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Ralph Lauren Inspired: DIY NAUTICAL DRAPES


Before we officially moved into our new house one year ago I had all of these grandiose plans to bang out room after room makeover!

Umm…insert REAL LIFE here.

Just reading that first sentence makes me laugh.

However, I must pat myself on the back that I have painted a few rooms (ok ONE!).  The other rooms I have started to paint and will finish one day!   I have general ideas of how I want each room to look, but as we all know it’s a long process.

One of those rooms is my three year old son’s.  I originally wanted his room to have a pirate theme.  But the more I thought and thought about it, I just wasn’t sold.  I am not a huge fan of themed kids rooms.  They grow out of things so fast and the last thing I wanted to do in a couple years was change his room again.  Plus, I don’t even truly know if the kid likes pirates!  I kept coming back to a preppy Ralph Lauren inspired room (navy, red, cream).  The colors are timeless and classic.  Sold.

PicMonkey Collage2

The project that got my creative juices flowing for his room were his drapes. I have nicknamed these “MacGyver Drapes.”  Remember him?  The secret agent able to solve complex problems with everyday materials he finds at hand, along with his ever-present duct tape and Swiss Army knife?  Well, these drapes are made from an IKEA drapery panels, scrap pieces of drop cloth and Christmas ribbon!!  No joke.


The navy IKEA panels we had measured 57″w x 98″h.  I actually needed panels that measured 102″h and because of that 4″ difference, the “MacGyver Drapes” were born!

1.  I threw the panel on the floor (literally)


2. I measured and cut the drop cloth at 30.5″h x 59″w (you want to allow at least 1″ on each side to wrap around the existing panel for a nice clean edge)  I just came up with the 30.5″ height of the band after looking at it on the floor and thought this size looked nice and substantial.


3.  WARNING:  Please look away if you are a freaky good sewer!!  Obviously I am NOT, but that’s where the red Christmas ribbon comes in!  Next step is to sew the canvas drop cloth onto the panel.


4. That was painful to look at…now quickly get out that ribbon and cover the nasty sewing job!!


That’s better!


I simply sewed this ribbon straight down the middle where the drop cloth meets the drapery panel.

5. I sewed the ribbon on top and bottom.


You should be left with a 1″ raw edge on both sides of the panel.  I simply wrapped the edge around the back of the panel and sewed along the sides.  You can see in the above picture the “line” down the panel.

This is FAR FAR from a perfect sew job, but “perfect” does not exist (at least in my world). Not to mention, these drapes are for a VERY active 3 year old boy’s room!  If they get trashed (I’m already counting the days) it won’t hurt me a bit.

Instead of using normal brackets, I used plumbing parts and old shower curtain rod.  I sprayed all of these with flat black paint and a coat of spray poly once dry.

2  – galvanized iron floor flanges (1/2″ opening)

2 – galvanized steel nipples (1/2″ diameter, 2″ long)

2 – galvanized malleable iron tees (1/2″ opening)

parts_overlaySource: The Home Depot


1. Screw the floor flange into a stud at the height you want your drapes. Since my drapes were now 102″ long I attached these flanges at 100″ and allowed for a 2″ puddle on the floor.

2. Insert the 2″ steel nipple (I can’t believe I just wrote that) into the flange until secure.

3. Next attach the iron tee onto the nipple until secure and level.

You should now be left with a cute industrial looking drapery bracket!

Here is how they look in my son’s room:


All kidding aside, these drapes do have a very preppy Ralph Lauren feel and to me that look is always timeless!

Linking up with Carmel over at Our Fifth House

ralph lauren link party


A Cool Way to “Test Drive” Paint

I had to run to the hardware store today to get an extra set of house keys made and…

…lo and behold…

I wound up in the paint department!

And left without my set of keys!

I wish this was the only time something like this has happened.  It happens daily.


I am in the middle of at least 5 different projects around the house and thought, “Oh what’s one more??”

This is a picture of our formal living room and it is the first room you see when you enter our house:


One of the most frustrating things to me about moving into a brand new house is every single wall is WHITE!  I know some of you are shrugging your shoulders maybe thinking, “And the problem with that is…?”

Well, in a nutshell I LOVE COLOR!

I wanted to go bold in this room, but have been wracking my brain about what paint color to choose.

Very common problem.

While I was in the paint department today I spotted this cool thingy….


This is simply a paintable piece of 9″ x 12″ clear film.  One side is paintable and the other side has a low-tack adhesive so you can take it off one wall and try it on another.

And it costs $0.98!

In a nutshell, this film allows you to “test drive” your paint before totally committing to it.  I bought a sample size of the paint I was drawn to (apx. $3.50).


Color is very difficult to translate via pictures.  This color is navy+gray+green and I kept staring at it.  So for a total investment of $4.50 I bought a sample of it and the SureSwatch and brought it home to get started!


Being the rebel that I am, I ignored the directions and slapped this thing on the wall and then painted.


After 15 minutes, it’s dry!



Here is a better picture in a very sunlit area of the house.

I really like this product and will use it again.  For a minimal investment of $4.50 you can make sure that paint you love is really for you.

This one is so stay tuned for an upcoming living room makeover!!




I have come to a point in my life (quickly approaching the big 4-0 by the way) where it pains me to toss things. 

I have thrown away, donated or just given away TONS of stuff, especially during our recent move.

To me, it’s literally flushing money down the drain

Well, I’m on a mission to squeeze the life out of things that were destined to be tossed.

Often I will find something in our home just collecting dust in a cabinet or shoved in the guest bedroom closet.  I grab it and literally walk around the house trying different options.  This process can last a few seconds or a few hours! Sound familiar?

And then….something just clicks….

vanity_collageWe never use this silver serving tray (Costco purchase)
and I think it looks amazing as a tray to hold my perfumes.

trivetI have never known what to do with this piece mainly because I have no clue what to call it…is it a trivet? is it a catchall? is it wall decor?  Anyhoo…I decided it’s new name is “Q-tip-soap-dispenser-hand-towel-display-do-hickey”  It adds a nice splash of color!

rugI ordered this outdoor rug from Ballard Designs and it turned out to be too small for our patio.  I am in love with it now in our master bathroom.  It’s made for outdoors so it’s incredibly durable…and best of all it’s WATERPROOF!

towelsFor some strange reason, we have TONS of these over-the-door coat racks.  Since we do not have any towel holders ANYwhere near our shower, I threw it over the top of the shower door.

Finally, for something that is not in my bathroom…


In a previous life I loved these crazy patterned lumbar pillows I purchased from IKEA (right picture).

In this life, however I love this black+white Ikat fabric.  I had a scrap of this fabric from a previous project and simply wrapped the pillow in it and secured it with….what else…duct tape!  It’s a perfect temporary, non-committal solution for someone who changes.her.mind.daily.