Category Archives: curtains and sewing

After everything…*

*Lyrics from Heavy Feet by Local Natives. I listened to their newest album, Hummingbird, on repeat for three days straight, and then I took a break so I wouldn’t ruin it for myself. You all know I love them. This song is why. Plus, read on, and you’ll see why these words resonated for this post.

Our eclectic vibe, inspired in part by a gift from my sister.

You see, a few Christmases ago, my younger sister gave me a print of a Kandinsky painting she spied that reminded her of my love for blurry dots. I actually and sincerely love that side-effect of having poor distance vision, that blurring of all the edges and background that happens in movies, the way that light turns into semi-transparent glowing orbs that sparkle and move when you blink. It’s really just poor vision, but I find it beautiful (and one of the reasons I don’t want Lasik). It took us years – quite literally two actual years – to muster up the effort to go and have it professionally framed. It was an odd size, and also a really high quality print – no cheap frame would do. But, once we did have it framed, we decided it would be the major inspiration point for our color scheme and vibe at The Pied.

Custom framed with a coupon at Michael's, this bit of art is the center of our design direction.

read on…

In five years time, you might just prove me wrong…*

*Lyrics from Five Years Time by Noah & The Whale. I don’t really know why I chose this song for today – I had a note about using it for this reveal in my phone. Maybe it’s because I don’t expect to be living here in 5 years’ time, nor do I expect to like all the same things that I do now. Hell, I don’t even think I’d recognize my former self from 5 or 10 years ago. Let’s just say I’m a transition-er, in transition, with transitory leanings, and eagerness to roll along. Shall we?

The view from the dining area in the kitchen.

One glance around our pied-a-terre and you’d think we were the vainest bunch around. There are mirrors in every room, including an additional mirror in the bathroom (that means there are two in there), and a mirrored end table that makes the idea of drinking martinis in this space seem that much more glamorous. But, the mirrors aren’t all about looking at ourselves (though that extra one in the bathroom certainly is). They’re about bouncing light around, and making this teeny space feel bigger, brighter, and by extension, more livable for longer.

You see, when we first approached the paint options for the space, we knew we needed to eradicate the pale cream/dirty yellow completely (or as completely as we could – the kitchen still sports that soul-killing color, but we distract ourselves with delicious foods and tantalizing wines). So, we chose a deep tealy-blue – Gentleman’s Gray by BM – for one wall in the living room. (The other walls in the living room are Coventry Gray also by BM. Funnily enough we had chosen another gray, but the clerk made a mistake. We didn’t notice until after we had begun to paint, so we just went with it. Happy accident? Ok, sure.) We wanted the room to feel cozy, but not small, and to highlight the architectural details that were worth noticing – the crisp white painted tin ceiling and crown, the high baseboard moldings – while minimizing the ones that were more awkward – the chimney breast bump out, and the strange little locker storage areas next to it. We wanted to expand the wall to make it feel broad, tall, and rich. Though naturally all that depth came at a price, and that price was light.

read on…

But something’s moving, in places I’d forgotten…*

*Lyrics from Temporary Love by Missy Higgins off her newest album The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle. I just heard her for the first time this week – her album art totally drew me in – but I like her. Reminds me of Sia, whom I adore. Hey, it can’t all be waxed handlebar mustaches, right? … So, I thought I’d introduce some of the rooms that have had lesser status on the blog, and show you around some more of the spaces of the house that make us love it so much, and will hopefully make you love it, too.

House Tour: Guest Bedroom

Faux bois, meaning fake wood, adds a soft texture to an otherwise neutral palette.

Remember when I sewed curtains for the foyer and landing, even though I’d never even done it before? And remember how I alluded to the fact that I also made a lined pair for the guest room, and teased that I’d share with you the result someday? Well, today is someday. Not only did I have the fabric for those curtains for over two years (I honestly can’t remember if I got the fabric before or after the Great Renovation), but I also had a vision for that space since finding the fabric.

It was a woven faux bois, on sale, in what seemed to be a medium-weight, cottony material in cream and beige (I may have sewn the panels, but a fabric maven I am not). I thought it was perfect for the guest space that I’d been dreaming of: soft lilac walls (flattering to any skin tone), complimented with chocolate browns and beiges, lavenders, peaches and pinks as accents, and plenty of soft white to offset the natural wood tones and textures. I had a vision of a bed-and-breakfast style set-up – what with the sleeping porch just off the room – where weekend visitors could have fresh squeezed orange juice, tea or an individual french press of coffee on a bistro table just outside their bedroom door. The room faces north-east, so morning time activities were the inspiration, and I wanted a space that felt refreshing, peaceful, and welcoming for long slumbers, or early morning starts.

read on…

My mind’s made up, I’m doin’ this, I’m doin’ this…*

*Lyrics from Coeur D’Alene by The Head and the Heart from their self-titled album. I found these guys tripping through the Related Artists category on Spotify. I love finding other artists that might match my mood on a particular day. This one fit me today: upbeat, friendly and decidedly happy.

Yes, I worked well into the night. Until midnight the first day. I was a woman possessed.

Have you ever had a project that you always wished you could do, but weren’t sure you could actually do it? That’s how I’ve felt about making curtains. I have always thought to myself, ‘hey, how hard could it be?’, while secretly knowing that it wasn’t exactly easy. Understanding fabric, learning how to successfully operate a sewing machine, measuring said fabric and cutting it straight – these are all things that have sat in my mind as road blocks, convincing me that maybe I should enlist some help before I start on my project. Of course, none of that stopped me from buying fabric, measuring (incorrectly) for panels, and letting all those materials sit, unused, in the house for over a year. That’s right, over a year waiting for me to get up the nerve to actually just do it already.

read on…

Instead there was hot pink flashes in the sky…*

*Lyrics from Lemonade by CocoRosie. They’re a strange group, with a haunting sound and intriguing lyrics. Note to self: investigate them further. Note to readers: please do the same.

Beauty shot: orchid porn.

It has been said (by me) that there is nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to improve one’s mood, one’s space, or one’s perspective on life (and I especially like it when people call that fresh coat of paint a ‘lick’ of paint – so English, so dreamy). Well, the same could be said for a new shade of blush. Now, I’m not a huge make-up wearer, and we’ve already established that I don’t often wear dry clean only, hang this up right away kind of clothing. But, I do wear make-up (I am a licensed hairdresser after all) frequently enough. Infrequently enough to have a spent tub of blush awaiting replacement for, oh, it’s gotta be at least 6 months. Maybe more.

read on…

It’s only echos in the Valley love…*

*Lyrics from Feist’s How Come You Never Go There from her latest awesome album, Metals. I recommend a blind purchase on this one, especially if you’re a Feist fan. Which I am. Naturally.

I also spotted this little silver bread basket that I thought might be a nice addition to my office mantle.

We have the best neighbors. Seriously: generous, kind, fun, smart, and just a pleasure to live near. So when we were chit-chatting with them the other day about heading out to help my mom do some grocery shopping and to get some curtain rods they sprang into action offering the exact right color, size and number of rods we were after. Sweet! (The rods were earmarked for giveaway, so we knew we weren’t taking the shirts from their backs, so to speak.) And, since you all know our time together as marrieds is precious, being able to tackle a chore like hanging curtains right away when we got to mom’s place was a huge time saver. (Of course we still ended up spending hours going here and there, fully and completely exhausting my poor mama. But still.) And what a huge difference did the curtains (and rods) make! Makes me want to sew up some curtains tut suite for my own abode.

Curtain rods from generous Erin & Nellie. Curtains from sale department of ZGallerie.

read on…

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