the best seat in the house

This is one of my very favorite spaces in our home.

Reading Nook

It is a built-in cedar bench with much-needed storage.  I love built-ins of any kind because they are just so custom to each house. We left built-in shelves behind in our previous dining room and living room.  The only thing better than built-ins might be pocket doors.

Reading Nook

This is a special place where we like to curl up and read a book when time allows. In the winter, the baseboard heat pumps right up onto the seat making it even cozier.  Said baseboard is due for a coat of glossy white paint this spring.

Reading Nook

Over the holidays we added top down/bottom up shades. I was really committed to the idea of these shades so that we could always have the top down yielding a perfectly clear view. Our bed faces the window so it is spectacular to wake up to the sun peeking through the woods. We see the most beautiful early morning pink skies and evening lavender clouds.

And lately we’ve been waking up to snow dusting our holly trees.  It’s the little things.

Reading Nook

The valance is just a strand of starfish because we are “down the shore” after all and sometimes a little kitsch is necessary.  The salvaged piece above the window was a Brimfield honeymoon find.  I love all of the vivid colors.

Reading Nook (5 of 13)

Remember our garden rake belt hook?  Well, there it is.

  Reading Nook (3 of 13)

  That’s it.  The best seat in the house.

Reading Nook

Check out the rest of the salvage style room here.

layering a window seat

Yesterday was one of those days where I packed in enough activities to fill a few days. Man, I got so much done that I am actually sore.  I planted 80 bulbs in an hour using my tried and true electric drill/auger method.  Can’t wait to see those babies bloom in the spring.   Prior to that, I started out the day finishing up this window seat nook in our living room.

vintage military ammo trunk turned window seat by Circa Dee

Our living room is pretty big.  It was originally two rooms (small living room and a tiny bedroom) that a previous owner opened up to make one large space.  I love how open it is but it still calls for two different zones.  I sort of think of the TV watching area as the “family” room and this side as the “living” room where we have a sitting area and then a bar cart to the side.

We added roman shades and vintage toile drapes.  In fact, the roman shades are the only things that are brand spankin’ new in this space.

vintage military ammo trunk turned window seat + toile drapes by Circa Dee

Before I go any further, please allow me to insert a beautiful “before” picture here of this side of the room.  This house was screaming bad 80s (and in some cases, still is) so it is a real joy to recreate.

before

I should also point out that I lost the battle on painting all of the maple stained trim in this house.  When paired with the new bright roman shades, it doesn’t seem that bad however I would like to de-orange it a bit with a darker stain.  But of course that is a daunting task that I am really not ready to embark on.

You may remember the drapes from the dining room in our previous house.  It’s funny how different they look in here.  Rather than using drape hooks this time, I went with rod clips so I could easily loop them over the fishing rod curtains rods.

vintage toile drapes

Yes, I said fishing rods.  One thing about making the beach house our permanent residence is determining how much “beach” to mix into the decor.  After all I don’t want to turn this place into the set of the Golden Girls.  Or maybe I do actually.  Blanche had quite the social life.  Anyway, I am still experimenting with how much beach is too much.

I digress.

The fishing reels and one of the rods are special because they belonged to Ryan’s grandfather and father.  I like how they’re on display but also totally functional for this space.  That seems to be a recurring theme since we moved.  Many of the things we chose to keep with us are sentimental and family heirlooms so we’re trying to find ways to not only admire them but actually use them as well.

repurposing fishing rod and reel as curtain rod

As soon as we decided to move, I knew this trunk was going right in this space.  The reason is two fold.  1)  This window is just calling out for a seat and the trunk was just the right size.  And 2) storage!

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

This is a vintage navy ammo trunk with its original labels.  You know how I feel about vintage military accessories.  Maybe you don’t.  I love them!  I tried to sell this one once upon a time when I didn’t need a huge ammo trunk however it didn’t sell.  Obviously no one saw my bench vision in the ginormous trunk!  We added castors so it easily moves as needed.  It can actually double as a coffee table too sans the pillows.  I’m sure I will be wheeling this out of the window to make room for a Christmas tree sometime soon.

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

Did you notice the cushion?  It is the perfect size for the trunk and it came off of a metal bench that we already owned.  A bench without storage so it didn’t make the cut in here.

window seat trunk

I know you spotted the rug.  Is it not the most perfect selection of loomed wool that you ever did see?

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

Let me tell you that an area rug was a must have for this little space.  It never felt complete without it.  I wanted to ground the space.  This Turkish kilim number did exactly that.  After drooling over very expensive kilims and overdyed wool rugs online for months, I found this antique one at an estate sale last week for a steal.  Plus a nicely coordinating one that I can’t wait to share too!  Jackpot.

vintage military ammo trunk bench + orange kilim rug by Circa Dee

I’m pretty happy with how this space came together.  It is functional and full of vintage style.  I even snuck in some mixing bowls on the windowsill.

  beach bungalow window seat

hanging drapes

So I wanted to title this post “hanging drapes for dummies” but I didn’t want to scare anyone away before reading the first line.  Another title choice was “hanging drapes for thirty year olds” because if you are an actual adult i.e. over thirty, you probably already know how to hang drapes the old school way and you will learn nothing new from this post.

But as it seems, the last time I really saw drapes in my home was circa 1989 and I wasn’t hanging them.  Then the 90’s hit.  Oh the 90’s.  Balloon valances.  Need I say more about the puffy beasts that hung over suburban windows everywhere?

Moving onto the new millennium.  Or so.

My window treatments up until recently have always involved sheer panels, tab tops, grommet tops and funky, ornate hardware.  That sort of thing.  I have never once hung a drape.  Or draperies.  That word sounds so grown up and maybe even old-fashioned.

But there is a first time for everything and that was a really long introduction to…hanging drapes for dummies.  With pictures.

Follow along as I become an actual adult and introduce drapes into my home.

First let’s review what I mean by drapery.  I am talking about heavy curtains with pleats.  Old school.

Specifically, I am talking about this fabulous pair of handmade, vintage toile drapes that I scored for a song!  The fabric needs to be attached to the curtain rod.  But how?  I don’t want to use the modern ring and clip method.

drapery pleats

We’re going way back.  This, my friends, is a drape hook.  This little device does all the work!  A package of drape hooks costs about $2.50 and can be found at your local hardware store.

drape hook

Flip over the drape so you are looking at the back side of the pleats.

back of drape pleats

The drape hook has one pointy end.  Insert the pointy end upward into the seam of the pleat so it is running parallel with the pleat.

how to hang drapes

Once inserted, the curved part of the drape hook should be near the top of the pleat.

drape hook

Repeat this process pinning each pleat with a drape hook making sure each hook is sturdy.

how to hang drapes

And that’s it.  They’re ready to be hung!

how-to hang drapes

Fun fact:  A package of drape hooks contains 14 hooks.  Each of my drapes had 7 pleats.  Coincidence?

how-to hang drapes

Stay tuned for the reveal!  There’s still a lot of work to be done in the dining room.

Signed, Your first time drape hanger

what i’ve been buying

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a treasure Monday post.  As you can imagine, picking is slow this time of year due to the weather.  That hasn’t really stopped me though.  I’ve attended a few auctions lately.  And have been scoring at the thrift store in the fabric department.

Typically I am rotating chairs around the house from room to room but lately it has been window treatments.  Which, by the way, are really difficult to photograph due to the lighting.

I love finding vintage linens in excellent condition…

Is it the year of the pom pom?  I feel like they are suddenly every where.  I am not complaining!  I am falling right into this trend and fortunately I am finding vintage pom poms.  Even better!  I modified a pair of drapes as valances in my guest room.

vintage window treatment

On the same day, I came across a pair of perfectly coordinating twin flat sheets that stand in as curtain panels.  No sewing needed!

vintage window treatment

Of course this new found “window treatment” caused a domino effect.  I’ve been passively looking for something like this for the guest room so I happily took down the green plaid panels.  We are currently playing with them in my parent’s guest room.

vintage window treatment

After finding the sweet yellow and orange pom poms, I came across an adorbs set of brown pom pom curtains.

vintage window treatment

How could I resist them?  They are also a candidate for my parents house although I wish I had a place to hang them in my own home!  The size just isn’t right.  Shucks.  They are so whimsical and cute!

vintage window treatment

Moving along to my favorite find though…a set of vintage sage green toile drapes.  You might have caught a glimpse of these on my instagram last week when it was love at first sight.  Swoon!

They are the perfect size for my dining room window which has now caused yet another complete domino effect.  I’ve been wanting a green dining room since we moved in nearly 2 years ago.  These drapes have finally kick started things around here.  Now I’m on the hunt for the perfect contrasting valance.  I’m trying a few things like a new to us antique area rug.  I painted the table.  The list goes on.  I’ll share everything when I’m finished with the research and development stage.

In 2014.  Kidding.  I can’t wait that long to pull it all together in the dining room.

vintage window treatment

I will be sure to share what I learned about hanging drapes.  Like old school drapes that your grandmother had.  This is a new topic for me.  Stay tuned for that post on Wednesday.

vintage window treatment

What vintage treasures have you been finding lately?

the little nook that could

Last week I showed you around my office.  I hope you enjoyed the tour.  Today I am here to talk specifically about the little nook in that room and how it got to be so darn charming! 

An advantage to a Cape Cod style house are these dormers that poke out of the roof. 

On the inside, dormers carve out little spaces that can sometimes be difficult to decorate.  Here’s how it looked prior to moving in any furniture or hanging window treatments.  It was just asking for a cozy window seat.

And that’s how the retro orange bench found a home. 

I layered it with pretty pillows – my favorite accessory for any room!

But what I want to show you is the no sew/no drill window treatment that I installed.

I started by finding 2 matching vintage blankets for just $4 each.  Sheer luck to find a pair!  This option was so much cheaper than buying new curtains.  The orange and green pattern played into the office color palette nicely.

Because of the architecture of this little nook, I was able to suspend a long tension rod between the adjacent walls.  No drilling necessary.  Plus a bathroom tension rod is also much cheaper than curtain hardware.

Before hanging the tension rod, I added the curtain hooks to the rod.  Then I simply folded over the blankets turned curtains until they were at the desired length.  See? I just hid the excess fabric behind the curtain. 

And clipped the curtain hooks onto the fabric at even intervals.

I’m very happy with how this little, low-budget project turned out!  The entire window treatment cost less than $40.  The curtains even seem to make the window look wider.  Plus that bench, oh how I love!

I may never learn to sew at this rate.  Do you have any other no sew project ideas?

Linking to:
House of Grace
House of Hepworths
Beyond the Picket Fence
Freckled Laundry
My Repurposed Life
Roomspiration<

office tour

Comin’ atchya live from my home office today! 

As a part time blogger and full time work from homer, I spend no less than 80% of my waking hours in this little yellow room so it is important that I get it just right.  Althought I still have a few projects on the horizon for this room it is close enough for a reveal so come on in.  Let me show you around.

I’ve had this little table for years.  A past roommate left it behind.  I can’t tell you how many times I considered selling it.  I’m so glad I didn’t!  The table is perfect for crafting and I don’t care how much paint/ink/glue I get on it plus it takes up minimal space. 

The vintage area rug was found at an estate sale in the spring.  I knew then that I wanted the color scheme for this room to be orange, green & yellow.  The rug seemed to be a heavy, dark anchor for this otherwise light, bright room.  Plus it was hand hooked and in great shape!

This might just me my favorite vintage little nook in the whole house.  It is a close second to the sunroom anyway.  Remember the orange bench?  I have to tell you that I get the most feedback on that find.  What a score! 

The bench looks even better surrounded by these textiles.  The only splurge and only brand new items in the entire room are the yellow rosette throw pillows.  I found them at Target on my Missoni mission by another designer.

Let’s move over here and take a peek at the few modern pieces in the room.  I found this armoire on sale a few years back and it now hides most of my craft supplies. 

I like having a few dark espresso accents in the room like the coordinating frame that displays my print of Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss that I got on a trip to Vienna after graduating college.  Who knew Gustav’s colors would go so well with my office?  Oh and as you pass by, high five the antique glove mold that I found at the Brooklyn Flea.

Meet the girls.  The grey antique dressform is Cecilia.  She is a big boned girl who is adjustable in size.  Did you spy the old wine rack down there on the floor?  It holds fabric scraps.

Isabelle is our petite dressform.  She’s a Singer made mold that replicates an actual (skinny) woman’s measurements.  The original model’s name is in the mold.  Cree-py.  But these girls make great props.

Ok, reversing sides of the room now.  Remember the dyed coffee filter wreath?  Here she is again.

The reality is that I spend the majority of my time at this little built in desk.  I love the architectural charm that is original to our 1949 house.

The desk is adjacent to the printing station which is housed in the vintage green cabinet.  Don’t you love how I hide all of the office clutter?

And how could I not mention the pulldown school map of Pennsylvania?  This map has influenced and shaped the color pallet of the entire room.   

I am not sure which feature I love more.  The orange & green school map or the orange bench on the opposite wall.  What do you think?

Ok well thanks for visiting my office!  I will keep you posted on upcoming projects in here.

Linking to:
Visit thecsiproject.comsouthern hospitalityHOG
Mod Vintage Lifea beach cottage

Roomspiration

untouchables

The guest room has been getting lotsa decor love lately. 

First, the sheet music wreath.

Then the spoon wreath last week.

And now a window treatment!

The funny thing is that we don’t spend any time in there.  It reminds me of a living room that no one lives in.  You know the type.  You may have had one growing up or maybe you have your own now.  It’s that room in the house that is the most pristine.  So pristine that no one goes in there.  No one is allowed in there.  I’m afraid that my beloved guest room is turning into the untouchable room.  We need to have some overnight guests stat so we can change that.  Until then I continue to deck the walls in vintage (and spoons). 

Moving right along.  Vintage scarves are my accent du jour.  These aren’t just any old scarves.  They were my grandmother’s.  When I acquired the furniture from her, the silky fabrics were left in a drawer.  I never saw her wear these scarves in my lifetime.  I wonder if they were all even hers or possibly her mother’s.  At any rate, they are most definitely 50 years old or more.  They are quite fragile so I am afraid to wear them.  What if I were to lose one?  Stain one?  Tear one?  Some even have holes already so when working with them, I chose not to wash or steam them.  I didn’t want to wear them out even more. 

After seeing various versions of scarf curtains and valances, I decided that was how I wanted to display some of my silky heirlooms.  I chose complementary colors to the navy walls and contrasting yellowy furniture.  The greens are pretty. 

When it came to hanging the scarves, I simply draped them over the already existing valance hardware. 

(Yes, we still have a 1950’s shade on the window.  Me likey.)

I used 3 large scarves, folded them in half diagonally making a triangle.  When draping them, I made sure the point was down in order to keep the look consistent. 

I’m pretty happy with the results.  So simple and so much better than keeping these textiles hidden away in a drawer.  And I’m hoping those wrinkles will just fall out.  Soon.  Very Soon.

What are some other ways to display vintage scarves?

Linking to:
Funky Junk Interiors
House of Hepworths
Freckled Laundry
House of Grace

indecisive

Help! I had this vision of feedsack bags repurposed into valances for our living room windows.

I’ve executed the vision and now I can’t decide how I feel about the new window treatment. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I feel less than stellar about it.

Let me start at the beginning. When we first saw the house back in February, the living room looked exactly like this.

That’s the only “before” picture I have. When we saw the house, I was excited that it came with all of the window treatments. At the time, I thought I liked the fancy valances. Once we moved in, I immediately realized that they weren’t for me! Ryan agreed. The word “regal” came to mind every time I looked at them. This living room was never going to be regal but casual and comfortable.

I lived with the curtains and waited for the room around them to evolve.

At an estate sale a few weekends ago, I scored these old feed bags. For $1 each!

Another “no sew” project! I cut the sides but kept the bottoms attached. That gave me about 20 inches x 70 inches. About.

My next move was a little bit risky. The bags still hadn’t been washed and were a bit smelly so I threw them in the wash on the delicate cycle. I knew this would fray the edges. I hoped it would fray them just the right amount and not too much or they’d fall apart. I felt like my 14 year old self again trying to fray my cut off jean shorts just right. Do kids still do that? Anyway, when I opened the washer up, the burlap was still in tack with just a little fraying. I trimmed the edges where necessary and laid them flat on the ground.

I got out my trusty lip liner-turned-fabric-marker, measuring tape and scissors.

I marked slits approximately 2 inches down and 10 inches apart. Approximately. There was a lot of eyeballing in this project because it was midnight I was ok with some imperfections. I made the cuts and threaded the curtain rod through. This was a quick project!

Here’s how they look now.

I love the graphics!

As I’m writing this and peering over the computer at the “new curtains”, Ryan said, “Those curtains look horrible.” So I know how he feels…he’s a bit more traditional. Although for the record, he also said that he didn’t care if they stayed.

I think I will leave them up for summer.

Maybe not? Help!

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