Monday, February 14, 2011

COLOR! (in the living room)

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day my SQUEEZIES! :) Hope you had a great one.

I’ve been working on some changes in our living room over the last couple of weeks, and I’m nowhere near close to done, but I just couldn’t wait to show you! I am LOVING how it's turning out -- so excited.

I don’t know if it’s the three inches of ice that have finally melted off our driveway (for the first time in two weeks), or the warmer temps we’re getting this week that is giving us hope for spring, or maybe it’s because the cat peed on the drapes…any one of them could be the reason for my spur-of-the-moment decision to make some changes to our front room.

What’s that? Hmmmm? Oh yeah…I skipped over the pee cat thing. She was off her meds for two long and the inevitable happened. This time though…I’m GLAD. Because that’s actually what started this ball rolling. See – pee cats are good for something! (And she’s really sweet and loving and yada yada…)

Anyhoo, enough mentions of pee for one post. Onward! It started when I took a drape down to wash it, and it just spiraled out of control from there.

For the past year or so, I’ve been trying to add more color to our living room. It looked like this back in the day:

before, before

OK, well there’s been color – it’s just been one color. Red. :)

And then I made a few more changes and it looked like this for quite some time:

before, living room

Notice the trend? DARK. A ton of dark peices and accessories, and red fabrics – ONLY red. You see, for the longest time I thought our wall color was hard to work with. It’s called Beechwood Grey from Porter, and I like it – but for a long time I just felt like I needed to match it, you know?

So red was the direction I went…and I liked it for a while. But my style…it is a changin’.  :)

And taking that one drape down kind of got my wheels turning. I noticed how much brighter it got in the room with just the one panel down. So I took another down…and another…and you get the picture.

The front of our house doesn’t get direct sunlight, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell – the room was positively glowing. And I was in luuurve.

That’s what started the ball started rolling – and the wheels in my head churning. First up was to trim out the windows like I showed you here. I’ve slowly but surely done this around the house, and I’m about half way through the windows now.

And then, since I was going to paint the sills and everything around the window, I went ahead and recaulked both of them:

caulking windows

I didn’t even keep it clean and pretty, because I knew I was painting over it all in white.

And that I did – the new trim and drywall around the windows was painted out in glossy white. See how this started with a little bitty thing and got HUGE? :)

Then another idea came to mind. I love love LOVE my free sewing cabinet and Ballard-esque cafe shelves between the windows, but they have seemed so HEAVY to me lately:

red drapes

(The iron snowflakes hanging in the windows that I tried to convince myself didn’t look like snowflakes have been gone for a while. They are now packed away in the Christmas decor. Cause they are snowflakes.)

Anyway…I’ve always felt like I needed something more substantial between those windows.

So I took it all away:

(I had just wiped down the wall – hence the dark marks.)

I contemplated leaving those windows nekked by the way, just like in our kitchen. I was smitten, I tell you. 

But then…then, I found THIS:

calico corners fabric

I was perusing Calico Corners last week (I hadn’t been to the fabric store in forEVER), saw this and couldn’t get it out of my head. It had COLOR – so many beautiful colors. And I just thought the print was stunning.

I couldn’t resist it. And I’m so glad I didn’t. Cause now that dark room looks like this:

living room after, almost

Now, I’m showing you in between pics here – keep that in mind. I like to show the process of things so I really wanted to show you the progress thus far.

I think it’s a dramatic change, yes?:

That dresser has made the rounds around our house. It was the Bub’s changing table forever, then it moved to the office, and then it was in the basement for a while.

I made hubs drag it up the stairs to see if it would work and I fell. in. love.

Do you see how differently the wall color photographs? It drives me a little batty. It’s looking way pink in these pics, when it really has more of a greyish tint like in the nekked window picture above.

I’ve mentioned before that we don’t use this as a formal living room – we use it constantly. So the dresser is going to be fantastic storage for puzzles and other activities we do out there:

I have a Goodwill lamp that’s almost ready for the left up on top there. The beautiful wood crate? HomeGoods baby! (For $16!) Doesn’t it looked like I plucked it out of an antique store? LOVE that color too.

One of the things I’d love to do, especially now, is to get a slipcover made for the chair and sofa:

But even without covers, I love them SO MUCH MORE in this room now. It’s just crazy – I don’t know why, but they don’t bother me nearly as much. (But I AM going to slipcover. Oh yes…I am.)

I have a plan for the wall above the dresser too – I already have everything I’ll need. Can’t wait to get it up there!:

living room with color!

And yes, there ARE about 50 holes in that wall from the various changes I’ve made to it. :) They’ll all be covered with my plan. I’m not even gonna fill them. Buwahahaha!!!  :)

I’m hoping to get the rest of the changes made to this part of the room by the end of this week, so I’ll show you as soon as I’m done. There’s some other stuff I’m working on elsewhere in the space too, but that is going to take a bit longer.

But for now…I simple cannot believe the difference a little editing and new drapes made…the before:

And after:

WHOO, swoon, ACK…Happy Valentine’s Day to ME…I am love! Ha! :)

Can’t wait to show you the rest! So far it’s turning out just like it looked in my head…just hope the rest of it does. (I love when that happens!)

P.S. I have not even hemmed the drapes yet…that’s how not completed this room is. Did I mention I have little to no patience?? :)

Like my version of the Ballard Designs cafe shelves?
You’ll LOVE Knock Off Decor!

131 comments:

  1. I LOVE it so far Sarah!! It is so much lighter and brighter. So pretty!!!

    xoxox
    Jen

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  2. Love, love, love!!! It's incredible how much brighter the room is! :)

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  3. Light and bright! It's what we all want and I think it's looking FANTASTIC! Love it! And that fabric is gorgeous. Swoonworthy indeed!

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  4. LOVE it so far! For some reason, those colors and textures remind me of a bedroom, so cozy and comfortable. But not sloppy or too casual. Just... nice! The before suddenly looks so formal. Well done!

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  5. LOVE it! It does look so bright and airy. I've been going through the same changes in my living room - from red to lighter, brighter, blue. Only my budget is $30! I'm almost finished!! Your room looks great - can't wait to see the other ideas you come up with!!

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  6. BIG fan of the new fabric for the windows. What a difference!

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  7. It looks beautiful! I love your curtains. I've been wanting to lighten up my living room w/out dropping a chunk of change (I rent), and changing my curtains might be the ticket. Plus, add in some lighter accessories from around the house. Thank you for the inspiration. Any ideas of great fabric options for "on a dime," and for someone who doesn't have anything local other than Hobby Lobby?

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  8. O.M.G. What a transformation! It really is so much brighter in there now, and I really LOVE that fabric! Nice job, can't wait to see what you do next!!
    ~Rachel
    www.silverliningdecor.blogspot.com

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  9. Ok, number one. I'm IN LOVE with the fabric you bought for your drapes. I wish I could get my hands on a few yards of it myself! Number two. I absolutely love the way your room is turning out. It's so bright and cheery! Number three. See number two. :) I can't wait to see it complete!

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  10. I LOVE the changes!! It looks so light and bright - perfect for spring! :) I can't wait to see what you do next!

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  11. Love the new curtains...the fabric is GORGEOUS! Really brightened up your space! Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you had a fantastic evening with your family!

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  12. I love the new look! I had the same too dark red room problem when I painted my living room walls red, it was a pretty color but it was hard to decorate. But then I sold that house and everything in the new house is so light and bright!

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  13. This transformation is absolutely beautiful! I LOVE the lighter colors and those new drapes are FABULOUS!
    I'm eager to see what else you do with this room.

    Have a great day!
    Pam

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  14. I am in love with this! The drapes are fantastic! Great job! I have solid cream drapes in my living room with beige walls...I am in a huge need of color...thanks for the inspiration!

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  15. oooo... cannot wait to see the finished room! everything looks amazing so far! love the new window treatments... and love that antique-looking home goods tray you snatched up.

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  16. Love that fabric!! Can't wait to see the finished project!!

    Yes, it must be in the warmer air here in the midwest... I am wanting to change everything to lighter and brighter pronto! :)

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  17. I just wanted to say I'm in love with that fabric! It's so pretty and it really brightens up the room. Oh and I saw some slips on clearance at Target. Didn't look at them just saw the red tags :)

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  18. Wowee, it looks so much bigger and brighter, not to mention prettier. Great find on the fabric.

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  19. I love that you are being brave with new patterns and bluey colors in your house! I think i FELT a change in that direction coming one day when you were griping on twitter about someone who said your house looked like it was straight from a Sears catalog. Remember? That was the day you bought these new drapes and painted your office blue. No- it wasn't. But what I am trying to say is that like this evolution you are going through!

    But I am not done. What I am loving most about today's post is that in my mind, I can see that your office is half-done, your living room is half done, and you've got 40 billion other projects in the works THROUGHOUT the house. I love it. I am normal.

    What fun would home be if there weren't paint cans to trip over and cats to pee on.

    Wait, Huh?

    -angie

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  20. this transformation is amazing! I love it. I had a post last week about painting our family room too, I am so very tired of the green walls and dark furniture...so ready to lighten up just like you have done. I cannot wait to see the final finish!

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  21. That change is out of this world good! Wow what a difference some fabric makes. And that dresser is looking stunning over there. I so do love the lighter look. Can't wait what you'll do next with this space.

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  22. That fabric is delicious! I love the lighter and brighter feel and cannot wait to see what you have in store! It feels like spring came early to your living room.

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  23. Really looks good...LOVE your curtains!!!

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  24. The new drapes and touches you have made so far are so light and airy. I am going to revamp my living room a bit. Goodness, I have way too many rooms to complete! Still to spruce up my porch!! You have such a good eye for decorating!

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  25. I have an ol' chippy tray like the one you show in your first picture I got in a little beach shop last summer...it's just waiting patiently in the sun room for me to decide on a wall paint color and then that will be a star player in the makeover!

    Judy

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  26. that is a huge change...it always starts small, doesn't it?...i love the fabric, so pretty!

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  27. Hi Sarah-

    I love!!! I am a light and bright girl so I think what you are doing looks terrific. Can't wait to see your finished room.

    My best- Diane

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  28. If you give a mouse a cookie.... I love the chain reaction of change!

    Also, love that you posted this the SAME day that I ordered bright, colorful drapes for my living room--5 years in our house and this is the first time I'm buying curtains--'bout time, don't ya think?

    I am totally glad I waited though, because 5 years ago I knew nothing of the inspiration of fab home decor blogs like yours and I totally would have bought brown or beige or something like that when what I really love is color--so I went for a fun medallion print that has lots of color. Oh, I can't wait!

    I love your transformation--can't wait to see it with the slipcovers, too.

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  29. i love the lighter palette...amazing how changing out window treatments can make such a difference...makes me think of spring, which is a good thing right now!

    blessings,

    alison
    stuff and nonsense

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  30. Oh Sarah, it is so light and bright! I have a grey wall that sometimes looks pink in photos, grr. Love the rustic tray and that fabric!

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  31. I LOVE IT! It makes a HUUGE difference. It is so much brighter in there already!! Looks amazing. I can't wait to see the rest of it!

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  32. I love the curtains!! They remind me of a PB pattern I've been eyeing. Your lighter pallette definitely works!

    My Target has a bunch of slipcovers at 75% off. It may be worth a look!

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  33. I love the change, looks so much brighter and gives it a fresh clean look. The roman shades and new curtains look awesome! I had no idea your ceilings were so high and those awesome windows up there.... love all the light in that room!

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  34. What a drastic, bright and lovely transformation! Loved it before and super love it now!

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  35. I love the lighter curtains. Makes a world of difference. I have to ask, though, how do you have your sofa area set up? Is that a sofa table behind, right up against the wall, or is there a space between the table and the wall? I can't tell from the pics.

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  36. Fabulous, Sarah! It is a completely different room now. Both rooms are beautiful, but the *new* room just looks lighter and more open. :)

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  37. The room looks totally different and look how much brighter it looks. Love it!

    Happy Tuesday! :)

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  38. Looks soooo much better! Bright and refreshing. The dresser is cute but your eye goes right to it.What do you think about painting it green like whats in the curtains? Then glass or crystal knobs to have some sparkle? Just a thought.

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  39. Love the changes. so fresh and spring like. If you are looking for instant gratification and inexpensive slip covers, sure-fit is reasonable in price. I am a CSP home stager and we use them often. Of course, we all know the cheapest is DIY. looking forward to the progress.

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  40. Wow! I have to say, I really LOVE the transformation. Is this something universal that we're all going through, or is it just a coincidence that I just did the same sort of transformation in my whole house? Anyway, the highlight is your curtains....the fabric is spectacular!

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  41. Wow it looks great I am so shocked how different it looks. Can't wait to see what else you do.

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  42. Wow it looks great I am so shocked how different it looks. Can't wait to see what else you do.

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  43. The fabric and window shades are beautiful! It really lightened things up and I love the color on the walls! The chest look great there and woo hoo for extra storage! I can't wait to see what else you are going to do!

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  44. Wowzers! Can't wait to see the "end product"!

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  45. I love love love that fabric.But you are right about the walls taken on different shades do you repaint?

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  46. It looks PHENOMENAL! I really am in love with it. Great job! Can't wait to see it finished!

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  47. I absolutely love the fabric you chose for the new curtains. So beautiful. Can't wait to see the rest of the transformation!

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  48. It is so much brighter! I do love the fabric.....everything looks great and ready for Spring!

    Have a great week!

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  49. Agree that the curtain fabric is spectacular and really transforms the room! Just seems to me as if the dresser is a trifle too large to fit in that spot. Maybe a more delicate table in white or another light color like pale (ballard) green? Can't wait to see how it all comes together.

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  50. Just beautiful, it's amazing to me how you lighten the room by adding a lighter fabric. Did you "mistreat" the windows with the fabric. I can't wait to see the rest at the end of the week.

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  51. Looks great!! Where did you get you bamboo shades from?
    E~

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  52. i had to go back and check that you didn't repaint the wall color. it is a HUGE change done so easily! love it, just the whole lighter vibe. fantastic job!

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  53. What a difference! I love that fabric. It never ceases to amaze me how a simple fabric can inspire such an amazing change :)

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  54. What a difference! I love that fabric. It never ceases to amaze me how a simple fabric can inspire such an amazing change :)

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  55. That looks amazing..so bright and airy now! Love it!

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  56. Amazing! It was very pretty before, but I LOVE the new look!

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  57. I am loving the changes! I too am trying to lighten up our family room. Can't wait to see it finished (but if you are like me, is it ever REALLY finished?)

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  58. Love the changes. The drapes are fantastic. Like the brighter look.

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  59. Holy crap! That looks like a completely different room! I didn't think the naked windows were even in the same house! It's GORGEOUS!! You're so talented. I can't wait to see the rest of the changes!

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  60. o.m.g. what a refreshing transformation! perfect with springtime coming!

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  61. Your room is soooo much lighter....love the new drapes...

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  62. I LOVE it! Love the fabric! I, too, am trying to get away from the dark colors.. pretty hard since my couches are all a dark brown and all the wood furniture is a deep, dark wood!! The dresser/storage unit is genius!

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  63. So light and bright and pretty! Love the curtains too - coming together nicely, as always! :-)

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  64. I love it. I need you to come and do mine next. My house is the epitamy of a white hole.

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  65. It is so light and airy. I super love it!!! The before looked like a living room - very formal (although pretty). This looks like a room you would read in or play in or snuggle in or relax in. YAY!

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  66. WOW! The room was certainly pretty before... but it's SO much lighter and brighter now... It looks wonderful!

    Cindy

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  67. Amazing transformation, love the new lighter, brighter feel the room has.

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  68. Love it! I am going through the same thing in my home, I just switched our drapes from a darker green to a large scale print linen, and the difference was amazing!

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  69. sarah this is aaaawwweeesssoommmeeee!!! holy cannoli batman i absolutely love it love it love it! :) the feel of the room is so much different.. it is almost breathing now. wow! :) i am so impressed! great job!

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  70. I absolutely love how it brightens up your room!

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  71. looks great, i'm excited to see the process of the transformation!

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  72. I LOVE how light, airy, and fresh the room looks! That fabric to is to die for! Any idea what the name of it is! I have to get my hands on some of that! Awesome job!

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  73. Holy huge transformation!!! The drapes are beautiful, and are amazing at brightening up the room!!

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  74. Sarah--it is gorgeous. I just bought a house and am planning a very similar look for my living room windows and I'm wondering where you got the bamboo roman blinds, and if you're happy with the quality. It's so hard to tell ahead of time if they're going to work well! Yours are such a pretty color, too.

    In with the light and airy and out with the dark and dramatic! :)

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  75. Seriously, SO MUCH BETTER! It really did lighten the whole room! LOVE the changes and can't wait to see what else you've got up your sleeve :)

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  76. In the last few months, I feel like I have been watching your style change... it is so fun! I love the new drapes... they add life and brighten up your space! I like the red too... but this screams the new "Sarah style".

    Loving it...

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  77. In the last few months, I feel like I have been watching your style change... it is so fun! I love the new drapes... they add life and brighten up your space! I like the red too... but this screams the new "Sarah style".

    Loving it...

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  78. 100% agree with all my fellow commenters that the room is looking incredible!

    Would you mind sharing the name of the fabric you used on the curtains? Love them!
    Thanks,
    Meredith @ Welcome to Heardmont

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  79. Looks great, Sarah! I recenty swapped out burgundy drapes in my living room for cream and I could not believe how much it opened up the room. Beautiful!

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  80. Can I just say, I love that fabric!!! What a find!!! The room looks awesome!!

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  81. I love it! I'm trying to lighten up my house right now too!

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  82. wow, that did make a huge difference! I love the print on the new drapes. I don't think you need slipcovers unless you just want them. I think the curtains brings out the color of the furniture.

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  83. Wow, what a difference Sarah! I love that fabric, what an excellent choice. Looks so light and airy!

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  84. it's amazing what a difference the lighter drapes have made. it looks like an entirely different room.
    anxiously waiting the rest :)

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  85. it's amazing what a difference the lighter drapes have made. it looks like an entirely different room.
    anxiously waiting the rest :)

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  86. Oh my...I love it!! The fabric for the drapes is beautiful!! Perfect for spring!! I love how the room is bright! It seems bigger too!

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  87. Oh so pretty! Red is my accent color too...and I think when spring comes I'm going to change that. I have heavy dark drapes...I love your light airy new drapes!!! It screams SPRING! and SUNSHINE!!! I also love that box you have on the dresser!!!

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  88. Wow, Sarah- that fabric is soooo gorgeous! I'm always drawn to branchy florals like that but the colorway in this fabric is so beautiful and will give you so many options for accent colors! Any idea who the fabric manufacturer is?

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  89. I can't believe how big of a change the drapes made!! I love all the natural light you get in there now!

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  90. Love the fabric! Can't wait to see the completed room!

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  91. I LOVE the fabric you found! Mind if I copy? I've been thinking the same thing - we need to lighten up the decor around here. It's so great when just a small change makes such a huge difference!

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  92. I love the changes! Do you know the name of the fabric you used? Also, wondering where you buy your bamboo shades?

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  93. I love the new curtains! Perfect for spring :)
    I have red curtains in my family room that I purchased before anything else. Now they're the heaviest, darkest things in the room. You've inspired me to explore other options, thank you!

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  94. Wow! What a difference. I love those curtains. I love how fabric inspires! Great job.

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  95. Wow! that looks 200% better! Will you hop over to my blog and give me some tips PLEASE! I really need it! If you would that would make me feel so fuzy inside! Thanks!

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  96. Wow, that fabric is beautiful. Those windows look completely different!!! The whole room looks so airy and bright. Can't wait to see your other changes.... :)

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  97. Love the pattern of these curtains!!

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  98. Looking good Sarah! Love your new drapes! I cannot wait to see the final reveal!

    ~ Tracy

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  99. Those drapes are so pretty. I love pretty! I myself am more of a fan of lighter colors, just personal preference. Your new living room is really coming along and looking so much brighter!

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  100. I just think you are so hilarious. I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now and not only is your house and ideas incredible, but you are so funny and entertaining!!

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  101. Looks great!!! I think the knock off Ballard shelves would look great painted white and left where they were!!

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  102. Me likey :) I wish I had a Calico Corners close to me - online fabric shopping is no fun!

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  103. Love this room! You made it look so much more easy breazy with the new decor. I love the traveling dresser!

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  104. It looks great! It seems ready for spring. Where did you get those iron snowflakes by the way?

    Can't wait to see the rest of the transformation!

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  105. Hi, I just found you as I was exploring decor sites. Great blog! And what a difference in the feel of that room - from heavy & dark to light & cheery. I, too, have the camel brown colored sofas (with red flowers) and even though they're still new, 4 yrs old, I'm ready to change them. I'm following you and I'd love a visit at my blog, Playful Decor to follow back. I'm going to focus on kids room decor once I get a handle on blogging. I look forward to seeing more of your re-do's! Nan

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  106. Beautiful change to the room. It looks so warm and inviting. Not too hard for do-it-yourselfers either. Good inspiration for staging a home.

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  107. Hi! I didn't bother reading the other 112 comments previous to mine! (I'm sorry) so if my question's been asked already please accept my apologies! :) Anyhoo...Where'd you get the lamp in the corner next to your chair?? I'm basically in luuuurve with it! Pleeeese tell me! I couldn't tell if it was the exact fabric from the drapes? o
    Looks similar but I am just "smitten" with it!! BTW---keep on truckin' on this transformation because you have some SERIOUS skill!! Can't wait to see it all done!

    Melissa

    Oh and since I was soooo exited and didn't read the other posts...I just saw that I should email you...which I think I'm gonna go ahead and DO! :) Have a great week and hope wherever you live it DOES start warming up a bit for you!

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  108. I just said.... Oh Myyy Goshhhh!!!
    That's Awesome! LuRveee! ;)

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  109. wow, what a night and day difference! love that!

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  110. LOVE the transformation so far, can't wait to see more!

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  111. It looks wonderful! So much brighter and that fabric is gorgeous. You are so right, the white of the dresser looks so good there. Love the hardware on the dresser too. Looking forward to seeing more as it evolves.

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  112. What a wonderful change! Can you post the name of the fabric? It's gorgeous and I'd love to check it out in person--Thanks!

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  113. I'm getting such great ideas from your blog. Thanks so much! Blessings, Joanne

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  114. wow no more artificial light! it looks so inviting! way to go

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  115. It's like a breath of fresh air! I love the fabric. Love it! It looks wonderful, Sarah. I can't wait to see what else you have in the works.

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  116. WOW! What a diff ~ looks great and sunny and cheery :)

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  117. Love your blog and really, really love what you've done to your living room so far. I have a very similar looking couch and chair and while I want slipcovers eventually- you're right- these changes make them look so much better and I want to try to do the same now! Just adore the window treatments!!

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  118. I love the curtains. What a beautiful print. They really brighten up the whole room. Great transformation. I have the opposite problem. I went with all white to try to make my quaint rooms seem larger. Now the rooms feel too white. I would love to find curtains similar to yours!

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  119. EEK! I NEED that fabric! I've been looking for something like that for months! PLEASE tell me where to find it! (No Calico Corners around here and they have a million fabrics on their site!)

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  120. Amazing change! Love the new look and feel!! I'm a new follower :)
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
    Dana
    http://southerninspired.blogspot.com/

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  121. Beautiful!!! I, too, would love to know the details about the fabric. Thanks!

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  122. Love the changes! So much lighter and brighter. The curtain fabric is gorgeous!

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  123. That fabric is fabulous! I love the blinds too. What a great transformation in your room!!!

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  124. I found it! I found the fabric! It's in Ballard Designs' fall catalog!!!

    http://www.ballarddesigns.com/whitney-spa-fabric-by-the-yard/fall/all-items/209662

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