Family Room Bay Window

Dear Angela: Family Room Bay Window
This week’s “Dear Angela” letter is from a lovely and talented quilter from Missouri, Nancy from With Thread in Hand. Read on to hear about Nancy’s decorating dilemma.

Family Room Before

Dear Angela,
I could really use some help. We moved to a new home about 18 months ago and although we have painted and decorated, I’m not happy with my family room. The blue plaid couches are from the last house and they really don’t go with my new theme of black/brown/tan with punches of red. I really want a dark brown sectional. My husband built white end table, along with a pie safe, desk and two Mission Style chairs in the living room. I LOVE the coffee table and red table and don’t want to give them up. I can’t quite figure out what to do with the bay window. I put up roman shades, and I would really like the finishing touch of window drapes or such, but there is no room to mount any hardware. We are a casual family with a white family dog. Oh, he sheds, and he DOES get on the furniture.
Please help!

Family Room Before

Hi Nancy!
I know you said you want a dark brown sectional. And I hear that. But I suggest you consider custom slip covers as an alternative. Your pieces are charming and in good shape: custom slip covers will be a fraction of the cost of a sectional and give you the option of washability if you choose a such as cotton duck. And I do mean custom, where there’s a separate cover for each cushion and the couch body. If you are wanting a cleaner more modern look, consider removing the skirts on the couches as well. As for the color, I’d suggest a medium to light neutral that won’t show your dog’s white hair the way the dark brown will. If you’re tired of plaid, maybe choose a pinstripe, buffalo check or even a solid.
For the additional seating you need, a comfy armchair will create a cozy feel. If you choose one with a low back (or put your TV in a taller armoire), you’ll still be able to watch TV, but have a nice conversation area when you have company. In addition, try a larger rug with less pattern to make the room feel larger.
As for the bay window, simply hang casual tab top panels on a rod that extends across the entire opening. Then, for fun, try a small iron chandelier swagged over to above the coffee table, add some throw pillws and accessories, and the room will look beautiful.
I know you still may have your heart set on the sectional, but I hope this gives you some ideas to consider. I look forward to seeing what you do–please send me a photo if you make any changes!
~Angela :-)

Dear Angela: Can My Garden Shed Be Cottage-y?

Dear Angela: Can My Garden Shed Be Cottage-y? via

Dear Angela: Can My Garden Shed Be Cottage-y? via

Today’s “Dear Angela” letter comes from yours truly. I have been longing for summer and longing for my old English Cottage garden, and have been really struggling with how to make an impact this season since we have so much to do in the new garden. So I decided to ask myself how I might turn a neglected corner of my backyard into a cottage garden I can love. Here’s what I said:

Dear Angela,

I moved to a new home this summer, and I have set aside a back corner of the garden for a romantic cottage-style garden, but I am having trouble envisioning what I might do or how it might look. Especially with that ugly shed in the middle of it all. [Read more…]

French Country Master Bedroom

Dear Angela: Emily's Bedroom
Earlier today, a reader and bloggy friend Emily from Remodeling This Life, sent me an e-mail, asking for help with her bedroom. Of course, I have ideas. I have lots of ideas. I can’t promise that the ideas are good ideas, but there are plenty of them. So, I was rattling off these ideas in e-mail when it occurred to me that a picture might be better.
And then it occurred to me that you all might be interested in seeing what I came up with and Emily might appreciate getting suggestions from people other than just me. So with Emily’s very kind permission, here’s how it all went:
Emilys Bedroom Before
Emily’s bedroom, as it is now.

Dear Angela,
I got the red and white toile bedding I wanted for Christmas, but I am having a total creative decorating block. I am actually thinking of attempting a big monogram above the bed like this. I’d never pay for it but I don’t see why I can’t attempt to do it myself.
I’d love any suggestions as I really just don’t know what to do with my walls, lamps, valances, etc… to finish off the room. I think I’m just worn out and sluggish from the holidays and don’t have the energy for it right now.
And remember, I’m frugal!

Emilys Bedroom After
Emily’s bedroom, after Photoshop

Dear Emily,
I LOVE your bedding! And I love your frugality. I think that your bedroom has such a beautiful color and nice bones that I think you just need some curtains and a few accessories to finish it off.
First I would suggest centering your bed between the windows. I think the monogram is a fantastic idea–you could even do it with a $1.00 bottle of craft paint. If it doesn’t turn out, paint it out and get some cute plates at the thrift store.
For curtains, I think a French-inspired ticking stripe. with a simple valance or soft roman shade is the trick, and I would hang them as high as you can get them. On the bed, I would add a couple of big cream or white euros and a red floral rectangular pillow in front. Maybe a matlasse spread folded across the bottom.
Then, you just need some accessories on the side tables, all of which you could find at a thrift store. Maybe a short stack of books, a vintage clock or a bud vase with flowers or foliage from the yard.
I’ve made a picture that kind of conveys what I mean (sans accessories). It’s rough, but it gives the idea. What do you think?
~Angela :-)