Office Makeover: New DIY Spoonflower Curtains

The guest bedroom portion of the office is full of unwrapped presents, tissue paper, empty Amazon boxes, raffia, wrapping paper, scissors, tape… gift boxes, gift bags, gift everything. But I cleared it out to snap a few pics because there are officially four new curtains in the space!

You might remember that I had initially attempted to hunt down store bought curtains or fabric (not-too-heavy because of the dark walls, not-too-airy so that they would still ‘ground’ the space) but none was to be found.

Then I decided to make my own design and my own fabric using Spoonflower. I designed a Suzani print in Illustrator and then pulled colors out of other spaces in the room – the turquoise in the new fabric bulletin boards, the browns in the grasscloth wallpaper and chocolate walls, and then a soft sage green to pull the two together. You can find the fabric here in Spoonflowers’ gallery (plus all of the different color variations I tried out).

It took so long to finally get the fabric because Spoonflower and I were playing send-the-swatch. They would send me three swatches and the colors would be all wrong, I’d adjust in photoshop and resubmit. Repeat that for about four more times and finally the ideal color showed up on my doorstep. Spoonflower has plenty of helpful color matching tools but really screen resolution can be so subjective – it’s hard to not end up with some crazy bright greens and marine blues when all you’re really looking for is subtle aqua. Spoonflower was great though, they even credited me for a crazy batch or two of samples (betcha can’t spot which ones below).

Remember this post? Who would have thought that I would have a complete change of heart just as I was clicking the ‘order now’ button and would end up choosing the lightest (color-wise) of the bunch?

Here’s the funny mock-ups I made in Photoshop to test out the different colors.

You might notice that I have just a plain white comforter on the bed now and not that pretty pin-tuck version (above) that I found at HomeGoods for a lot cheaper than the one that I love at West Elm — only problem was that it’s a king (the last size left)! and I tried to make it work (even considered cutting it and hemming it to a smaller size) but after whipping up my own version of the pin-tuck to cover a body pillow (leaning up against the headboard) I realized that I could make my own duvet cover for MUCH cheaper. That’s in the works.

So back to those curtains… the fabric from Spoonflower arrived! And I love it! To me it’s just perfect in the space. The sheen allows just enough light through and it matches so well with the dark brown walls, grasscloth, tan bedding and even wood furniture in the room.

Here’s a close up of how the light easily passes through the curtains to help brighten the dark walls.

After sewing up the curtains I love, love, love how they turned out.

But there is one small problem… I guessed (from the little swatch) that the new fabric would work swimmingly with the current headboard fabric. And I really guessed wrong on that one. :(

Here’s a close up of how the fabrics don’t play well together:

I guess maybe the headboard is too silvery grey with its cool undertone and the curtains are too warm with their bronze and tan colors.

SO the big decision is do I scrap the curtains for the headboard and put them in a different room (our dining room, perhaps?) or do I cover up my headboard (which I equally love!) in favor of the new curtains?

That’s going to be a tough one.

When it came to sewing the curtains I  made an easy pocket at the top for hanging.

Good thing Liv is such a solid sleeper at night. My sewing hours these days are somewhere between midnight and 2am. That’s probably Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in the background.

To make a quick pocket curtain out of fabric, I cut my fabric into four panels that were each the length of the curtain rod to floor + 5″ for top hem + 4″ for bottom hem. I pinned the hems into place (1″ for each length-wise side, 4″ for the bottom and then 1″ for the top) and then folded the top of the panel over to create a 4″ pocket (so that initial 1″ hem + new 4″ pocket is how I got my 5″ top hem).

Here’s a shot at one side plus the pinned pocket:

I then pressed those hems into place and pulled out the pins:

And then I sewed, sewed, sewed!

But here’s a tip that I’m sure you all know… and that I didn’t pick up on until three curtains in. To make a cleaner hem, fold your fabric once:


Fold a second time:


And sew the double fold. So much prettier!

To compliment all of those night shots of sewing ;), here’s a later-in-the-evening shot of the curtains where you can see the colors a bit better:

I love how my Spoonflower curtains turned out, but now we have to solve the problem of whether they’ll stay or go… or if the headboard gets an update.

Happy Monday! Just six days until Christmas :).

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: diy fabric bulletin board panels, handmade capiz pendant light, organizing the bookshelves, wall collage part 1, part 2, fabric bulletin board inspiration, (new) inspiration board, new lamps, wallpapering open shelves, finding the perfect credenza, new trim, dining table-to-desk, a new desk & bookshelves, installing remnant carpeting, grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nookfinding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300,inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.

Friday Guest Blog Interview: Jennifer of Seakettle

I’m very excited to introduce you to today’s guest blogger. I first discovered Jennifer’s incredible crafty talent when a good friend of mine suggested I check out her sister-in-law’s blog, Seakettle. I was enthralled. Jennifer has a knack for repurposing, designing, baking and of course everything crafting – and she’s a fantastic photographer to boot.

Just for fun, here’s a sneak peek at her home this Christmas – it’s full of great handmade ideas:

Jennifer is a graphic designer living in Los Angeles — making, baking and creating!

Those are handmade chocolate leaves. Mmmm. And Jennifer makes molding them look so easy on her blog. More peeks at her projects and home after the jump. Plus her answers to Pepper’s four usual interview questions regarding inspiration, trends and top tips!…

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2011 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Ladies

10 days until Christmas! Which means you are officially just able to sneak in one last online shopping spree before seriously risking receiving packages on time. (One of the reasons I love Amazon Mom Prime! You would think they paid me for how much I endorse them ;))

Here are a few gift ideas for the ladies this holiday season. Some are traditional, some not so much. I hope it’s helpful for finding the perfect gift for your mom, wife, aunt, sister or friend. (Here’s a quick link to the kid’s gift guide and the boy’s gift guide, too.)

Let’s dive right in.

I love the simplicity and durability of Hobo wallets. I have had my current version for at least 8 years and I’m finally ready for a new one. This turquoise is perfect!

This big cable-knit sweater looks so comfy to crawl into at the end of the day.

I’m having a very hard time choosing between this watch from Monday’s style board post and this Timex above. I love watches – they’re the simplest and most practical piece of jewelry – and would be so thrilled to receive one of these this Christmas.

There are so many different styles of aviators out there but these Marc Jacobs are my favorite. I lost my second pair several months ago and haven’t justified buying another.

These earrings by Etsy artist Bella Jewels are simple and beautiful.

I keep one of these on my desk and it’s the niftiest little tool. No need to go digging through Kevin’s workbench if I have a nail to hang or a screw to tighten — the handle portion of the hammer screws right off revealing different size and types of screwdriver heads that screw on to the base making it a 6-in-1 tool. And I love the floral design.

These $29 striped throws from West Elm would make a great gift this Christmas. I’d love the blue throw for the back of our couch.

If you’re shopping for any chefs this Christmas consider gifting a bottle of real vanilla extract. There’s really no comparison to the imitation stuff most grocery stores sell. Extracts are one of those odd souvenirs that I try and bring home from traveling, there are delicious, hidden gems out there!

A friend recently shared this Anthro find with me and I thought it was so cool. This is a rolling pin I’d be displaying on the counter and not tucked away in a drawer.

While I’m not the head chef around these parts, I think this book is the best! It’s an easy and practical way to create basic, healthy meals.

Organic soap from Soap Hope is heavenly. They sent a sample my way and I don’t know how but it ended up at the bottom of my pen container on my desk (?), long story short every time I pull out a pen for work I am surrounded by the most intoxicating fragrance! So much so that I might grind up another bar of soap when there’s none left. Soap Hope invests 100% of profits to empower women around the world and to end the cycle of poverty.

Coffee comes with me everywhere and this would be a fun way to tote it around.

I’ve created a memory box (and have plans to create a few more) for every 4-5 years of tangible items that I want to put aside. By slowly cutting down on all of the ticket stubs, graduation announcements, wedding programs, birthday cards and so on that I’ve saved, I’m keeping just the most memorable mementos for my future grandchildren. Plus, special items such as Liv’s hospital hat, coins from a country we’ve traveled to or shells from a vacation have a box home that doesn’t require flattening. (Keep an eye out for deals, they have them all of the time).

I’d love to add this design book to the coffee table collection. And this one, too! I love Holly Becker , she’s the sweetest! Read her interview with PDB here.

When it comes to gift giving you cannot go wrong with a good set of stationary.

I love natural wooden picture frames (I’m on the verge of having too many) but this is a beautiful one that I’d be happy to add to the collection.

I’m trying to find a way to incorporate this fabric tape into Liv’s first birthday decor. Random, I know, but I was inspired by this party and I’m ready to get planning.

There’s something about the color and pattern of this mustard throw pillow that I’m really attracted to. It would look great in our living room.

Thick boot socks are where it’s at when it’s cold outside and you’ll be traipsing around the city for a few hours. I can not have enough thick, comfy boot socks.

These foldable shoes are really great for throwing into your bag when you’re on the go. They don’t have much of a sole so you can’t run your errands in them, but boy are they handy at the end of a night in heels.

See Jane Work’s leather portfolios are both professional and pretty. Same with this expandable tote that helps to sort paperwork or to serve as a traveling office when I often need to get work done on the road.

I adore this blouse by EmersonMade.

I’m working on breaking out of my muted color shell around the office and I just bought this baby blue iPad 2 cover for my tablet (I know, ground breaking ;)).

A shoulder tote that functions as a file folder/briefcase is key for me, I love this over-sized vintage tote. It’s also large enough to stash a few diapers and a sippy cup!

I use this leather cover for my iPhone – it has card pockets for my credit card and ID making it an easy item to toss in the diaper bag on the run. But this case by Kate Spade is so much funner!

Etsy artist The Spotted Barn designed this business card holder that is playful and fun.

Here is my idea of a great business shoe. Ideal for the office and casual enough for a Sunday morning bridal shower.

I just bought this Allover sequins top at The Limited on Black Friday and I love it. It’s my new favorite sparkly piece.

I first discovered Helen Ficalora back in college and have loved her jewelry ever since. Before it was trendy to wear initials on jewelry she has the most beautiful gold charms, and now she designs them with inlaid shapes and cutouts (here’s another alternative).

Candles are a classic gift for Christmas. They’re perfect for stocking stuffers or for the holiday gift exchange. Crash candles sent this guy my way and I think it’s a pretty cool piece to display, too.

A customized tray makes a great hostess gift.

I’ve been looking for an infinity scarf kind of like this one. Most seem to swallow my entire neck, hmmm… maybe I’ll make my own by stitching two ends of one of a current scarves together.

This lacquer elf would go awesome with my nutcracker statue :).


For more ideas, check out my most recent Houzz Ideabook with 20 stocking stuffer finds for under $15 here. Merry Christmas!

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