Out with the Old | Bower Power
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Out with the Old

2012 March 12
by Katie

We bought a new living room rug!

And guess what?  You aren’t gonna get to see it in this post.

I know.  I know.  Boo me and my bad self.

Before you start hurling your nighttime snack at the computer, you should know that I will be sharing a room that you have gotten to see very little of…so plus side, right?! Hope so…because as far as I know, ice cream isn’t recommended as a screen cleaner.  even if it is low-sugar.

Today we are gonna be in what I call the reading room…it’s labeled in the first floor plan below as the sitting room…


Once you walk in the front door, it is to your direct left and it was pretty much the only color in the house that we actually liked when we moved in.  Of course, like every room and every wall, we will eventually repaint…because it was (and still is) all filthy.

When we first toured the house, the reading room was like my pregnancy brain – empty and dirty….

Besides two doors that lead out into the front porch, it has a window in the corner and a french door opening that leads into the living room…

Shortly after we moved in, we threw some of the random furniture in there….

our Ikea leather chairs, our hand-me-down side table, our craigstlist coffee table and our old bookcases – you know, to put the ‘reading’ in ‘reading room’.


After a while, this room turned into a storage area….anything and everything that didn’t have a home ended up here.


You may remember that we switched some thing up in the dining room – bringing in a new hutch which forced us to relocate in the shorter bookcases that once held white dishes.  Eventually I would like these outta here too…and put a piano in that corner (my mom is a high-alert craigslist hunter for me right now).

Basically – this room is in constant flux.  It’s a work in progress with things we have at the time being.  Nothing is staged or photo ready…so don’t get your panties in a twist if it doesn’t look great to you…because it doesn’t look that great to me either.

Especially the undersized rug…

It reminds me of a bad toupee.  Like the kind you see on a guy that sits two rows ahead of you in church…and it doesn’t quite cover everything that it needs to.  And Lord knows that the deep part combover isn’t masking the issue.  Now you know my sins…and during the sermon…the shame!

So when we got the new more comfy rug in the living room, we didn’t quite know what to do with this blue & white striped one we got for cheap at Pottery Barn outlet (it’s a Williams Sonoma Home rug in case you are wondering)….BUT we already own it (making it free)…so I dragged it in here.

Obviously it is a touch too big for the space…. and just like I learned in the office bathroom, lighting does make a big difference in photos.

During the day it looks a smidge better…a smidge…but not perfect.  I think I can make it work…but if I can’t, I’ll probably just try to get my money back on Craigslist.

Styling would help too.  and drapes.  and some storage boxes so I can do some serious editing.

I think these two doors are gonna have plain white curtains (so that they match the curtains on the other side of the front door)…

And that corner window?  I think I am gonna break a major decorating law and do different curtains on that window than the rest of the room.

I KNOW.  Call the style police right now.  or you can do a citizens arrest.  extra points to you gals that have your own handcuffs (winkwink).

But I found this beauty at a discount fabric store (it was only $2 a yard) and I absolutely love love love it.  They only had 9 yards.  Not nearly enough for my 104″+ drapes on three windows.  So I will do the only real window and leave the two doors to plain jane white.  (by the way – I could buy more but the Robert Allen St. Etienne Lapis fabric is $22.50 a yard….which would mean it would cost $67.50 for one more panel – not one pair of panels – ONE PANEL….making it completely out of my budget)

So that’s where I’m at….one old rug out of the living room and into the reading room.

and one new curtain plan…

what do you think?  Am I crazy?  insane?  wacko?



140 Responses leave one →
  1. Carissa permalink
    March 13, 2012

    Breaking the design laws, love it :) and I lurve that fabric! it looks like it could tie the whole room together crazy giant rug and all. Get on with your curtain-making-self!

  2. Lisa permalink
    March 13, 2012

    Katie, I was also thinking that you could break up the fabric to use on all three. I would buy inexpensive white flat sheets and either put a large band of the fabric on the top or bottom and then make a roman shade for the window out of just the flower fabric. Depending on how large your window is, you would probably need 1-3 yards (less if you want it as a fixed roman shade, more if you want it to go up and down). Then you would use another yard or so for each door and that leaves you with plenty leftover for pillows or an ottoman, etc. I say don’t be afraid to be different.
    (My husband and I just bought our first house back in August and I’m learning that it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be me.) :)

  3. Nina permalink
    March 13, 2012

    oooh! i think this room could be just great! so preppy and bright. I think the wall/trim color is distracting you from its true potential. The bright white on the furniture, pillows, rug, etc really clashes. Love the fabric choice! Repaint those walls, and refinish that table in a color that pops off the rug, and it will be beautiful.

  4. Tara permalink
    March 13, 2012

    I think this is my favorite room in your house so far. It looks so homey and cozy I just want to curl up in there with a good book! Add a chaise lounge to stretch out on and it would be perfect!! :)

    So interesting to see the evolution of the room too. At first that big white coffee table stuck out like a sore thumb against all that dark wood. But bringing in the white cabinet and round white mirror ties it all together nicely. And the green chairs just rock on top of the new/old rug. I think that curtain fabric will be the icing on the cake….LOVE it!!

    The only thing I’m not digging in that room is the wall color (especially with the green chairs), but I know it’s hard to tell true colors on computer monitors so I won’t judge too harshly. ;)

  5. Cheryl L permalink
    March 14, 2012

    I personally would be hesitant to try the different curtain on one window. Only because our living room and dining room are one room, and we tried to do different curtains on each side of the front door to differentiate the rooms….and it looked awful. That said, I think you are amazing at decorating, and I’m jealous of your eye for design, so I pretty much want to see what you come up with.

  6. March 14, 2012

    Did you get that fabric at Fabric World in Stone Mountain??? Because out of everything that I miss since we moved away from ATL last summer, I think I miss Fabric World most of all…

  7. March 14, 2012

    Any way I can convince you to sell me the navy/white rug?!!? ;)

  8. March 14, 2012

    Go crazy you rule breaker! I think you are on to something great. Keep going!!

  9. March 14, 2012

    I love that you post this-is-what-it-looks-like-now-photos. You make me feel less crazy about all my works-in-progress. Which, let’s face it, we all have. :)

    One question occurred to me as I was looking at the photos – Are you going for a formal look? The room seems to be headed in that direction but you guys seem more casual. I would recommend going for really comfy sofas and chairs and chaises and beanbags … whatever will make you want to lounge and read and snuggle. And where are all the books? Magazines count too! This would be a great room to archive decorating mags etc and then in a free moment (yeah right) you can pull them out and use this room for brainstorming, journaling, planning. Well, at this point I’m probably projecting myself into this room. :) Have fun with this work-in-progress!

  10. March 14, 2012

    Whatever! I’m totally jealous of that room and I really like it the way you have it. I love the bold color of the rug!

  11. March 14, 2012

    First, CONGRATS on Bower Baby #2! What a blessing and an answered prayer!
    Second, I agree with Lisa above…I would try to use some of your print fabric on all 3 windows (using white drapes as your base). However, for something a little more organic and unusual that the fabric border, I would cut out appliques from the print fabric, kind of cutting around a branch with the attached blooms, close to the design. You should be able to cut out several (probably 6-9) separate largish appliques (I’m guessing they’d be 2-3 feet long). Then arrange them over your white drapes. Either applique (stitch on) or use wonder under (though stitching would be better for the long run).
    Third (commenting here because I’m lazy), I love your watercolor jellyfish. Gorgeous!
    Finally, I’m sorry I’m not a more frequent commenter. I am a stalker, and a believer, and I really have prayed for you guys as you waited on God to build your family.

  12. March 15, 2012

    Yep! You are crazy, insane & wacko! But only with your writing—and that’s what I love, and why I stay tuned in. Oh…and I like the room. ;-)

  13. krista permalink
    March 15, 2012

    I’m all about breaking the rules too, but I agree that maybe you should consider splitting up that fabric amongst all 3 windows – like maybe as a cornice or banding. On your solo window you should consider a diy sewless roman shade from mini blinds. I used Jenny’s tutorial from LGN and it turned out great as long as you don’t really plan on taking them up and down a lot. You could used some cheap white fabric and it would be inexpensive. Oh & I live in Charlotte & recently saw your fabric at the famous Mary Jo’s. If you needed a bit more I’m sure it was cheap there & they ship!

  14. March 18, 2012

    I love the fabric, but ouch on the price! I think it would be very cool to do the one window in it, and the other two in the white panels. A way to tie them all in is to use the patterned fabric as a straight valance box at the top if you are going formal, or as a deep stripe down at the bottom of the white panels or along the inside edges, or as tie backs. Just enough to tie it all in together, without breaking the ol’ piggy bank.

  15. Karen R permalink
    March 20, 2012

    I love the new fabric. It will look great in there! Where do you typially shop for fabric?

    • March 20, 2012

      I shop mostly at a local discount fabric store – but sometimes I wander into Joann’s or Hobby Lobby’s fabric section. I also like to browse Fabric.com :)
      xo – kb

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