Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Week 1:4 Wardrobe Therapy. The Quiz.

Wardrobe Therapy?
What's this?
You can read all about it here. Wende in Phoenix has decided to expand MGR's approach to curing one's appartment to curing one's wardrobe. Since I still live in one or two pairs of favourite pants and my Mother's hand-me-down T-shirts, I thought I might play along and see what happens.

The Quiz.

More Favorites.
Candidate for "Best Dressed," real or fictional.
I hate these questions. All they do is reveal my complete cultural illiteracy. I picked up a copy of something, Us, I think, in some waiting room somewhere. I didn't recognize one person. Truly. I guess, of those I know, I'd have to say Katherine Hepburn: as she dresses, on her own. So sensible. And, oddly, enough, Martha Stewart. Not as she dresses herself--I have no idea how she dresses herself, but how her people dress her. She always looks good in her ads and you never notice what's she's wearing. Which is sort of the point.

Favorite garment/outfit EVER.
A dark blue with tiny white polka dot scoop neck dress with a little flip skirt from the Gap. And I mean little. It fell somewhere on my thighs, well above my knees. It's the shortest thing I've ever worn. I accessorised with sheer black hose and ankle height "granny" boots and dangly hoop earrings. I was hot. This was, oh, 10 years ago now.

Current favorite garment.
A grey wool sweater...but the sleeves fall into my dishwater and it's very warm to it's reserved for when I leave the house.

Favorite thing to wear, if reality weren't an issue in any way, shape, or form.
Anything that needs ironing.

Favorite store, given unlimited wealth.
Again, I'm completely ignorant of what's out there.

Favorite fashion faux-pas story to tell, now that the scars have healed.
The scars haven't healed.

How You Live & the People Around You

If there were a uniform for the place where you spend most of your time, what would it be?

If there were a uniform for where you spend your leisure, what would it be?
um, PJ's?

Your Wardrobe

What is the problem with your wardrobe?
Wardrobe? What wardrobe?

If your wardrobe could speak, what would it say is the problem?

Thank you for getting rid of the light teal corduroy pants, even though they fit. We didn't like her. She was loud and obnoxious. And those black stretchy pants you wear all the time? We never see her anymore--but honey, the last time we did she had holes where she shouldn't you know what we're saying? And what's with you anyway? Why do we just hang here all the time: we never go anywhere. Honey, give us some love--or give us to somebody who will love us. You sure don't.

We want you to look good when you leave the house, heck sweetheart, we want you to look good even when you are in the house! You say nothing will look good on you because you are so thick around the middle (and the arms and the thighs and the...) but honey, get off your butt and do something about it! It's not our fault we don't suit you. And, admit it, it's true, you have actually seen fat people dressed well. You could be one of those. Don't waste your life wishing it was different. Change it--either get out there and walk (yes, yes, we know all about your feet problems but you don't know if they are fixable or not, so find out!) or get us some company that will make you (and us) proud!

What one thing do you want your wardrobe to do more of?
Wash itself.

What do you want people to say about your wardrobe?
She always looks so put together.
She's so well-dressed (for a fat person).

Day 8.4: Boom Da Da Boom

The computer is now back in the dining room! Of course, I don't have any pictures of this accomplishment, so, as a sorry substitute, I present to you the bookcase.

Here it is in its green incarnation, in the red room:

I painted it with melamine paint while the room was still red. Instructions here. And, many, many days later, we have this:
I just love these before and afters:
(I can be so silly, sometimes.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Day 8.2 What Hubby Did on His Vacation

I didn't think it would happen.

It was worn out, cracked, rusted. When flylady admonished me to "shine my sink" the thing would disintegrate even further, leaving me with rusty bits everywhere. It was demoralising.

But it worked just fine.

Yes. The faucet.

(By the by, by the time we actually replaced the faucet set, these two little rust spots had morphed into Great Spots of Rot. The back was nearly gone.)

Hope against hope, I scouted around and found to my happy surprise there were a few in our price range. I even managed to convince the frugal husband to spend a teeny bit more than he'd want when I found the one I really, really wanted.

But, it isn't ever a matter of simply replacing a faucet. No. In this house, every project is somehow very complicated.

I prepared: I got a Big Home Repair Book (with lots and lots of pictures) from the library...before we even bought the faucet. We looked at flyers and even went to the store on the last day of the "sale" even though we didn't get the faucet on sale. Then, we discussed what we needed to do. Discussed it again. Looked at the pictures in the book. Took the faucet out of the box. Looked at the instructions. Realised Ikea isn't the only one who writes instructions for the illiterate. Realised they'd be useless.

The next day we went back to the store to get our supplies.

We asked the helpful folks at the store for a shut off valve for copper pipe. After much fiddling, a fellow comes back and presents us with this thing about six inches long and costing about $20. My husband begins to argue with the guy, saying that's not what we need. Instead of walking out on my husband (which I was tempted to do) I went around the corner to the other aisle and picked up the box with the faucet we had purchased inside. I told him, "We want to connect this to copper pipe and have shut off valves."
"With transparent handles," my husband adds.
OK. Turns out it was all a misunderstanding and the shut off valves (with the transparent handles) actually come with the compression valves we need to fit on the copper pipe. A little flexible hose, a tube of plumbers putty and we're in business.

This is what it looked like under the sink.
In case you've never looked before: those long vertical white things on either side of the drain pipe are (painted) copper pipes. They're soldered to the (mostly unpainted) faucet copper pipes above. That white thing underneath the pipes is our water filter. It's connected to a separate tap with the hose you see there. It's attached to the cold water supply with something called a "saddle valve." (It merely pierces the copper pipe and then retracts to let the water flow through). Our goal throughout the project was to keep that hose connected to the tap above. We did not want to have to figure out how to re-install it.

A hacksaw took care of separating the pipes. And then it was a very simple matter of applying a bit of plumbing putty (or even plumbers tape which the husband swears by) around the edges and screwing in to place. See them? Right there, peaking out from behind the drain pipe. Of course, with transparent handles, they're easy to miss!

The complicated part came when we realised we'd have to remove the sink in order to remove the old faucet set. Not only were the rusted out bolts right behind the sink (and he really did try to remove them, keeping the sink in place. Got every single ratchet wrench we own, too. None of which "ever" work, of course.) But. There's this:
I had known we'd have to take the sink out. I had even mentioned it casually the night before. That way, when the husband realised it for himself, it wouldn't be such a Big Unpleasant Surprise and he was able to take it in stride a little more easily. And so, the sink is removed.
(I'm not going to talk about how disgusting and awful the whole job was. We cleaned up as we went along. Steel wool is wonderful.)

(weird brief interlude) Just as my husband was putting putty back on our nice clean counter and I was holding the sink, the doorbell rang. As our daughter rushed to answer the door, we told her to tell whomever it was that we were busy and couldn't come to the door.

"Oh, you're parents say they're too busy, eh?"

And just the way it was said alerted both of us. My husband went to the door. Disappeared. I saw him reappear with a police officer in our backyard. They went into the garage. They went to the bike shed. Meanwhile, I'm still holding the sink, praying they'd be done quickly.

Turns out, our neighbour's garage had been broken into the night before and the officer was just having a look around. He advised us to lock the bikes in the shed and remove any valuable from the garage.

Fortunately, the interlude didn't take long.
And then the husband realised that the new faucet is to be attached underneath the sink with a gizmo that came in the box. Out came the sink. Gizmo and faucet attached. And then it was a simple matter of attaching the pipes from the floor to the pipes in the faucet with the flexible hose (and of course I don't have a picture! But believe me, it's just a mess of hoses down there now) reattaching the drain, setting the sink back in (and it is in staraight now, gol dang it!) and voila: our shiny new faucet set.
The irony is, of course, we couldn't use the sink for another day. But thanks to the shut off valves, we could turn the water back on. That was terrific. The great long screws used to hold the sink in place were completely rusted out. The husband went to the store to replace them and found out "they don't attach sinks like that anymore." So, he soaked them in something overnight and, somehow, they worked well enough the next day.

Another irony: the hose to the water filter tap had to remain connected to the solid copper pipe: which means it is below the shut-off valve. So, replacing the water filter--which I do about once a year--means I have to shut off the water to the house.

Nonetheless, I'm a happy wife.

Day 8.1 Little Things

One of the things I love about the Cure is all the little things I finally get around to doing. Oh sure, installing taps and painting rooms and furniture might not get done without it, but neither do all those little annoying things that need to be done which seem to get neglected in the day-to-day operation of life. They bring a sense of satisfaction all out of proportion to the amount of effort required.
In the cure Fall 06, I replaced the broken dimmer switch in the dining room. It had a huge impact on my day to day life. No longer did I have to search for a pencil to shove in the hole to turn out the light.

This cure, I

(1) threw out my old "toast" sized plates and replaced them with a matching set. It's easier not because they match: but because stacking them back into the cupboard is no longer a mensa test in spatial organization.

2) Replaced five black and white dinner plates with five in blue willow China. OK, this one was purely for pleasure.

3) This one is a test: can you see the difference between these two pictures?

This one will actually make a difference to my marriage. No longer will I have to nag my husband to turn out the light. It used to shine right at my eyes sitting at the table and I hated it. I've known about this lampshade for about a year. In fact, I even have another one in the hallway upstairs. I'm a grown woman--why do I need permission from some author/web guy in New York to get rid of the glare? Of course, it did cost $24.95.

4) hung the matching drapery panel in the living room. (I don't seem to have a picture. I'll remedy that!)

5) installed knobs on the cabinet in the front entry way.

6) put a pull-thingy back on the pull cord on the overhead fan.

7) replaced the thin, mean hooks on the back of the door to our bedroom with thick, beefy ones.

This will save my sleeping T-shirts.

So, as we trundle through this last week, I strongly encourage you to look after the "little things." You might change your life (or at least save that favourite T-Shirt)!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Day 7.7 Curing with Kids

Today, I learned my daughter is following well in the footsteps of her mother and Grandmother. Only seven, she's already a pack-rat. Every object is a treasure, to hold an object is to tell a story. After having sent her to clean her own room for two days straight, it was still a disaster.

This room is also enormous. It used to hold both kids--their beds, two armchairs and two dressers. Now, it is the Duchy of Junk. She was told: no attending the neighbourhood halloween party today until the room was clean. We had two hours.

Those blue things on the wall are Cinderella's cut from one length of border paper. We didn't have enough to do the room, but she wanted them desperately. I think I need to freehand a ribbon or something to connect them.

(my apologies for the poor quality of these photos.)

Dad suggested we bring up the Trofast unit from the basement to house all the stuff in various boxes and baskets on the floor. I washed out all the containers while she was at Church. We put them on the bed and started filling them when she got home. Dad made lunch.

My job was the same as it is when I'm helping my Mom. I hand her stuff and say, "Stay or go?" As with my Mom, my job is to cut any story evoked by any object short. In my daughter's case, we set up a laundry basket which I kept filling and she kept emptying, sorting it into her bins. We didn't let go of much unfortunately.

However, two hours later, we had this:

To the left is the Trofast unit. It used to sit in my living room and hold ALL the toddler toys (and I thought we had too many toys then!) It needs to be sanded and painted. The girl wants "baby blue." And she doesn't want that great chair.
The table will be moved into the Dining room, for now.
That dresser, I painted many moons ago. I want to repaint it, but the girl won't let me--though she will let me put flowered knobs on it. Hmmm. We may be able to negotiate something.

We didn't touch the shelves. Well, I didn't except to remove about a half dozen magazines and a few books I had stashed in there (oops). The girl may have rearranged a few things. Can you see a difference? I can't see difference.

We got that headboard via freecycle. I wanted to paint it white. She loved it as is. So, it stayed sponged purple with stenciled burgandy angels. She says they watch over her when she sleeps.

I didn't primp to take these shots. I wanted to get a record of her room while it was clean--and that meant taking them before she got home from the party!

Next spring we may tackle the boy's room.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day 7.6 The Bedroom

Have you ever seen my bedroom?

It's a large room. And I won't give it up until the day comes when I can't climb the stairs anymore. (There's a bedroom on the main floor). The husband has suggested once or twice that we move into the room downstairs and "let the kids have the upstairs." Um. No.

Coming in the door and looking left there is this. These are the doors (and trim) I'm dying to paint. It's just too much reddish-brown! This is the dresser in its white incarnation (sitting with two coats of primer for four or more years) before the "barn board" fiasco.

I hate that fan, too. The kids hung things on it to watch them fling across the room. Fan blades aren't supposed to tilt down like that! I love my "cow" blanket, though. I got that at some BIG country store (with a restaurant attached) off the Interstate somewhere below Ohio and before Louisiana on a road trip to New Orleans many years ago.

I bought a nice teal blanket from Ikea today. I've yet to see if it'll work with the toile.


I've had that loveseat since forever. It served as my couch in not a few apartments I've had! I will be recovering it and using the toile.

 I have to laugh when I see that laundry hamper. I thought I was doing a Good Thing by recovering it in Mac-tac blue and white stripes and a Martha Stewart napkin on top (I even had coordinating lampshades covered in that napkin at one point). Now, it just seems Loud and Obnoxious.

Today I bought plain white mac-tac to re-cover it. The short little curtains have since been replaced as well. (See the snow out the window? Brrr. That'll be next week folks. We had a light dusting of it this morning.)

The bed. You've seen it before, but this is a recent picture.
I went out and bought the Ikea cover after staring at my uncovered white duvet for most of the winter. I wanted something cheery. I had grand plans of hanging brown curtains from the ceiling, down the slope and behind the bed. I was going to use the Deca system from Ikea until I found out it really doesn't like a lot of weight. I was beginning to think the brown would be a bit oppressive anyway, so I scraped that idea. Now, I just have this Loud Orange bed cover that doesn't go with a thing (except all that wood, maybe? Shudder).

Here are my bookshelves, in the bedroom, right behind the door. There's a bit more space there, as per the magazine purge of last week, but there could be more.
(That wall is the entire width of the powder room--about three feet!)
And there you have it. The Grand Bedroom tour. As it has been for many years. Plans include:

Starting with the bed:1) A headboard.
2) New lampshades
3) Lifting my husband's night table so it is the same height as mine.
4) I'm not sure about painting them or not. I'm afraid it'll be just Too Much White.
5) Painting the sloped ceiling and a bit of the side walls in a nice darkish blue to emphasize the alcove. We'll see about that when we get the wall-to-wall headboard constructed.
6) I need a tailored bedskirt or something. Right now I have a nasty ruffled white bed-skirt. It's so cheap, you can even see boxspring underneath if you look closely.
7) A new cover for the duvet and fabulous toile pillows.

The shelves:Not much, really. Just general weeding. I could free up some space in the linen closet and keep our bedding in a basket or something here. That might be cool.

The loveseat:Ahh, now for this, I have plans. I want to use material from a canvas drop cloth to cover the back, sides and bottom. The cushions will be made from the toile and a coordinating solid. Sort of half and half, like this:
This is from The Haymarket Hotel....same designer as Covent Gardens. Clever Woman.
Oh, I haven't shown you the toile. (I scanned in a piece of it just for you. This is about 9" x 11.75") :
I would put it where the darkish fabric is now on those chairs and put a solid cream (that background is cream/off white) below. I was thinking of doing the bottom cushions the same way. There'd be a striped effect with the solids meeting one another in the middle but I can break that up with a pillow or two. (I like to read with one on my lap and rest the book on it.)

The Curtains.
These, have, fortunately, been changed. I just don't have a decent picture. I've got a woven wood blind which both the husband and I love and white curtains beside them. That reminds me, they need to be re-hemmed.
Time-line for all of this?
Well, winters are long.....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 7.5 A New Tradition

Here are my flowers for this week.

There's a short story behind them.

A few years ago, my husband decided that I should be honoured on my children's birthday--I was the one who did all the hard work, after all! So, he decided to have the children get me flowers on their birthday. I love it--especially as my husband loathes "commercially made up" special days like Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. So, I get flowers 2x a year from the kids instead. It all works out.
These are from my son who turned 10 on Sunday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 7.4 Update on Kitchen Chairs

(Can you tell I just got a new batch of pictures developed?)

Here, at long last are the kitchen chairs.
I started with this:

Clearly something had to be done. Remember all the paint cans I dragged out of the cupboard? They were all pastels. Like this yellow one:

The consensus was they all needed to be stronger in colour. And so they are. I present to you, four chairs, newly painted:

All colours, Benjamin Moore.
The red: Raspberry Truffle (2080-10) (Yes, paint left over from the red dining room. It's nice to have a bit of it around).
The blue: Buckland Blue (HC-151)
The green: Jalepeno Pepper (2147-30)
The orange: Pumpkin Cream (2168-20)

And, here they are in action (with the dining room table now in the kitchen).

(That's Chicken Pot Pie and Cabbage Salad for supper. We are so bourgeois!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

7.3(b) A Nightmare...of course!

Just a short note to say, the husband and I have purchased our new faucet for the kitchen sink and it is absolutely beautiful. (It's shiny chrome, by the way, not brushed as this photo may lead you to believe.)
Installing it may be an absolute nightmare.

We have copper pipes with no shut-off valves. You'd think someone could have put them in before we took up residence, but no, of course not. And that means we'll have to do it ourselves. We're not sure we can without getting into sodering. But that's not going to be the nightmare. No, the nightmare will be getting the old faucet set removed.

The pipes are connected to the taps about two-three inches underneath--yep, right behind the sink. That means removing the sink. I haven't told the husband yet about this latest development.

Day 7.3: Bathroom Recap

Last year, during the fall cure, at the urging of my fellow curees, I decided to re-do the bathroom. There was mold on the ceiling above the tub, and I was encouraged to scrape it off and repaint. Some of you may remember that!
I picked the blue to match the plastic I had on the shower curtain rod. I don't know what I was thinking. I actually threw out that rod, so now the ceiling is just blue. For no apparent reason.

Somehow, that led to scraping all the walls in the bathroom and applying oil paint. It took months. I don't know why.

Well, after it's Big Clean last week, I took photos so I could show you the transformation from Then to Now.
It's a tiny bathroom. Here is the sink:

Tada. (Bye, bye Debbie Travis rope stencil!)

The shelving over the toilet: greatly reduced and somehow, I haven't missed any of that stuff. (Especially the dead spider plant. What a mess it made!)
And then, turning back towards the door: this is the change that happened there:
(Yuck. I really do need to do something about those towels!)
And so, there we have it.

The bathroom that Nimo Built.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Day 7.1: Meditation on Magazines.

It's been a slow awakening.

In my mid-twenties I began to realise that I had no idea what good taste was. Up until that point I'd decorated with packing boxes and bits of old fabric. Candles. Prints of beautiful artwork. I had a desk, a chair to read in, two lamps, a table, four chairs, and a futon bed with a headboard and foot board. My dresser was a bunch of milk crates on the floor. So was my bedside table. Shelving was made out of boards on blocks. I had one set of curtains only--in the tiny bedroom (not even wide enough for the double bed. I had to angle it.) Yes, they were "made" out of a pretty patterned towel and thumbtacks. The best thing in that apartment though was the peg board I'd spray painted fire engine yellow and put in the kitchen to hold every single thing except the cutlery, glasses and plates. (I did have two tiny drawers in the kitchen and one overhead cabinet.) I didn't know it was a Julia Child thing. I hadn't even heard of Julia Child.

But, while writing my Master's thesis in that beautiful light filled and bare apartment, I decided I needed an education of another sort: I needed to know how to decorate. And so what did I do? I started buying the only magazine then around. Yes. Architectural Digest.

But my real education began when I purchased a dollhouse. Yes, a dollhouse. I wanted to know "what style" it was, in "what period" I should decorate it. I'd seen the Thorne Rooms in Chicago, and I wanted to get it right. So, with the meagre library at my disposal in the dinky Ontario town I lived in, I began researching.

I had so much fun, I decided to study residential design. But then I got pregnant and I got married and I realised the program I'd started wouldn't help me do what I wanted. And even if I did luck out and was able to find a niche helping people live well on small budgets, it would require long hard hours away from this other new thing I was creating: my family. I didn't want to take my time away from my new husband and my new son.

But then I began to notice something: more and more magazines devoted to interior design were starting to pop up like weeds. Something called HGTV came on the air. I counted on being able to continue my education by watching TV, looking at and reading magazines. I did my best. I started dreaming of bumping out the kitchen, then, tearing down a wall or two to enlarge the kitchen, then, building a decent entryway. Pulling out our bank statement, the husband put a kibosh on every plan and scheme. So, I shifted focus to decorative stuff: recovering the sofa, making curtains, recovering lampshades: all inspired by and instructed by magazines. I amassed a collection.

This is some of it AFTER the cure last year. Appalling.

I did learn a lot: both from the courses I took and the magazines I read and re-read. There was talk of "creating a focal point" in a room, and even of what it should be, but there was no discussion of how that was to be done. What makes things stand out and be noticed? What makes things disappear? That's what I needed to know, but I didn't really know I needed to know that until I took pictures of my own space for the Cure last year. The pictures showed me things my eyes glossed over. The pictures didn't show me things I loved and focused on with my own eyes while standing in the room. And so, as I cut out pictures for my style tray last year, I began to analyse what I saw more closely. What colours were there? How were they used? In what proportions? But no one told me why. Why did I notice this and not that? Again, the magazine was mute. What did I like? I wasn't finding anything I really liked. Oh, a colour scheme here, a rug, there. But there was no "look" that really appealed to me, my lifestyle and my budget factored in. And more and more the magazines began to become useless to me.

An instructor in one of my classes made a comment once about ads: "You can't really decorate from an ad," she said. "They're not a examples of good interior design," she said.
This puzzled me. "Why?" I asked her.
"Well, they're ads," was all she could say. (No, not one of the better instructors in the program, this woman).

Thanks to Wende in Phoenix, I now know why.

And as I began to understand that, I also began to look at the editorial spreads differently. Wall colours, even when the mags list them are sort of useless: my light is different from their light. Furniture layout is of some help, except my room isn't quite laid out like that. Camera lenses distort things, anyway. These materials are gorgeous but forever out of our price range. And so it goes.

For a long time, I was just angry with my husband. If we could just bump out this wall, afford that shelving and cabinetry, that sofa, those pillows, our life would be so much better. Decorating is my "artistic expression" why wasn't he allowing me to express myself? So, I brought home tea towels and oven mitts and chafed.

The magazines weren't just becoming useless, they were starting to sow the seeds of envy and dissatisfaction. The harvest wasn't pretty. And so they became my escape, my refuge, my fantasy.

Strangely enough, I believe it's The Cure and the communities at AT which are reducing my addiction to magazines. How on earth, you may wonder, does a decorating and design blog help? It helps because it is real.

The homes are real. Oh, surely most have tidied up before taking their photos and, true, there is a sort of design bias to the places featured, but mostly, it's all real. It's not lint-free. The photos aren't professionally lit and staged with pillows and flowers brought in specially for the shoot. So this is how people with taste, with a sense of design really live. This is how people with fugly furniture fix it. And so I'm inspired to do the best I can with what I have. I'll probably always dream of that bump out in the kitchen, but, I begin to appreciate the space I have (while trying to increase it by decreasing the clutter and Quieting Loud Furniture).

Last week, barely able to look at them, I emptied my shelf of this:

and got this:

I think I can do better.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day 6:6 Boom Dada Boom

I cleaned the bathroom!
I'll spare you the details.
Suffice it to say the little one was sick last night and it really was time to scrub anyway.

It feels great! Now, for the powder room upstairs.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Day 6.5 (b) Boom Dada Boom

Holes in walls are drilled. I've got the brackets up and the supports banged into place. The shelves are marked for cutting. Why no exclamation points? Well, I screwed up my measurements somehow, so I'm not going to realise the effect I was after. And, to me, as a result, it looks a bit "off." I don't suppose anyone will notice. But I'll always know.

The next step is to cut the shelves and paint them. And although the pine looks nice with my new wall colour, they're only a "walk-on" part and so Need To Be Quieted. (See Wende's metaphor in the SF week six thread).

Actually, Wende's metaphor is too good not to share, so here it is without her permission:
Decorating is like directing a play: you don't want the supporting players upstaging the billed stars, as that not only cheeses off the divas but also disrupts the balance of the action and the intended message. So if the shelving is intended to be a walk-on and something else (say, the dining table) is supposed to have its name in lights, then looking like every other Expedit is desirable. The action was never intended to develop a fully rounded character for the shelving.

Thank you Wende.

Day 6.5: White it Shall Be...

Time to give up perfectionism.

I'll do what I can with hot water (and vinegar) to remove what's left of the veneer and I'll paint the dresser white. Shiny White.
Did you all catch the little thing on the Covent Garden Hotel at AT:NY yesterday? I spent hours looking at nearly all the room in all the hotels last night. I love how Kit Kemp has mixed up her fabrics and created such polished, sophisticated, yet light and airy rooms.

This is from the Knightsbridge.

I'm inspired to do the bedroom now. I've had a headboard project in the back of my mind for ages (at least a year). I have to say, though, that I'm a bit tired of doing projects, right now, so I'm not making any promises. But here's the inspiration:

I want to translate that to this space: The top of the left picture frame is about where the eaves start to slope. That little door on the right side of the bed is why I need a wall to wall headboard. The trim sticks right into my back when I read. We need to retain access to it to insulate the eaves (eventually).
I was also browsing fabrics. I have about two yards of a beautiful blue toile I've never used because there isn't enough to really DO anything with it. But the way Kemp uses two pillows on the bed would be perfect for it. The problem, of course, is getting anything to coordinate with it. So, we'll have to see if any of the fabrics below would match. Of these: which do you think would be good for an "across the wall" headboard? (I think I managed to save all these images at the same scale: 8 1/2" x 11")
In case you can't read that text I just spent ten minutes creating, lets number from left to right, top to bottom. My fave is actually #1. (Chestnut Hill Black-eyed Susan Turquoise) But #4 (Manzanita Lily Espresso) may actually coordinate better with all that dratted wood in the room. I'll have to get swatches. Does anyone know where I can order swatches? I didn't see anything like that at Quilter's (But then, I wasn't signed in). However, the Cdn dollar being what it is these days makes it possible to actually order yards and yards of fabric. I'm excited. HOWEVER--if any of these would be too much, tell me! I don't want to screw up.
So, up for the near future: Scrubbing the bathrooms (yuck). Drilling holes. (Oddly reluctant to mess up my pretty walls). Painting 1) the dressers, 2) the desk drawers units and 3) the shelving to go onto the supports.
It's my son's tenth Birthday on Sunday and we're at a Tae Kwon Do event all day tomorrow, so some of this may have to wait until Monday!

Thanks everyone for your marvelous input yesterday! I am extremely grateful.
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