Progress in the Box Room: A Cheapskate Update

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ok, so I can't seem to get away from calling it the box room. Despite some good suggestions otherwise, it doesn't feel right to call it a sewing room until I learn how to sew properly!

To refresh your memory about my secret shame, here is how its changed over the past two years.
Little Bedroom BeforeDSC_0215
DSC_0016BoxRoom

I spent a lot of this weekend in here spiffing it up. It still has a loooong way to go to being complete but it's getting there.

First off the table skirt. For function more than form, I needed a skirt to hide the mass of supplies Im storing under the desk. I've been looking for just the right fabric and have been coming up empty handed. (Not to mention I have absolutely no idea how to sew a tailored table skirt.) Instead, I went the budget route - drop cloth canvas and brass nail heads both purchased at Lowes for less than $20. The added benefit of being a no sew project convinced me to go for it. If I ever find the right fabric and sort out the sewing detail, I'd like to replace the skirt eventually but this does the trick for now.
BoxRoomUpdateDropClothSkirtBrassHeads

After that was done, I turned to the big expanse of wall over the desk. Out came the various bits and pieces of artwork I've been saving in my closet for a rainy day. Add in a tape measure, nails and a lot of time figuring out how to hang it all together, got me this.
GalleryWall12

And finally Ethel got some pearls and a ribbon to spiff her up as well.
BoxRoomUpdate5
So there you have it...for $20 I added a little more finishing to this room.

I know I need to: add a window treatment, have a glass top made for the desk, screw in more lightbulbs, add some grommets to the skirt so I can tie it open, add some more finishing touches (I'd love to work in Linda and Christy's idea about a large scale vintage pattern worked in here somehow. I still have plenty of wall space so I think I'll give that a go if I can figure out the semantics.)

I need help with: Should I add an accent color? If so, what and how? Anything else you suggest?

53 comments:

  1. I think it's coming along nicely! Perhaps that window needs something...color? Cool fabric??? If you can sew a straight line, you can make very professional looking curtains (I've done it!!!) Let me know if you need some easy instructions!

    Also, another way you could attach fabric to the table is to use double sided velcro tape (so you could just remove the fabric if you were using the stuff under the table for a project). You could add nail head strips to the top so you would get the same look.

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  2. Thanks Heather. Im going to try my hand at a Roman shade (I don't want curtains to hide the nice woodwork around the window)
    Silly question about the skirt: Why would I put velcro tape if the nail heads are already holding it? I can easily just flip up the fabric when I need to get under there. Just wondering if there is some advantage to bothering with the velcro.

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  3. I like the idea of a roman shade, maybe in a vintage looking pattern with fabric from Amy Butler or Umbrella Prints:
    http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/mainmenu.php
    http://www.umbrellaprints.bigcartel.com/

    And to tie the room together, make a pillow for the chair that matches the shade. A coordinating, but not matchy-matchy small rug would be nice too!

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  4. Fantastic job on the table skirt! I'm glad I'm not the only one who names my dressmaker's form (mine is Lucy). I love how the antiqued gold frames and light fixture look with the wall color, so I would try to bring that color in more with the shade, rug, and other accessories.

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  5. I love it just the way it is. Your art work collection was hung to perfection! The only thing missing in the box room or sewing room is *the* project! Once you get working on that, it will add the finishing touches. And all you need to be able to do to make a Roman shade is sew a straight line, so you're good to go! Once you add that, I'd move on to the next project. I'm renovating an old house so I know that the list never ends!

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  6. This looks amazing! I adore canvas drop cloths and have them all over my house -- decoratively, of course! The nailheads elevate the skirt so nicely!

    I see two things in terms of color in this room: 1) stick with monochromatic shades of white, flax, and gold and incorporate some live greens for color; or, 2) use bold but rich pink accessories (pillows, a modern piece of artwork, desk accessory or fun fabric draped over Ethel or on the back of your chair. Either way, I'd stay with a neutral color on the window.

    I'm so jealous. This room is shaping up so beautifully!

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  7. Looks great! As an accent I'd go with something red or dark pink. And only a touch of it...flowers, skirt for the Ethel?

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  8. I think the room looks amazing, love the floors, your art work and the way you hung it. I would remove the door to the room altogether (makes room look larger) and the only other thing I would add is a great looking straw hat hanging on the wall over by the dress form.

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  9. oh it looks fantastic!

    i actually don't think you need any accent colours in this room. i like it as is but think you should stick with the accents that you currently have - as i see it that is gold/bronze, black, burlap/hemp-ish colours, and white. plus, if this will in fact become a sewing room or some kind of arts room then fabric scraps and such will add colour in their own way. maybe the spools of thread could be artfully displayed - providing fun shots of colour. just a thought.

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  10. I think with the vintage look going on...I'd roll with it. Keep it with soft whites, maybe accent with pink. Have you thought about doing some vintage artwork on a canvas drop cloth for a rug? Very inexpensive but would make a big statement. Coming along beautifully!!

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  11. & how fantastic is your gallery wall? LOVE it.

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  12. It is definitely fabulous. Love that not all the picture frames have something in them. Really gorgeous floor. It is shaping up really beautifully.

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  13. This is terrific! I wish my own sewing room looked as fresh. As for the dropcloth table skirt, wonderful idea! I use drop cloths for sewing, too. You can easily hot glue a ribbon trim for more detail.
    An accent color might be nice. I'm thinking black with the colors you already have. I'm partial to that kind of scheme. Be sure to post more as you progress!

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  14. I like the roman shade idea. You need some fabulous fabric to dress up that window and highlight Ethel.

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  15. I know I'm not the first to suggest it, but I really like the idea of Roman shades. I think that they'd be perfect for your sewing room.

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  16. I love the walls just as they are , what color is that Stephanie ? , I think it is just what I need for my major closet makeover in February.

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  17. I really like how it's coming along! The monochromatic scheme so far is actually quite soothing, so if you like it that way you can always add an accent in another soothing color (someone mentioned pink above). One way to do it would be to add some grosgrain ribbon trim to the table skirt with an iron and Stitch Witchery tape (easy, I've done it with curtains).

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  18. I love the gallery wall! I'm all for no-sew projects and I love the way the skirt turned out but I do think it's funny that you're sewing table has a no-sew skirt. : ) I agree with some of the previous comments to keep the accents to what you already are using (creams, golds, etc.). And if you do use a vintage pattern on the wall or shade you could repeat it in your table skirt by stenciling it on. Using a dry brush with imperfect coverage would fit the vintage theme.

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  19. That gallery wall is the best. I started plopping art on the bed on my spare bedroom in the hopes of doing something similar...I love incorporating empty frames to give the eye a place to "rest." And lord knows I, too, have plucked many a good frame out of the trash. :-) And I am (still) jealous of Ethel. She looks terrific.

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  20. Those floors.... sigh... swoon.... :)

    The entire room's look is just so calming and peaceful.

    A+!!!!!

    Ruth

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  21. I love the floor and I hope you don't cover it up. I have an old wooden exam table that I am planning to use as a desk in the office. I may copy your idea of the canvas if you don't mind. How did you know how much to buy? Does it come in different sizes? Thanks!

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  22. I love the look of the room as is, especially the canvas skirt around the table.

    If you want to add color...I agree about adding some accent to Ethel, or you could do it with the window treatment/incorporate a colorful chair.

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  23. Anonymous2:57 PM

    Looks beautiful. I like the monochromatic also. Love the idea of a roman shade. You are so right - don't hide the beautiful molding. What about some dark pink rope or ribbon to hold open the table skirt (when needed). Also maybe a small dark pink vase and a vase with dark pink flowers on the window sill? Remember, your projects will add various colors. This small amount would be great for when you are in between projects.

    ....or I just thought of one last idea - you could copy a couple vintage patterns in dark pink ink, ivory/white paper and put a couple of those in the frames.

    Good luck with whatever you choose. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out!
    Jen

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  24. This is very nice, you must be excited.

    I hear auto glass repair places have nice deals on glass of the size you need. Some hardware stores don't carry it that big, but maybe you've found somewhere already.

    Perhaps some chocolate brown accents used sparingly?

    Looks great!

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  25. I think you should ad a Coral color as an accent i personally love those two colors togehter. Nice job on the pictures, they look great!

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  26. The art wall above your desk is beautiful, I just love all those works of art you have collected!

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  27. very pretty! love what you did with the artwork.

    i'd veto an accent color if it was up to me. i love the colors you've used, and how they go with the wall hangings.

    kelly

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  28. Adorable! I always feel a *little* weird about putting pictures of my rooms up because I know more needs to be done. But this is SO cute and will be adorable when you're done. What's the rush anyway?? How about a fabulous print in the curtain?

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  29. This is absolutely stunning.

    I love your framescape. And the colors are really lovely already. I love the dark tones coming from the frames, the seafoam green of the walls, the golden yellows and oranges coming from the wood floor... I'm not sure I'd change a thing. If you are looking for a pop of color consider using it for your window treatments and your chair situation.

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  30. I'm NOT a designer, nor do I claim to have any decorating experience, but I can see a large wingback chair in a bold color like yellow or orange in here(in lieu of the rolling chair). Maybe even in a retro velvet? Yes, I might be crazy, but that's what I would do. And I would leave everything else 'as is'. I love it!

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  31. Love the door turned work desk! Great job on skirt, the room is really coming along and look forward to seeing what else you do in there.

    You are the first blog I ever read, its been fun watching you transform your beautiful old house. I just started a blog, I would love it if you stopped by!

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  32. I like it just the way it is. Great idea about the drop cloth! I can't sew either;)

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  33. Anonymous7:14 PM

    Love it! Have you thought about framing or decoupaging on canvas, old sewing patterns! The tissue paper is perfect for decoupaging or framing . . . sewing room lends itself to vintage patterns!

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  34. Anonymous9:31 PM

    Hello! I recently discovered your fun blog and am enjoying your project ideas and decorating skill.

    I'm not a designer so my comments are coming from a fellow do-it-yourself-er. What jumps out at me are the gorgeous floors, wall of pictures and frames, and the skirting . . . all perfect to my eye. The only discord to me is the modern chair. Are you planning to replace it with something more vintage?

    Many have suggested bringing in pink, coral, yellow, etc., but I feel those colors would "water down" the room. I envision a rich chocolate brown to ground the room by bringing that color to an upholstered chair and a thick grosgrain brown trim around the drop skirt. I think using the a painter's drop cloth for the roman shade with the same brown ribbon trim would give the room a finished look.

    I'll enjoy seeing the changes as you continue decorating your fabulous home . . . Barb in CA

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  35. So far so good! I actually think it's great the way it is and an accent color is not necessary. I love the colors you already have paired with rich browns or black even.

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  36. I think it looks super chic already, but you could definitely add some bold prints in art, a window treatment, and/or a rug. I also think dark turquoise would be a great accent color as well as black. I can't wait to see what else you add!

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  37. I LOVE your collection of artwork. It fits perfectly. I agree with Emily. Just a smidge of an accent color. Maybe some bias tape or ribbon in a reddish color hot-glued to the bottom of your table skirt? Or solid Roman shades with bias tape/ribbon there instead? What a classy "box room" you have!
    :)

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  38. Think yellow. Since you have the gold from the frames, I would lean more towards yellow to help make it pop. Not anything neon or too bright, but a few soft yellow accents. Heres some inspiration...

    http://images2.cafemom.com/images/user/gallery/post_1492155_1233128160_med.jpg

    http://www.tchochkes.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/blue_and_yellow_living_room.jpg

    http://www.porterhousedesigns.com/colorsizzle/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/decorpad1.jpg

    I hope it helps.. :)

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  39. Unless you need privacy, what a pity to put anything on the window it jumps so beautifully to the empty frames and suggest a calming elegance to a room that is obviously going to see great things happen.

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  40. I'm partial to roman shades for the room. So far the room is coming together quite nicely.

    I do have a question as to what happened to the radiator?

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  41. Oh and I just thought of this (and sorry for the double post!) have you ever considered those wall decals? They sell them at target or online but they come in a variety of colors and designs. It might be what your looking for but dont know. :)

    http://www.colourlovers.com/uploads/2008/05/wall-3.jpg

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7fEovpvVC8M/SaL0S29pZTI/AAAAAAAAALE/VCjBja4rLM8/s400/chandelier_walldecal_urbanoutfitters.jpg

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  42. Tonia9:40 AM

    I love it. I especially love the wall color - I went back to some earlier posts but I couldn't find the name of the paint color. Do you remember the name?

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  43. Tonia - The color is Silver Marlin by Benjamin Moore.

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  44. Definitely a large scale pattern for a roman shade. I'd love to see you bring in a pale coral shade, (taking cues from Ethel's beads). I could totally see that in a tape trim on the bottom of the no-sew skirt and maybe some fab paper fashioned into a mat for one of your frames...

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  45. This room is amazing - I love the detail. You've put my woman cave/craft room to shame! I love the use of the door as a table. A good friend of ours owns a bar in town and he used some old doors to create larger party tables for the upstairs. I've loved the idea since I saw it and this door is beautiful! I can't wait to see it all finished.

    You are very clever - I love the look of the drop cloth and the nail heads!

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  46. I think it looks wonderful. You did a great job!
    Paula Grace

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  47. Love this blog...so addictive



    Please visit our new studio blog and stock library websites

    Distil Ennui Photography Studio Blog http://www.blog.DistilEnnui.com

    Stock Images & Canvas Prints http://www.AlexanderJamesStockPhotography.com

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  48. It is beautiful! What a wonderful sewing room!! (or box room:) I would wait a bit to throw in an accent color as it is so pretty to look at now! Sometimes if I go to fast I end up changing my mind. I would hate to cover up the window at all, but if you have to maybe a roman shade that goes almost all the way up - like to 6-7 inches. I can't stop staring at the floors - lovely!!

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  49. It's not even done and I'll already thinking - gorgeous! I love the feel it gives off.

    The canvas drop cloth is brilliant. I may have to steal the fabric idea. I was thinking of covering a cork board in burlap but the canvas might be quicker.

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  50. Wow...looking good! Love the paint color you chose! I think we may have the exact same dress form...mine is in my Guest room. :-)

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  51. If you’re considering redesigning your home, one way to derive more from each room without expanding its footprint is to add certain architectural touches to enhance appearance. Such touches add “personality” to a room and can also increase your home’s value.

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  52. What a great transformation. I'm looking at those beatup Before pics of the floor and wondering: were you able to bring back that old floor to look so beautiful or is it a new floor? 
    Also, here is a tip that I used to use for making skirts/curtains/things like that: If you can sew in a straight line, you can do this. Find your fabric and cut to size, leaving room to hem the bottom. Then sew that tape that has the string running  through it (don't know what it's called) across the top and pull to create your pleats. Sorry I don't know what it's called, but, it works great for table skirts. Good luck with everything. 

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  53. The floors are original to the house but the water damage in this room was particularly bad so we salvaged some of the flooring from other parts (essentially the parts we added bathrooms and didnt need the hardwood) of the house and relocated in here.

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