Losing a Pine tree is having a domino effect on my design plans
duchessofdelmar
October 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
If you look at my last discussions you can see that I thought my next project was a living room redo- and that is still on the books for this winter BUT because we suddenly have to remove a huge pine tree (a Christmas tree my grandfather planted in 1959) I have to hurry up and choose window coverings for the kitchen .
The trick is that since it is an openish floorplan the window coverings need to complement a room that isn't redone yet. I also want to recover or slipcover the dining room chairs- they were an impractical choice considering my two young sons so I need to be able to wash or wipe them. How do I choose without having the living room done??
I'm thinking roman shades or roller shades for the windows and curtains for the slider. A Houzzer (Karemore55) turned me on to Tonicliving.com which seems to have lots of great choices and I could even have pillows made out of the same fabrics once I choose a sofa.
I am also wondering if I should have some rugs in the kitchen/dining and would like to do something to the island- maybe paint it black? until we have funds to replace it. I'm not sure where in the room the island belongs but if it moved maybe something fun could be done with that big wall- like a chalk board wall? or a magnet wall my boys could have magnet races on- not sure if chalk board walls are as fun as they look on pinterest or if it would become a mess(actually my husband feels sure they are a mess). I'm not attached to the green paint but I think it would be tough to change the grey paint color without hiring a pro which isn't in the budget.

Anyhow- any ideas of how to give this room a little facelift and most importantly choose window coverings that won't box me in later are so appreciated. I guess as long as I choose fabric I like then I can use the same fabric for throw pillows in the living room and choose things that match it- I am just so not good at this stuff- it is really overwhelming to me. Especially when there is a ticking clock on the choice.
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duchessofdelmar
I'd like to be more vintage contemporary and not quite so traditional cottagey (is that what it is now?) The granite is delicatus creme

and has green, grey, black, and even some gold and brick in there.
The cabs are Thomasville Spencer in Amaretto Creme. I chose the kitchen stuff but had to do it within the confines of what my mom wanted because at the time she has design control (now its our house to design as we wish) so I'm trying to figure out how to meld what I did then with what I want to do now.
The splash is good ole' crema marfil. The floors are oak with a little red in the mainly natural finish. We have tons of green beauty outside of those windows and a large deck with plenty of red in the wood. The windows are beige.
October 5, 2013 at 10:39pm   
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Darzy
You need to determine your overall design style for both rooms to make a decision on the dining room. The first thing I noticed is the oversized hutch is sucking up all the space in the room. Do you need to keep that? The table and chairs are fab. Roman shades do not seem right for your space. We can't suggest the island paint color without seeing the kitchen. I'm thinking show your kitchen photos too...tell us your design style preference...then we can help with window treatment decisions.
October 5, 2013 at 10:43pm     
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Darzy
Thanks for the kitchen photos! Thinking...
October 5, 2013 at 10:44pm   
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Darzy
Also, you were thinking of fabric for the kitchen windows the same for the LR pillows...naw...let's mix it up. :)
October 5, 2013 at 10:47pm   
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rawketgrl
So sorry to hear about your grandfathers Christmas pine tree. :(
"You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night." -Denise Levertov
Hopefully you can plant 2 in its place!

Can the large pantry cupboard between the sliding glass door and the kitchen window be moved? If so curtains and hardware will really be the star of that wall.

How to pick fabric for curtains when you have not picked a theme for the great room is a challenge. Could you narrow it down to color choices? IF not I would just buy curtain liners and hardware you love and hang just the liners. I always chose insulating liners and they work great for keeping house warm in winter cool in summer. Then later when you figure out what you are doing in the great room you can order fabric curtains and have the liners you already have added to them.

Chalkboard vs metal? Try a metal white board (best of both) and just hang it on the wall. If you get a big one you can hang it vertically and the lower part can be for the boys, upper part for their artwork/schedules etc...

For the dining chairs just get some neutral chair seat covers from amazon and wash them as needed. You can remove them for grown up dinner parties as desired. http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Elegance-Kitchen-Dining-Covers/dp/B007ZV4Q5M/ref=pd_sbs_hg_3

I would not spend any money on rugs until you get the great room figured out. Also not sure what island you are referring to painting black. Maybe a picture?

I rather like the gray, the green not as much. Paint is easy.

Good luck!
October 5, 2013 at 10:56pm        Thanked by duchessofdelmar
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rawketgrl
When I posted the pictures of the island were not showing up. Now that I see the rolling cart/island I would not paint it black. it looks great as is. Nice kitchen, love the granite.
October 5, 2013 at 11:00pm   
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latifolia
You have a very nice kitchen. Your cabinet and granite choices are fine. As the others have said, don't worry about the curtains or chairs right now. In fact, if you are planning to recover the chairs when you re-decorate, then it really doesn't matter if the kids mess them up a bit now.

Spatially, two things strike me: the large sideboard and the direction of the table. Might the sideboard fit on the wall where the rolling cart is now? How does the table look if you turn it 90 degrees?

Do you have storage issues? I notice a fair bit of clutter. Is that busy family life, or a lack of spaces to put things? If it is the latter, then you need to a) pare down your possessions or b) re-think storage in your home. Otherwise any decorating you do is unlikely to achieve the look you are going for. JMHO.
October 6, 2013 at 12:00am        Thanked by duchessofdelmar
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duchessofdelmar
Thank you for jumpiong on board helping me out Darzy!! What about maybe a roller shade?
Style wise I would like things to be more....vintage contemporary. If I could live anywhere it would be in a big white pre war house with black shutters, a wraparound porch,and a red door or a penthouse in NY, either way black and white diagonal set floors and a gorgeous staircase. Paneled walls, coffered ceilings and decor with lots of white and pops or fun colors- ( I love jewel tones, purple, raspberry, teal, green, blue, pink). I like French apartment, I like several parts of Hollywood Regency (but not all of it), - have you ever seen the sets designed by James Radin- they are all elegant but not stuffy- love it (It;s Complicated, Something's Gotta Give, etc).
OK none of that is going to happen in this house(well we can probably get some chinoise and other regency nods in ) though so I collected these pictures as actual do-able decor.

Philadelphia Penthouse 1
Philadelphia Penthouse 2
Philadelphia Penthouse 3
I like the valance box with this solid drape with pink trim but wonder if it might be a better fit to do regular drapes. She does a pillow with a deco trim that would be lovely on a drape like that- I believe its in purple on the couch of the drape picture.
Philadelphia Penthouse 4
nice deco window coverings
Philadelphia Penthouse 5
Philadelphia Penthouse 6
I like the chinoise fabric on her dining set but I'm not sure such a light pink is quite right and her fabric is not washable
How to Change the Theme of Your Decor Without Breaking the Bank
gallary wall

The only thing in the living room that I am attched to and plan to keep is a picture my grandmother painted, I call it "the girl"
October 6, 2013 at 10:27pm     
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duchessofdelmar
we talked about putting a storage system (something like the ikea pax wardrobe or other) along the big wall where the girl is now. I actually am trying a new configuration out right now. I think we are going to buy a slipcovered couch- white if it is true thatis easy to keep clean with kids. Greige walls are a possibility, a decal behind the sofa (afraid artwork would crush the kids who spend so much time jumping on the couch) and replace the rug and all the dark wood stuff. Maybe put some paper in the backs of either the bookshelf/cubby system or the china cabinet. The china cabinet provides some much needed storage so I would be hard pressed to give it up- though I do agree it swallows that enitre wall up. I never intended for that little green thing on the side to live there so that could move or move out.
Umbra Wall Flowers Set
Knotted Wallpaper Sheet, Navy
October 6, 2013 at 10:34pm   
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duchessofdelmar
HOw strange- I only just now am able to see several of the replies that happned above- Rawktgrl- love your name btw- The issue with the rolling cart is that the cabinetry is "amaretto creme" or a creamy off white with brown rub and the rolling cart is bright white. I once found (and hope I can find again) a spray paint that was very similiar so that is an option but I do love the look of an island that is different than the cabs. I'm glad to hear that it doesn't shout out- ugh at first glance.

Latifolia-
I am intrigued by the idea of moving the china cabinet to the wall where the island is now- it is a big wall and it isn't being used right now so that would be a fun thing to try. I have a thrifted buffet that I have always wanted to paint a fun color, right now it is crowding our bedroom and needs to get out- it houses my collection of yarn and knitting goods as well s scarves and a junky drawer of crapola that could be cleaned out. Maybe that could be in the china cabinet's space? It is roughly 4'7" by 2'10" and about 20 inches deep. It used to be sort of my desk- at least it housed my correspondence needs and I had a nice bill/mail system going in there.
I don't get how I would turn the table 90 degrees- I mean wouldn't it be ...... I don't get it. Not dissing the idea- I just don't see it (and I have trouble seeing things sometimes so please explain it to me). Wouldn't we have a bunch of open space on the ends and be walking around it on the long sides? It is just such a big table.

Alo unrelted but I have a light fixture I bought but never hung. Its very similiar to the PB rectangular linear Clarissa



I had no idea I could get such easy chair covers- that's genius!!! I do want fun reupholstering but those would be an excellent stop gap till I find the thing I love- thank you thank you!!!


The pantry is built in so moving it isn't an option. We have the perfect storm of busy family life, clutter, and storage issues. We have no garage or outdoor storage and very small 1958 style closets (where we even have closets). Our hall closet is actually stolen out of our eldest boy's room. I also took those pictures on a Thursday (Friday our housekeeper comes and I do a big run around and put things where they go lest she know what slobs we are) so that you could all see the problems as they truley exist.
Plans to fix it- getting rid of stuff- has to happen. Creating storage- a Pax wardrobe (or maybe hire a closet company) to come out and design something to live on that wall where "the girl" is hung- there is close to 8 feet of wall before you get to the coat closet that could perform as my husbands closet and help with our laundry issues (our laundry machines are outside and we have zero laundry area). I'm thinking I could put bins in our guest bathroom for dirty laundry and then come up with a place to put clean but not folded laundry in the storage system and obviously hang/folded in there as well (no I can't be counted on folding as soon as it gets out of the dryer, it happens 2-3 times a week and that's all I can do : ) Extra paper product storage (paper towels etc is int he bottom of the china cab and our china is above along with cookbooks. I was tossing around the ide of trying to move all kid books to their rooms and squeeze adult books into the china cab, then the cubby/book case could be toy basket storage- though I am trying to move the kids stuff to stroing in basket/cubby/plastic bin systems in their rooms with the exception of the train stuff which can live in baskets under the train table (I'm not without a heart). a I just can't deal with all the bulky stuff that is being stored just in our house- like the extra carseat- I can't get rid of it since sometimes we need it but there is no place to put it and it ends up just "there". It is anxiety provoking and makes me not want to have people over. I avoid hosting play dates- its kind of sad. I also think it is unwsafe though I have to admit (my husband doesnt agree) that he is right in that our 2 1/2 yer old doesnt seem to eat random stuff- I'm still scared he will and though I am always with them and do my best to watch always there are times I ... oh I don't know...go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, or help big brother with things.
October 7, 2013 at 1:09am     
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duchessofdelmar
Booo I just measured and the china cab is about 7 inches too long for the rolling cart wall. The only other wall that can accomodat eit is the one earmrked for a wardrobe.
You know my grandfather always had a big long table IN the kitchen and used the "dining room" for his piano.
Opps I forgot to include a picture of the light fixture I bought becasue it reminded me of those updates they do on property brothers- it is a cheapy redo of the pb clarissa (got it on ebay http://www.potterybarn.com/products/clarissa-linear-rectangular-glass-drop-chandelier/

The current fixture is quality and from my childhood home so it would eed a new spot- we have pretty high ceilings in the hallway so that could be an option. I also bought some ikea curtain wires to put in the hallway- one for each kid and plan to tell them we can hang their artwork there- hoping that will serve as a self limiting device so I won't be so backed up with all their pieces of precious artwork- I lvoe them and I love their artwork but I'm drowning in things their teachers cut out and they glued a button or two onto. They are adorably proud and I want to be supportive and show them how much I value their work but we just can't keep everything- WE CANNOT. Not unless we get rid of at lesat one of them and probably one of the adults and I value us too. https://www.google.com/search?q=dignitet&client=firefox-a&hs=Q0m&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=vm9SUoiABYqG9QSw4YCoAg&ved=0CEIQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=626&dpr=1#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=K5LDaxvmUnGgbM%3A%3BFZek_bpqQsdIxM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fi-cdn.apartmenttherapy.com%252Fuimages%252Fohdeedoh%252F2008-09-dignitet.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.apartmenttherapy.com%252Fhang-kids-art-on-a-curtain-rod-92852%3B500%3B637
hope that shows up- it is the dignittet set if not and it has been done many times before but I plan to do it in thw hallway-. This is neat too http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/quick-tip-use-knife-holders-fo-138696
but I was thinking if I magnetized the paint )I heard you can add something to the pint nd make it magnetic then my boys could store their cars and have faux races on the wall. Probably not a good idea in practice but it sure sounds cool. http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/quick-tip-use-knife-holders-fo-138696
October 7, 2013 at 1:34am   
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latifolia
Delmar, take a deep breath. I sense your stress, and how your space is adding to it. You want a lovely home, to which you can proudly welcome friends and family. And you're not there - yet! But you can get there.

First, you need to accept the space you have and make the most of it. It may not be the big house you would like, but it can still be a wonderful home. In most cases, cramming a small space with "storage solutions" will not create the open, relaxing space you want.

Ages ago, I hired a decorator to help with the 1941 one-bedroom condo in which we lived. The first thing she said was, "There is just too much "stuff" in here." We pared things down, re-painted and re-organized. The only thing we bought was a compact stereo to replace our big, old one. Huge improvement.

We have a vacation property from my in-laws, which we have been slowly re-doing. For fifteen year, I have lived with the kitchen stuff from my mother-in-law, who loves clutter. This year I gave myself permission to purge, and it was cathartic. I donated her many pizza pans to charity, because I will never make a pizza. Her 1970's flower power stuff also went, as did her aluminum cook ware. Now I can find what I need, and the place looks infinitely better. Give yourself permission to sell or donate family stuff that you don't need or use.

Remember, too, that storage space is fungible. It took my husband years to learn that. If you get rid of old clothes you no longer wear, there is room in your closet for your husband's things. Sort through old photos and albums, scan the ones you want to keep and chuck the rest. Enough space for your vacuum!

Before you spend another cent, try moving around what you have. Put your sideboard on the one wall where it will fit. You might also think of moving your pantry closet to the wall where your rolling cart it. Unless the floor does not go under it, it should just be a matter of removing some screws and patching the wall. If your husband isn't handy, it shouldn't cost much to have someone do it.

That would give you a clear wall with windows - very nice. You can pivot your table 90 degrees and have lots of space around it. Your rolling cart might fit between the windows. Don't worry about painting the cart - it's fine the way it is.

Explain to your children that you are tidying up your house so they can have a party. Have them help by donating their extra toys to charity. As a family, you can make this work.
October 7, 2013 at 2:34am     
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apple_pie_order
What is driving the need for window coverings? Privacy? Light control?

If you need something for privacy and you have children or pets, I recommend washable cotton panel curtains from Target. Simple, cheap, sturdy. White or off white depending on your trim colors. They can be reused easily or donated when you redecorate.
October 7, 2013 at 6:02am     
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duchessofdelmar
Latifolia- yes it took many years to get most of my grandfather's stuff out of here and still my mother and aunt have a mini attack when I make any design decision that does not bring the house closer to the way they remember it as a teenager- it can make things more difficult than they needed to be. she still wants me to use two twin mattresses with madras blankets on them in place of a sofa.
October 7, 2013 at 9:35am   
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duchessofdelmar
the driving ne3ed for window coverings is the loss of the pine will mean that side of the house will just bake inthe sun- it will shine in and discolor all in its path.
October 7, 2013 at 9:44am   
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apple_pie_order
Thanks for explanation of sunlight coming in. Have you thought about using a window film? It's easy to apply. What geographical area are you in?
October 7, 2013 at 9:48am   
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duchessofdelmar
I get what you are saying about just getting sometyhing that works- but I really hate to replace it in just a couple of months when I get around to redoing the living room. The part of my husband that doesn't like to waste money would never abide by that. Hw says he want me to finally get what I actually want (within the confines of what will work with the kids) but at the same time he is the kind of person who thihnks you can choose paint first.

If I turn the dining table it will be hanging out into the kitchen- I don't think I have ever seen that before- does anyone have a picture of a space that does this successfully.
October 7, 2013 at 10:00am   
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bubblyjock
It's funny how losing that lovely tree has precipitated so much domestic drama, duchess - but I think you're coping really well.

It's easier to change paint than it is to change just about anything else! I learned to let my husband choose paint IF he did all the work himself. He did, painted the bathroom a muddy chocolate brown.......to go with the 60s dusky-rose tiles, bath and sink, lol. I've been "allowed" to choose the colours every time since. ;)

When all else fails, go with washable white cotton - throws, tablecloth, cushions, curtains - it's all bleachable, and when you get bored, you can dye it all sorts of funky colours (Dylon dyes are the best, and have gazillions of great choices). Black is the second best option, funnily enough - for instance, imagine the cart painted black.

LOVE that big cupboard thing behind the dining table - fantastic piece of furniture!

Do you have an Ikea close by (you do mention Pax wardrobes, so I'm guessing you do): take a quiet morning and wander around there for inspiration (between 5 and 6 is another quiet time, if you can swing it). They're great for cheap fun clever temporary storage, and you can also usually find it on CL and Kijiji - it holds its value, oddly enough.

Do you need that spare room for the next couple of months? Can you use it for storage while you sort out your living space? Getting some of the clutter out of the way will help clear your poor frazzled brain, too.
October 7, 2013 at 10:20am     
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bubblyjock
Ha - I was going to say flip the table by 90' too - I do that sort of thing all the time, and find it instantly refreshing and rewarding.
October 7, 2013 at 10:21am   
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apple_pie_order
If you are in the northern hemisphere, the winter sun is not going to be much of a problem for the next few months. If your schedule includes new decor in two months, why bother with blocking the light at all in the meantime? Drape some sheets over anything so fragile that it will fade in two months. Window film is cheap, too.
October 7, 2013 at 10:52am   
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duchessofdelmar
im so confused and yet strangely interested by this flipping the table idea- are we actually talking about the seven foot so if piece of decade old barn wood I call a kitchen table? Flip it around? It seems so obvious to me that it only goes one way- so maybe turning it in such an unexpected way would be really fun. It would take three people at least. I don't want to lose the tree but they are worried the slope it is on will not hold it forever and the way it is growing it could eventually drop a branch on my parents house next door : (
October 7, 2013 at 6:51pm   
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duchessofdelmar
you know what- I just went in there and I think I get it-- I think I can see it turned.....now can I actually get it turned- that is the question...
KAremore55 gave us some living room suggestions and my husband moaned about it but evenutally I used my feminine wiles to coerce him into moving the stuff around and it is so much cozier so I'll have to see how much capitol I have left
October 7, 2013 at 6:53pm     
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latifolia
First, get your husband to help you move your sideboard into the living room. So as not to kill him off, empty it first. That will give you an opportunity to sort through things as you put them back. Then you could try moving the found piece in your bedroom to the wall where the rolling cart is (measure first to be sure it fits). That will provide storage space you will want in the kitchen.

If you are happy with how that works, then you might consider moving the pantry to the right outside corner of the room. That would give you a nice open wall of windows to show off your patio and outside space, with whatever landscaping you choose to replace the tree.

You have an open kitchen/diner, so the table is already there. Now you will be able to visualize the window treatment that works best. I like the idea of white cotton curtains which can later be dyed.

In the process of re-organizing your space, identify things you can clear out - try the old "If you haven't used it in a year, you don't need it." Another idea to consider: do you and your husband share your bedroom closet space equally? For a number of reasons, that might be a good starting place.

If you are determined, you could have this all sorted out by the weekend - in time to invite friends over!
October 7, 2013 at 10:30pm   
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latifolia
Delmar, how are things going? I've been thinking of you and your project.
October 9, 2013 at 8:13am   
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duchessofdelmar
HI Latifolia- things have been a little on the backburner because the tree got a week long reprieve- the weather finally turned cold and one of my kids needed a lot of attention paid to his school situation. I have a question for you - if I move the huge china cab to the living room then I can't put an orginzation system for laundry on that wall. The sideboard in the kitchen is a great plan though- I am going to make that happen this weekend for certain. We are loving the new living room set up care of KareMore55- it works so much better and we have spent a whole week without the bottleneck laundry effect at the door- it used to be tough to get thru the front door and now that area is cleared out- so much better- and the sofa/tv set up is much cozier.
October 10, 2013 at 8:01pm   
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duchessofdelmar
oh and I cleaned out my closet- came up with two bags of stuff to send to donate or discard. My husband probably has a quarter of the closet in our bedroom but has most of the closet in the toddler's room plus the coat closet and a couple of banks of drawers.
October 10, 2013 at 8:03pm   
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latifolia
Well done on the closet clean-out. A bit late, but a great way to do that is to empty the closet, then put things back starting with the ones you use most. That forces you to think about the "left-overs", and whether you really need them - like the cheerleader's uniform you're keeping for sentimental reasons!

As for keeping the dirty laundry in the living room - organization system or no - that just doesn't seem like a plan. Once you move the sideboard to the kitchen, might there be room for a hamper in your bedroom? Storage is best when the things you need are close at hand, where you use them. So china in the kitchen or dining room, music near the stereo, laundry where you take off your clothes. Could you hang clean clothes waiting for ironing in the hall closet? If you can't fold clothes right away, then maybe sort them into a basket for each bedroom, until you can get to the task. Do you still need the Pack 'n Play? A laundry basket would take up less space. Not ideal in the living room, but at least you can quickly move it if guests come over.

Once your husband has seen your organization work, he may be inspired to do the same. It can't be easy for him to dress when his clothes are in four different places! If you could find a way to divide your bedroom storage evenly, it would give you both incentive to only own what fits it that space, with outer wear in the coat closet. I helped a friend go through the exact same exercise, and it's tough to re-think how you have been doing things, but the end result is well worth it. You will have a much calmer home, and more time for knitting!
October 10, 2013 at 11:18pm     
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nwduck
Hi there, duchess! Hope you and the family are well, and the bar exam was a success. Had an idea for you. Someone above suggested simple white drapes. I think that's a great idea, and you could easily customize them. If you look at the picture of the drapes in your Philadelphia Penthouse 3 and 6, those are pretty simple white drapes with a colored edge. Although they have a cornice board, you don't really need it. You can customize that colored edge by adding a strip of fabric, or more simply, wide ribbon ironed on with fusible web. This should serve you until the kids are older and dry clean only drapes are practical, or a new tree gets bigger. :)
October 10, 2013 at 11:22pm   
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latifolia
If Ikea is near you, check out their Branas hamper: holds quite a bit and looks good.
October 11, 2013 at 3:06am   
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latifolia
Delmar, how was your weekend? Were you able to forge ahead with your project? Let us know how you are doing.
October 14, 2013 at 2:45am   
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latifolia
Still thinking about you and your project. Any updates?
October 18, 2013 at 12:11am   
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duchessofdelmar
It has been a helluva a week- so not too many updates BUT the tree is officially down. Ii should take some pictures. It really brightens things up and we will definitely want some coverings- I haven't gotten very far in the process though (hangs head in decorshame). But the planning is going well :)
October 18, 2013 at 5:34pm     
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apple_pie_order
Just a note about using the space you have: a lot of people with small kids fold clean laundry in the living room or the family room. It's convenient to watch kids, there's space on the sofa, and the folding gets done sooner or later.
October 18, 2013 at 5:46pm     
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duchessofdelmar
Yup that's what we do- dirty in the wicker baskets, clean in the play pen, folding happens on the leather chair. Now that we moved things around as a houzzer suggested we don't have a bottleneck of laundry and kids right at the front door- honestly it has taken a heap of stress off of me.
October 19, 2013 at 12:37am     
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latifolia
Duchess, if that simple fix has reduced your stress that much, just think what having a totally organized home will do for you. You will be a whole new woman! Once you have gotten everything organized, you will be able to let your decorating genie out of the bottle.
October 19, 2013 at 12:44am   
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