A year or so ago, my mom and I came across some amazing Ralph Lauren duvet covers in "madras boathouse plaid" on clearance at T.J. Maxx for about $20 a piece. (We act like goofballs when we shop. There's often dancing involved or some form of synchronized skipping, and occasionally, if I'm in a completely wackadoo mood, I'll throw in a really bad foreign accent or two. I don't know why I do it, but I cannot seem to help myself, and I think I've made my mom dance around stores with me since I was little; so yes, I would say that I am in the instigator. Anyway, in one of our more fun accents, we refer to duvet covers out loud--really loud sometimes--as "dove-its" and try not to laugh when the people around us start looking at us like we're aliens. It's funny actually. Err, well, maybe it's one of those have-to-be-there things. Anyway, moving along now . . . .)
When we stumbled across the matching madras bedskirts and shams (also on clearance), we just knew it was meant to be. The only problem: the dove-its that we found were queen-sized, but the guest room for which we found these lovely linens houses twin beds. Alas, what's a girl to do? Umm, duh. Buy them anyway and figure out how to, as Tim Gunn says, "make it work."
Well, my mom's pretty good at these things, so make it work she did. At first she thought she might just cut down the dove-its to make them twin-sized and use them on the bed. Then she thought she might just use the fabric to sew some curtains and keep the beds a bit more neutral to avoid being too matchy-matchy. But when she realized how well the dove-its were made, she decided to just fold them, press them, and hang them on curtain rings without even the slightest stitch or alteration. So, your question naturally must be, "does it look like she's got bedspreads hanging on the window?" Nope, not at all. I promise. But in case you don't believe me, here's the proof.
The old curtains were a bit dated, so it was time to switch things up and add some new energy to the place. And 40 bucks for a pair of new curtains is not too shabby. Plus, we like to actually close our curtains, and because the curtains are queen-sized, there's a generous amount of fabric and they don't look rinky-dink when they're closed. (Yay for curtain rings that slide easily!) Another bonus: because the curtains are actually two-sided duvets, they're just like well-lined curtains, which means that the room is extra dark at night. (Yay sleep!) Oh, and I'm sure these curtains will live another life one day on a bed somewhere, perhaps even on my bed since I love the preppy fabric and happy colors. (Yay for multi-purposing!)
Now, to increase the energy in the room, my mom did a bit more than add some new fabric. She also decided to update a piece of furniture that had started to bore her.
If you look at the far right side of the first picture in this post, you can see a tiny portion of a very dark oak dresser that sits between the twin beds. To tackle her boredom, my mom decided to slap a coat of paint on the dresser, and at first, she painted the whole thing a light grayish off-white, which looked nice but perhaps a bit nursery-ish. (If I'm going to be totally honest, all it needed was a changing pad on top, a box of wipes, and a screaming baby. Cole, I'm not trying to plant any ideas here!) So when I suggested that mom check out Pinterest.com for some ideas about painting stripes on the dresser to make it a bit more sophisticated and less baby-bottom ready, she did so and found inspiration. My sister had some leftover Martha Stewart raccoon hollow paint that she had used to paint the bookshelf in her cloffice. (Remember this post?) She gave it to my mom, who used it to paint the dresser in a way that roughly mimics the khaki stripe in the madras fabric, as you can see below. (When she first painted the dresser, the whole thing was the color of the light stripes on the right and left sides of the drawers. Like I said, totally baby-bottom ready.)
What do you think of the final product? I think it looks so amazing. Very cool.
Oh, and do you see the edge of the yellow pillow that is sitting on the bed? Well, just wait 'til I tell you about the place where my mom found that fabric. You're going to die. Well, I hope you won't die, but you know what I mean. This place is so great that it deserves its very own post, and it's going to get one when I find the time to upload and cull the four hundred thousand photos that I took when my mom took me there a couple of weeks ago. So stay tuned.
Now, what's the strangest thing you've ever hung as curtains? In college, my roommate and I tacked a blue fleece blanket to the windows on days when we wanted to watch Lifetime movie marathons. Not the most attractive solution, but it definitely worked.
And have you ever painted stripes on a piece of furniture? I want to paint words on my dresser now. (It's a trash pile rescue so I cannot really hurt it.) We'll see. I have a few more things on my plate right now, but I still like to think about these things!