Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DIY Ombre Curtains

Ombre has been all the rage for awhile now and is seen every where from home decor, art, clothing, and cakes. It's really no wonder why, too. The color variations are endless and the gradation beautiful - whether your looking for a single color ombre or multiple color effect.


   After scratching my painted stripe curtains for my living room I was left with two sets of Ikea curtains. Determined to use what I bought (no IKEA here so returning was not an option), I decided that attempting ombre curtains could be fun. Plus one of the great things about ombre is that it's not exactly patterned, but it's not a solid color either. So it's a great way to add some visual texture and interest without taking away from pattern that is already in the room.

About a year ago I saw a designer create ombre curtains with bleach on HGTV. I searched for the tutorial, but couldn't find it. All I found were tutorials involving techniques similar to tie dye. So I decided to come up with my own...based on what I remembered from the show!

To start my project I took one set of curtain panels (IKEA $14.99)
Plus one bottle of Petal Pink Liquid RIT Dye.

If you've ever looked at this little blog before then you know I am a huge fan of RIT dye! I opted for the washer method since the washing machine does all the work.

Once my curtains were dyed I re-wet them. This important! You want you curtains wet - not sopping - but more than damp. The fabric soaks up the bleach better when wet. Because it's winter I decided to do the bleaching inside using my bathtub. I took down the shower curtain and hung my newly dyed curtain over the bar.

I had already added some bleach (sorry - I didn't measure!) to water in the tub. You can see that you want enough water to easily soak the curtain. I lowered the curtain into the water/bleach mixture until the part that I wanted to be the lightest was fully submerged. The I let it soak, periodically checking the progress.

This was so easy! The down side: because I was doing two panels, but only had room for one panel on the bar I had to do one at a time which resulted in an uneven ombre effect. One way to avoid this would be to do the project outside an a clothes line using buckets to soak the water. This way you can have the panels side by side and make sure they are evenly lowered and submerged. You would definitely want to measure out your bleach doing this making sure you had equal amounts in each bucket of water.

So I had to re-bleach one panel by soaking the area that needed to be lightened up. One you are done bleaching rinse the curtain in the shower getting as much bleach out as possible. It is VERY important that you don't let the bleached area touch the other parts of your curtain, otherwise you'll have bleach drips and smears. Here is my finished product:

This picture doesn't do it justice (I never seem to be able to get good lighting inside my house and the colors are always a little off!). The panels turned out better than I hoped! And I love that with the bleach method you don't have lines between the gradients of color.

I'm almost done with what I set out to accomplish in my girls' room this month! I'm just waiting on some fabric to arrive in the mail and for the weather to warm up this weekend so I can finish painting.

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Looking for free art?

If you're like me and your decorating budget is small, then you're always looking for a deal, a DIY, or better yet, free. Recently I came across a blog called BibliOdeyssey. The author reviews/showcases books (many vintage) and their illustrations. The illustrations are always interesting and often beautiful. If you click on an image it will take you to the author's Flickr photostream where there are literally over 8,000 images. I'm slowly making my way through. If you double click on an image, double click again and then click to see "all sizes" you can download the image in it's original size. I've come across everything from vintage children's books to fish and bird drawings, vintage marble paper, to antique typography. There is an impressive variety; it's definitely worth a visit. But beware - it's addictive!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Original Chevron

Things are moving along in my girls' room. The closet and armoire will be finished today. Yay!

On another note, I had to share these photos I took over Christmas. We spent a few days in Cedar City, UT visiting my husband's parents and while there we stopped in for short visit to his grandparents (an hour is about all they can handle). I have been in this house countless times, but for some reason I have never seen this room. Maybe the door was always closed?

I did a double take as I walked by, then hurried to get my camera.

Chevron in the original! Based on what the rest of the house looks like they haven't changed a thing in over 30 years. It's fun to see how design and fashion trends get recycled - but always in an upgraded way!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Year, New Rooms, New Baby

Don't you just love fresh starts? That's my favorite part of welcoming a new year - the feeling that you can start over. And the idea of iimprovement. That's what a new year means to me. Improvement. This year I'm not only hoping to improve myself, but also my home. 2011 was a sadly unproductive year for me in the way of house progress (I guess being pregnant twice will do that), and I'm hoping 2012 will be different.

To start off this new year I've made the goal to re-do three rooms in 2 1/2 months. I'm determined that before I have a new baby, all my kids will have newly designed rooms. Let's hope I can do it!

I'm starting off in my older girls' shared room and using this fabric as inspiration:

{Totem Tart by Anna Maria Horner}

I love the colors - girly, but not sweet, and vibrant. With seven different colors it gives me lots of options for coordinating.

Here's what the room currently looks like:

{previously with this hand-me-down bedding from Ikea}

My girls got new bedding for Christmas. The hot pink was a bit of a stretch for me. I prefer neutral bedding. But the solid color, ruffles, and included sheet set and pillow cases (all for a great price) won me over. Let's hope I don't regret it!

I took the closet doors off a year ago to make the space more accessible. This will be the second place I tackle (I just finished some upholstered headboards). The armoire is moved, the hardware left behind from when I took out the closet rack is gone, holes spackled, and I'm planning to get started painting today.

Here's to 2012!