Monday, July 9, 2012

Downstairs progress: Inspiration Rooms

When I re-decorate a room, I like to do what they did on a show called "Design on a Dime."  (Is that still on?  I have no time for HGTV these days.  Well, except for Design Star, but that's on at night.)  ANYWAY.  On this show, they would have an "inspiration room," which was a photo of a high-end, expensive room - and then they would duplicate it in their own house with similar, more affordable things.

I'm no interior designer.  I can't just look at a room and dream up beautiful things to do to it.  But (I'd like to think) I can execute the ideas fairly well.  So I love the whole "inspiration room" thing. 

I had an inspiration room for our bedroom...

photo source
that turned into this (still a work in progress)...

....hmm.  Now I actually feel kind of lame.  Well, in my defense, our room is tiny - about 10.5' x 11'.  I kid you not.  Tiny.  Aren't old houses "charming?"  But still, there's no excuse for the bare wall behind the bed - gotta do something about that, it would look so much more finished....


In my search for a nice color palette for the downstairs, I found this room in a BHG photo gallery and fell in love with it:

photo source
Ahhh.  Isn't this beautiful?  So fresh and light.  I love those gray-ish walls with the green and brown.  This became my inspiration room, love at first sight.

First things first, I painted our walls.  I went with a neutral light gray, called "Gentle Rain" by Behr.  What a breath of fresh air!  The previous color was this yellow-ish, caramelly color that had been there for quite a few years.

before - old color
after - new color
 Vive la difference...

So that was that for the paint. (I did paint both rooms, if you're wondering!)

Next up was the curtains.  I dubbed the ones in the inspiration photo "the curtains of my dreams."  My mom actually found the specific fabric online - Waverly "One Wish" in Mint Julep.  Herein lay the problem: I needed 12 yards to do both windows.  At Joann's, that fabric is $40 a yard.  That just ain't happening.  Even if we had the sort of budget where $500 for curtains was do-able, I don't think I'd be able to bring myself to actually do it!  At, it's $16 a yard.  Much better...but still not justifiable for me.  That's still $48 a panel...I just can't do it!  Not when there's fabric like this...

...on sale at Joann's for $7.99 a yard.  Normally $20, it goes on sale once a year for 60% off.  It's from the Waverly Modern Essentials line, called "Fun Floret."  So at $100 for all 12 yards...we're not talking "cheap," but we're now finally talking "do-able." 

And how FUN is this beautiful fabric???

radiators under windows...the bane of my existence!
I could not be happier with these curtains!  They are a fun, fresh pattern and color, and they do so much to brighten up these rooms!

It's coming together, but I still have lots to do.  Next up: wall decor. 


  1. Hi there. I just discovered your blog and I love it's design. I also love all the photos of your house. I think it's very lovely. Do you find a lot of things to upcycle from thrift stores and yard sales. I like the show Design on a Dime too. I think it's still on the air, but I haven't seen it in a long time. I'm a big yard-saler because I like to repurpose things :) I've been using a cool site called I like it because it maps out a route for me! Just wanted to pass that on to a fellow thrifter :)

  2. The curtains turned out wonderfully! i love your bedspread too!

  3. Lookin good Rachel! Love your bedding and those curtains. The new wall color is great! Can't wait to see the finished product in your room!