course, maybe I just really like the room Emily on Secrets from a Stylist put together and I'm just not being realistic about it working for my house? Here is the whole room:

It obviously looks a lot different than my house, but I really like the overall look and feel of the room. My other concern: will it seem too nautical? That is definitely not the direction I am wanting to go in. And will the ticking stripe look good against my walls? I know I also said that I had been hesitant to incorporate certain shades of blue into the room because of the recliner, but this does not bother me for some reason.

Anyway, I would love to know your thoughts on the matter. I'm giving you the weekend to think it over! It will be the end of June before I know it and my six months of concentrating on the downstairs will be over. I hope to have curtains done by then so I can next focus on my upstairs!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Subject: Living Room Curtains, Part 1

To my lovely friend Peach,

Okay, so now that we've covered your dining room, it's time to talk about my living room. Specifically: curtains. I thought I knew what I wanted and I was just saving up all my spare change to splurge on all the materials I would need to make exactly what I want (because why buy something off-the-shelf when you can go through the trouble/agony/frustration of attempting to DIY something?). The only problem with waiting - new things catch your eye. So then you start wondering if you should go a completely different direction and you start to doubt your already-made decision. (Which, in some ways, I'm grateful that I don't have the resources to do everything I want exactly when I want to do it...I would have made some really wrong decisions - or, worse decisions. But in waiting, you are able to really think something through and it takes into account your constantly evolving tastes to ensure you land on something you will love for a long time. Mostly though, I get frustrated when I can't do what I want when I want to do it!)

So, before we begin, perhaps I should take you on a tour of the living room. It is the first room you come into from the front door - there is no foyer or anything, just a little side entry table that I have showed you in the past when I have various things to improve the lamp situation there. This room then opens into the kitchen, which has black & white tile (the living room is hardwood) and it was formerly green, but now the same khaki-ish/beige color as the living room (Dunmore Cream by Benjamin Moore).

There isn't much furniture-wise in the living room, because it isn't a huge room, and there is a fireplace in one corner. We used to have a big armoire thing in corner opposite the fireplace to hold the television, but we replaced it back a few months ago courtesy of my mother-in-law. Next to the television is a ladder bookshelf that is on its way out, but I'm not sure yet what I will replace it with (a wider ladder bookshelf or a new piece altogether?).

There is a leather couch that is similar to yours in that it isn't formal at all gets better with more wear and age. There is also a coffee table (the Rhys table from Pottery Barn) and then a blue leather recliner that we inherited from Mr. Lass's parents and that I loathe, but that Mr. Lass has sworn we will never get rid of because it is so comfortable. Ahh! I curse that chair every time I want to incorporate a turquoise or inky blue into the living room, but then feel like I can't once I remember the blue chair. Behind the couch is the entry table I mentioned earlier and next to that is a chair I found at an estate sale and covered in a fun color and painted the wood black. There is also a rug under the couch. Here you go:

As for artwork, there is a painting above the fireplace that I loooove and do not plan on moving. It is flanked by blue plates to play up the blue pottery in the painting. Above the entry table is a pasture scene that I have always admired from my MIL's house and one day she brought it over and gave it to us. The last picture is located between the front door and the big picture window and has sentimental value to our family.

The only other colors in the room come from the throw pillows, pictured on the couch above, but I'm ready to switch those out, so don't really take those into account.

Okay, so now that you're familiar with everything in the room...tomorrow we'll talk curtains!

Can't wait,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Subject: Dining Room Decor UPDATE

The dining room decor is complete!!  You wouldn't believe how hard it was to find the six matching frames.  I won't even get into it, but thank you Hubs.  (I begged him to swing by Target on more than one occasion after work!)  Hope you love it as much as I do!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Re: Re: My New Dining Table

Hi! I hope you had a great weekend...we did! It was our sixth wedding anniversary, so we went away for the weekend (sans Suz) and stayed in Sandestin, which was really gorgeous and so relaxing. We ate at some amazing places and just enjoyed the sun and lots of people-watching from behind the cover of my dark sunglasses. So all my thoughts and suggestions are coming from the mind of someone who is totally refreshed and rested, which will hopefully make them really useful!

Okay, so I am with you on loving the Grand Baluster Dining Table. The legs are gorgeous, but I completely agree with you - how impractical! Not only would you need to sharpen your tweezers, but it seems like it would be hard to keep clean too...would sauces or wine soak into the wood? Yikes and no thanks. Of the other two options, I really like the Flatiron Dining Table, which surprises me because I have always loved a farmhouse table with simple lines. But I really like the Flatiron Table. Maybe it's the combination of the wood where you can really see the grain and then the metal legs - it's an unexpected mix. You get the warmth of the wood but the industrial-ness of the legs. Plus, the legs on the other table just seemed really heavy to me. And with the Flatiron Table you could always pull up extra chairs for people to sit on the corners if you needed it, because there are no legs right on the corner for people to band their knees against!

So if you were to go with the Flatiron Table, you could go sooo many directions with the seating. I would be completely overwhelmed, so I'm glad it's you and not me making the decision! I'm just going to give you all my input (and a lot of pictures & links!) to hopefully get your design juices flowing!

I guess first you need to decide how formal you want to go. Also - how and if you want to incorporate color? Do you want to have the chairs nuetral but then upholster them in a colorful fabric? Do you want the chairs completely nuetral, and then bring in color with your linens and dishes? BTW - I love your dining room decor. The framed plates are such an amazing idea! Sorry for not responding sooner!

Here are a few photos I snapped from my Idea Notebook, all from Better Homes & Gardens.

I love how all these chairs are different (including the fabric), but they're unified by the stain:

I have also seen it where someone takes all different types of wooden chairs and paints them the same color to unify them, even though they're all different shapes and sizes. That's more of an informal, eclectic look, so I'm not sure that's what you're going for in here. In this room, I really like the mix of the yellow and green. And I love the frameless mirrors on the wall. It's actually given me an idea for something to do above my bed, so just keep this picture in mind for the future!

These chairs all match and are somewhat formal, but the tie on the cushion gives them some interest and are supposed to look like ribbons on ballet slippers:

These chairs are just really unique and I bet would be comfortable for a long family dinner (something to consider!). They remind me of those purses that are made out of seatbelt straps:

These chairs offer great texture, in my opinion. Plus you could swap out the cushions pretty cheaply if you wanted something different:

Speaking of texture, I really love a good woven chair. Here is one from Ikea that is a total steal at $79:

Here it is in action on the third season of Sarah's House (aka My Obession...did you see where Sarah's Cottage has started on HGTV??? Love it.):

I think it's a chair that could go really casual or dressy, depending on its surroundings, and Sarah made it work perfectly in her more formal dining room.

Another route you could go is to do some kind of bench or settee on one side, just to break up all the chairs a little bit. I love this example from Little Green Notebook:

For your table, you would need something longer, so a bench of some kind might be more economical, but I really love this idea. Or, you could keep a simple bench (almost like a picnic table bench) against a long wall in your dining room that seats more people than the number of chairs you have on one side, so when you have a crowd you could swtich out the chairs for the bench on that side. Just a suggestion.

Then there is the option of doing different chairs for the heads of the table. Sometimes I think this looks too grand and formal, but I found this example at BHG's website and I really love the way it looks:

Or you could do something kind of mod and retro with these Herman Miller chairs, also courtesy of BHG online:

I like how the table is really traditional and farmhouse-y, but the chairs are so not. It's an interesting combination that is sort of appealing.

I feel like at some point in one of our conversations (actual conversations, not just virtual) you talked about doing upholstered chairs, so I could be missing the mark altogether here. But wasn't this fun? I love looking at pictures of other people's houses, even if I'm not actually going to use any of those ideas!

I can't wait to see what you decide!



Friday, May 13, 2011

Re: My New Dining Table

Wow - Feels like FOREVER since I've blogged.  Work, work, work.  Enough about that though.  Your dining room table looks BEAUTIFUL!!  I've known all along that your plan was to paint it white, but had no idea how the fully transformed piece would look.  I LOVE IT!!  You should be so proud of yourself.  Your kitchen/dining area has really been transformed over the past few months.

Here at The House of Peach, we are still in search of the perfect dining table.  At one point I had my eye on this beauty:

Grand Baluster Dining Table

However, after visiting the table multiple times in the store, I realize the rough, unfinished top (that Hubby hates and Mama isn't a fan of) is not only impractical, but a bit painful, too.  Hello splinters!

Lately, I've been debating between these two: 

Flatiron Dining Table
1900's Boulangerie Dining Table

 I need to go see them in person though and haven't been back to the store since I vetoed the original table. 

At one point, I thought this was going to be the winner:

Pottery Barn Hyde Dining Table - No Longer Available

 But in person the "wood" wasn't for me.  It looked way too manufactured for the look I am going for.

As you can see these tables are fairly similar.  It's just a matter of finding the PERFECT one.  Sad part is, after I find the table then I have to find chairs!! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Subject: A Banner Day


Okay, finally - time to tell you about Suz's birthday party. As you know, the theme of the party was "It's a Banner Day," which I announced in the invitations. I also showed you a few of the decorations I'd completed the week before the party. The hat and flag sculptures were courtesy of Jordan's instructions and the drink stirrers and pennants were my own creations.

We had a tea party for the afternoon party, but this is Florida so we opted against hot tea. Plus, hot tea just seemed really formal and fussy and not really our style. So I had several pitchers of iced tea and a tray full of tea condiments, including lemons, simple sugar syrup, mint leaves and raspberry syrup. The condiments were served in little creamers from my mom and my collection, and rested on a vintage silver platter of my mom's. I love how everywhere there are very traditional pieces that were used in a playful, fresh way. I also had lemonade in a big old-fashioned-looking glass urn thing and some iced water in my favorite silver pitcher. The glasses were both mine and my mom's, which we combined for an eclectic combination.

The food table included a three-tier plate stand with various traditional tea sandwiches (cheddar & chutney, cucumber & cream cheese and chicken salad), puff pastry bread twists, chocolate dipped strawberries, spinach & artichoke dip, homemade crackers and Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (lemon cupcakes with lemon icing dyed pink).

My mom and I combined our China salad and dessert plates for another eclectic collection and she brought several of her teapots to use as decoration around on the drink and food tables. The flowers are camellias I got from my friend Holly's yard and were significant because, when Suz was born, Holly came over to my house and filled every room with camellias which was such a touching surprise and, thanks to my postpartum hormones, made me cry! We used tea cups and saucers to display the flowers.

For Suz's cake, I originally had the plan to make my own cake using natural ingredients. I found a recipe online that used baby food in the ingredients and it actually tasted really good (Suz sampled some with her dinner the night before and loved it), but when it came time to ice it the whole thing just fell apart. So we called Publix a few hours before the party and they happily iced a tiny cake for us. I decided to keep it really simple with just Suz's monogram on top, which I thought was perfect. Suz apparently thought it was too perfect to eat, because she didn't really want to touch the cake, and when she did, she wouldn't eat any of it. So glad I stressed about the cake!

I used the windows to display pictures and outfits of Suz's early days, like her going-home-from-the-hospital-outfit and one of the little T-shirts she practically lived in in the beginning. I used our large front window to display all of Suz's monthly pictures (background here) that I took in the same chair each month, with little banner indicating the month. So really, I have been planning this party for an entire year.

Probably the best idea I had relating to this party was the fact that I hired my friend, Annie McElhaney, to take pictures throughout the party and then family pictures afterwards. It was so nice to not have to think about taking pictures of everything and allowed everyone to enjoy the party without having to worry about documenting everything. The party began just as Suz's afternoon nap was ending, so Annie even joined Mr. Lass and me getting Suz out of bed and getting her dressed for the party. Here is information about Suz's dress, and the monogrammed bloomers were a gift from a friend of mine following her birth. They were perfect for the party because, whenever Suz had her cake (but did not eat it too), I stripped her down to just her bloomers, so they were cute to have on under her dress.

Phew - I think covered everything! It really was such a fun, exciting day that centered around family and Suz was the star. I was so grateful to all the family who made a special trip into town to attend the party. The whole party was a lot of work and preparation, but it was completely worth it. Is it too early to start planning for next year???