photo Whaling-City-Cottage-8-2015_zpsoygeotsf.jpg

chartreuse velvet

My brain refuses to learn how to spell chartreuse.  I screw it up every time.  But the scientific names of hundreds of marine animals are uselessly floating around my head.  Thanks, UMM.

Okay, so….in my eternal quest to furnish our house and not go broke, last week I snagged a great vintage chair off Craigslist for $40.


Welcome to my seafoam nightmare.  And the smoke/dust/evil spirit marks we uncovered on the walls once the wallpaper was down.

A similar version at Anthro goes for a cool 1,300 bucks.


It goes without saying that my chair needs to be recovered and the arms and seat cushion need oomph in the padding department. But it’s solid and weighs a ton.  Since fabric and upholstery services cost a pretty penny, I want this chair to be classic, have longevity and be able to move around the house over the years.  The living room, the master bedroom, maybe June’s room.  So of course, chartreuse velvet is the answer, right?  Limey hues are my jam, I can’t resist ’em.

4e5a69124b6714c80536e255772ffd4blorenzo castillo

I ordered a few samples, including Jaclyn Smith Hollywood Velvet in Cactus which I thought would be the top contender based on the internet photo.


But in person the Cactus was too….cactus.  Too green, not enough yellow.


Jaclyn Smith “cactus” is on the right and Tonic Living citrus velvet on the left.  The Tonic Living color is exactly what I’m going for – citrus-y, more yellow than green.  I ordered one more sample though, so we’ll see how that compares to the Tonic Living fabric.

Fresh-Lime-Green-Velvet-6749-Toulousevelvets direct in Fresh Lime Green

Eventually our living room will be neutral with warm white walls, wood, jute, brass, blue and white, touches of black, green and gray.


LR set

I also finally decided on a color scheme for the hutch in the living room.  Some of you love this gray-khaki color and suggested just wallpapering the inside, which is a great idea, but I wanted more depth and presence since the walls will be neutral.



hutch colors

Mohegan Sage BM // Lookout Point BM



And whose kidney do I have to sell for some of these?


Bunny, Bunny, Bunny.

Eventually I envision a pair of patterned armchairs opposite the sofa but our living room is ginormous so there’s plenty of other nooks to fill.  So for now the chartreuse (see?  I typed it reallll slooow) chair will be in the there.

What are your thoughts on going bold on the chair?  Would you go with a more classic color?





DIY stencil curtains

Happy 2016!  I hope you all had a peaceful and relaxing holiday.  We had a straight up great Christmas.  Food, friends, family, kicking it by the fire, hiking, movies, sushi.  It was awesome.  But it wasn’t all sipping Pinotage and listening to Bing Crosby.  (Seriously run, do not walk, and get THIS wine.  Eno in Providence has it).  We also tackled some major projects at the house, thanks to my workaholic aunt who was visiting.

Try to pretend you don’t still see paint-stained green carpet…I literally used it as a drop cloth.


Namely we tackled the dining room.  You can read more about our saga from mural to navy to peeling paint to white HERE.

One project I also had on my list – even when I was planning to go navy in the dining room – was to DIY curtains with a pattern similar to this by Lauren Liess.

lauren liess textiles antique beige POPLET2 (1)

I’ve only done one other stenciling project (in our old foyer) and it made me want to gouge my eyes out, so I was nervous to stencil white fabric.  Me and precision aren’t exactly sympatico.

But $120 a yard isn’t falling in my lap anytime soon, so I grabbed a pair of Merete curtains from Ikea and the Jaipur paisley stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils (size small).

The Merete has grommets at the top, which I didn’t want, so I sewed 4″ wide buckram from Joann’s to the bottom of the curtain to firm that up and make it the top.  The grommets got cut off when I hemmed the curtain.

For the paint, I custom mixed a warm gray color with acrylic craft paint from Michaels, along with fabric medium, which I’m not entirely sure you need but better safe than sorry.


And no I didn’t iron these before stenciling.  Because I’m lazy.

I used a small foam roller to apply the paint after lightly taping the stencil, on only 2 of its sides, to the curtain with green painters tape.  I swiped the foam roller on a paper towel before starting each stencil to make sure there wasn’t excess paint on it.


I didn’t measure for placement, just eye balled an off-set pattern.  (This is the worst tutorial ever, right?).  In hindsight I should have made the paisley closer together and done more of them but oh well.

Still, it was way easier and turned out far better than I expected.


I snagged this gorgeous and sturdy brass curtain rod off Craiglist for $10.  Rich people throw the craziest shit away.  It’s a fixed length and was perfect for this window #highfivingmyself


Ideally there’d be banging euro pinch pleats at the top but for now the drapery pins are just randomly stuck in there.

I need to hang Aunt Mary on the wall and of course rip up the awful carpet.  That dust storm will be fun.


As for the ceiling color, thank you all for weighing in on the cantaloupe!  I really appreciate your input and hemmed and hawed over a decision, but I finally made one and feel really happy with it.  The color won’t go up until we cover the chipped mess ceiling in tongue and groove panels.  Hopefully I’ll have more to show you next week.  And maybe the sun will come out so I can take some decent pics.

What do you guys think about the curtains?  Do they look cheap?  Squint, then tell me what you think.




diy pinch pleat curtains

I love pinch pleat curtains.  Nothing says fancy (or custom) like a French pleat.

IMG_9972design indulgence


Little did I know how easy it was to DIY a similar look.  If you have a sewing machine and can sew a straight line, you can totally do this.  There’s also a little bit of algebra involved but nothing crazy.Read More


I need a fabric godmother

Schumacher Fabrics could probably pull off a Wonka-like competition where the prize is all the bolts you can carry.  Or maybe a Maze Runner or Hunger Games type thing.  I’m envisioning stampeding ladies in leopard print heels and statement necklaces.  Throwing elbows.  Eventually you notice a switch blade jutting out of your rib cage.  Damn, when did I get shanked?

As for me, I could easily be nabbed by an ax murderer if they used expensive fabric as a lure.  Really?  The 75% off Schumacher fabric is in the cellar?  Okay….

Schumacher’s 125th Anniversay Collection has some seriously gorgeous options.  Emily C. Butler posted a pic on Instagram of this fabric and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.

citrus gardencitrus garden

 You had me at “archival print by Josef Frank designed in 1947.”  I so so so so so want to recover our wingback chair in this gorgeousness.

Two of my other faves

Presentation1indian arbre in hyacinth

schumacher-shanghai-peacock-cinnabarshanghai peacock in cinnabar

Every time I go to Lorraine’s in Pawtucket, I’m praying that I find a beautiful stash of long-lost Schumacher chintz or chinoiserie.  Sigh.  Maybe someday.