Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reading nook

With the great spring weather, I've been spending most of my spare time outdoors. The garden and grounds have needed lots of work around here and we've been planting raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries like crazy. Fortunately, the spring also brought a new surge of energy for me. There was a corner of my house that has been filled with stacked boxes and picture frames since we moved in. It was a little-used area but also an eyesore where dust bunnies liked to hang out. Finally I transformed it into a peaceful and useful nook, with a little help in the babysitting department from my mother who is visiting.

This is the landing at the top of our stairs facing north northeast. I painted the wall in an accent color, and ended up custom mixing my paint to make it the right shade. Two coats later, it seemed just right. The farmhouse bench I built using plans from Knock-off Wood except mine is a smaller size to fit the landing or hallway. The curtain valance and pillow I created from a yard of this rich tapestry-like fabric that I had custom-ordered last year from Joann's for the downstairs bathroom. When I decided on a different fabric altogether for the downstairs bathroom, it left this lovely fabric folded and unloved in a plastic bag until now. Fortunately, it brings out the golds and reds in my oriental rug and gives the accent wall a golden rather than brown look. The fabric is so thick it didn't need to be lined and the valance is a simple rod pocket curtain without a ruffled header.

I finally got a pile of picture frames off the floor and on the wall. Some of them needed a pretty good dusting... A few are new frames all mixed and matched in white and gold awaiting pictures of future family events. The rug is a wool Chobi from Pakistan, meaning "like wood" in Farsi because of the dark earthen and woodsy colors typical of the style. Chobi rugs are among my favorite of the new oriental rug styles. They've only been imported into the US for about 15 years.

Here's the before picture, except beside those boxes jammed in the corner under the window, you have to also imagine a pile of framed pictures and artwork all stacked up and covered in dust. From cold chaos to warm calm. Ahhh. Next I tackle the office.