Monday, September 12, 2011

My curtain conundrum - part two...

So a HUGE shout-out and thank you to Christine of Design with Christine. She's a CA based interior designer, and I'm in the process of designing her website for her. Last week she was kind enough to come up with an AMAZING solution for my little living room, in my little apartment, which I moved into about a month ago.

First, here's what we're dealing with.

Current living room situation. The couch with the tan curtains.  yuck. The couch is nice because it's a color that can look olive green in certain lighting, gray in others, and sometimes tan in others.

The rug is from Iran.  I really love it, but am thinking maybe a larger rug would fit this area better.  I love sisal, so I have my eye out for one I'd like - preferably with a black border. Behind the couch is a nook for my home office, and at the opposite end of the couch is our dining nook. The couch faces a wall with our TV and a bookshelf.

It's hard to tell, but the walls are actually a light aqua/robin's egg blue. (please pardon my currently untamed cords)

Last week, I published a post asking for some suggestions for a better curtain color.  My natural inclination was to turn to white - and some of you agreed.  The below is my curtains which I photoshopped white.  I liked it, but I did think something was missing.  I didn't get that "yes" moment from this image.

Without further ado here's what Christine suggests:

First of all I want to say how super amazed I am at the photoshop job. That is pretty cool! I wish I could do that. I had two semesters of photoshop in college- but it didn't stick. However- the solid white curtains are not so cool. Why?

1. There is a disconnect between the rug, furnishings and curtains. Nothing is bringing them together. You need a unifier.

2. You need more pattern in the room. The strong pattern in the rug is off balance when it is the only pattern around.

3. You need more color in the room. Add color in the curtains, and also some throw pillows. There needs to be repetition of color here and there.

The good news? You can be done by this afternoon. I selected everything form West Elm.
You can still have your drapes light and airy- but add pattern and color."

Christine's West Elm picks: 
love these ikat curtains...

Christine continued 

"I would add to these a black canvas tape on the edge.  Keep in mind that when I say "color" beige is a color.  ;-)  Your window treatments should also be layered.  Add some black woven blinds to be the first layer.

Another exercise you can do is visually draw a horizontal line across the room.  Do you have balance?  Balance with color?  Balance with pattern?  Notice how in the room shot above, (and I know there are many angles we don't see)- there is a lack of balance.  All of the color and pattern are on the bottom of your horizontal line.  Another good reason to use patterned drapes.  The black woven shades will also bring more visual weight into the upper portion of the room, improving your currently bottom heavy lack of balance.  (awesome tip!)

Now- bring in more of your rug colors in some throw pillows."

and love the quilted pillows!!! Christine continued:
"Use one of these.  See the one on the right that is cut off that has the red and black in it?  I thought that would go great with your rug. 

You have white walls and that white needs to be brought into your room more.  (Except not in solid white drapes.  ;-)

Add a white pillow to the mix.

Didn't she come up with some awesome suggestions?!?
Definitely check out her blog - Design with Christine, where you can see the original post.

So, I did a quick photoshopping of what the curtains will look like...

I even added one of the quilted pillows.  I'll add lots more pillows to the couch, but I'm going to sew covers for them after I have new curtains.

I also originally planned to sew curtains - but I'm not sure if I'll beable to find an affordable fabric that's less expensive than just buying West Elm's.  The windows are quite large.  I'll need about 3 yards for each panel (3 panels).

I though this fabric was pretty close...and it's only $11/yd. on etsy.  What do you guys think?

It's definitely more gray, and has a higher percentage of white - but I think it will go well.

I had some other great suggestions from readers  (thanks!!).  One reader suggested a blue ikat - see below

via 6th Street Design School
I really like this as well - but as $23.99 a yard (from Calico Corners) it would be more expensive to make these than to buy the West Elm curtains. I'm also a bit afraid of so much's so pretty though..

So, again - a HUGE thanks to Christine - you're suggestions are spot on.  I will definitely post pictures when I've either made or bought curtains.

Thanks all and more suggestions/ideas are welcome!


katiedid said...

I do like the ikat idea! Here are some indian block print panels from Ballard that could work for a bidget alternative:

In the indigo or black. If black...they might save on not having to do the blinds underneath. Use rings instead of rod pocket to make them easy to open and close. Most important...."off the rack" panels alwyas look sooooo much better if you can have them professionally hung and dressed. Barring a steamer and make sure you get out all of the creasing from the bag they come in. Then use a spray bottle and spray down lightly. Then create the pleats gently that you want. Then tie gently near the bottom of the panel with a cut piece of fabric...anything will do. Leave tie on for a few days so the panels will retain the memory of the pleating. They will look much better!

Good luck with the rest of the room! You have a great start.


Karlita said...

loved that you shared this with us.. great advices from christine! that horizontal line.. very true! good luck and hope to see your final decision!

Christine said...

Thanks for the shout out Ashley! Again- I am so amazed at your photoshopping the curtains and pillows right into the room! What talent! The blue suggestion is also super pretty!

Simone said...

I'd try to find a cheaper fabric online than Calico Corners:


are two places I've recently used. The last one was 60% less than the same fabric at calico corners.

decoratica said...

Hi Ashley!
I'm glad that you liked my idea! Beige curtains are a great option too, but if your walls are aqua... I'll go for white&blue!!
I also suggested you to paint them! I've never tried (yet), but I've seen great results from inexpensive ikea curtians... You just need to buy a great stencil...
Christine's tips are great and I agree you need balance- but if you're not an ethnic style lover, go for stripes or chevron for the pillows... They'll give you texture and I think the result would be cleaner :)
Your space is small so try bold and streamlined paterns, it will look much cleaner!
And don't get rid of your rug - it's great! :)

decoratica said...

I'm not kidding when I tell you to paint them!
You'll love me for this... ;)

Chi & Decó said...

Si me permites una opinión creo que si instalaras unos estores en color blanco o beig el resultado que conseguirias seria más moderno y mas ligero. Para el invierno podrías añadir unoc cojines de pelo largo en gris claro o beig y el reusltado seria estupendo.Besos.

Kerry said...

I can't believe no one has suggested I got some wonderful Robert Allen fabric for $16 yd. but there are less expensive fabrics. You can purchase samples for color check and they ship very quickly.
I agree that the top/bottom color balance is an issue. Don't forget a bit of well placed artwork.

Alexandra said...

The grey and white would definitely look pretty - but if you want more color options that pattern comes in a lot of colorways, including one with beige and an aqua color like your walls: . I used the white-on-beige for a project, if you want to see what it looks like in person: . Hope that helps!

Shana said...

I like the updated curtains and the throw pillow picture. However, I think the biggest hurdle is that the couch and the carpet don't work together color-wise. In the color spectrum, red and green are complementary, though opposing, colors. However, they are also aggressive when put together.

You mentioned a sisal carpet, and I think that would look much better.

Stacy Curran said...

I totally, totally agree. I couldn't believe it when i saw the West Elm Ikats....I have a client with a similar rug, and I've been working on her project today and picked the EXACT same curtains for her to tie the rug to the walls. Love them!

nancy @ {COZAMIA} said...

okay, I want your rug! great job with the photoshop samples, they definitely help.
I really like the west elm curtains, ikat always seems to do the trick with curtains :)


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