Two Story Cottage

City House: Lacey’s Room

Dear Friends,

I wanted to start the week off with a bang!  Home decor posts have been nonexistent since we moved.  I’m more than ready to share what we have been doing around here.  Thankfully, I have plenty of material for the blog moving forward.

Lacey’s room is coming along nicely so I thought I’d start there.  She inherited the guest room bed since we no longer have a guest space.  It is a queen which is big, but she got the larger room so she has enough space for it.  I wanted to use as much of her existing stuff as possible in the decor.

The girl chose a pink room which I wasn’t jumping up and down about but we made it work.


I”ll admit, I love the cornice over the bed.  I was stressing about not having a window or door to put it on but this might be even better.   The green buffalo check helped put a bandaid on the pink overload.   Honestly, I didn’t even think Lacey was that big of a pink fan but her likes and dislikes change seasonally.  At least it is a peachy pink – White Oleander by Sherwin Williams if you are wondering.


The only new addition is the comforter and shams set.  I love the strawberry pattern.  The reverse is a pink chevron.  We got it (on sale!) from Garnet Hill Kids.  The brand is Morgan and Milo.  The coverlet was on our guest room bed before and reverses to a light blue.


I’m still strongly considering  a desk for Lacey.  I’d like something inexpensive and on the small side.


Her room looks finished in these pictures but we are still working on the other half.  For reference, you can see how it looked before the cornice.


It is nice for me to have some finished-looking pictures to look at.   When things are in progress, it seems like nothing is actually done so this is a pretty good confidence booster.  Lacey’s room was my favorite at the old house so I was anxious about making it equally sweet and fun.


Completed Window Treatments {Family Room}

Dear Friends,

I asked for your opinion on bamboo shades for the naked patio doors and was met with an overwhelming yes.   My gut instinct was to go for it but I was happy to get back-up feedback before I had two more custom cut.  You can’t exactly put them back together once they go through the machine!

I’m tickled pink about the finished look that the wall of shades provides.  It really gives the room a cozier feel.  The walk-through, hollow feeling is nearly gone.


I can’t wait to get my new custom birthday pillows for the sofa and chairs.  I think after that this room will be nearly complete, with the exception of a moulding treatment that lives in the recesses of my mind.


I got a little panicky at first with the space between the shades on the doors.  Do you see what I’m talking about?  When I first put them up it felt like a cavern but I don’t even notice it anymore.  Because of the door handle, I couldn’t put the left-hand door shade any further to the right.  I had to match it accordingly on the right side.  From a visual stand-point I wish they could meet a little closer but I want them to be usable.

I toyed with the idea of another curtain panel in the middle but I think I like it as is.  What do you think?


Those panels are worth the dough.  Ballard Designs carries very quality panels and the fabric is beautiful.  As a reminder, the bamboo shades are Levolor and you can have them custom cut at Lowe’s.

*The original panel post is here.
*The extra-wide curtain rod post is here.
*The original shade post can be found here.


Let’s tie it up in a tidy package (with baker’s twine of course)  so you can see the full progression!   A finished project feels euphoric.  Like dark chocolate and sea salt waves of happy.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend.  Today is Memorial Day so between bites of that cheeseburger, maybe we can all try to remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.



Layering Window Treatments: Bamboo Shades

Dear Friends,

Double trouble today because I’m posting here (duh) AND with my monthly  gig at  The Handmade Home. I’m talking about ceilings over there, otherwise known as rocking the fifth wall.  It kind of makes me want to sing “rock the fifth wall”  to the tune of “Rock the Casbah.” What is a casbah anyway?  I always thought they were saying cash bar because I’m notorious for screwing up song lyrics.

Now that you are humming and annoyed, let me update you on the window treatment progress in the family room.  So far, I added the panels which made a huge difference.  I knew right away that I wanted to layer them with some type of wood shade underneath.

I started scouring the universe for woven woods or bamboo shades and found that Lowe’s will CUSTOM cut their wooden shades for you.   As in, they have a giant machine that you put the shade in and it will magically slice them to the correct WIDTH.



Custom for less.  That could be my motto.  It was my lucky day, because they had a style that I loved right away.   The Levolor Natural Bamboo has a beachy feel that stole my cottage-lovin’ heart.  Also, it has dark spots interwoven that coordinate with the bookcases and floor.  The lighter overall look goes nicely with the sofa table and lighter furniture.  And we are forever trying to lighten things up around here!

Looking back, perhaps I should have bought a lottery ticket that day because those shades were a rockstar score.  And no, I can’t get that song out of my head.


I really like the depth they add.  The texture is a great addition to the space.


For the love of symmetry, I’m thinking I need a couple over those doors.  Do you agree?  I was reluctant to buy four shades without knowing fully if they were going to work, especially since they were being custom cut.

I thought I’d sit on them for a week or two to see how I felt but I know I like them.

So much color!  Okay, I’m going over-board but I really like these shades.   I honestly didn’t think I would be able to buy an off-the-shelf product for my less than standard windows.    The shades vary in width from 24 -72 inches and the length is set at either 60 or 72.   I bought a 36 inch wide shade that was 72 inches in length.  I had it cut to 30.5 inches wide for the actual inside width of my window where I was doing an inside mount.

Should I choose to do the doors, those would be an outside mount.

Hanging the shades was easy with step-by-step directions.   It is a beginner level project and takes less than 30 minutes overall.  I didn’t have a lick of trouble.

Well, do you like them?  What is the verdict?  Shades over the doors?  Yes?  Or nah?  I want your valuable opinions.






Extra-Wide Curtain Rod Solution

Dear Friends,
I hope you had a wonderful Easter!  We had a enjoyable family day.  It was neither warm nor sunny but it wasn’t pouring rain so we were thankful.  I ate and ate some more .  I’m not sure who can put away more food – an NFL player, myself, or Lacey.  Hard to say.   Other than the ridiculous food spread, my favorite part of Easter is the music.  I love the trumpet and organ combination with traditional hymns.  It warms my soul.


There is no good transition from soul-warming to curtain rods so let’s move on.   What do you do when you have crazy wide windows and no curtain rod on the planet is long enough?  Well, you could have one custom made but that just sounds expensive.  I looked at making one from PVC pipe (popular in the blogging community) but it was too skinny for the look I wanted.

I knew I needed a 14 foot pole of some sort so I browsed Bed, Bath, and Beyond for inspiration.  I thought maybe I could somehow connect an 8 foot wood pole and 6 foot wood pole.  Not exactly genius, but I’ve never claimed Mensa status.

I was brainstorming how to do this when I saw this hanging on a hook in the wood pole section.

Picture 9

Clearly someone had this lightbulb moment before I did.  So much for Shark Tank.  Oh, and this is one of those “duhs” where everyone knew about it but me.  Oops.  I was trying to think WAY outside the box and sometimes staying in the box is a-okay.   I really just want to whine, “why didn’t someone tell me about this two years ago?”   I guess “they” assumed I knew since it isn’t rocket science.

I spent about $75 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond on the two wood poles, a connector pack, and 5 (6 inch) wooden return brackets. It would have been more than that but I used FIVE 20 % off coupons.  Did you know you can use expired coupons there?  And one for each item?  Never, ever throw those away when they come in the mail.  It isn’t fun to spend money on a wood pole but it definitely beats the custom price.


I waited until Mr. C went out of town to put up this rod in case there was a major window treatment fail just to spare him.  I’m a good wife that way. Well, the curtain rod went up in an hour or less.  It was so easy to install the brackets with the included hardware and the poll just screwed right together with the connector.


It is rare for a project to be easier than projected.  Very rare.

Unfortunately, Bed, Bath, & Beyond doesn’t sell these online but I found another retailer for you. has the wood poles, return brackets, and the connector screw.  I didn’t buy finials because I wasn’t crazy about any of them.   Make sure you buy enough brackets to support your pole.  Mine are all hidden by the curtain panels.  Also, you can cut the pole to length pretty easily if you need an odd measurement.  I guess the longest you could go in this case would be 16 feet with two eight foot poles.


I love the look of the thick wood pole.  It is elegant and designer-like.   I can pretend, right?

Problem solved.  If only everything had such a simple solution.



Curtain Solutions for Many Scenarios {Inspiration}

Dear Friends,
You know I’ve been hung up on window treatments lately.  (Corny, much?) I found the wall of windows in the family room to be intimidating which was one reason that I put off curtain panels for so long.  One way to overcome design fear is to find inspiration from others. Whether it is pictures from magazines, blogs, or Pinterest, there are so many resources out there these days.

Below you’ll find all kinds of window scenarios and  solutions.   There are SO many options when it comes to drapery.

by Alisha Gwen interior design

 by Interior Designer Kingsley Belcher Knauss

by Fort Worth Design-build Period Homes, Inc.

 by Montauk Kitchen And Bath Kitchens & Baths, Linda Burkhardt

 by Tobi Fairley Interior Design

Wow, there are some really amazing windows out there!  I know we are lucky with ours so I’ll keep my jealousy in check.   I love a fancy, ready-for-a-party window but I also like a more casual plantation shutter or roman shade.  Dressed up or dressed down, windows treatments can certainly set the mood for the room.   If my windows were anything like me they’d be wearing yoga pants and hoodies.

Do you have any unique window situations?  Do you like your windows fancy Nancy or plain Jane?

Happy Good Friday!


Window Treatments Part One {Family Room}

Dear Friends,
I don’t know about y’all, but we had a nasty weekend in these parts.  Pouring rain and cold temps made it downright dismal.  All of the fun, spring things were cancelled.  No egg hunts or petting zoos here.  In my kid-free days I would have savored a dark, rainy day for reading by the fire.  That just didn’t happen but a girl can dream, right?

Speaking of dreaming,  I’ve been thinking about window treatments for the family room for almost two years now.  I knew that I wanted to ground our giant glass wall but I just couldn’t form a plan.  I rejected loads of fabric and daydreamed about plantation shutters until I found the panels at Ballard Designs.

They weren’t cheap but I waited patiently for a discount.  Three whole months I waited and then they were finally 15% off. They still weren’t cheap but I don’t plan on changing these out. And they are a lot cheaper than plantation shutters.


Yep, that is a serious wall of windows.  One of my favorite things about this house is the craftsman windows.  They are full of character and charm.  I was hesitant to cover them but after living here long enough I knew that I wanted to warm things up, ground the bottom half, and make the open space feel more like a room.  Also, I’m tired of looking at the Little Tykes furniture on the screened porch.  (Keeping it real, here.)


The curtain rod was a conundrum but I’ll tackle that in another post.  Those are some WIDE windows so the standard rods did not work.


The tricky part with the window treatments is the doors.  We do use those doors so I didn’t really want them covered.  However, I’d like for it to look cohesive and somewhat symmetric.


I should point out Ballard Designs really does a good job with their window panels.  These are lined and weighted which is more than I would have done if I had sewn them.  They were actually quite heavy for a light-filtering fabric.

Anyway, the point here is that I’ve gotten a good start.  I have the panels.  AND they are hanging.  Now I want bamboo shades.  Stay tuned as I shop around for those.  I actually already have my eye on some…




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